1800s Homestead:Land Between the Lakes Part3

When I left off on this series, we had just finished touring the log cabin house, which you can see in part2 of this series.  We, being myself along with Tony and Emma (my son’s college roommate and his girlfriend).  They were kind enough to take me on a tour of The Homeplace at Land Between the Lakes while my husband and son were fishing on Kentucky Lake.

Touring the log cabin home left me inspired and ready to see more about how people lived in rural Kentucky/ Tennessee circa 1850 and perhaps to join a wedding in progress at the same time.

Although we still didn’t know what that was all about.

We entered the next building, which was the work shop.


What I’d give for one of this size and functionality.  In the mid 1800’s machine mass production had not been invented yet.  So if you wanted a piece of furniture, you had to either hand make it, or buy it from someone else who hand made it.

Homesteads like this did a lot of their own furniture making.


turning wheel for furniture-making-the-homeplace-tennesseeHere is an up close shot of how people used to make turned furniture legs.  A rope is strung around a rafter above and the idea is to keep tugging back and forth on the pulley until it wears away enough of the wood to look pretty, thus a turned leg.


workshop-the-homeplace-working-farmOn the other side of the workshop the tools were kept.  At first glance, this could be anyone’s work shop of present.  There are still tools hanging here that we use today.  Beyond that, I would say that storage and tool organization concepts from the 1800’s are still quite alive and well.



Of course we all have our moments.  Who hasn’t had their workbench or craft table look like this from time to time?  Ahem.


drying wood-the-homeplace-working-farmI’m not sure if lumber yards existed, but it was probably a regular practice to cut down your own tree, mill the wood and then set it out to dry… yourself…for rural folk anyway.  The city folk were probably their best customers.


tobacco-drying-the-homeplace-tennesseeIn 1800s Tennessee, tobacco was a BIG commodity.  This photo is in the tobacco smoking and drying shed.  As a matter of fact, as we traveled along various roads while down visiting my son, there were plenty of tobacco smoking sheds still in action on properties along the route.

Alas we made our way to were they kept all the animals…

Oxen-the-homeplace-working-farmAnd no, that’s not a cow…


1800s-era-common-farm-animal-oxen-the-homeplace-tennesseeNor is this a bull.

These beautiful creatures are oxen.  

Stronger than horses, oxen were used quite often back then on a farm or homestead to plow the fields.

Along with the oxen we saw plenty of other farm animals that were common for a 19th century farm.

Wedding Crashers

…And we just so happened to be giggling at how cute the pigs were when the gentleman next to us (dressed in full 1800s attire) introduced himself as the father of the bride.

“Oh, congratulations”, I said.

“Thank you”, he said, “there is my daughter and son-in-law, please go say hello, and have some cake, as well”.

We made our way to the cake table, first (of course) where several ladies (also dressed in 1800s attire) were serving THE BEST PIECE OF CAKE I HAVE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE!

I looked at Tony and Emma and said, “there’s the groom, we better go say congratulations, and thank him for the cake”.

We approached the groom, said congrats, yadada, and then I said, “wow, that’s pretty cool that you and your wife are both re-enactment volunteers and that you decided to have a traditional 19th century wedding, yadada…

He thanked me, said a few sentences about how happy he is, and then looked down at his wrist, as if to find a watch and said,

“Is it 3 o’clock, yet”?

“It’s ten minutes to 3…” Tony replied

“Well I probably shouldn’t divulge this until 3 but… in all honesty, this  is just a re-enactment wedding…We didn’t really just get married…we were just re-enacting a 19th century wedding…”

Tony, Emma and I looked at each other and burst out laughing.

As we made our way to the parking lot, Tony confessed,

“I had a feeling something was fishy when I could have sworn I recognized the bride from a history class last semester”.

Have you ever been to a history re-enactment?

How real did it seem to you?

Stay tuned for part4 of this series, where we take a hike along a truly serene lake and check out pre-civil war era ruins on the Land Between the Lakes.

 You can see more posts on

Tennessee here

Kentucky here

 Thank you so much for stopping by ~ Amy  

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7 Responses to 1800s Homestead:Land Between the Lakes Part3

  1. Bliss May 28, 2014 at 6:36 am #

    Are you not gonna tell us what made the cake so darn good?

  2. Anne May 28, 2014 at 7:46 am #

    Omigosh! What a fabulous place – I want that workbench!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. heather f May 28, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

    I love how you showed how they made table legs. So cool! I am a history buff, though, so no big surprise. I loved reading the Little House books because they go into such detail about how life was back then.

  4. Feral Turtle May 28, 2014 at 9:25 pm #

    I did not know that their lathes involved ropes! Pretty genius. Haha love your wedding crash. That would have been so funny. I totally thought those were cows. I wonder if we have any around these parts?

  5. Sherry May 28, 2014 at 10:44 pm #

    Very cool. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Mel June 2, 2014 at 2:07 am #

    Such a beautiful place, I haven’t done a re-enactment wedding, unless you count a second marriage…except I made a wiser choice with the groom LOL I haven’t done any re-enactments at all, but I think I would like it. Fancy costumes


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