Tazewell, Virginia

Drove up to Tazewell a couple days ago. Mom had some ancestors from Tazewell County as well as Russell County. The N & W Railroad had passenger service through here and also into Honaker where Mom was born. The old station has been restored but it was closed on Sunday.

Old Tazewell Train Depot

We walked around the historic section of town. It sets in a sort of valley at the southwestern end of a big mountain that I have soared on.

Historic Tazewell

A table on the porch was open. We had lunch here at this beautiful old home, now a restaurant.

Old house in Historic Tazewell

On the way back to the campground we stopped at the Old Crab Orchard Museum. This was the site of a fort built in the late 1700’s as protection against indian raids

Crab Orchard Historic Site

A replica of the fort was built in 1926 but not open inside.

Witten’s Fort Replica

On the grounds are 14 old buildings which have been moved here from nearby locations. The most impressive is this beautiful log structure, circa 1820, originally located in the nearby Thompson Valley. It was moved from the Thompson farm and restored.

Pioneer Home circa 1820

The building on the left side was the living quarters with a “dog run” breezeway connecting to the kitchen building on the right. As the signs commented, there was always danger of fire so a separate building for cooking was much safer. Inside I imagined that some of Mom’s ancestors (and mine) might have lived in buildings like this. Some were in Russell and Tazewell counties as early as 1795. Below inside the building on the left.

A quilt making machine.

This is the window in the kitchen building

Kitchen Window

Behind the structure is the “larder”, the building on the right. It was used for storing things and a kind of work area with a big high table going across the back. The breezeway made a nice place to sit and rest out of the sun.

Rear View – Larder on right

There are several other buildings spread about the grounds. One is the “Spring House”, this stone building actually built over a spring on the grounds.

Spring House

The setting is so peaceful I could almost imagine it might have looked like this 200 years ago. Well, maybe not the nice big green lawn but otherwise..

A Pasture Field adjacent
The Grounds

This cabin is the oldest building circa 1805. The information on site said this man, Major David Perry, and his wife had 9 children. It’s impossible to imagine how difficult the daily job of living must have been for those pioneer people in this mountain country.

Major David Perry Cabin circa 1805

This is an excellent museum. There is also a large building housing all sorts of things from these early times and a big red barn with old buggies, early McCormick reapers and a horse drawn hearse made in 1889.

One time the old hearse was making a trip into or out of Burke’s Garden where the road is very steep and they ran into a circus coming the other way which included elephants. The horses were terrified and took off running. The old hease tipped over but was not badly damaged. The story did not comment on the hearse’s contents.

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