Sunday, July 29, 2007

Weekend: Part 3

I apologize that it has taken me over a week to finish up this post. We have been so busy. The summer months are when our business does the most revenue so we must " Make hay while the sun shines" as they say. I left off with our visit to the John Sevier home. When we left there we headed to Townsend, a little town at the entrance to the Smokies park. We stopped at Apple Valley Farms and looked around and then headed on into the mountains to an area called Tremont. In all the years here I don't think we had ever ventured into this area before. Tremont was an area where there was a logging community before the National Park was established. Many people don't know that before the park was set up that two-thirds of what is now National Park had been logged. Not much logging was done in the Smokies before the turn of the century. Trees that were cut by pioneers were used by local people for local needs: cabins, wagons, furniture, tools and fuel. However by 1900 most of the northern forest were used up and the logging companies began looking to the Southern Appalachians. The logging companies set up entire communities similar to mining towns but even less permanent. Once the trees in an area were cut the company moved on. Even so while they were in an area they set up a community for the people who worked for them. They had a company store, a post office and a Doctor. There was a school, through 8th grade, set up in what they called "car shacks", the church usually met there as well. A car shack was a pre-fab portable house that was about 12x12 and could be lifted on and off a railroad flat car by a loader. As the logging operation moved the car shacks could be picked up and moved to the new site and set off along side the track. They would join several together to form a house, bunkhouse or whatever they needed. The company owned the buildings and rented them to the families for $1 per shack per month. The workers were paid between 20-30 cents an hour. To look at the area now you can hardly tell all that was here. There is some evidence, mostly in decaying concrete structures which are being slowly covered with vines, but really there isn't much to prove they were here. We found a creek bank and spent some time relaxing and reading. I got busy taking pictures. All in all it was a beautiful and relaxing day. We got home to find that the kids had prepared a little party for me. I was truly surprised and pleased. I opened my presents, a beautiful candle and some Bath and Body Works Magnolia Blossom scented goodies, and ate Key Lime Pie, yum. I couldn't have asked for a better day.
Pics: #2 :Loggers in the Tremont area.
#3 and #4: Moss covers many of the rocks in shady locations.

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