Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center

Another building I really enjoyed seeing in the Appalachian Village at the Heritage Center was the Blacksmith’s shop. Just the information about what all blacksmiths did – they were often called on to be vets, among other things – was so interesting. You can see Charlotte checking out one of the signs in this picture.

Once we finished up touring the village we headed inside to the museum inside the Heritage Center. I had never heard of this, but when Highway 321 through Townsend was being widened back in 1999 they discovered a huge treasure trove of Indian artifacts, and the project was postponed for two years while the area was excavated by archaeologists from UT, among other places. One interesting thing that I learned that I had not even thought of was that Indians had lived there for 10,000 years – always the Cherokee. Of course I knew Native Americans lived in the area for millennia before settlers arrived, but it just never occurred to me that it was the same tribe of Indians, they just went through several periods of advancement, for lack of a better word. It had just never crossed my mind. Lots and lots of artifacts were on display. So interesting.