Experiencing History in Tennessee

Last evening Lulubelle and I sat watching the waterfalls on the banks of the Nolichucky River, a short distance from the birthplace of Davy Crockett of Alamo fame. In the 1950s, the Davy Crockett Birthplace Association built a replica of the log cabin he was born in, using logs from the house on the property that was, according to legend, built from the logs from the Crockett cabin. The footstone of the original cabin, which had been inscribed sometime in the 1880s with the words “On this spot Davy Crockett was born Aug 17 1786,” was placed in front of the replica cabin. The Association created a park that it transferred to the state of Tennessee in 1973. 

Contrary to the Ballad of Davy Crockett, the cabin is definitely not on a mountaintop, but it is on high ground overlooking the Nolichucky River. I’ve yet to find where Davy “kilt him a b’ar when he was only three” as the ballad says.

It’s amazing for me to be here at his birthplace after I’ve spent so much time at the Alamo through my genealogy work and my association with the Sons of the American Revolution. Now I’m spending time where Davy Crockett was born in 1786 and where he died in 1836 at age 50. What an important man he was to two states—Tennessee and Texas.

Also I spent a day at the Washington County Library, which houses the records from the establishment of the county where my ancestor John McMachen was the first county registrar. I was amazed at the documentation in the archives at the courthouse that included the original settlement of the Watauga Association to the state of Franklin to the state of North Carolina to the Southwest Territory,and finally on June 1, 1796 to the sixteenth state in the US.

The town of Jonesborough is decorated in autumn décor—it’s the most beautiful city this time of year you could ever imagine. Some buildings date back to 1797—it’s just a beautiful old town. I had lunch yesterday with Dr. William Kennedy, who, in conjunction with the Heritage Trust Association, has done wonders at preserving the old buildings of Jonesborough. He gave me a lot of information on the history of the buildings in the city.

Lulubelle and I are having a wonderful trip and hope to post another update soon.

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