A left turn off 71 to the Post Office in Johnson City led to the best day of exploring a new place.
I wasn't off the highway 200 yards before it became very clear I had stumbled across a treasure.
The Johnson Settlement Historical Park, administered by the Park Service, has preserved several cabins, barns, cool houses, and such from the original town. It's similar to Columbia State Park, except no businesses, it's agricultural. Several of the main building were build by the family of President Johnson. There's a interpretive trail through the settlement about a mile long.
The native plant plots were barren this time of year.
You have seen those big plastic cows and horses? Well, that's what I thought this guy was until I noticed his eyes following me around the corral! He didn't move another muscle the whole time I was there. In the fields there's a small herd of cows and a couple horses at the barn.
The barns are part rock and part timber. Notice the middle stall made of split rails.
Here's a closer look at the small door.
And this is inside, all four walls are made of the same split rails. Maybe used for storing hay or other feed? The next time I go out there I will ask one of the rangers.
I know what these are, beautiful painted wind mill, water tank and cool house.
The battery in my camera died about half way through my day. There's one of those great courthouses downtown sitting on it's own city block. The cafe in the old feed mill was closed, but down the street at the old lumber yard I got a heavenly chicken salad sandwich with pecans and dried cranberries on homemade whole wheat bread. Yep, a treasure!