Saturday, October 10, 2009

Crab Orchard Museum and Pioneer Park

Tazewell County, Virginia

Imagine a time when you and your family might have followed old Indian trails across rivers and through dense forests into the unpopulated mountains and hollows. Think of all the risks. You wanted to find a place to set up a farm and live independently, far removed from the political and religious forces that other American colonists had to obey. You can sense that experience at the middle Appalachian region's most comprehensive cultural heritage museum.

Our unusual name derives from the Big Crab Orchard archaeological site on which the Museum was built. Here, Native Americans lived and hunted over thousands of years. The site included a palisaded late Woodland era settlement of what are believed to have been members of the Cherokee nation. The Museum protects the archaeological evidences of this site beneath the soil on a hayfield across a modern highway from the Museum site.

The first family to set up farming in this region, that of Thomas Witten, found the place to be rich with wild crabapple trees -- hence the name. The Wittens came to this site from Maryland around 1770. The archaeological site is on the Virginia and National Historical Site registers. Around it, the once thriving Pisgah community also grew up and then declined by World War II.

Open Tuesday through Saturday - 9-5, Saturday - 9-5
Memorial Day to Labor Day; Sundays 1-5
Located just off 19-460 on Crab Orchard Road
3663 Crab Orchard Road, Tazewell, Virginia 24651
(276) 988-6755

To learn more: Click Here.

Note: If you explore this web site, you will find a line about "English-speaking Melungeon farmers" being found in Tazewell County in the 17th century by explorers from Jamestown. Don't you believe it!!! This is yet another example of the kind of mythology which has attached itself to the Melungeons, even among people who ought to do better research.

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