Life of the Pioneers

The Center for Pioneer Life creates a genuine homestead environment where exhibits and programs provide a detailed understanding of early American pioneer life. 

Southern Appalachia in the revolutionary and post-colonial eras was the seeding ground of much of what we identify as basic American values today. The ingenuity and hard labor of the pioneers who came to the Appalachian Mountains in the formative days of the United States not only shaped the region but also influenced and informed the future of the country. The pioneer settlement of the region in the 19th century provides a lens into this specific region at a crucial time as the country struggled to meld diverse immigrant and indigenous experiences and cultures into a distinct entity known as the United States. 

 

Through immersion in experiential programs designed to show the pioneers’ struggles and achievements, visitors get a lasting sense of the details of early American and Appalachian history and a larger understanding of the country as a whole. 

 

Read an essay by Dan Estabrook about immersive learning at the Center for Pioneer Life.

Farm tours are available by appointment.

Exhibitions

 

Josiah and Frances Ray Young Cabin

Tour this cabin (circa 1847) with period furnishings

 

Pigpen

Discover why pork was essential to pioneer survival

 

Simulation Cow

Learn about butter, cheese, meat, and milking

 

Vegetable Garden

Find out how corn, potatoes, and squash are grown

 

Hayfield and Haystacks

Learn about storing winter food for the animals

 

Chickens and Hen House

Experience chickens as a mainstay

 

Tool Shed

See a collection of essential pioneer farm tools

 

Spring House/Spring Box

Learn about early forms of refrigeration

 

Log Yard

Observe the preparation of logs for construction

 

Corn Crib

Find out about the essentials of corn & corn storage

 

 

In coordination with our county guidelines, the Shoal Creek Guest House is temporarily closed. Please check back or send us an email with your questions. 

Follow Us
Contact Us

Telephone 828.536.0337

Email hello@pioneerlife.org

Address 134 Joe Young Road

Burnsville, North Carolina 28714

We welcome visitors by appointment.

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