This is the world that David and Louise Miller knew when they decided to settle in the heavily forested Appalachian mountain region. Mountains that were often misty and already laden with old stories of the Over-Mountain Men, Scottish Pioneers and Cherokee Indians, but also filled with new opportunity for a young couple to found their family farm.
David Miller built his original log cabin in the 1870’s in a hollow of Strawberry Mountain which is one of the ridge highlands that flank Roan Mountain. The hills hiding the hollow slope gently into the small valley where the 1904 white frame farmhouse, surrounded by a colorful garden, still stands like a bright beacon, among the older, silvery grey, hand-hewn working structures on the homestead.
Curious, Jim leaned forward and held up a finger to his lips. We waited silent for a second or two and were surprised by soft clucks. There were actually chickens inside!
The David Miller Farmstead has been preserved by the State of Tennessee to provide a look into what life was like in the mountains of Appalachia in those hard, early days. It’s a wonderful place to contemplate the remoteness of their life there and how self-reliant these settlers really had to be. A life so very different from, the plugged-in life we lead today.