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Wed Day Off - Cumberland Gap

posted Oct 7, 2009, 7:11 PM by Greg Miller   [ updated Oct 7, 2009, 7:52 PM ]
Did you know that Daniel Boone's most famous contribution was his finding and mapping a way to get through the Appalachain mountains, opening the way for 300,000 people to settle the west (Ohio included)? The Cumberland Gap National Park exists to celebrate this monumental accomplishment.
Today Flek, Jack, Vicky, and Greg visited the park to learn what we can about the Cumberland Gap. After watching a couple videos, we enjoyed the museum and Appalacian craft store. Then we toured the Hensley Settlement.
Turns out that these two guys - Hensley and Gibbons - lived a dream where they took their families to a bald knob near the Cumberland Gap in 1903 to live totally off the grid. They built homes, raised crops and livestock, and only came down off the mountain to go to the city on "trading day". At their peak, there were over 100 people on top of the mountain. There was a K-8 school on the farm with 39 children. Slowly the family died off and moved off the mountain, with Mr. Hensley finally leaving in 1951. Very interesting story. Here's what we saw.
We just got out of an E-ticket 4x4 van ride straight up the side of the mountain to the Hensley Settlement. (Flek took the picture.)
Our tour guide Butch Davis is telling Jack about the local vegetation.
This is really a beautiful place, Here's where entered one end of the farm. We will see all the homes, barns, corn cribs, chicken coops, etc. in the next two and a half hours.
Speaking of chicken coops, Flek couldn't resist looking inside this one. Check out the cool wooden hinge on the door.
Hog finishing barn.
We're sitting in the schoolhouse hearing about the many school teachers that served at Hensley Settlement.
After touring Hensley Settlement, we visited Pinnacle Overlook, where you can see Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee all at the same time.
HERE IT IS! This is the famous Cumberland Gap!
Here we are, dreaming of our dinner just 10 minutes up the road!