Fall Homecoming Underway in Norris

By: Stephen McLamb
By: Stephen McLamb

Norris, Anderson County (WVLT) - If you don't know how to make colored yarn, grits, or thrash wheat you're probably not alone, but at the fall festival at the Museum of Appalachia in Norris people are reliving the days of old.

As WVLT Volunteer TV's Stephen McLamb learns, and it's those good old days from the past that keep folks coming back year after year.

For 27 years now, the Fall Festival is underway at the Museum of Appalachia. It's a festival that takes festival goers back to the days of old.

"We're doing all kinds of the things that we used to do but we may not know how to do those today. Some were for survival others were for entertainment," says Elaine Meyer, Executive Director at the Museum of Appalachia.

Here you'll find out why some people are boiling corn in water that's been run through oak tree ashes.

"I was asking people today how many people knew how to make hominy. Nobody had ever seen it done," Meyers says.

One hundred years ago it was all about survival with new inventions coming of age to thrash wheat.

"Wheat makes flour and flour is in about everything, biscuits, pancakes and on and on," says wheat thrasher Alco Cox.

This wheat thrasher was made in 1941 and if you can't make the parts to keep it running they are hard to come by.

"We'll do it as long as it works and when it quits we'll quit too," says Cox.

Many of the engines used to grind up cornmeal and grits were simple along with those used to wash clothes in the early days and that's what this festival is all about.

"Well, the arts and crafts and I've particularly enjoyed these old engines and watching them run and people tinkering with them," says Jim Scalf.

While it's a living history exhibit you never know who will stop in to enjoy the festival and also get some work done.

"I've got a list here that people wanted something special for Christmas so I had to put down a list and get it up to them," says Santa Claus.

The Tennessee Fall Homecoming at the Museum of Appalachia runs Thursday through Sunday opening at 9 a.m. and closing at dark each day.


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