Norris Travel Guide

  • shows the general layout and access paths
    shows the general layout and access...
    by davecallahan
  • Norris
    by Stephen-KarenConn
  • park views
    park views
    by davecallahan

Norris Things to Do

  • Norris Dam State Park

    Just north of Norris Dam is a nice state park where you can spend a restful afternoon contemplating your navel.The park facilities include public restrooms and water fountains, camping area (under 50 sites), picnic areas, cabins, boating marina (with launch dock), pavillions for rent.Take a camera and get some beautiful pics of hills and valleys...

  • Norris Dam

    About 1900 ft long and 250 ft high, this dam holds back the Cinch River to form Norris Lake and prevents seasonal river floods down stream. The Tennessee Valley Authority had this constructed (with much controversy) in the 1930's.I wasn't much impressed with the dam. We have ones similar in Upstate New York. But it does make for a pleasant one hour...

  • Museum of the Appalachia

    This outdoor museum was nicely landscaped and had good access path/sidewalks. They did not advertise handicap access but most of the areas were easily approached on paved/cemented walks.The day we were there was early in the tourist season and we were self-guided. Groups can purchase a guided tour. Most of the objects are well-identified but the...

  • The Hacker Martin Gristmill

    The Hacker Martin Gristmill is the newest addition to the Museum of Appalachia. It is an authentic water-powered corn and wheat mill that was originally located in the community of Boone's Creek, a few miles from Johnson City in northeast Tennessee. The Mill is still undergoing renovations, and can only be viewed from the exterior at this time.

  • The Arnwine Cabin

    In the Arnwine Cabin, in the early to mid 1800's, old Wes Arnwine and his wife reared a large family, and many hundreds of descendents still live in the East Tennessee region. The last occupants of the cabin were "old Aunt Julie and Polly Ann" Arnwine. The cabin was built around 1800 on the Clinch River near Liberty Hill in Grainger County - about...

  • The "Dan'l Boone" Cabin

    This one-room, dirt-floored structure was used by 20th Century Fox as the frontier home of Daniel Boone in the TV series for CBS called Young Dan'l Boone. It is an authentic pioneer log cabin, built in the New River Section of Anderson County, Tennessee, in the early 1800's. It is fully furnished with the earliest frontier pioneer artifacts.

  • The Broom and Rope House

    Broomcorn was grown by almost every early family and made into round brooms, consisting of a few bunches of broomstraw tied on a stick. The wooden "geared and cogged" rope making machine housed in this old log buiding enabled one to make any size rope desired by twisting three smaller strands into one. The machine is made completely of wood.

  • McClung House

    The McClung House was built a few miles southwest of Knoxville on the wagon path that later came to be known as Kingston Pike and U.S. Hwy. 70. It is thought to have been built in the 1790's, by the McClungs who later became one of East Tennessee's most prominent families. Tradition has it that this house was used asa hospital for wounded soldiers...

  • The Cantilever Barn

    This Overhang or Cantilever Barn was moved from its original location near Seymour in Sevier County, Tennessee. The extreme eastern part of Tennessee, in and near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is one of the few regions in the country where this type of barn is found. The rocky, steep terrain with few level building sites made it...

  • The Peters Homestead House

    The Peters House and Homestead was moved from its original location in adjoining Union County near the village of Lutrell. The first known occupant was Nathaniel Peters who lived here about 1840. His oldest daughter, Cordelia, was born here and raised her own nine children in this house, where she died at the age of 87."Cuzin" Raye Rutherford and...

  • Bark Grinder

    This bark grinder was used by pioneer settlers for crushing the bark of trees to obtain tannin, a necessary ingredient in the tanning of animal hides. A mule would be used to power the grinder, walking around in circles to turn the heavy stone.

  • Irwin's Chapel Log Church

    The Irwin's Chapel Log Church or meeting house, was built aroung 1840, near the community of Hamburg, in the mountainous county of Madison, North Carolina. After it was no longer used as a meeting house, it was acquired by a local farmer and was later purchased by Thomas Tweed of Woodfin, North Carolina, for $35 and a cowboy hat. John Rice Irwin...

  • Tater Valley School House

    This very small one room log schoolhouse was moved from nearby Tater Valley, Tennessee. It is completely furnished in the manner of an early mountain school, including chalk board, desks, wall maps and a pot bellied stove.

  • Blacksmith Shop, Mill House and...

    These three shops under one roof represent three of the most important pioneer industries. The blacksmith shop, in which wooden bellows are used for firing the forge, features a large assortment of tools used in a typical shop of this region. An actual blacksmith sometimes can be seen working here. The center portion of this building houses the...

  • Mark Twain's Family Cabin

    Mark Twain's Family Cabin, moved here from 'Possum Trot, Tennessee, once served as the home of Mark Twain's parents and some of their children. The famous writer and humorist was born some five months after the family left Tennessee in 1835, so it is likely he was conceived in this cabin.There is a little corn crib adjacent to the cabin that came...

  • The People's Building: Harrison Mayes...

    The People's Building houses an extensive exhibit on the fabulous Harrison Mayes, the coal miner who erected huge concrete crosses across the country. I have seen these signs since I was a child, but did not know the story behind them until visiting here.As a young man, in 1918, Harrison Mayes was a crushed in an accident at a coal mine on the...

  • The Appalachian Hall of Fame

    This magnificant old building which houses the Appalachian Hall of Fame. It contains numerous displays devoted to relics belonging to notable, historic, famous, interesting, colorful and unusual folk from the surrounding region. Also on display are hundreds of early hand-made musical instruments, an extensive Indian artifact collection, and dozens...

  • The Museum Entrance Building

    The Museum Entrance Building is the place to purchase tickets and begin your tour of the Museum of Appalachia. In front of the building is a parking area shaded by big hardwood trees. The building contains a large Craft and Gift Shop featuring quality items made by more than 200 local folks, as well as an extensive Antique Shop. The Museum Cafe and...


Norris Restaurants

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Nov 23, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In one corner of the Museum of Appalachia's barnlike Entrance Building was the Cafe. It is a simple place, with no servers. You order and pick up your meal from the counter and it will be served on a styrofoam plate with plastic eating utensils. However, the prices were correspondingly low. Large windows offer a beautiful view across the museum village grounds. Sandwiches or complete plate lunches are available.

    Favorite Dish: Karen and I were here on a recent Sunday noon and enjoyed an absolutely wonderful plate lunch for only $5.95 each. I had the pork roast and Karen the chicken-and-dumplings, both with a choice of vegetables. We shared our meals with each other and found both to be absolutely delicious.

    We had the Mounds Cake for desert and it was to die for. Named for the Mounds candy bar, it is a moist dark chocolate layer cake with a fabulous coconut icing - fantastic!

    The Cafe occupies a corner of this building.
    Related to:
    • Food and Dining

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Norris Local Customs

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo

    by Stephen-KarenConn Updated Nov 21, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One of the most delightful aspects of a visit to the Museum of Appalachia is that you will find a few of the buildings occupied by local entertainers who are there to share their stories, or their music. On our most recent visit, at the Prater's Homestead House, we found two musicians, Judy Carson on the autoharp and "Cuzin" Raye Rutherford on the guitar. We had a seat in ladderback cane-bottom chairs and enjoyed their singing and playing of several old time mountain tunes.

    On a previous visit to the Museum, at the McClung House, I sat for a half hour and was enthralled at the stories of an old-timer who had grown up in the area.

    Judy Carson Plays the Autoharp
    Related to:
    • Music
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

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Norris Warnings and Dangers

  • davecallahan's Profile Photo

    by davecallahan Updated Mar 8, 2007

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In Norris, there have been only 1 murder, 3 car thefts and 1 robbery in over 6 years.
    There are no registered sex offenders; annually there are only two fights/assaults.

    That makes Norris a really safe place to live and visit.
    If you use common sense and don't act like a silly tourist, then you should have a nice, safe vacation in this town.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Women's Travel
    • Family Travel

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Norris Favorites

  • Civil War Era Salt Kettle

    This old salt kettle was used to make salt by boiling salt laden water at Saltville, Virginia. During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln ordered this "salt works" and others like it destroyed, and four generals carried out his orders. After capturing the salt kettle they knocked a hole in the bottom to render it unusable, but soon afterwards...

  • Split Rail Fences

    Wire, nails and other hardware were expensive and difficult to obtain for the pioneer homesteader, but there were an abundance of trees, many of which needed to be cleared to make room for pastures, gardens, etc. Therefore it was a natural to build fences of split rails. You will see these authentic old fences throughout the grounds of the Museum...

  • Cane Mill and Haystack

    Near the center of the Museum of Appalachia you will see this authentic working cane mill and hay stack, both of which are still in use.Visitors who come to the Museum in early fall may see a mule slowly turning the mill as it presses the sweet juices of sorghum cane which is used in the making of syrup or molasses. The sorghum molasses, which was...


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