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local history - Tirnos - News Sunday, October 26, 1975- D...
Tirnos - News Sunday, October 26, 1975- D features weddings fashions Is the present Netherland Inn the same structure that Andrew Jackson Sjjknt the night in, or could he have stayed at anotjber tavern located nearby, which has since beeT^jjjjistroyed? Is buria ntish? gravesite killed landing resent , .. .~ j-- ~"*ai:^*-*.-i e Holston River to by boat? 'MAJOR' MORRELL: 'There mere some flatboats that merit down it, but when they got to Knoxville, they either had to walk or ride, a horse back to Kingsport.' MRS. GRACE KETRON: 'The workers front the railroad camp were always coining to my mother wanting to buy fresh produce. It was just a little girl, bill I remember there were a lot of Italians among them.' Another View Of Local History By LYNDIA FRAZIER Times-News Staff Writer What is how accepted as historical fact about early Kingsport and the old Rotberwood Community, Community, may not necessarily be so. The story, as told by some of Kingsporl's early residents, all born in the area, varies from the traditional version. version. These people are only a generation away from the inhabitants of old Rotherwood, and heard its MRS. NELLIE POOLE: 'I can't recall ever hearing about a Civil War grave site at Rotherwood, but there were some skirmishes there.' history firsthand from parents, grandparents, elderly elderly neighbors, and former slaves, who knew another side of the community and its people. Guy nridwcll, Mrs. Nellie Poole. M. J. "Major" Morrelf, Mrs. Grace Kctron, Sirs. Margaret Flcenor, and Edward Stewarl recenlly discussed the heritage and history of The Little OKI Village - Rolherwood - Telleer - Lovedale - Kingsporl, giving giving their recolleclions of the past as they knew it. According lo Stewarl and Bridwell, Ihe old . village of Rolherwood "had Iwo taverns and a couple of small businesses. Bul, the Netherland Inn was never the most prominent place in Ihe community." They also recalled. "The road t h a t ran through Hotherwood was the old Stagecoach Road t h a t came down Ihe old Bristol Highway and extended into Church Hill. In the Rotherwood section, they had to move the old road to higher ground because it stayed underwater all Ihe lime." Stewart and Bridwell "don't recall Andrew Jackson ever slaying at the Netherland Inn. either, although there was talk that he stayed at another place in Rolherwood." Stewarl recalled the stories he heard from "Aunt Vic Phipps when I was young. She was a black lady who lived w i t h my family and could bake Ihc best cakes I ever ale in my life -- Ihey'd melt in your mouth. "She was a slave at Rotherwood before the Civil War, and told me about hiding in the reeds and culverts when the slave traders would come through, so she wouldn't be sold," he recalled. "When we'd go on a family picnic down by the river, she would show me places and tell me about them. She showed me where Ihc old wool mill was t h a t Ross had owned on the Rolherwood side of the river on a ridge. She said it was run by a treadmill powered by blacks. ; "Aunt Vic described Richard Netherland as a workmasler for Joshua Phipps, who made the ;·· slaves work harder. She said that both Nelhcrland and Phipps were cruel and beat the slaves all the ; lime. Bul, what impressed me most was her account account of how Phipps wanted to be buried. She said ; Phipps oflen expressed a wish to be buried sland- ing up on Ihe hill so he could look down into the | bottom and see the slaves working." i,t V- v Was there more than one tavern in Rotherwood during its flourishing days? In the June 29, 1916 edition of The Kingsport Times, there was an excerpt excerpt printed from the Tennessee Gazeeteer, published in 1834 by Eastin Morris, a banker of Nashville. Listed under the letter K of his publication, Morris wrote, "Kingsport, a post town in Sullivan county, situated on the north side of the Holston river, at a place known by the name of the Boat Yard one mile above Ihe junclion wilh the North EDWARD STEWART: . 'The old village of Rotherwood had two taverns. But, the Netherland Inn was never the most prominent place in the community.' Fork, which is the line between Sullivan and Hawkins. It contains about 50 families, 317 inhabilanls, two taverns, two stores, Iwo physicians, one Melhodisl and one Presbylerian church, and there is a good bridge across the North Fork. . . ." In the Kingsporl Times' January 11, 1917 issue, there is an article written by M. D. Edmonds, en- litled "Trade Romance Kingsporl Industries." Edmonds wrote, "Kingsport, as a town, wasn'l born yesterday. It has been standing for these many years near the point where the two Holston rivers join lo form the Tennessee. Descendants of Henry Clay can be seen on ils streets, and it was a village in the days when Andrew Jackson rode along the pike from Nashville to Washington and stopped overnight al the lavern whose ruined stone chimney slill slands on the oulskirls. . . ." Morrell. Bridwell, Mrs. Poole, or Slcwarl "can'l recall ever hearing about a Civil War gravesile al Rolherwood, but Ihere were some skirmishes there." Morrell docs remember lhal "there was a railroad camp for workers in Rotherwood n e a r Ihe turn of the century." Stewart said, 'There was a smallpox epidemic at the railroad camp and the workers who died of it were buried in an unmarked unmarked trench. But, that's the only unmarked grave I can remember." "The workers from Ihe railroad camp were always always coming to my mother wanting to buy fresh produce," recalled Mrs. Ketron. "I was just a little girl, but I remember there were a lot of Italians among them." The smallpox wasn'l confined lo Ihc railroad camp. Both Bridwell and Morrell remember "when a neighboring family came down wilh it. The father died and his sons had lo bury him. even dig his grave. Nobody else was allowed near the place." Stewart said, 'They had pest houses al the time, whero people who had been exposed to smallpox had to go. Everybody in them had to stay there until they cilher gol beller or died. The sick took care of Ihe sick and buried Ihe dead. "I remember when my grandparents had lo go lo Ihe pest house and we would take ihem food. We carried their meals and scl t h e m on the ground some distance from the pest house. Then, we'd leave and Ihey'd come oul lo get them." Morrell agreed that "if you gol loo close lo a quarantined house, they wouldn't let you come back. You were stuck in it too." Recalling stories of the wild river thai was tamed by Tennessee Valley A u t h o r i t y , Stewart, Bridwell, and Mrs. Poole estimated t h a i "more people drowned in Hoslon River between the Ridgefields Ridgefields Bridge and the forks t h a n in any other part. Bul, when it wasn'l flooding, you could walk across it." ' Bridwell said, "The Holston River was never a constant artery of transportation between Kingsport Kingsport and Knoxville. II was shallow and unnaviga- ble most of the time, and flooded the rest." Morrell agreed, "There were some flalboats that went down il, but when they got to Knoxville. they either had to walk or ride a horse back to Kings- porl." "I always heard l h a l flat boats only won! out of Kingsport once a year," said Stewart. "They used lo bring salt down from Virginia in barrels carried by horse and wagon. Then, they'd stack il up on t h e banks to wail for (he flood. The sail mines were owned by the man who b u i l t the port -- King." Morrell said, 'The original King's landing where the flat boats lefl from was located where Ihe North Fork and Ihe South Fork of the Holston River mcel." There is one recorded account of a passenger boat making Ihe t r i p up Ihe Uolslon River from Knoxville. the steamer "Mary McKinley" t h a t visited Kingsport in 185fi. The J u n e 29, 1916 publication of The Kingsport Times tells of the t r i p briefly in "Kingsporl 50 Years Ago." In the same article is an account wrillen30years prior to 1856, by the Rev. H. P. Waugh. describing the exact location of the "Boat Yard" that became known as King's Port. II reads, "It was when the head of navigation for upper East Tennessee and Southwesl Virginia, and at the same lime was called the 'Boat Yard.' being siluatcd immediately in Ihe fork of Ihc norlh and soulh forks of the Holslon river in the lower end of Sullivan county. Here Ihousands of barrels of salt could be seen stacked upon Ihc river bank, w a i t i n g for tides and flat boats lo carry it off. It was brought to this place in wagons from Sail- flal bottomed boats at Kingsport and floated oul on the 'tides' annually to the markets, and so Kingsporl has been a shipping port for a century." Bridwcll said, 'The Holston River flooded so bad back then that people had to move away from it. It would get up i n t o the buildings and even cover road." Stewart agreed thai "buildings were washed away and people were drowned by the high tides. Before TVA, il flooded so bad I can remember when you couldn't even sec the Island in the river. It covered It up completely. "There were lots of landmarks in Rotherwood before the river took them. Now, I doubt if anyone is still alive who can remember what original buildings once stood there and exactly where they were located. Everybody moved to gel away from Ihc flood, which is why the community of Rotherwood Rotherwood wasn't included when Kingsport was incorporated. incorporated. Nobody lived down there on the river bank if I hey wanted to live." Rev. H. R Waugh was quoted in the June 29, 191(!Timesstory from Ihe article he had written 50 years earlier. "But now how changed and dclapidatcd is Ihe old town! As I ride along the street. I look, and there stands Ihc old stone house, the Everett Mansion, and upon Ihe hill just above il is the old Unities mansion where Ihe General was raised -now -now an old log house, covered w i t h boards and occupied by colored people. "I look again up Main Street for those once flourishing mcrchantile houses and they are all gone -- having long since been swept away by the high tides in the river. I i n q u i r e d for the and proprietors of these houses and they are all gone -- having been swept off by the river of death out inlo the great ocean of eternity." When Ihe new Kingsporl was creeled, the buildings went up quickly. Mrs. Flcenor recalls thai "the Kingsporl Press was originally built by Ihe R. Y. (iranl Leather Company to make saddles for World War I.- Mrs. Kelron remembers going to Ihe "Big Slorc al Ihe corner of Shelby and M a i n , where there a f u n e r a l home t h a t was the original Hamlelt- Dohson, a bank run by John Nail, and a post office. All of Kingsporl's businesses started there. The firs! company slore became J. Fred Johnson's." GUY BRIDWELL: 'I don't recall Jackson ever slaying at Netherland Inn. There was talk that he stayed at another place in Rotherwood.' MRS. MARGARETFLEENOR: 'The town was named Telteer and the post office was in the Nelm's slore building, down near the Old Scott County Road.' ville, Va.. and then sent down Ihe river to New Orleans and all over t h e South." On June 29, 1916. The Kingsport Times carried another account t a k e n from the 1834 Tennessee Gazceteer. "The change of name from 'Boat Yard' lo 'King's Port' was not in honor of King George, bul because of Ihc heavy shipments of sail from there by Mr. King, who al t h a t period owned and operated the 'Salt Works,' over in Virginia, norlh of Abingdon. Ihe sail being hauled from Ihe works in Ihe old fashioned four and six horse road wagons -- down Ihe Reedy Creek road, and Ihis method of transportation transportation of salt continued u n t i l the construction of the Virginia and Tennessee (now Norfolk and Western) railroad." Il continued, "As late as Ihe 80's of the !9th century, grain, flour, bacon, etc., were loaded on Mrs. Fleenor. Mrs. Kelron. and Stewart recalled what Kingsport was called before it was known as I.ovedale. They said. "The (own was named Tei- lecr and the posl office was in the Nelm's store building, down n e a r the Old Scolt County Road." Mrs. Poole still smiles about w h e n "it was against Ihe Tennessee law lo sell or give away cigarette paper or tobacco, around 1916. Boys used to carry t h e i r tobacco in a brown paper bag. History is defined as "what has happened in the life of a people." The people who have watched Kingsport from its birth have recorded everything they've seen and heard, storing Ihe vivid accounts in t h e i r minds. They listened lo Iheir families, neighbors, and ex-slaves like Aunt Vic, who became cherished members of Ihe household, and they've remembered. L 5

Clipped from
  1. Kingsport Times-News,
  2. 26 Oct 1975, Sun,
  3. Page 40

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