Miller Farmstead to be dedicated as historic landmark

Published 12:10 am Saturday, April 18, 2015

A special ceremony will be held next weekend to dedicate a local historic landmark.

Roan Mountain State Park will hose a dedication ceremony at 11 a.m. Saturday at The Miller Farmstead to commemorate the farm being named to the National Register of Historic Places. After the ceremony, tours will be given of the Farmstead and light hor’dourves will be served.

The Miller Farmstead was added to the National Register in August, but park officials wanted to wait and hold a dedication ceremony after the historic marker plaques arrived.

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In the application for inclusion on the National Register, a history of the farm and the family who founded it was included.

The farmstead was first settled by Dave and Louisa Miller and their family in 1870. The farmhouse which currently stands on the site was built by Dave Miller and his son Nathaniel (Nat) Miller in 1908.

“They had a mule-powered, portable sawmill brought to the farmstead site and using the property’s woodlands built the house themselves,” the application states. “There was never, nor is to this day, electricity at the Miller Farmstead.”

“The last time the house was inhabited was in 1967,” the application continues. “The farmstead is now used as an interpretive site by the Roan Mountain State Park to educate visitors on the lifestyles of the people of this area of the Appalachian Mountains.”

As part of the state park, The Miller Farmstead is open Wednesday through Sunday from Memorial Day through Labor Day and then on weekends in October. Local historian Beth Ann Jarrett – who married into the descendants of the Miller family – is at the farmstead most days it is open to share the history of the family and the farm.

In addition to the history of the farm itself, the park sponsors programs featuring local artisans and crafters demonstrating skills such as flint knapping, blacksmithing, basket weaving, carpentry, farrier work and a variety of other skills and trades that were necessary for life around the turn of the century but are no longer commonplace.

The National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of cultural resources which have been found worthy of preservation. It is part of a nationwide program that coordinates and supports efforts to identify, evaluate and protect historic resources. The Tennessee Historical Commission, as the State Historic Preservation Office, administers the program in Tennessee.