Have you heard of the Foxfire books? If not, please go onto Amazon or to your local bookstore and get one or two or even more. To summarize, Foxfire was the name of a newsletter put out by some high school kids in Rabun, Georgia, with the assistance of their new teacher. The kids were not interested in the usual high school English curriculum and the new teacher was willing to try something new with them.
So, the kids went off to interview their relatives and neighbors about what life used to be like in that part of northeastern Georgia in the Appalachian Mountains. The newsletters were eventually compiled into a book which became a best-seller. The books contain stories about all the things that mountain people made, from buckets and moonshine to guns. Fascinating history!
50 years later, the non-profit organization that developed has provided millions of dollars of college scholarships for kids in this area and has published dozens of Foxfire books. Here is a link to their story: http://www.foxfirefund.org/
There is also a museum, which I visited today. The kids also helped move the old buildings which comprise part of that museum. Here are some photos. The sunlight falling through the trees produced a dappled appearance which made it hard to take good photos, so this is the best I could do, even with a tiny bit of help from Photoshop.
Yes, these are definitely the mountains of northeast Georgia!
Getting to this museum was quite a challenge in my big vehicle. The paved road warned about curves and narrow road, but at least it was paved and had a yellow line down the middle. However, the museum is down a single-lane gravel road with a mountain on one side and a really steep drop-off on the other. I have no idea what I was supposed to do if a car came from the opposite direction, but I finally made it and squeezed along the road into a small parking spot. This is the gift shop and headquarters.
The next few photos will show the various buildings. I did not visit all of them because the even narrower road was very steep, even for walking, but I got to see enough to satisfy me.
See how hard it is to see these two houses?
At first, I thought this was a well, but the sign says it is a hog scalding pot, and indeed, it had a large copper pot in the hole with a place to build a fire underneath.
The wagon is interesting, but look at the watering or feed trough made out of a single log!
And I did buy a copy of their 50th Anniversary Edition Foxfire book before I tackled driving back down that scary gravel road! A kindly family agreed to go ahead of me and block the entrance that was half a mile down to prevent anyone driving up until I got out. Whew.