Nestled in the mountains of northeast Georgia is the tiny city of Mountain City. On Black Rock Mountain is the home of the Foxfire Museum and Heritage Center. Here you can imagine what it must have been like to live in the Appalachian mountains in the days of no electricity and running water.
In 1966, a new teacher at a local high school struggled to keep his students in his English class interested in what was being taught. Together, the teacher and students came up with the idea of a magazine where the students would master their writing skills on stories they collected from their families and neighbors. These stories were based on the pioneer era of southern Appalachia while telling about the traditions these families still lived by.
The magazine was called “Foxfire”, named after a glowing fungus that grows in the local mountains.
These magazines became popular with people near and far away. With the demand for back copies of the magazines, the first Foxfire book was created with eleven more books to follow.
The royalties of the Foxfire books purchased the land and helped gain the old buildings used to teach about the life and times of days gone by.
After 50 years, the Foxfire magazines are still being published by students at the school. Two issues (fall/winter and spring/summer) are published each year. The proceeds from the magazines help continue the high school program.
My husband and I visited the Foxfire Museum and Heritage Center in July for our anniversary weekend. It was a hot and steamy day to be visiting, so instead of walking the tour, we drove it.
Spring and fall would be perfect times to visit because of all the flowers and foliage and cooler temperatures without all the steamy humidity.
Sharing our trip with you is hard for me because I took hundreds of pictures. Choosing the perfect pictures are hard for me sometimes, hence the six month wait. :)
This is the little chapel hidden away on the hill. It is not an original church building, but rather made from salvaged logs from a barn. The church was of great importance in an Appalachian community, so it was designed from a little church in North Carolina.
The Foxfire Museum and Heritage Center
The interior walls are made from the American Chestnut tree. And oh, the stain glass windows are beautiful.
Every time we walked a path to a building or along the side of the road we noticed little snails hanging around.
This is a 1920’s gristmill from North Carolina. It was purchased and moved to this location in 1972. It is in working condition with an “overshot” water wheel that was found in the mountains.
There are 20 buildings you can visit and peek inside windows and doors.
While visiting some of the old homes, you’ll learn a little about the traditions and ways of life.
And you’re reminded of the secret life of many.
The museum has a beautiful gift shop; I forgot to take pictures of. You’ll find the Foxfire books along with back copies of the magazine along with goods from local artists. This is where I bought my favorite lye soap; the old-fashioned kind made with lard.
Hours: 8:30-4:30 Monday-Saturday
$8.00 for adults
$6 for ages 11 to 18
$3.00 for ages 7-10
6 & under get in free
Guided Tours on Request. Call 706-746-5828