1 John BURCHFIELD, Cades Cove, Blount COUNTY, Tennessee, 1939 / Disc 076a, 076b I: Tell us your name, please. John Burchfield, Cades Cove. Well, I m forty-eight, or will be, I mean fifty-eight, will be fifty-nine a-christmas Day, just in a few days now. I: Can you tell us when and how your family came into Cades Cove xx? Grandfather, my grandfather came from North Carolina in eighteen and twenty-five and bought the farm, a hundred and sixty-five acres, and staying on the place till the war come up, he died, and father, he took hold at thirteen year old and stayed on the place, not for being away from home over two weeks at a time at work, he still lived on the place till he was eighty-six year old and died. I: Do you happen to remember from what county in uh North Carolina? No, I don t, no, I don t, Yancey County I think is where it was, I, Yancey County I think is the place, I just heared them talk, you know. I: Were there very many people in Cades Cove when uh No, just a few, Mister Oliver and Mister Cable, the first settlers here, you know, why they wasn t many here then till, when he come in, you know, just farm for a living, you know, their crops here, made it pretty hard. Yes, that s right. I: Could you tell us a little about the times when you were a boy, like how you got along? Well, not much, I worked pretty hard, and I would work on the farm, I ve drove a yoke of cattle over the place, fixing ground to plant corn, you know, but we d still work the horse stock making the farm. I: Where did you uh market the crop? Well, at Knoxville. I: In Knoxville, would you have to carry them in there or would you... We d take a team, it d take us right about four days to make a trip, we d sell our crops, you know, Irish potatoes and fruit, we had a lot of fruit then, apple trees, we had lots of orchards, you know, we d haul that off and haul our chickens and such as that and drive our stock, we d, our cattle, we d drive them to market, you know, at Knoxville.
2 I: About how many cattle would you have? Well, he d have oh twenty-five or thirty, you know, and he d sell ten, fifteen off along, just sort of raised up, you know, and bought it. I: Where did you uh graze the cattle? At the Gregory Bald, at the top of Smoky. I: And you have someone taking care of them there? Yes sir. I: Pretty much of the time? Yes sir, we d have two herders, we d pay seventy-five cents for our stock on the head five months to the year, these men would stay up there and tend to them, you know, we d take up about the last of April and gather the first of September. They d come in. I: Would it be cold up there by the first of September? Yeah, it d be cold and bad by then, we d bring them into the pastures then, you know, and put them on the market, we had lots of sheep, we put them on top of the mountain. I: Most of the people xx on the mountain? Well, almost all, yeah, most, we d keep a few stock, you know, our sheep, hogs, now our hogs, we d run them in the mountain, we had lots of chestnuts then, chestnut timber, you know, was good then and bring our hogs off of the mountain in home, feed them a while, and then kill them, they d be so fat, aw they d be fine. I: What was the best way to make money here at the cove xx, from the crops or um... From the stock, we had a better chance, you know, we, we could run them on the mountain something like five months of the year, you know, and then we had our meadow land, we could put up our hay and feed through the winter, keep them up thataway, you know, and the stock was the best way of making money we had here. Yes sir, yes sir, we d sell, you know, they d come in and when they didn t, why we d drive to market. I: Well, where would you go to get provisions around here?
3 Well, we haul, we hauled from Maryville. I: From Maryville? Yes sir. I: You had it pretty hard up here? Yeah, it was a awful hard way, yeah, they No I: Would you tell us a little xx weaving? Oh yeah, yeah, my grandma and my mother would work together with that loom, you know, they d put that loom up and put in the web of cloth and they d do their own weaving, do that in the wintertime, then they d set around the fire at night and knit, knit our socks and stockings, you know, they fixed the yarn, we d shear our sheep, you know, and they even carded the wool theirselves, you ve saw the cards. I: Yeah. Yeah, they do that, you know, and they d fix that all theirself, yeah, they worked hard to what we do now. I: Yeah, they worked hard all day. Yeah, all day and then sit up at night, you know, and work till late, yeah, they would have a big old fires, you know, built on another big wood, you know, green wood, well, the fireplace would be about five foot, you know, you could just imagine how far them place, how, what a fire that held, yeah, we d have good fires and, law, probably at this time of year, you know, we d get in ham, we d kill about seven or eight hogs, you know, when you go to kill our meat, you know, we d have someone to come help us, and they would haul dry wood and pile rock on that and heat them rock, they d throw that in thataway to heat the water, to scald the hogs, they d, we d get right in and clean them, you know, and hang them up, we d have a time, you know, they didn t depend on buying then everything, we d make, most of the time we made everything we eat. I: And I suppose you d have to send out for your salt and xx? Yeah, yeah, we d, we d have to send after salt now, you see that uh cedar tree? I: Oh, yeah.
4 One of my uncles brought that from Louisville and set it out, he d went after a load of salt, when you spoke about salt, he d, there d a man go after a load, you know, he d, be several, send maybe get four or five sack, a hundred and fifty pounds to the sack then, you know, and he brought that back here, and he d set that out now there at the graveyard. I: From Louisville, Kentucky? No, just from Louisville, down here below Maryville. I: Oh, below Maryville. Yeah, yeah, he d bring in a load, you know, that was when the war was coming up, that s how come that tree out there, they kept up everything around here all right, you know, it s grew up. I: Well, when he d been out to Maryville for provisions, I suppose several families would xx for something, one person going out? Yes sir, that was the way they d manage that, you know, I remember when they d bring in the stuff through the mountains here with a yoke of cattle to the wagon, they hardly ever worked horses across, but they d bring them in now with a yoke of cattle, what we call the Cooper Road back in, back here, it s not by Townsend, we d come twenty-two mile from here to Maryville the old way, come in thataway, come out there by the college and back through here by crooked road. I: When did xx first start at the cove? Well, I couldn t tell you, I, now I, I m fifty-eight, and I remember them just having the one store, you know, just a little fellow going to that store, Mister Leason Gregg sold over here a mile from here. I: Could you tell us a little about how people amused themselves when you were a boy? They worked hard, but how did they play? What did they do for enjoyment? Well, they would kind of have a dance, you know, through Christmas, have fiddling, dancing, such as that, hunting, aw they got along all right, you know, thataway, they d, that time of year from about December up, they, they d hunt, you know, for a living, get in their meat thataway, you know, and they d have a fine time. I: Was the dancing different then xx it is today? Aw yeah, yeah, it wasn t nothing like what they done now, you know. I: How, how is, would they have it? Well, they would...
5 Yeah, about two or maybe four, you know, would dance, and sometime the women would dance with them, and yeah, they d have a lively time, you know, right smart of booze, you know, yeah, that, that was the way with that, yeah, they d have the booze with them, yeah, we had a, made it pretty hard and had a pretty good time too. I: Did you ever make much liquor here in the cove? Oh yeah, they was a lot of liquor made here till the, till the park come in, yeah.