Dan Lawson heirlooms return to the Smokies.
Priceless Historical Heirlooms Return To Great Smoky Mountains. Millions of national park visitors visit the Dan Lawson homestead in Cades Cove each year. Generations of people young and old have marveled and wondered what life was like in the Smokies over 100 years ago. Dan Lawson and his wife Sidney carved out a life in the once isolated valley and raised a family. The Lawson’s passed on family heirlooms that have been in safe keeping with their family.
Dan Lawson and his fiddle. Photo credit – GSMNP
Descendant Robin Derryberry from Chattanooga recently donated items to be preserved by the Smoky Mountain National Park in the Collections Preservation Center in Townsend, TN. The donated items include the Lawson family bible, wedding portraits, assorted family photographs and a chest of drawers.
“Cades Cove played such a huge role in my family’s history,” said Robin Derryberry. “While the items donated were important to us, we realized as a family that they deserved to be in a place where they could be enjoyed by the public and more importantly, preserved for future generations. We know these artifacts are in wonderful hands and we couldn’t be more pleased.”
The Lawson’s were leaders in the Cades Cove Methodist Church. Sidney worked to educate the children of the Cove lifting them up from a lifetime of ignorance. Their home along with several out buildings is found at the junction with Hyatt Lane after passing the Cable Mill historic area.
“We are thrilled to have these pieces as a part of the permanent park collection,” said Museum Curator Baird Todd. “It is rare treasure for us to have the full history behind the artifacts in our collections. This opportunity allows us to preserve and share a much richer story.”
The Lawson family bible is dated to 1847. In addition to scripture the Bible contains personal records of
The Dan Lawson family bible. Photo credit – GSMNP
family business including obituaries and medical histories. Daniel Alexander Lawson hand crafted the dresser for his dear wife. It was his wedding present to her. The two were married shortly before Christmas 1894. The dresser is one of the best examples of local furniture in the park’s collection. Currently the dresser is on display through this fall in the exhibit of hand made furnishings at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center located in Townsend, TN. The center is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Be sure and visit the Lawson home on your next visit to Cades Cove and imagine the life and times of this family. Times that predate air travel, automobiles, and the audacious dream of walking on the moon.
This chest of drawers was a hand crafted wedding present for Dan’s wife Sydney. Photo credit – GSMNP
Source information – GSMNP.