Appalachian Culture Museums

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This stub collects links for sites featuring Appalachian Cultural displays. The focus is on Southwest Virginia, but sites from nearby localities featuring the pioneer culture of Appalachia are also given.

What better way is there to know a people than to study their everyday things they made, used, mended and cherished...and cared for with loving hands. John Rice Irwin, Museum of Appalachia

Museum Description
Crab Orchard Museum VA"Long before Jamestown was settled, the area was home to a thriving American Indian village. In the 1770s, Thomas Witten settled his family here, building a fort and planting the seeds of a community still known as Pisgah...visitors truly get a peek into the life of a Virginia settler. The museum features an old farmhouse, a blacksmith’s shop, and a replica of Fort Witten built in 1926 using some of the original logs." See also An article about Crab Orchard Museum
Museum of Appalachia TN"With more than 30 historic log buildings gathered onto 63 acres and hundreds of exhibits celebrating the creativity and color of our Appalachian forebears, the Museum annually hosts over 100,000 visitors who view thousands of relics in authentic settings. It was, in fact, founder John Rice Irwin's intention to develop the Museum as an authentic representation of early life in Appalachia, seeking to make the dwellings appear as if the family has just strolled down to the spring to fetch the day's supply of water.
The Foxfire Museum and Heritage CenterHere you will find the homes, tools, trades, crafts, and the lifestyle of the all-but-vanished pioneer culture of the Southern Appalachian mountains. Foxfire students began interviewing their families, friends, and neighbors in 1966. Many times, these folks would give the students some old tools or the finished hand-crafted items they were discussing or documenting.
Fort LoudonDuring the French and Indian War (1754-1763) the British Colony of South Carolina felt threatened by French activities in the Mississippi Valley. To counter this threat, the Colony sent the Independent Company of South Carolina to construct and garrison what became Fort Loudoun....In the course of the fort’s four-year existence, relations between South Carolina and the Cherokee Nation broke down. In August, 1760, the Cherokee captured Fort Loudoun and its garrison....After the surrender in 1760, Fort Loudoun was never used again for any military purpose....Fort Loudoun continues to be managed as a day use park with a visitor’s center, reconstructed Fort Loudoun.
Frontier Culture Museum VA
"The Frontier Culture Museum is an outdoor, living-history museum and educational institution of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Museum currently features six permanent, outdoor exhibits comprised of original farm buildings from Britain, Germany, and Virginia. These buildings have been carefully documented, dismantled, transported to Virginia, and restored. The Museum's exhibits serve as the settings for interpretative and educational programs designed to increase public knowledge of the diverse Old World origins of early immigrants to America, of how these immigrants lived in their homelands, how they came to America, and how the way-of-life they created together on the American frontier has shaped the success of the United States.
History Museum of Western Virginia VA"Since its creation in 1957, the History Museum of Western Virginia has been collecting and preserving artifacts, documents and other memorabilia that tell the story of southwestern Virginia from prehistory to modern times. Through a variety of permanent and rotating exhibits, as well as lectures, tours and publications, the History Museum pursues its mission of promoting knowledge of and appreciation for our regional heritage."
Prickett's Fort WV"Perched on a small rise overlooking the confluence of Prickett's Creek and the Monongahela River, this rustic log fort is a re-creation of the original Prickett's Fort of 1774, which served as a refuge from Native American war parties on the western frontier of Colonial Virginia. Built in 1976 by the Prickett's Fort Memorial Foundation, the "new" fort serves as a living history site where interpreters recreate late 18th century lifestyle through period attire and demonstrations of a variety of colonial crafts. Throughout the season, visitors may find blacksmiths, spinners, weavers and other traditional artisans at work, and a gun shop which features the only public demonstrations of 18th century firearm manufacturing in the state."
Fort Southwest Point, Roane County, TN" Explore the only federal era fort in Tennessee being reconstructed on its original foundation. An ongoing project: a barracks, a blockhouse, and over 250 feet of palisade walls have been reconstructed to date. Enjoy the spectacular views from the reconstructed fort, situated on a high bluff, rising above the Clinch and the Tennessee Rivers."
Fort Dobbs, Statesville NC"Situated in the Piedmont region of North Carolina near the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Fort Dobbs State Historic Site provides a window into the tumultuous period of history known as the French and Indian War (1754-1763) or Seven Years War. As the only state historic site associated with the period, it represents North Carolina's link with a global war for empire that crossed five continents, lasted nearly a decade and sowed the seeds for independence."
Martins Station and the Wilderness Road Wilderness Road State Park is the home of historic Martin's Station. The Station is an outdoor living history museum with costumed interpreters depicting life on the Virginia frontier of 1775. The new high-definition docudrama "Wilderness Road - Spirit of a Nation" is shown daily at the Visitors Center. Unique gifts can be purchased at The Powder Horn Gift Shop inside the center.

The park also includes the Wilderness Road Trail, which roughly follows the route of the trail carved by Daniel Boone in April of 1775. It is a 10-mile hiking, biking and equestrian trail that connects Martin's Station to Cumberland Gap in The Cumberland Gap National Historic Park. Other facilities at the park include a beautiful picnic area, 3 picnic shelters, comfort station, playground and the self-guided Indian Ridge Trail. The Karlan Mansion, built in 1877 is available to rent for special events, meetings and other occassions.

Meadowcroft Village Take a trip back in time with Meadowcroft's carefully recreated 19th century village celebrating rural life.

Visitors can experience how our ancestors lived by stirring apple butter, dipping candles and celebrating an old-fashioned Indepedence Day in July.

During your visit, stop by the one-room schoolhouse, blacksmith shop, church, covered bridge, or one of two log houses. Then travel back to the dawn of prehistoric people in North America with a visit to the Meadowcroft Rockshelter.

[Paired with the Meadowcroft Rockshelter---one of the earliest human habitations sites in North America, dated to 16,000 years ago (14,000 BC).