Saturday, March 21, 2009

Graves, Castles and stuff

Did a little wandering around the area on some back roads today and found the Silverdale Confederate Cemetery, it's only about 150 feet of off I-75 but if you don't know where to look it's a hard one to find. There are 155 graves here and they were originally marked with wooden markers but over the years they have rotted out stolen or gone missing in one way or another, so now there are 155 unmarked graves located here.

A few miles south of Chattanooga on a back road and we found this marker along side the railroad tracks. This is how far Andrews Raiders made it with the steam engine “The General” when they tried stealing it during the Civil War.

Click on any picture to enlarge

Time for a genealogy road trip over the mountain to the city of Winchester, Tennessee some of Cathy's ancestors settled in this area and she wants to spend the day in the basement of the county court house looking at old land records. This means that I get to run around town trying to find something to do, I found something really great.

The Old Jail Museum of Winchester, this is the third time that I've tried to visit this place and it's always been closed, but as I pulled up today there were cars in the parking lot and the front door was open. Turns out that it was all the volunteers doing the spring cleaning so they could open the museum next month, I told them this was my third try and that I would try again next year. As I was starting the car to leave one of the ladies knocked on the window and said that if I didn't mind the dust or stepping over a few thing I was welcome to walk through the museum. So for the next three hours Bo (one of the volunteers) and I wandered around the museum, Bo was born and raised in Winchester an knew the history front and back so I got a really good tour. I found out that Dinah Shore's family owned the department store downtown on the square and that she wasn't a blond until she left Winchester, that Franklin County at the start of the Civil War wanted to join the Confederacy but Tennessee was neutral, so they seceded from the state and that Andrew Jackson was a Circuit Court Judge here.

Ruth another volunteer who is 88 years old, told me that her mother was the school teacher in the one room school house, before the county built a school system, and that a couple of times she had over 100 kids in the school house and that her Grandfather rode with Nathan Bedford Forrest during the Civil War. Another interesting story she told was of a German lady the migrated here from Germany, married and raised here family on their farm, When WW II started since she was born in Germany, she was placed under house arrest for the duration of the War, she was 85 years old when the war started.

Bo gave me a few things to look for in the area so after I picked up Cathy we headed for the back roads, The first thing we found was the Falls Mill but is was closing time so well do this one another time. Across the highway and down about five miles of back roads we found the grave site of Polly Crockett, wife of Davie, they were in this area for a short period after he returned from the Creek Wars when she died.
Back in town we found the Hundred Oak Castle, which was badly damaged by a fire and is in the process of being restored, we could only get close enough for a distant picture of the south tower. Link to pictures before the fire.

Driving from Winchester to Monteagle this is the view of the Sir Franklin Templeton Library, (the wall street guy) he was also from Winchester.

We took old US 41 home and found a State Park just south of Tracy City that had about 200 of these old Civil War era coke ovens.

Another 15 miles or so and we found Foster Falls, there were about 5 couples loading up there backpacks and getting ready to hike down into the canyon for a night of camping, it's going down to the low 30's tonight, I'll take the motor home and heater.

We figure that next year we're going to have to spend a week or two in this area just to see everything, including the 16000 acre campus of the University of the South, built right after the Civil War, they tried to build it during the war but those Dam Yankees kept burning it down.

1 comment:

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