The World As We See It…..
Blue Ridge Mountains and Southern USA
The Carter Shields Cabin
Located in Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountain Park, TN, USA
George Washington “Carter” Shields (1844-1924) bought this land and cabin from John Sparks in 1910. The cabin dates to 1830-40s. Shields lived in the cove until 1921.
You saw little evidence of extraneous finery, for this was a culture of limited supply and minimum waste. But aesthetic pleasure was not unknown or unappreciated. The craftsman found beauty in a well-shaped axe handle or smoothly-adzed parlor beam.
The woman expressed herself in a quilt or woven bed coverlet. The object itself was necessary; its beauty was not, but was there nonetheless. Design and function became one through understanding of the materials at ones fingertips.
A sense of community filled the Cove. For one hundred years life in the Cove proceeded at a pace rarely faster than a walk. This allowed time to see and hear the world one lived in. Cowbells in the pasture, the almost-silent chatter of a horse drawn mowing machine, the wind coming up, and the sun going down. A decent howdy while walking past a neighbors house. All were part of that life.
Community involvement on a personal level was a clearly understood obligation. It activated almost automatically in cases where family independence was inadequate.
A death in the community brought many people together quickly and efficiently. One made the coffin, another lined it with cloth, while others dug the grave. Common understanding got the deceased in the ground within twenty-four hours.
A house raising was another common effort. One man simply couldn’t lift and lay the logs alone. When all of the materials were assembled on the site, neighbors pitched in to raise the building quickly.
These and other qualities of our ancestral society cannot be put on display. They can only be understood through deliberate contemplation. We leave this last little cabin to your imagination. Rebuild, refurnish, and re-people it in your own mind, and let it say to you whatever it will..
Author unknown, found on this website.
Textures by Brenda Star applied in Paint.NET after HDR processing using a single RAW image.