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Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center, Townsend

Categories: History Museums, Museums
Inspirock Rating:
4.4/5 based on 160+ reviews on the web
The Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center is a private non-profit museum located in Townsend, Tennessee, United States, near the city's entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Its mission is to preserve the heritage and culture of the inhabitants of the Great Smoky Mountains, including both the region's Native American inhabitants and the pioneers and residents of the region's Appalachian communities. The center was organized in the early 2000s, and officially opened in February 2006.The center houses over 17000sqft of indoor and outdoor exhibits. The outdoor area includes several structures from around the region, including a log cabin, two cantilever barns, an AME Zion chapel, a logging town "setoff" house, a sawmill, and a still once operated by a local moonshiner. The indoor gallery displays tools, furniture and musical instruments used in the mountain region, as well as a sizable collection of Cherokee and other Native American artifacts, some dating to the Archaic period (c. 8000–2000 B.C.).HistoryThe Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center was conceptualized in the early 2000s by local preservationist and antique collector Richard Way. Early organizational efforts were led by Bob Patterson and several Townsend-area civic organizations. The Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center Guild hosted fundraisers for the proposed center in 2004 and 2005. Ground for the new center was broken in the Summer of 2004. The center officially opened February 12, 2006.
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  • The history of the area is shared in a hands on environment good for old and young alike. Make sure to watch the film presentation, it's very informative and as you make your way through the Museum an...  read more »
  • If you're in this part of Eastern Tennessee the Heritage Center is worth a stop. Very good film about the local history and the people who settled the region. Nice artifact collections and restored pi...  read more »
  • The woman at the entrance was friendly and helpful. She encouraged us to see the museum even though we only had a little time. Because my husband was a veteran, we were admitted free.we thoroughly enj...  read more »
  • Really nice stop to get educated on area and history. Learn far more here with little to no other visitors than did at cades Cove. Was able to enjoy cades Cove more though because had better understanding of story and history.
  • A great place to go for history of the area. I found it to be extremely interesting.
  • It has a very interesting life size model vilage you can walk around in.
  • If you are up here it nice to stop by. I live near Knoxville so it is nothing new for me. But visitors will like it.
  • great place to visit.
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