Welcome to Pryor Hollow in Stewart County, Tennessee. You're about to enter a rural Tennessee farm much as it would have appeared in the mid-19th century. Take a leisurely stroll through our grounds and farm buildings, and visit with our interpreters, staffed by our partners at "Friends of LBL." See a Map of our farm to help plan your visit!
The Homeplace is located in the Tennessee portion of LBL. From the Golden Pond Visitor Center travel 12 miles south on Woodlands Trace National Scenic Byway.
The Homeplace GPS Coordinates:
N 36 39' 17.4'' W 87 58' 32.9''
| SEASON: Mar. 1 - Nov. 30
DAYS: Wed. - Sun. in Mar. & Nov and Daily, Apr. - Oct.
HOURS: 10am to 5pm Last ticket sold at 4 pm
ADMISSION: $5 ages 13 & up; $3 ages 5-12; 4 & under free. Pre-scheduled Group rates are available. Call 270-924-2020.
GROUP LEADERS: Click HERE for group information.
Our farm was originally part of a Revolutionary War land grant, issued to John Colants as Land Warrant 1036. Mr. Colants assigned at least 40 acres of this grant to William Pryor, who took possession on December 1, 1808. The Pryors settled in the hollow where the Homeplace now stands and worked their land holdings for the next 10 years; some nearby placenames, PryorCreek and Pryor Bay, for instance, were obviously named for William.
Farmers were fortunate to be located near the major mode of transportation of the day: the river. They lived between the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers -- but this area is known as the Four Rivers region, because it's also near the Ohio and Mississippi. Living at such a major transportation crossroads had a significant impact on farm life. News and goods usually reached farms within a few weeks and sending farm-raised produce and livestock to market was convenient.
Our farm contains 16 log structures, 14 of them original, which were relocated from within 10 miles of Pryor Hollow.
The Homeplace is a working history farm. Most of our crops and livestock are historic varieties from the mid-19th century, grown and harvested using period tools and techniques.
Our farm produces corn, tobacco, sheep and hogs. If this really were the mid-19th century, we would probably market our goods in town, at the river boats, or upriver in big cities like Nashville and Memphis.
When you visit us in person, you might see the menfolk working oxen, harvesting and curing tobacco, shucking corn or repairing a farm building. They'll even let you lend a hand at the walking plow or help repair a fence.
Our livestock and farm animals are "minor breeds" -- historic breeds of domestic animals that are considered endangered species, as they are no longer used in modern agriculture. Our crops and vegetables are rare "heirloom varieties." The Homeplace is one of an association of living history museums around the country that is preserving these rare plants and animals.
Would you like to meet some of our farm animals?
Milking Shorthorn. Breed was developed in the 1780s, and became the most influential breed of cattle in the world. Cotswald. Origins go back to 1st century AD during the Roman occupation of England. Numbers fewer than 2,000 animals throughout the world today. Dominique. Breed developed in Massachusetts during 1700s; there are fewer than 500 hens today. Tamworth. Rare today; breed was well established in England by 1860.
Step onto the breezeway of the Double Pen House, the second generation's living quarters. The log home is typical of mid-19th century farmhouses, which were built for comfort during Tennessee's hot, humid summers. During the hottest months, families relaxed in the cool summer breeze by eating meals, preserving food or sewing on the airy porch. As crisp days of fall progressed into winter's cold, the square log rooms on either side of the breezeway provided cozy warmth.
The Single Pen House was the farm's oldest household. In Stewart County, many "yeoman" class farmers were non-slave holders. Instead, the farms were worked by an extended family, a kinship system of two generations that might include a brother in-law, cousins or other relatives by marriage.