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“More than a museum”

Museum of Appalachia
Ranked #1 of 10 things to do in Clinton
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Monterey, TN
1 review
“More than a museum”
Reviewed November 27, 2010

We really enjoyed our visit to the museum of Appalachia. We arrived around 2:00 p.m., so we were not able to take the time we would have liked to with some of the exhibits. Next time (and I hope to go back!), we will try to start in the morning.

As another reviewer says, this museum does not have a stuffy feel. I appreciated the personal touch: many of the placards were handwritten and signed by the founder, John Rice Irwin.

Thank kschrockTN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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300 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level 6 Contributor
123 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 146 helpful votes
“History with a Story”
Reviewed May 30, 2010

Located about a twenty minute drive North of Knoxville, in Clinton, TN, this is a wonderful living history museum well worth a visit. The countryside is beautiful, and the museum consists of 36 buildings moved from various parts of Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina and Virginia. Most of the buildings are furnished with period furniture, including one cabin which was the home of John Clemens and his family. If his name is unfamiliar, you're sure to know his son, Samuel, born a few months after they left this cabin in 1835. Samuel Langhorne Clemens is better known by his pen name, Mark Twain.
Sheep, chickens, guinea fowl, and peacocks roam the grounds. Two buildings house an extensive collection of historical items and artifacts, including a wide variety of string instruments, household items, and handmade crafts. More impressive than the things, are the first had stories accompanying them. A rocking chair made of mule shoes from Uncle Dave Macon's defunct mule transportation company by his son (Uncle Dave Macon was one of the first stars of the Grand Ole Opry), the complete contents of a rural doctor's medical shack, an iron form-fitting casket, a working model of a corn mill, a perpetual motion machine hidden in a cave during the Civil War, and a ghostly chalk painting of a beloved little girl are just a few of the interesting items you'll see and read about.
Live music can be heard at one of the cabins. There's a small restaurant with home-cooked country food and a large gift shop selling hand-crafted items.

4 Thank ChrissyHny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Cod
Level 5 Contributor
83 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“A detailed and moving deep dive into rural eastern Tennessee”
Reviewed January 27, 2010

We found the Museum listed in 1000 things to do in America - otherwise, we would have passed by. A short detour from I-40 north of Knoxville, we thought we would do a quick visit and stayed for hours. There is an enormous collection reflecting the region in detail, from basket weaving to banjos, hermits living in caves to candidates for President, the faces and the stories of the people here are laid out in a self guided tour through buildings, barns, early dirt-floored cabins, rural schools and churches. Your walk is into the homes and lives of not so distant Appalachia An ornate old horse drawn hearse centers the casket display, just one example of the scope of artifacts and information that are here. We were there for hours, fascinated, facing an America as different to us as many foreign lands.

1 Thank Beachdancer104
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Don't miss this great outdoor/indoor museum!”
Reviewed October 3, 2009

You'll get a great feel for Appalachia at this wonderful museum. All the buildings -- many of them historic log cabins -- have been placed with great care and are surrounded by nature. The sheep and other livestock grazing on the central field add to the feeling of authenticity. In fact, these buildings looked more natural than those in the famous Cade's Cove of Great Smoky Mountain National Park, because of the way they're set into the landscape.

A fiddler was playing on the porch of one house, and a blacksmith was working in another spot, even though it was a weekday in September and there were few other visitors. We enjoyed talking to them. They and everyone else working here are very friendly.

The main museum buildings, with items gathered from people who've lived in the mountains, are interesting and well-organized.

We felt this stop was well worth our time. It gave us a great feel for the area as we began our first trip into the Smokies.

1 Thank twistin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“A beautiful and educational palce”
Reviewed February 27, 2009

This is a very nice museum. They have a great layout of cabins, farms, and antiques. It's beautiful and educational. We will highly recommend this place to everybody.

Thank SueandBobS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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