I’ve enjoyed the study of history and genealogy ever since I was a young girl wondering about all those names written in the family Bibles.
The passing years have only stoked that fire to find out more about my family and places and times in which my ancestors lived, how they lived and how all those puzzle pieces fit together to form the person I am today.
The Blount County Genealogical and Historical Society (www.blountcountytngeneal ogy.org) is one of the organizations dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of Blount County and assisting people in finding their roots in this area as well as other places. In addition to members volunteering at the Blount County Public Library on Thursdays, BCGHS holds quarterly meetings and invites speakers to come in and share information of all kinds.
The next meeting is at 7 p.m on Tuesday, Aug. 21, in the Sharon Lawson Room of the Blount County Public Library, 508 N. Cusick St., Maryville. The speaker is Michael Aday, who will discuss the National Park Service Collections Preservation Center in Townsend. Aday is the librarian/archivist at the preservation center and will talk about what’s housed there and how the public can gain access to the holdings.
According to www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/historyculture/collec tions.htm, the National Park Service Collections Preservation Center “houses cultural-related museum collections for Great Smoky Mountains National Park.” The center houses park archives such as genealogical information, historic photographs, park management reports and maps/information pertaining to the history of the park and the people who have called the area home.
Additional materials stored in the center include archaeological artifacts, textiles, furnishings and other historic items relating to the park’s history.
The BCGHS meeting is open to the public, and there is no cost to attend.
A second event coming up from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 1 will be led by historical re-enactor and herbal historian Jim Buckenmyer at Blount Mansion, 200 W. Hill Ave. in Knoxville.
Participants will learn how herbs were used by the pioneers of Appalachia for their medical needs as well as learn about drying and preserving herbs. He will demonstrate and teach how to make infusions, tinctures, diffusions, teas, salves, poultices, washes, syrups, plasters and more in a hands-on workshop, and he promises participants will learn in the manner that they can best retain the information. The cost is $20 per person.
Purchase tickets at https://squareup.com/store/blount-mansion/item/herbal-prepara tions-of-historic-medi cine or call Blount Mansion at 865-525-2375 and make your reservations. The workshop is pretty popular, and only a few slots are left. Participants also are asked to bring an item to share for a potluck lunch.
We in Blount County are fortunate to have so many historians who can share and interpret the past, plus show us how we can learn more. In our county alone, we have the Blount County Historical Museum and Cades Cove Museum, both on “Museum Row,” 1004 and 1006 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway, Maryville, near Blount Memorial Hospital and the Blount County Justice Center; Historical Sam Houston Schoolhouse at 3650 Old Sam Houston School Road; Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center and the Little River Railroad and Lumber Company Museum, both in Townsend.
If you have an interest in the past, be sure and check out these museums. You can learn more about them by visiting their websites and Facebook pages.