A museum dedicated to the labors of farming

Published 10:00 pm Monday, August 29, 2016

Looking for an activity this upcoming Labor Day weekend? Try a trip into the Great Smoky Mountains and visit the Mountain Farm Museum, a farm museum that offers a one-of-a-kind learning experience as you travel back in time through agriculture. Families passed down the farm for generations, sending along with it heritage, history, and critical life skills.

The Mountain Farm Museum in Oconaluftee, near Cherokee, N.C. offers both a visitor center and the Mountain Farm Museum, a collection of historic log buildings gathered from throughout the Smoky Mountains and preserved on a single site. Buildings include a house, barn, applehouse, springhouse, and smokehouse.

The Mountain Farm Museum is a unique collection of farm buildings assembled from locations throughout the Great Smokies National park. Visitors can explore a log farmhouse, barn, applehouse, springhouse, and a working blacksmith shop to get a sense of how families may have lived 100 years ago. Most of the structures were built in the late 19th century and were moved here in the 1950s. The Davis House offers a rare chance to view a log house built from chestnut wood before the chestnut blight decimated the American Chestnut in our forests during the 1930s and early 1940s. The museum is adjacent to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center.

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The site also demonstrates historic gardening and agricultural practices, including livestock. An inexpensive, self-guiding tour booklet is available.

Two excellent walking trails start from the vicinity. The Oconaluftee River Trail follows its namesake stream for 1.5 miles to Cherokee. Mingus Creek Trail climbs past old farms to the Smokies high country. The easy, 1.5 mile Oconaluftee River Trail begins near the entrance to the museum. It is stroller-accessible and follows the river to Cherokee, N.C.

It was in August, 1916, 100 years ago, that the National Park Service was created to protect America’s natural wonders. The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is the most visited of them all.