Monday, July 18, 2011

Davy Crockett Footsteps (1786-1836)

I recently celebrated my retirement by mapping out Davy Crockett's footsteps and spending a few days exploring the early years of his life, just down the road in Northeastern Tennessee. Selecting a home base was easy, The Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park a few miles below Limestone, TN.

(Footsteps MAP)

My first stop, before reaching the Park, was Historic Jonesborough, the oldest town in Tennessee. A leisurely walk through the well-preserved downtown is worth the stop. Jonesborough was founded in 1779, seven years before Davy was born, and seventeen years before Tennessee became a state.

My stay at The Birthplace State Park was very nice. My site was directly above the Beautiful Nolichucky River where the falls turn the river West. (Video) Just upstream of the falls is the Limestone Creek branch, and the reconstructed cabin on the site where Davy was born, August 17, 1786.

During the first 10 years of Davy's life, his family moved to a number of locations short distances from the Birthplace Cabin. Most significant of these was the Crockett Tavern 30 miles distant in Morristown. Here Davy helped with the chores and for the first time, was hired out by his father to help pay debts. These jobs led him to Winchester, VA, Baltimore, MD, and various places along the way. Davy was hired out for the last time when he started work at John Canaday's Panther Springs settlement, just west of Morristown.

A half-day trip to Crockett Tavern and Museum was well worth the time. In addition to the many artifacts on display, the Museum Interpreter provided an excellent program. I highly recommend a visit to Crockett Tavern to anyone interested in American History, especially Davy Crockett.

I also took a little side trip up to Rogersville, a small town made famous when Davy's grandparents were killed in a 1777 Indian Massacre at Crockett Spring.

The following slideshow contains highlights of my trip to North-eastern Tennessee in search of Davy Crockett Footsteps:

Friday, July 3, 2009

Fort Boonesboro, Kentucky

Since my early days when first introduced to Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone, thank you Walt, I have been fasinated by the life our country's early pioneers led. It took me some years to learn that Daniel was really before Davy, and I still can't get over the fact that Fess Parker actually played both characters in the separate Disney series.
I can't explain why it took me so long to finally visit the places Daniel helped make famous, but it was well worth the wait when we visited Fort Boonesboro in the heart of Kentucky's Blue Grass. If you've never been to Fort Boonesboro State Park, now is the time to visit, and stay a while. The year 2009
represents the celebration of Daniel Boone's 275th Birthday with events planned throughout the year, the main events ocurring Oct 16-18, and Daniel's birthday, October 22nd.

No visit to Fort Boonesboro would be complete without a stop at nearby Boone Station State Historic Park. In December 1779, Daniel moved his family, and a small group of settlers, from Fort Boonesboro, west 7 miles to a track of land he had surveyed in 1774 for James Hickman. This homestead was named Boone Station and by 1783 had up to 20 families. It was during their time at Boone Station that Daniel's brother Edward, son Israel, and nephew Thomas were killed in engagements with Indians. Edward died while on a hunting trip with Daniel. The attacking Shawnee thought they had killed the famous Daniel Boone. Israel and Thomas were killed at The Battle of Blue Licks, (more).

Fort Boonesboro, located 35 miles south of Lexington, is a great location from which to explore the many historical parks, landmarks, and landscapes that played key roles in the settlement of the Kentucky frontier. Bryan's Station (Read), just 30 miles north, and Fort Harrod some 40 miles southwest, provided support for settlers during Indian uprisings. Fort Harrod, established in 1774, was the first permanent settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains.

Nearby towns of Richmond and Berea make for a nice daytrip. The Boone Statue on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY, is an exact copy of the Enid Yandell statue cast in bronze for the City of Louisville in 1906. The Boone Tavern Hotel, owned by Berea College, is just one of the many points of interest to be found while visiting Berea.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Martin's Station (Cumberland Gap)

Joseph Martin first settled in the Southwest Virginia frontier in 1769 and built the original "Station", or Fort, in present day Rose Hill. See the History of Martin's Station. Martin's Station played a key role in the settlement of the Powell Valley and Clinch River territory, helping provide shelter for other settlers moving up the Wilderness Road now stretching from Pennsylvania to SW Virginia. SW Virginia Settlement. Martins' Station, Wilderness Road State Park (Virginia), has public Events throughout the year, with the primary Living History weekends being the Raid on Martin's Station, 2nd weekend in May, and the Wilderness Road Heritage Festivel, 2nd weekend in October.

Martins Station

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Explore Park - my first Colonial Events

My thanks to Eddie for allowing me to volunteer for the 7 years I was able to participate in the various Explore Park activities and events.
Those days will never be forgotten, and unfortunately, will never be repeated. Its a very sad day when the local community, and State, can not help the many volunteers keep the treasure that was Explore Park alive for future generations to enjoy. Eddie guided the volunteers through a reconstruction of the Colonial Station, Fort Vause, the original of which was located in present day Shawsville, just a few miles southwest of the Explore Park location.

My Hobbies...

I have other websites and blogs devoted to my hobbies and I'll refer to them along the way. My woodworking hobby, combined with Colonial Living History connections, has turned into a part-time business. I make wooden Appalachian Flutes. I have sold over 100 of my flutes, using eBay and Colonial Fairs to provide the best exposure. The joy comes from making the beautiful sound the flutes produce. The satisfaction comes from the happy customers. And yes, these are wonderful gifts as well. My eBay ID is Appflutes, and website is Appalachian Flutes & Dulcimers. I also enjoy making the supplies, clothing, and accoutrements needed to sustain my Colonial Militia persona. Take a look at some of my handmade Woodcrafts. While I am proud of the quality and looks, I credit my wonderful wife for getting me started and teaching me patience.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Colonial Living History

Civil War living history "reenacting" has no shortage of events, websites, photographs, and connections. But, stepping back in time to the 1700's for "Colonial" events narrows the field to the point that I felt it necessary to start my own blog for the purpose of gathering the information I need to make my remaining living history years more complete. I definitely have a strong Civil War connection, growing up in eastern/central Virginia. That I will never lose. But, my desire to learn more about our founding fathers, their families, lifestyles, and hardships have moved me to the Colonial Militia, Seven-years War (French & Indian), and Revolutionary War. One of the driving factors has to be my love for the creative arts. Not painting, but wood, leather, buckskin, horns, firearms, and anything else made by hand without the use of modern tools or equipment. That's right, I try to learn history by making and using the basic essentials found during our country's early development. It will take a while for this blog to gather information, and establish contacts, but in the mean time, I'll share my travels and photos to help make this blog more enjoyable to those of you who share my interests.