Mountain History

Jim Thompson PanoramaJim Thompson Park Dedication Panoramic Photograph – Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated Great Smoky Mountains National Park on September 2, 1940, “for the permanent enjoyment of the people.” Take home this piece of history today!

GRSM MapPair of GSMNP Map Prints – These antique looking maps are prints of the original 1931 Great Smoky Mountains National Park map. They are extremely popular among hikers and outdoor enthusiasts because they display the locations of old settlements, trails and roads that are no longer marked on the current map. This is one map divided into two large prints, each measuring approximately 29″ x 33″. Courtesy of Craig Baker.

Sleigh Bells 7-Bell Sleigh Bells – This is a fantastic set of antique sleigh bells; all original brass bells on a leather strap.  Nice jingle to this great old set of bells! Measures 19″ in length.

Alum Cave Replica Trail Sign – Smoky Mountain lovers now get a chance to own a piece of history that is unavailable anywhere else!  One of the most popular trails leading to Mount LeConte, Alum Cave Trail is also the current project for the Trails Forever crew who are making trail improvements that should last for the next 75 years.  This project is funded by the Friends of the Smokies Trails Forever Endowment.

CCC Officer's HatCCC Officer’s Hat and Camp Photo from Norris, Tennessee – This package includes a framed photograph of the Norris, Tennessee, camp of the Civilian Conservation Corps along with an original CCC Officers hat, which is the same as that worn by officers in this photo.

Small Cotton Gin – Cotton was grown in the mountains in modest sized patches. Before it could be spun and woven into cloth, the seeds had to be removed from the lint.  This homemade gin removed them very slowly and laboriously.  Nonetheless, it was still one step beyond picking the seeds out by hand.

Waffle Iron Cast Iron TeakettleCast Iron Waffle Iron and Kettle – A duo of kitchen staples!  First, a Favorite Piqua Ware square waffle iron on high base (circa 1916-1935), which would have been used on top of the stove to heat batter on one side and then flipped to cook the other side.  The second staple of a pioneer kitchen was the cast iron kettle.  The kettle provided a constant, readily available source of boiling water.

Wood and Metal Berry ScoopWood and Metal Berry Scoop – A wonderful vintage wood and metal berry picker in original condition. Berry scoops like this one were used by mountain families in the 1800s. The metal teeth pulled berries from the berry bushes.

The Smoky Mountains by Martin“The Smoky Mountains” by Homer Martin – A lovely giclee of Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina originally painted by Homer Martin in 1872.  An engraving of the painting can be found in “Picturesque America,”Volume 2.  It is believed to be one of Martin’s most impressive early works.

National Parks Art and Soul of America“National Parks: The Art & Soul of America” Print – Want to Find Your Park?  This classic travel poster celebrates the history and wonder of 9 beloved American National Parks. Created in the tradition of the WPA posters of the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s, this limited edition print is sure to spur your sense of adventure and national pride. Measures 20.5″ x 26.5″

Original Fantasy MapOriginal GSMNP Fantasy Map by Levi Mills – Self-taught Wisconsin artist Levi Mills shows off his talent with this original fantasy map of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With historic landmarks and mountain peaks as well as an adorable cartoon bear and elk, this 3-D map will be the perfect addition to any Park lover’s home or cabin!

Sam Venable Book CollectionSam Venable Book Collection – Sam Venable has written for the Knoxville News Sentinel since 1970, first as outdoors editor and since 1985 as a columnist who specializes in humor.  He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and author of 12 books.  The winner of this package will take home five of his books: “A Handful of Thumbs and Two Left Feet: Sam Venable’s Best Outdoor Stories,” “From Ridgetops to Riverbottoms: A Celebration of the Outdoor Life in Tennessee,” “You Gotta Laugh to Keep from Cryin‘: A Baby Boomer Contemplates Life Beyond Fifty,” “Someday I May Find Honest Work: A Newspaper Humorist’s Life,” “Warning! This Product Contains Nuttiness: A Fun Look at the Bizarre World in which We Live,” and “How to Tawlk and Rite Good: A guide to the language of Southern Appalachia.” Courtesy of Sam Venable.

Chimney Tops Trail Sign – Smoky Mountain lovers now get the chance to own a piece of history that is unavailable anywhere else!  Chimney Tops is a very popular trail and has just undergone a complete trail renovation by the Trails Forever crew, which is funded by Friends of the Smokies through the Trails Forever endowment.

Saddlers BenchSaddler’s Bench – A unique, early 20th century antique American stationary saddle maker stool.  The stool would have been used to make and repair saddles, collars, halters and whips. Measures 26″W x 11.5″D x 44″H

Cades Cove BuildingsNational Heritage Gallery Cades Cove Buildings – Settled in the 1800s, pioneers built an old mill, proud farmsteads and primitive country churches in Cades Cove. Now these structures are nestled in this serene valley, preserved by Great Smoky Mountains National Park and frozen in time. This National Heritage Gallery package includes the retired Primitive Baptist Church, the retired Carter Shields Cabin, and Cable Mill. Courtesy of Leonard and Betty McKeehan.

Pie Picnic BasketPie Picnic Basket – Use this beautiful, handcrafted pie basket to carry pies and other baked goods to your family and friends or enjoy a picnic in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

309 - Wooden Dough BowlWooden Dough Bowl – In the South and in the territories where the most adventuresome settlers sought new opportunities, the use of locally available materials for houses and for basic household utensils (carved wooden bowls and slatted wooden buckets and barrels) continued into the 1800s and 1900s. A common tradition in the Appalachian mountains, even until World War II, was serving biscuits with every meal. The biscuits were usually made in a hand carved wooden bowl, such as this one, and the bowl had flour in it at all times except every week or so when the bowl would be washed. This beautiful piece of history can still be used to make biscuits or as a gorgeous decorative, statement piece in your home. Measures 22″ x 11″

Alaskan Red FoxAlaskan Red Fox – The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is the subject of many stories, songs, fables and parables. Its flashy good looks and its ability to live close to people and their varied activities have undoubtedly contributed to this notoriety. Probably a more important reason is the fox’s reputation for cunning and intelligence. The red fox is common in most of northern North America, including much of Alaska. Don’t get “outfoxed” in the bidding for this handsome taxidermy.

Sewing MachineIron Sewing Machine – This small, antique hand-crank sewing machine, possibly designed for a child, would make an interesting decorative accessory. Measures 11.5″ x 6.5″ base.

4 Primitve ChairsFour Primitive Chairs – This set of chairs showcases the simple styles of Appalachia and brings a nostalgic feeling to your home. Place together around the breakfast table or separate and place them in multiple rooms throughout your home. Regardless of where you use them, they will remind you to slow down and enjoy the simpler things in life. Measures 13″W x 14″D x 31″H

Popcorn PopperPopcorn Popper for Open Fire – It wasn’t until the second half of the nineteenth century that an efficient method for popping corn was developed. These newly invented “poppers” were made of tight wire mesh containers attached to a long handle; they were meant to be held over an open flame. Poppers offered several benefits, including the ability to contain the popped kernels while also keeping hands away from an exposed flame. Take home this piece of history for the popcorn lover in your life or as an interesting accessory for your hearth. Measures 31″ long.

Handwoven Basket by Jesse JonesSigned Handmade Woven Basket by Jesse Jones – Jesse Jones was an old-time mountain basket maker from Southern Appalachia who continued uninterrupted the subtle art, which he learned as a child from his father and grandfather. Jones’ baskets are works of art. In addition to being a serviceable container, it will last for generations with proper care. Measures 9″ diametral.

Antique Grain SeperatorAntique Grain Separator – Rare, primitive, hand-crank grain separator with great patina.  An interesting piece of history and a wonderful conversation starter for your home. Take home a piece of history.

Wooden Brighton Wringer (4)Wooden Brighton Wringer No. 110 – The laundry wringer was used to squeeze excess water out of clothing so that it would dry faster on the clothesline. A nice decorative addition to your modern laundry room.

Antique Coffee Grinder

Antique Coffee Grinder – Wake up and smell the coffee! An antique coffee grinder in metal and wood.  An excellent collectible for the home! Also enjoy delicious coffee from one of Gatlinburg’s best roasters! Measures 7.5″ square. Courtesy of Friends of the Smokies and Blue Smoke Coffee.

GSMNP Map PrintGSMNP Map Print – Jared Prince, founder of Muir Way, has spent his life exploring the outdoors and our country’s National Park System. He collected park maps from each of his journeys, but they always seemed to end up in a box in some unfindable place so he decided to design a map that wouldn’t get lost. Using soft color palettes and clean design, he created versions of National Park maps that he hopes will be hung on walls, not just as art, but as reminders of the places we love most. Take home this handsome map of our very own Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Measures 24″ x 19″

GRSM PennetVintage GSMNP Pennant – This framed, vintage Great Smoky Mountains National Park pennant would be great in your home or Smoky Mountains getaway.

Windsor ChairWindsor Chair with Inset Rush Seat – In 18th century England, Windsor chairs were used in the Windsor Castle garden.  They soon became popular garden seats throughout the country and were often painted green or simply left to weather.  By the late 1750’s, the English Windsor chair was ubiquitous indoors as well as outdoors and would have been used everywhere from inns and taverns to libraries and meeting houses.

Antique Oil CanAntique Metal Glass Excelsior Oil Can – Oil cans such as this would have been used for storage of oil or gas for farm equipment or lamps. This piece features intact glass, a rare find for its age.

Antique Measing ScaleAntique Fairbanks Number 2 Grocers Scale – This antique Fairbanks grocers scale features cast iron construction with brass scoop and cast iron weight. Scale measures 14″L x 12″W x 8.5″H

Pair of Whisk BroomsPair of Handcrafted Woven Whisk Brooms – Brooms have been used throughout the world for many centuries to clean caves, castles and cabins.  Hang these brooms in your kitchen to bring a piece of history into your home or cabin.

Woven Seat StoolPrimitive Wood Splint Woven-Seat Stool -An amazing early splint seat footstool featuring the original finish. The seat of the stool was created by weaving together flat lengths of wood that had been soaked to make them pliable. A fine addition to any room. Measures 20.5W” x 12″D x 12″H

Trio of Shoe Lasts Wooden Shoemakers BoxWooden Shoe Makers Box with Trio of Shoe Lasts – This primitive shoe box along with the trio of shoe lasts would have been necessary to keep pioneer footwear mended for use. Measures 16″W x 12″D x 14″H

Canoeing RacoonCanoeing Racoon – Add charm and wildlife to your home with this cute canoeing raccoon.  He is the perfect addition to your home or mountain getaway!

2 Gallon Moonshine Still and Rustic Jug – Moonshining has been a strong tradition in the Southern Appalachian mountains for hundreds of years. It was a prime source of income for generations of mountain people as it was one of the few ways to earn cash in these mountains.  Add a touch of Appalachian nostalgia to your cabin or gameroom with this 2 gallon still.  It is sure to be a conversation piece!

Canning HutchCanning Hutch – Reminisce on bygone days of mountain life and enjoy canned goods from the Evergreen Ball committee and Friends of the Smokies staff and family. Measures 27″W x 4″D x 86.5″H

Candle MoldsPair of Candle Molds – Candles were once used to provide light in the house, but they were too expensive to buy. Old candle molds varied in size from 1 to 72 tin tubes, each with a narrow end. A frame held the tubes upright. A string was threaded into each tube, and the melted tallow was poured into the mold to harden.

Cast Iron Hearth TrivetAntique Cast Iron Hearth Trivet – For open-hearth cooking, a metal stand or trivet, the brandelette (also called brandise) supported pots in hot ash. Today, trivets are highly collectible as decorative fireplace accessories.

Trio of MashersTrio of Mashers – This set of wooden mashers would have been used in the pioneer kitchen to mash potatoes or herbs.

Cherokee Honeysuckle Woven BasketCherokee Honeysuckle Woven Basket – Native American woven baskets, especially from the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, are much sought after.  This Honeysuckle woven basket was naturally dyed with yellowroot and walnuts.  It is certified by the Indian Arts and Crafts Board and the artist, Linda George, is part of the Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual, Inc. A true collectible! Measures 11″ in height.

 Wooden TrencherWooden Trencher – Wooden trenchers were a staple in many 1800’s kitchens. This particular trencher bowl is extremely primitive in nature, exhibiting the effects of many decades of cutting, chopping and dough making with an abundance of cut marks in the bottom and on the sides of the bowl. This bowl has all the character and appeal that a heavy, wood, 1800’s primitive trencher should have. These pieces are becoming staples in the home once again and are now used for centerpieces and catch-alls! Measures 46″ x 18.5″

GSMNP Entrance PhotographBlack and White GSMNP Entrance Photograph – A must-stop photo opportunity for visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  This sign with its iconic arrowhead logo, reminds us of the place we all love so much! Measures 30″ x 24.5″

CoverletBlue and Beige Handwoven Linsey-Woolsey Coverlet – Linsey-Woolsey is a coarse twill or plain-woven fabric woven with a linen warp and a woolen weft. Linsey-woolsey was an important fabric in Colonial America due to the relative scarcity of wool in the colonies. This antique coverlet in beautiful shades of navy and cream will add a touch of Appalachia to your home.

More coming soon!