Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Road Trip - Part 4: Old Homesteads

Daniel and I both have a thing for old buildings, especially old farmsteads and, once again, we were not disappointed, especially in Great Smoky Mountain National Park, where we found this beautifully maintained farm.
We couldn't help ourselves with taking photos and even this small selection is rather large, so grab a cup of coffee and relax while I take you on a tour with us...

Don't you just love these swallows nests? We have a house down the road, on the water, with a similar creation.
The kitchen garden was beautifully maintained and looked like it was growing quite well.
The main log cabin - gorgeous!!
We saw quite a few of these on buildings. Does anyone know what they are?
Lots of firewood stacked nicely outside the house,
and the inside looked very nicely kept!

Isn't the underside of the roof amazing?

The cantilevered old barn was fascinating! Such interesting construction.

It was very airy on the inside.

Daniel went for a short hike up to the Appalachian Trail while I was relaxing and reading by the campsite, and found this old chimney
and then came upon this Appalachian Trail shelter. On the way, he got to talk with quite a few hikers who hike parts of the AT regularly. I think he's intrigued, especially when his knee is good as new again.
This particular homestead was in Cades Cove, a beautiful valley in the park.
Just look at that view!
There were also a number of old churches and interesting graveyards.

Another big farmstead, this one in Cades Cove. It was so interesting as this one sported a grain mill that was still working.
Just look at this grain mill that was still working. From when I was a child, I've been fascinated by watermills. For my German-speaking friends, do you remember the song:

Es klappert die Mühle am rauschenden Bach
Klipp-klapp - klipp-klapp
Bei Tag und bei Nacht ist der Müller stets wach
Klipp-klapp - klipp-klapp
Er mahlt uns das Korn zu dem kräftigen Brot
Und haben wir solches, so hat's keine Not
Klipp-klapp - klipp-klapp - klipp-klapp
It was one of my favorite childhood songs. I had a big song book with the most exquisite watercolor illustrations and I still remember the painting with this song!

Here is the sluice controlling the speed of the mill. We watched for a long time and checked out exactly how it all worked...

The living quarters were very simple, but the house had two stories and was quite roomy.
Daniel checking out the barn.

Now this barn was part of the Glen Burnie Historic House and the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, VA. Daniel's genealogy brought us here as he was trying to find out if his family was related to the founders of Winchester and the Glen Burnie estate.
It turns out that they aren't, but we still had a wonderful time touring the house and the beautiful gardens.

That evening, we ate an incredible meal at a Northern Italian restaurant, but that deserves another post. Stay tuned for Part 5: Food! Those of you who know how much I like to eat, can you believe that I waited until Part 5 to cover food?!

Thank you so much for traveling with us!!


  1. What a fantastic tour - I always find the "simplicity" of life in these old homesteads fascinating, while I am, of course, aware that life was also much harder.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. I think those funny shaped boards on the side of that one building are for stretching animal pelts!! I have an old photo of my grandpa and his brothers and their skunk hunting harvest stretched on boards shaped like that--icky!!!
    I also happen to have a couple "replicas" that my dad cut out for me and I did some Christmas folk art painting on them.

  3. Hallo Silke,

    Danke für die ineressanten Einblicke in eine andere Zeit.

    Mir gefallen so alte Häuser und Gegenstände.

    Liebe Grüße, Carmen

  4. Aaah lok at that beautiful estate! To think that much of the US was born from these sites. I would love to have a place like that, but I can see why one needs a lot of hands to maintain it. Daniel peeking from the door looks a little too modern and cute!!!

    Wonderful photographs Silke. Looks like you had a great time.

    Boy! Do you ever go places!

  5. What a wonderful *virtual trip* Silke!!! I lways find the difference in cabin architecture amazing from area to area.
    At one time, my folks owned a log cabin we would retreat to for spells in the Summer. It's design was different than these, but consistent with what one would see in southern Indiana. (and no *indoor facilities* I might add....out the door, over the creek bridge and up the hill.....)
    And barns too---all built so well for the climate they are in!
    Thoroughly enjoyed this!!!
    Hello to Daniel and hope he is progressing well!!!


  6. OOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOO how lovely! What a delight to see. I have a thing for old things too, which is good, cuz hubby got old and I still have a thing for him. teehee
    **kisses** Deb

  7. How fun, those old homes and other buildings are all in such great condition. Thank you for the tour, can't wait to hear about the food.:)

  8. lovely photos... i would love to go there!!! mmm food????

  9. Oh, Silke, what a wonderful post this is. I have enjoyed every single photo...I too love old buildings and graveyards. I enjoy sitting there quietly to speculate what life must've been like for these people before me and how much things have changed...I wish we still had Windmills and we should! Life should go back to basics so that the environment can heal...

    I had totally forgotten about that Windmill song, Silke, and I was singing it out loud while rading the worlds. Thanks for the memories.

    I can't wait to read about the food. I appreciate and love (good) food too...thanks so much for sharing. I really enjoyed this :-)

  10. We are on the same wavelength. I love old farms and barns and cemeteries. In fact, I've been thinking of 2 places I want to visit to take a series of photographs. One is a farm in North Yarmouth that I found out about from a Twitter friend. It is open to the public and contains a carriage museum. The other is an old house in Freeport that is on land owned by the historical society. I am planning to visit both of these antique dwellings within the next few weeks. It's likely that some of the photos will show up on my blog this summer.

    I'm enjoying these posts that share your trip with us! ☺

  11. Oh these are amazing photos too! Looks like a wonderful trip all in all.
    I am looking forward to the food sections too!!
    Love and hugs.

  12. Thank you for this trip to the historical houses and the "Mühle am rauschenden Bach";-)) Greetings from Luzia.

  13. Oh, I love old homesteads such as these. Thank you for sharing all your gorgeous photos - feels like I was there on the trip with you! Theresa :)

  14. Wow..that was so cool..wonderful pictures..what a treat!