The hills and valleys of the Buffalo River have been home to generations of mountain families. Their houses, schools, churches, and industries are testament to their survival and enterprise amidst harsh terrain. A typical Buffalo River farm may include buildings from two centuries, while buried beneath the soil, are an indicator of cultures even older.
Historic permanent settlement along the Buffalo began in the late 1820s. Settlers cleared land for fields and homes, built communities, witnessed first hand the fighting of the Civil War, were part of population migrations and emigrations, and experimented with a multitude of industries to provide for themselves and the region, from mining and timbering to recreational activities and modern businesses. They preserved their heritage in oral tradition, spoken and in song, and kept the old ways long into this century.
Parts of the past are found everywhere along the river: in place names for settlers long gone (the Tylers of Tyler Bend, for example); an anchor bolt remains from a swinging bridge washed away by the flooding river; a stone fence along an abandoned field, or an old chimney surrounded in the spring by still blooming daffodils. When you encounter these things, think of those who passed here before you. But for your safety, and for the preservation of these artifacts, please do not enter abandoned structures, remove old machinery or equipment, or carry cultural pieces of any kind away from their present location. Leave the cultural landscape intact for all to enjoy.
Many of the interpretive areas are historic sites and districts that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. |