The reason that the Museum of Appalachia evens exists is because of one man, John Rice Irwin. The museum isa living mountain village that is located at 2819 Andersonville Highway, Clinton, TN 37716. The Museum of Appalachia is open year round during daylight hours, except Christmas Day. Because of the seasons the closing time will vary so guests are advised to call for exact hours.
The beginning of the museum started with a discarded spice grater that John Rice Irwin's granny used. He felt that it was necessary to preserve the history of the people of Appalachia. Their way of life and the items they used in daily life would represent great historical value to the many people that would visit.
He began going to auctions, farms and places where he could purchase articles that would eventually go into the living museum. His first purchase was of an old horseshoeing box. It had been retrieved from the Clinch River which had flooded a half century earlier. Because of John Rice Irwin's admiration for the hardy people of Appalachia and their ingenuity and craftsmanship, the museum was brought to light.
The Museum of Appalachia has been written about in many publications throughout the years. Reader's Digest states that it is the little touches of humanity that give this museum a living quality. An axe stuck in a tree stump, firewood stacked neatly against the house, dresses hangingon a wall peg and the utensils in the kitchen ready for use make visitors think that the residents have just stepped out and will be back soon.
Tickets to the museum can be purchased on site or online. The price for adults 13-64 is $14.95, AAA discount is $12.00, Senior Citizens 65+ are $12.00, children 6-12 are $5.00 and children under six are free with a parent. If there are twenty people or more the price is only twelve dollars per person. There are different rates for the festivals that occur throughout the year.
Some of the festivals that happen at the Museum of Appalachia are the Folk Art Festival, Mountain Music Festival, Tennessee Fall Homecoming, July 4th and Anvil Shoot and Christmas in Appalachia. Visitors to the museum can also see the gardens, collections and the restaurant.
Student Heritage Day is very popular with the school children. Some of the activities that they can participate in include pottery making, doing chores the old fashioned way, attending a singing school, guitar workshops and clogging lessons. The theme of the day is to learn, observe and participate. The students that come to the museum at this time are often treated to sightings of eagles and other birds of prey.
Tour groups are welcome and they can arrange for a package tour of the museum. It will include a tour of the museum itself and the grounds, a buffet meal served in the banquet hall and an hour of authentic old time Appalachian music. The tour generally takes about three hours but can be expanded if necessary. The museum is only fifteen minutes from Knoxville and an hour from Pigeon Forge.
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