Tennessee Tobacco Man by Drying Shed

This man and his wife (woman with cow in previous shot) owned several acres in the hills west of Cosby, Tennessee. In the 1970s, Cosby was little more than a gas station and a motel on the northwest corner of Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

His family had lived in this area for generations – well over a hundreds years he told me. He grew up working this land. In addition to the food which they grew to feed themselves, he and his wife grew several acres of tobacco each year which they dried in the shed behind him. Tobacco was their cash crop. He chewed it constantly while I visited with him.

If you like nature as I do, the setting was very relaxing. However, life was difficult for people like these. They led a subsistence lifestyle. When they got sick, they relied on home remedies. They were largely isolated from the world beyond them.

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