I drove into the wilderness of the nearby national park and ran smack dab into history. If I have my bearings right, often questionable in these hills, the mountain on the right horizon is the same Mt. Sterling I see from the deck at home. I can see it and I can drive towards it on steep, twisting and a great deal of gravel roads. It is hard to fathom what it was like to travel that short of a distance not so long ago. Where I went wasn't easy to get to now.
Many who arrived to this remote valley never left.
Bad blogger did not write down this family's name. I thought it was going to show up in the picture. This handsome group helped settled a remote southern Appalachian valley, one of the last parts of the east to be settled by white immigrants.
The story of two communities that reached just over 1200 before they were bought out to create a part of a national park lives on in the few remaining and restored structures.
A historic hoe was called the most used tool in the valley. Carol did you get to see a hoe at the farm house you went to?
I went to see and be in the wilderness. It was there. I saw it and went for a long walk in it. That is not what resonated with me though.
Imagining the lives, many of them quite short, of a people who walked into the wilderness to make a home for generations captured my attention.
A remnant of wallpaper clung to the ceiling.
Surely a gardener lived in this house in Big Cataloochee.