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Unicoi Heritage Day a look back in time

Sue Guinn Legg • Oct 18, 2018 at 4:00 AM

UNICOI — The town of Unicoi is inviting the community to experience life in the Appalachian Mountains as it was in the early 1800s at Saturday’s annual Heritage Day at the Bogart-Bowman Cabin.

Activities will include approximately 20 living history demonstrations of everyday homestead activities on America’s first frontier, storytelling, dulcimer playing, traditional food sampling and more.

Volunteers in period costumes will be making apple butter and baking biscuits over wood fires, churning butter, shelling corn, quilting, blacksmithing, making pottery, tending bees and other essential chores of early days in the mountains.

Southwest Virginia’s “Mountain Man” storyteller Jerry Vencil will be sharing tales adapted from the region’s unique history. Jonesborough dulcimer teacher Don Burger and his students will set the day to music with lulling strains of the ancient instrument played in Appalachians since the arrival of the first Scotch-Irish immigrants. And free samples of dutch oven-baked biscuits, home-churned butter and fresh-made apple butter will allow guests to literally taste life as it was.

Ashley Cavender, Unicoi’s communications and programs director described the event as “an experiential day filled with history and educational fun the whole family will enjoy.”

Festivities will begin at 11 a.m. and continue through 3 p.m. Admission is free and a traditional Appalachian meal of soup beans and cornbread will be available for purchase.

The Bogart-Bowman cabin and its neighboring Buffalo Creek Park are located at 5012 Unicoi Drive. More information about the historic cabin is available online at unicoitn.net.

The town of Unicoi and the Unicoi Volunteer Fire Department are also inviting the community to a celebration of the fire department’s 50th anniversary Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Unicoi Tourist Information and Visitors Center at 106 Unicoi Village Place Drive.

The celebration will include free hotdogs, free smoke alarms, live music, rescue demonstrations, fire safety information and more. The visitors center is located just off Interstate 26 at Exit 32.

More information about both events may be obtained by contacting Cavender at 423-735-0317.

Email Sue Guinn Legg at slegg@johnsoncitypress.com. Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.

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