Photo Friday – Historic Concord Village

Concord is an unincorporated community in Knox County, Tennessee, United States and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as an historic district. It is located in west Knox County, east of Farragut and west of Knoxville.

The Village of Concord began to develop in 1854. Before that time, the area was sparsely settled. Large farms were centered on the Tennessee River, and relied on a nearby settlement, Campbell’s Station, for trade and other urban needs. In 1853, construction of the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad along the north bank of the Tennessee River caused a population and development shift to the area that became Concord.

Concord was founded and platted in 1854 on land owned by James M. Rodgers. Mr. Rodgers caused 55 lots to be laid out, and gave the new town the name Concord. He began to sell lots in 1855, but later moved to California. Shortly before he moved, he sold his land in the larger tracts that still exist in some sections of the village.

Concord developed rapidly after the arrival of the railroad. The first dwelling in Concord, a boarding house, was built by Shadrack Callaway. Combining the existing river transportation with the railroad made Concord the nucleus of several communities on the north side of the river, including Campbell’s Station, Loveville and Ebenezer.

By 1887 Concord was the second largest town in Knox County, second to Knoxville. The Village of Concord was a regional transportation center. Tennessee marble, crushed limestone, lime, logs, and farm produce were gathered at its public dock. Passenger ferries and commercial boats landed there. The railroad provided passenger connections to Knoxville and other cities. In addition to rail transportation, a paved road from Lenoir City to Knoxville traveled along the railroad from Lenoir City to what is now Olive Road. The road then followed what is now Olive Road to Loop Road, then to Concord Road and then north two miles to Kingston Pike. Kingston Pike was the main east-west road out of Knoxville from the early 19th century until Interstate 40/75 was completed through the area in the 1960s. This road network provided all-weather connections to other highways in the area.

In the early 20th century, the town had grown to include several general stores, a brickyard, lime kiln, inn, saloon, two livery stables, an undertaking establishment, two flour mills, a railroad depot, private schools, a bank, a post office, an ice cream parlor, a drug store, specialty shops, a barber shop and churches. In 1916, fire destroyed much of the business district but it was quickly rebuilt.

The Great Depression of the 1930s brought economic hardship to Concord. New building materials lessened the use of Tennessee marble, and caused the marble industry to go into a decline from which it has never recovered. The impoundment of Fort Loudon Lake inundated about one-third of the town (most of the business district) by 1944. Portions of the railroad were relocated to higher adjacent ground and continued to carry freight, but did not provide passenger service. The development of automobiles and new transportation routes also contributed to Concord’s slow growth.

In the 1970s the area began to rebound economically as it became a bedroom community for the fast growing city of Knoxville. Since then, residential development and land subdivision has continued apace, transforming Concord and its environs into an affluent urban community that has left behind much of its rural roots.

Photo Gallery: Historic Concord Village

Source: Rootsweb History

American Craftsman – Colonel Littleton

My wife just bought a leather-bound journal as a retirement gift for her boss from Colonel Littleton, a leather goods shop in historic Lynnville, TN. It is made with the softest leather I’ve ever felt and is an exceptional piece of American craftsmanship.

Colonel Littleton designs and makes leather goods of all sorts from all-American steer hide they get from a small tannery nearby. Gary Littleton started in 1987 selling antique cufflinks to specialty stores and soon moved into pocket knives. Over the years, the business has expanded into leather goods, home accessories, journals, wallets, briefcases, belts, Panama hats, pens, bracelets, and even iPhone & iPad cases. Colonel Littleton describes their upscale gift items as “fine accouterments in the American Tradition.” Of course, everything they sell has a story connected to it. They even ship a story card about the item and a miniature Moon Pie with each order.

Photo Friday – Carnton Plantation

Carnton was built in 1826 by former Nashville mayor Randal McGavock (1768-1843). Throughout the nineteenth century it was frequently visited by those shaping Tennessee and American history, including President Andrew Jackson. Carnton grew to become one of the premier farms in Williamson County, Tennessee. Randal McGavock’s son John (1815-1893) inherited the farm upon his father’s death. John McGavock married Carrie Elizabeth Winder (1829-1905) in December 1848 and they had five children during the subsequent years, three of whom died at young ages – Martha (1849-1862); Mary Elizabeth (1851-1858); and John Randal (1854). The surviving children, Winder (1857-1907) and Hattie (1855-1932), are pictured (left) circa 1865.

Beginning at 4 p.m. on November 30, 1864, Carnton was witness to one of the bloodiest battles of the entire Civil War. Everything the McGavock family ever knew was forever changed. The Confederate Army of Tennessee furiously assaulted the Federal army entrenched along the southern edge of Franklin. The resulting battle, believed to be the bloodiest five hours of the Civil War, involved a massive frontal assault larger than Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg. The majority of the combat occurred in the dark and at close quarters. The Battle of Franklin lasted barely five hours and led to some 9,500 soldiers being killed, wounded, captured, or counted as missing. Nearly 7,000 of that number were Confederate troops. Carnton served as the largest field hospital in the area for hundreds of wounded and dying Confederate soldiers

A staff officer later wrote that “the wounded, in hundreds, were brought to [the house] during the battle, and all the night after. And when the noble old house could hold no more, the yard was appropriated until the wounded and dead filled that….”

On the morning of December 1, 1864 the bodies of four Confederate generals killed during the fighting, Patrick R. Cleburne, Hiram B. Granbury, John Adams, and Otho F. Strahl, lay on Carnton’s back porch. The floors of the restored home are still stained with the blood of the men who were treated here.

In early 1866, John and Carrie McGavock designated two acres of land adjacent to their family cemetery as a final burial place for nearly 1,500 Confederate soldiers killed during the Battle of Franklin. The McGavocks maintained the cemetery until their respective deaths.

Today, the McGavock Confederate Cemetery is a lasting memorial honoring those fallen soldiers and the Battle of Franklin. It is the largest privately owned military cemetery in the nation.

The McGavock family owned Carnton until 1911 when Susie Lee McGavock, widow of Winder McGavock, sold it. In 1973 Carnton was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and in 1977 the house and ten acres were donated to the Carnton Association, Inc. by Dr. W. D. Sugg. By that time the house had suffered from years of neglect and disrepair and since then the Association has been vital in restoring and maintaining the plantation through tours, gift shop sales, membership, special events, and generous donations.

Link of interest: Historic Carnton Plantation

Photo Friday – Wilder Brigade Monument

This imposing 85-foot monument sits in the Chickamauga Battlefield in Northern Georgia. It honors Col. John T. Wilder and his brigade of mounted infantry, who occupied this part of the battlefield when Confederate troops broke through the Union line on September 20. Armed with seven-shot Spencer repeating rifles, Wilder’s 2,000-man brigade poured a deadly fire into the Confederates, momentarily stopping Manigault’s Brigade before withdrawing from the battlefield. The monument stands on the site of 23-year-old widow Eliza Glenn’s house, which served as Rosecran’s headquarters on September 19 and in early morning on the 20th, when the house was destroyed.

This imposing monument was authorized in 1892 and completed in 1902, to honor Col. John T. Wilder and his troops. It is built of Chickamauga limestone and rises to a height of 85 feet. A spiral staircase inside the 16×16 foot base leads to a platform at the top where you can obtain an excellent view of the battlefield and surrounding area.

Photo Gallery: Wilder Brigade Monument

Photo Friday – Landmark Booksellers


Landmark Booksellers in Franklin, TN is a small, independent bookstore with a southern sense of charm and hospitality. Housed in an antebellum Greek Revival building dating back to the 1820s, Landmark Booksellers is located on the main street of historic downtown Franklin, TN.

This is a great place to grab a book, sit down and relax, and read a while in beautiful, historic downtown Franklin.

I don’t know much about the building’s history, but a Williamson County Historical Society marker indicates the building was the old factory store. I’m not sure what purpose it served or its historical significance. If anyone knows more about this building, please let me know.

Photo Friday – Franklin Confederate Monument

The following description of the Confederate Monument appeared in the November 30, 1899, issue of The Williamson County News.

The monument consists of a heavy stone foundation, above which rises, in three steps, the granite platform. On the north-east face of the second step are sculptured, in relief, crossed rifles. Above, on the third step, are the words “Our Confederate Soldier” in bold lettering. Above the platform is a square die, with polished faces and inverted cannon at the angles. Above the die is an ornamental cap, its upper edge cut in the form of battlements and surmounted by a row of sculptured cannon balls. From this cap rises the tall shaft, on the north-east face of which is chiseled a beautiful Confederate banner. Above the shaft is the elaborate capital, carved and battlemented; and crowning all stands the marble figure of a Confederate Soldier at “parade rest.”

The four faces of the die bear the following inscriptions:

On the first, toward the north-east, in which direction the statue faces:
“Erected to Confederate Soldiers by Franklin Chapter No. 14, Daughters of the Confederacy Nov. 30, A. D. 1899”

On the reverse:
“In honor and memory of our heroes, both private and chief, of the Southern Confederacy. No country ever had truer sons, no cause nobler champions,
no people bolder defenders, than the brave soldiers to whose memory this stone is erected.”

On the south face, looking up Main street:
“We who saw them and knew them well are witnesses to the coming ages of their valor and fidelity; tried and true, glory-crowned. 1861 – 1865”

On the reverse of the Monument:
“Would not it be a shame for us
If their memory part from our land and hearts,
And a wrong them to and a shame to us.
The glories they won shall not wane for us.
In legend and lay, our Heroes in Grey
Shall ever live over again for us.”

The monument is thirty-seven feet, eight inches in height and is of Vermont granite, except the statue. This is six feet high and is of Carrara marble. It represents a Confederate Soldier with slouched hat, service uniform and rifle, standing at “parade rest.”

Photo Friday – Historic Franklin Presbyterian Church

The Historic Franklin Presbyterian Church was organized in Franklin, TN by the Reverend Gideon Blackburn on June 8, 1811 and first located near the City Cemetery. The church moved to its current location in 1842. The Reverend A. N. Cunningham was was pastor from 1843 to 1857. In 1847, he founded the Franklin Female Institute, which was temporarily housed in the church. After the Battle of Franklin, the building was used as a hospital by Federal troops and severely damaged. In 1888, a house of worship in the Romanesque Revival style of H. H. Richardson was erected. After a fire in 1905, the church was rebuilt in 1908. In 1992, those members of the congregation, who wished to remain on the historic site, organized the Historic Franklin Presbyterian Church.