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Dolly Parton's Childhood Home and the Creation of the Dollywood Empire

"Is this the real house?" asks a woman as she shuffles through the cabin, eating barbecue off a red plastic plate.

"I don't know," says her friend. "Is this the whole thing?"

I'm standing in the replica of Dolly Parton's childhood home at the Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Visitors enter the cabin on the left, from a front porch hung with old oil lanterns, and exit to the right. A hallway several feet wide runs along the cabin's interior, and a wooden fence and glass wall separate visitors from the two-room home: you are both in the cabin and not in the cabin, surveying a recreation of the space where Dolly lived with her parents and eleven siblings. Several other people walk through the cabin, marveling at its size. One man laughs out loud. "How many people lived here?" he asks no one in particular.

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