Modern celebrations of the Christmas holiday were late in making their way to those living in the Appalachian Mountains. Many ancient observances from “the old country” were still practiced in these mountains as late as World War I and probably later, in some pockets. For instance, have you and your friends gone out “serenading?” Contrary to what you might think, it has very little to do with caroling. Maybe you’ve stayed awake on Christmas Eve to hear and see, no, not sleigh bells and reindeer hooves, but, rather, sheep and horses bowing to pray. Many of the first settlers in the Appalachian Mountains were of Scots-Irish and English descent. So many of their customs were practiced, combined, and adapted to their new surroundings. Join period dressed historians, from the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Association, as they take you back to the time of 1775. Sample fresh baked stack cakes, cookies, cider, and spend some time singing carols. This is an outdoor event so dress for the weather. This is a free event.
Old Christmas at the Blockhouse – January 4th
About the book: The Blockhouse On The Holston
The Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Association has published a history of the Blockhouse that was built in 1775 on the North Fork of the Holston by John Anderson. His fortified home became a landmark along the road west, the Wilderness Road, marked by Daniel Boone that same year. Over the next thirty years, some 300,000 people passed Anderson’s home on their journey through Cumberland Gap and on into what would become the state of Kentucky, and further westward.
William L. Anderson, a direct descendant of John, has written a well-researched book that tells the story, the history of the home that became known to posterity as “The Blockhouse,” and its part in the expansion westward of our new nation. The Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Association is proud to offer this book that tells, for the first time in such detail, the very significant part played in our nation’s history by the pioneer settlers of the western frontier during the last quarter of the eighteenth century.
Also included in the book are many brief biographies of significant players in the story, maps, an article on Fort Blackmore, and the diary of early explorer Dr. Thomas Walker.
The book may be purchased for $19.95 at Natural Tunnel State Park at the Visitor’s Center and at the Wilderness Road Blockhouse Interpretive Center (276-940-2674) and at the law offices of Lisa Ann McConnell in Duffield. Or contact Robert E. McConnell at email@example.com or 276-452-4520