Blount County Opens 2 New Museums

Blount County (WVLT) - With a vast history, Blount County is opening two new museums on Saturday to show it.

Both museums focus on the history of Blount County. One will be devoted to Cades Cove.

The other will include revolving exhibits but will begin with an exhibit on the Civil War.

Blount county historians are bringing back music, memories, and memorabilia from the days of old. Two new museums are opening, one focusing on Blount County. On display, a spinning weasel.

Susan Jones with the Blount County Historic Preservation says, "It goes pop once it's full of enough wool, and so we have found the origin of pop goes the weasel."

Cars and carriages from the 19th century are on display but they're focusing on Southern Independence.

Jones says, "We're trying to tell the story of when the Civil War came to Blount county."
This exhibit shows the life and times of a soldier in the war, including a 58 caliber General Killer gun.

Dr. Bob Padleford, a Civil War collector says, "It's accurate to at least a mile. There are records of a mile and a half being able to take an officer off a horse."

And believe it or not, hand grenades were already in use by the Union and more crude hand grenades by the Confederates.

Padleford says, "They would actually take a six pound or twelve pound cannonball, put a fuse in it, light it, and throw it."

The Thompson House has transformed into a museum for the early settlers of Cades Cove.
From a bonnet worn by the daughter of the first permanent white settlers to a heavy piece of iron originally made there.

Padleford says, "The neighborhood boys would come in and see how many times they could hoist that piece of iron over their head to establish their manhood."

Just some history making it's way from the past to the present.

Dave Post, President of the Cades Cove Preservation Association says, "To some extent a small piece of Cades Cove has been frozen in time for everybody to visit and enjoy."

A ribbon cutting will take place at the Thompson House off Highway 321 which houses the Cades Cove Museum beginning Saturday morning at 10:00 am.

They'll have re-enactors, music, and food, including fried apple pies made like they used to make them in the early days at Cades Cove.

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