Ever wanted to go back in time? To visit your predecessors, to witness critical points in human history, or simply see a way of life that’s long since abandoned?
In Johnson City, you can.
Welcome to Rocky Mount, a farmstead stuck in the year 1791.
From the way people dress, to sheep-shearing, to blacksmithing, to planting, plowing and harvesting, nothing has changed in over 200 years. Nothing.
And before you start thinking that this is some sort of touristy, themed-village sort-of-place, let me just tell you: there’s more history in this place than you can shake a stick at. Real history. This place is as authentic as it gets.
It all started in 1769, when a young settler named William Cobb migrated from North Carolina to what is now Washington County. The following year, he built a two-story house out of hand-hewn logs and glass windows. It was large (by frontier standards), but not overly ornate. The home was better suited for hospitality than high style, and became known for receiving travelers with “every mark of attention and gladness.” Pioneers such as Daniel Boone, John Sevier, and Richard Henderson (who negotiated the Transylvania Purchase) were all visitors to the Cobb home. And Cobb himself was appointed county magistrate, and served on the commission charged with laying out the town of Jonesborough.
Today, visitors to Rocky Mount are greeted by “Mrs. Cobb” (properly dressed in period attire), given tours of the home and grounds, and shown the techniques for shearing, herding, gardening, weaving, wood-working, and gardening. And it’s not uncommon to see kitchen servants cooking meals over an open hearth.
Also on the property is the Massengill Museum of Overmountain History, featuring pottery, homemade tools, clothes, and wagons common to the pioneer lifestyle.
Altogether, Rocky Mount gives visitors a first-hand look at the 18th Century, and a first-person view of the pioneer lifestyle. And if you want your children to appreciate early American history, why not visit a place where you’ll receive the same attention and hospitality offered to Daniel Boone?
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