Saturday, November 27, 2010

Surviving an Appalachian Winter

It's pleasant to look through a window at white stuff blanketing the ground, toast one another around the ski lodge, or watch television in a centrally-heated house. How different times were for our predecessors in the Appalachian region, the hardy English and Scottish settlers who made their way to these hills in the late 1700's, and for the Cherokee Indians who used these lands as hunting grounds.

In the earliest days of pioneer settlement, preparations for winter actually began early in the autumn, according to John Peterson, Educational Director for Hickory Ridge Homestead in Boone. "In winter and late fall, you'd usually start hunting to stock up on your meat," Peterson says. "But hunting was something you could do all winter long. Since you didn't have any crops to tend, you could focus on your hunting. You had deer, turkey, elk, and buffalo here in the late 1700's."

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