David Crockett was a huge figure that lived in the area of Central and West Tennessee. As part of his birthday celebrations, several people donated old cabins and other buildings to form Heritage Park “Settlement” on a 50-acre plot of land. The buildings that were donated resemble the structures that would have existed at the time that Davey Crockett was a frontiersman in the area.
We are now starting a portion of our site where we will explore buildings and places of the people in Kentucky and Tennessee who have worked very carefully to preserve the time before cities and traffic. Once a week we will get aboard Mr. Peabody’s way-back machine and transport ourselves back in time to see how the pioneers of this region lived their lives. The first section of our stop will be at the Discovery Park of America in Union City, Tennessee.
The Wade Cabin
Nestled in the Western part of Tennessee is a little park out in the middle of nowhere that holds a lot of surprises. One such surprise is the Heritage Park. The first building that you encounter is the Wade Cabin. The cabin was donated by Tom Wade of Kenton, Tennessee to the Discovery Park of America in 2012.
The cabin is a two story building with a dogtrot porch between the two separate structures that are combined as one. A dogtrot was a common addition to many cabins in the South to act as a breezeway during the hot summer months as a place to sit and cool down from the heat of the hot Southern Summer days.
Purpose of the Wade Cabin
When the cabin is open to the public several craftsmen and women can be seen showing their pioneer skills. The craftspeople can be seen making such goods as: candles, soaps, brooms, dying yarns from plants grown inside of the park, basket weaving, chair and furniture making, and woven goods. Each crafts-person will tell you of the history behind each of the skills and how they were accomplished.
Restoration of the Wade Cabin
The cabin is under a current restoration process. It was built from reclaimed logs that have started to age with time. This process has caused visitor safety concerns as well as the building itself has started to deteriorate in current location. However, even though it is roped off from visitors entering into the building, you can still look at the large double cabin and get a sense of what life was like for the people in that time. It is hopeful that the Wade Cabin will once again be open to the public for viewing in the near future once the restoration is complete.
The restoration is funded by the Robert E. and Jenny D. Kirkland Foundation and will cost more than $500,000 dollars when it is completed. While the majority of the work has now been completed, there are a few cabins that are still under the restoration process and should be completed soon.
There are quite a few cabins and a small town that we will further explore on our way through the Heritage Park over the next several weeks. We hope that you enjoy this walk through our history.
We would love to thank all of our hosts at Discovery Park of American in Union City, Tennessee. All of your staff were helpful, kind, informative, and very well versed in the historical events that they wished to convey. Very well done.
We thank you for continuing to support Kentucky Tennessee Living. As we bring to you the history of the Appalachian Mountains.
Discovery Park of America
Photographs taken by Joanna Adams Sergent on March 20, 2022, Discovery Park of America, Heritage Park, Union City, Tennessee
Cabin Conservation Project Begins At Discovery Park
Copyright and Other Information
All photos are in the public domain unless otherwise noted. This includes photos dated before 1923. All other photos are used with permission or under the education fair use statute of the US copyright law.
Copyright 2022 Kentucky Tennessee Living
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When we forget our past and who we are as a people, then we become who “they” say we are. ~~ David Sergent
I have attended the University of Kentucky. I have an Associates Degree from Hazard Community College and Technical School. I have also attended the University of Pikeville. I have taken several classes in Journalism as well as in the Appalachian History, Literature, and Sociology during my time at those schools.
I was born in Florida and grew up in Burdine, Kentucky. I have been married to David W. Sergent since May 4, 2013. I have two children and four grandchildren from a previous marriage. I currently live in Tennessee but my hope is to one day come back home to live in the beautiful mountains once more.