Editor’s Note: This post was written by Camryn Eaton, Dollywood Parks & Resorts Public Relations Intern
Those who have visited Dollywood have likely been in awe of the park’s very own replica of the home where Dolly Parton grew up. Called the “Tennessee Mountain Home,” the petite two-bedroom cabin has been referenced in popular culture for decades as it is symbolic of Dolly’s humble beginnings.
The replica of the Tennessee Mountain Home is one of the original attractions from the park’s opening as Dollywood in 1986. Dolly’s brother, Bobby Parton, constructed the replica of the original mountain home for the park. The dwelling was then decorated by Avie Lee Parton, Dolly’s mother, who outfitted the home from memory with items and antiques to resemble the décor of the original Tennessee Mountain Home in Locust Ridge.
This summer, the location has been the setting for three stories about Dolly’s childhood and her close bond with her mother, Avie Lee Parton.
Actors portray a young Dolly and Avie Lee with three story segments that allow guests a closer glimpse at life in rural Appalachia. The stories include “Stone Soup,” “Tiny Tassel Top” and “Coat of Many Colors.”
The storylines explore the meaning of symbols that have inspired beautiful songs (that have in turn inspired Dolly fans everywhere). At the same time, the stories reveal the values that Dolly carries with her today that were instilled in her youth. These relics, values and memories weave together to create the fabric of the Parton family.
Between each story, the glass that separates park guests from the antiques in the home glasses over while the scene is set for the next. At the conclusion of all three stories, the glass becomes transparent yet again for guests to view the layout of the Tennessee Mountain Home. The transition from cabin to story setting is something truly magical.
While I don’t want to spoil these vignettes for you, I will say that you can expect to hear from a narrator with a voice that is likely familiar to you. These stories will transport you back in time to Dolly’s young life and make you feel as if you lived it with her.
If you haven’t yet experienced these glimpses at Dolly’s upbringing, act fast! You can view the vignettes in the Tennessee Mountain Home at Dollywood until Aug. 8.