Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Residual Remains

Perhaps there will be time a bit later to share a recent, and maddening museum adventure, but my blog time is fleeting.

Well, you know I am a photographer and I do living history. The other thing of interest to me is greatly related to the past - ghost. I am most fascinated by the concept. So as a member of the South Eastern Paranormal Research Society, I spend a few Saturday nights till the dawn hours searching for proof of residual energy.

Recently (today), the Knoxville Sentinel ran a story about our exploits. We had a great time hanging out with reporter Amy McRary. Click here to read her article on us. I also got to be a ghost first hand with the expert handling of Clay Owen's photography.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Fort Craig

Maryville, Tennessee. In rambling about the Maryville Greenway, there is a true historic spot on the path. It is the site of Fort Craig. There seems to be little to no remains of the fort itself, just a monument that has been erected. But it was pretty amazing to just be wandering along and stumble upon it. It seems like it should be mentioned in its own right.

    • Latitude: 35.758374
    • Longitude: -83.966925
    • The Maryville Greenway, off of Washington Street, behind the Camber of Commerce
    • On Pistol Creek
    • The fort was built in 1785 to protect settlers from Indian attacks. (1)
    • This was a wooden palisade owned by Revolutionary War Veteran John Craig. He then donated 50 acres of land for the creation of the city of Maryville. (2)
    • It was originally referred to as Craig's Station. (3)
    • The fort of about 280 people once held off 500 Indian attackers and forced their retreat. (3)
    • The citizens of the fort asked that this land not be part of Knox county, but be a county onto its own and Blount county came into being. (3)
  • CURRENT USAGE: Greenway, Memorial

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Greenway

Maryville and Alcoa, Tennessee. In thinking about how I could participate in Blog Action Day's theme of environmental issues, what immediately came to mind was to introduce you (for those of you not familiar) to the Maryville-Alcoa Greenway. It is a beautiful connection of parks and green spaces that runs between the two cities. It is a great example of what cities can do to beautify their lands and keep green a color in their environments.

I actually shot this last week, during a bout with a cold. What I realized very quickly as I experienced the landscape with an aesthetic consciousness, I had no cold, no nose, no pockets full of tissues. I was not alone. I was not with any one else. I just was.

  • MAP:
    • This is a cooperative effort between two cities in Blount County Tennessee.
    • The Maryville Portion was completed in 1998. (1)
    • It is 15 miles long. (2)
  • CURRENT USAGE: Parks, Bike and Walking Trail, and Fitness Trail

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Fort Loudoun

Vonore, Tennessee. What can I really say about historic Fort Loudoun? It has been a part of my life for two years (come November). Often I am struck with awe at the beauty of landscape (though it is a bit marred by the new housing development that has gone up on the other side of the lake - realize I speak for myself here, no one else). Sometimes I get lost in time when the park has closed to visitors and we remain in in the 18th century, watching the sunset, swimming in the lake, and singing old tavern songs. It is really amazing in the fading light of an exhausted sun to watch a random person wall across the hill, lantern light shining the way towards the comfort of the barracks. Sometimes I look for the original occupants, trying to understand, but then I feel like an impostor on 17 feet of new soil that covers the original fort, a necessary change thanks to the work of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

    • Latitude: 35.598485
    • Longitude: ,-84.216642
    • 338 Fort Loudoun Road Vonore, Tennessee 37885
    • The fort was built to house the Independent Company of South Carolina (1756) and to help protect the British Colony of South Carolina interests from the French during the French and Indian War.
    • It was named after John Campbell, the fourth Earl of Loudoun, who was the British Commander-in-Chief in North America from 1756 to 1758. (3)
    • This secured an alliance between the British and the Overhill Cherokee Nation. (1)
    • In 1759, the British and Cherokees began warring over suspicions and betrayals by one another. (2)
    • These included the execution of 23 Cherokee at Fort Prince George in South Carolina in late 1759. (3)
    • In response, the Cherokees halted Fort Loudoun's supply line through the mountains to Fort Prince George. (3)
    • By June 1760, rations were reduced to one quart of corn per day divided among three persons. (3)
    • On August 6, 1760, the Cherokees laid siege to the fort and the Independent Company of South Carolina Surrendered. (2)
    • On August 9, 1760, the British garrison left the fort with 180 men and 60 women and children. (3)
    • On August 10, 1760, the retreating garrison was ambushed by the Cherokee and many of the garrison were killed or sold off into slavery. Those killed included all the officers, except for one, and twenty to thirty others. (3)
    • The fort was later burnt down by the Cherokee.
    • This the second reconstruction of the fort.
    • The first was reconstructed by the Works Project Administration.
    • The current site is now 17 feet above the original site and has ongoing reconstruction. (4)
  • CURRENT USAGE: Historic Site, Museum, and Recreational State Park

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Not Really Off the Topic

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day
Just a quick posting to let you know that Monday, October 15 is Blog Action Day and the theme is environmental issues. Please be sure to check back. You can participate just by subscribing to this blog.

Also, you will notice this widget in the right column. This is my challenge to you. It is called Learning from the Living. To maintain a balance in the present, we need to learn from the past in order to look to the future. Giving students the opportunity to learn by interacting with history is a way to do this. When students meet those who were directly involved with events that make us who we are, it not only teaches them the basics but it teaches them responsibility, that their actions are large and do have meaning.

I am raising $311 for the purchase of digital voice recorders for a rural school in North Carolina who is doing a project the invokes the spirit of the above paragraph. Please help support this.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Living Fort Loudoun

Vonore, Tennessee. You will probably notice that this posting is a little different from my explorations of history. You may have also missed that I did not post this past Saturday. The following pictures will explain the reason. Rather than sitting at the computer, I went about another huge interest of mine. I have long been into living history and currently, one of my personas is a laundress (not laundry wench, L-A-U-N-D-R-E-S-S, thank you very much) with the Independent Company of South Carolina. We portray the life at Historic Fort Loudoun, where the British Redcoats, the Provincials, the Cherokees, the laundress and like, lived during the 1750s (French and Indian War). I will feature Fort Loudoun as I have the other sites, but for now, I give you the people who bring it to life...

Monday, October 1, 2007

Fort Marr

Benton, Tennessee. Fort Marr, in my mind, has gone down during this project as one of those iconic if not ironic sites. The very first time I went looking for Fort Marr, I had no luck what so ever in finding it. Not even the locals at the corner gas station seemed to know of this piece of Tennessee history. I kept driving back and forth on Route 411 and nothing, no sign of it. Even my partner, whom I called numerous times on that frazzled day, was able to conjure directions to it from the Internet. That afternoon I came home completely frustrated.

A few weeks later, my partner decided to come with me on a second attempt and had he not been driving, we would have missed it completely. There it sat, on the grounds of the Polk County Jail, in an area almost hidden from traffic, as it sits lower than the road. But there it was. And it even had a large sign, facing the parking lot of the jail.

But, luck had it out for me. Those digital images disappeared. They vanished back into air as if I had never pressed the shutter.

Needing to go back to that area this winter, we made another pilgrimage and photographed it before the first little bit of snow fell on East Tennessee.

It is also my hope to journey back again and find the real site of the fort.

    • Latitude: 35.167298
    • Longitude: -84.659329
    • Off of Rt. 411, Benton, Tennessee 37307
    • Located on the grounds of the Polk County Jail (no signage off of Rt.411)
    • Not on original location
    • The origins of this fort are speculative. (1)
      • One perspective claims that it may have been built in the early 1800s as a military command post when a treaty with the Cherokees authorized the construction of a federal road from Georgia to Tennessee
      • Another perspective holds that it was built around 1814 when a road through the area was used to supply Andrew Jackson's army during a war with the Creek Indians.
    • The blockhouse was thought to be part of what was Fort Morrow, which became a stop-over to hold Cherokee's during the Cherokee Removal. (1)
    • In 1858, the blockhouse was moved to a local farm. (1)
    • In 1923, it was relocated to the Polk County High School grounds.(1)
    • 1965, it was relocated to its present site. (1)
    • Ft. Marr has gone by a few names throughout history: (1)
      • Fort Armor
      • Fort Morrow
    • What is left of Fort Marr is a two story block house made out of oak hewn wood. (2)
    • The second floor is twenty-four feet square and extends four feet out over the first floor. (2)
    • There are 72 gun apertures, of which riffles could be fired and second floor projections have holes cut in the floor so that occupants could shoot directly down on any attackers. (2)
    • There has been renovation to this structure, including a new roof. (1)
    • The part of the building's upper floor has been removed. (1)
  • CURRENT USAGE: Historic Site
  1. Tennessee Trail of Tears Association
  2. W.J.Marrs Personal History Site