From the first moment I set foot in East Tennessee it felt like home. What I didn't realize, until I spent some time building my family tree in ancestry.com, was that it really was coming home. So many branches of my tree grew from this very spot. No wonder it felt like home. You can't live here and not know the name John Sevier. So when the name popped up on my family tree I sat up a little straighter and paid a little closer attention to the local stories. It's easy to be a history buff here. It's all around you. Just down the road in Elizabethton is Fort Watauga in the Sycamore Shoals State Park. This weekend was a reenactment of one of the battles of Fort Watauga and the weather was perfect. We just had to go check it out. For those of you unfamiliar to John Sevier's relation to this fort, he fled to the fort during an attack from the Cherokee and saved Bonnie Kate Sherrill who was to be his second wife. It's been made into quite a love story. He also coincidentally went on to serve as Tennessee's first govenor. He must have been quite a man. I'm not sure which of these reenactors was supposed to be John Sevier, but it was fascinating to stand behind a tree pretending to go back in time.
These reenactors really take this seriously. They live, eat and dress the part. All their clothes are authentic recreations from the period and they even camp in the same way you would have in the 1700s. That means no modern conveniences...at all! The children were absolutely precious and totally content to play with toys of the period. One little girl played happily on a simple drum while another watched intently to an elder teaching her to make a whistle from a blade of grass. Oh for the simple days again...
This little girl's name was Journey. She was happy as she could be running around playing with her brother and sister and whatever dog happened by. Her mother had sewn her little dress and a friend her precious little muslin bonnet. She was in her own little carefree world.
This definitely looks like a simpler time and place, if you don't mind Indians. Little did this peaceful looking group know they were lurking just beyond the bushes.
I may be one of the only people not minding gas prices being so high, because it's giving us a chance to really soak in all the rich history that is right here at our doorstep. I'm already researching our next excursion.