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Town celebrates days gone by

Visitors from all over the region gathered in the afternoon at the Bogart-Bowman Cabin in Unicoi on Saturday, Oct. 18, to recognize and appreciate a critical part of the region’s heritage
The Town of Unicoi Heritage Day is a once-a-year glimpse into a unique part of our area’s history. The event, which is put on in largely by the Unicoi History Committee, showcases attire, cuisine, weapons, music and even customs from the Colonial era. Many of those who participated in last year’s festivities returned for this year’s event.
“Having the cabin makes this a perfect spot to have an event like the heritage day,” said Town of Unicoi Program Manager Gary Carver. “It’s a great spot for our History Committee and they do a great job of putting things together.”
A re-enactment group, the First Regiment of the East Tennessee militia, set up a small camp on the grounds of the cabins. They also fired a cannon at the top of each hour and played traditional battle hymns, employing the use of older flutes and snare drums
“The reenactors did a great job,” said Carver. “They are a talented group of people and we were glad to have them. The firing of the cannon didn’t hurt anyone except for maybe a few heart rates jumping up and down.”
Musicians set up on the cabin porch and played throughout the day. The Unicoi County High School Bluegrass Band, highlighted by recent “Unicoi County’s Got Talent” winner Lincoln Hensley, was also on hand to strum up some tunes.
The Unicoi Ruritan Club, who just recently celebrated their 65th anniversary with a picnic the previous weekend, was on hand packing up food and serving vegetable soup.
There were plenty of activities for kids as well, such as pumpkin painting and visiting with Mary, the town cow who returned for this year’s event.
Diesel mechanic instructor and practicing blacksmith Tyler Lynch was on hand demonstrating some traditional blacksmith techniques. A small crowd gathered around his forge throughout the day as he hammered away on his anvil, crafting various useful materials that were prominent during Colonial times.
“It all just went great,” said Carver. “You just look at something like (Heritage Day) and it’s pretty cool that we have something like this here.
“We always want to improve and grow, so we will look for ways to improve and grow our product each year.”