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    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

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Mountain Farm Museum and Mingus Mill

The Mountain Farm Museum
Kent Cave Photo
 

Highlights: historic buildings, visitor center, walking trails

Oconaluftee 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.

At the visitor center, rangers can answer your questions about the park and there is a bookstore with a broad selection of guides, maps, and other products.

The Mountain Farm Museum is a unique collection of farm buildings assembled from locations throughout the park. Visitors can explore a log farmhouse, barn, apple house, 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.

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.

Mileage
from Cherokee-2
from Gatlinburg-30
from Townsend-50


 
The John Davis house at the Mountain Farm Museum.

Kent Cave Photo

Take a virtual tour of the Mountain Farm Museum to learn about the log home and some of the outbuildings preserved at this unique outdoor museum.

Dial up (727 KB)

 

Mingus Mill

A half-mile north of the Oconaluftee Visitor Center is Mingus Mill. Built in 1886, this historic grist mill uses a water-powered turbine instead of a water wheel to power all of the machinery in the building. Located at its original site, Mingus Mill stands as a tribute to the test of time. Hours: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM daily mid-March through mid-November. Also, open Thanksgiving weekend.

Highlights:

  • Water flows down a millrace to the mill.
  • A working cast iron turbine.
  • A miller demonstrates the process of grinding corn into cornmeal.
  • Cornmeal and other mill-related items are available for purchase at the mill.
 

Recommended Reading

 

Mountain Farm Museum Self-Guiding Tour
Keyed to numbered posts or landmarks you'll see at the Mountain Farm Museum, this tour booklet describes the history and buildings of the farm and features historical photographs and illustrations which show what life was like a century ago.

 

Visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park's official online store for other books, maps, and guides to the park. Operated by the nonprofit Great Smoky Mountains Association, proceeds generated by purchases at the store are donated to educational, scientific, and historical projects in the park.

Did You Know?

Fontana Lake is formed by Fontana Dam.

At 480 feet, Fontana Dam, located on the southwestern boundary of the park, is the tallest concrete dam east of the Rocky Mountains. The dam impounds the Little Tennessee River forming Fontana Lake and produces hydroelectric power. More...