Some of these include tools and projectile points from the American Early Archaic period, household goods, farm equipment (similar to the oxen yoke pictured left), quilts, and firearms from the 19th century settlement by European Americans, documents and photographs from the period of park establishment, and uniforms and tableware from the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps.
A few of these objects are on display at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center in Townsend, Tennessee. Others will be part of the exhibits at the new Oconaluftee Visitor Center and Museum (see the elevation pictured at right) slated for opening in 2011. The great majority, however, are stored in the park’s artifact collection and have never been on public display.
A few years ago, however, Great Smoky Mountains Association published a large format book titled Heirlooms & Artifacts of the Smokies: Treasures from the National Park’s Historical Collection. The book displays over 1,000 of the park’s objects in brilliant color photographs.
The text which accompanies the photos was written by former park historian Ed Trout and archaeologist Erik Kreusch. It describes each of the objects, explains how they were used, and relates their significance. The book is available at national park visitor center bookstores or on-line at SmokiesInformation.org .
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