Discovery Park’s Yesteryear Village to display this region’s early history
Posted: Monday, May 25, 2009 9:04 pm
By: Glenda H. Caudle Special Features Editor
By GLENDA H. CAUDLE
Special to The Messenger
We’re not very long “settled.”
At least, not in terms of civilizations in ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt or even Ireland or China. We’re not even very old — here in northwest Tennessee and southwestern Kentucky — compared to Jamestown or Plymouth Rock.
But that doesn’t mean we have no settlement history to call our own. On the contrary, we have a treasure store of buildings, artifacts and stories that relate the tales of yesteryear. And they are in great demand.
Discovery Park of America’s Yesteryear Village committee, previously known as the Pioneer Village Committee, is moving rapidly to acquire items for the space allotted to tell the early story of this area.
Among the intact buildings they hope someone will donate or bequeath to the committee are log structures such as an old tobacco barn, a smoke house, log cabins, a corn crib, a saw mill, a sorghum mill and a church or any other structure dating from the mid-19th century that was built of logs. The committee is making plans to transport and make use of the historic one-room school house currently located on the grounds of the Obion County Museum on Edwards Street in Union City and it is working on a plan to receive a country store from a family in this area.
A unique octagonal barbershop from Rives has already been given to the committee, but members need to “stock” it so they are searching for an authentic antique barber pole and tools and a shoe shine chair. They are also looking for stories from those who remember frequenting the shop in years gone by.
Primitive furnishings that would have been “at home” in the rustic cabin of an early settler in this area are also being sought. Easily transported items will also be accepted on loan, as well as for outright gifts, to the 50-acre education, entertainment, tourism complex being built between Everett Boulevard and the proposed and approved I-69 interstate system. Furniture, wood cook stoves, household items, decorative pieces, housekeeping items such as wash tubs and wash boards, flat irons, spinning wheels, looms, farming machinery and equipment, products that would have been stocked in stores during that period and are still in original containers (flour sacks, canned goods, lard cans) — all will be considered and displayed appropriately for the pleasure and edification of visitors to DPA, according to committee chairman Charlie Grooms.
Grooms may be contacted by those with items they want to share by calling 885-1953.
Gifts made to the project may benefit the donor when it comes to tax time, as well, since the Obion County Museum, which will be accepting the donations, has the appropriate 501C3 status.
The committee wants to include the contributions early Jewish and mid-Eastern peddlers made to the area and to track these early merchandising efforts to the establishment of stores in the area. Black families also have an important intertwined history to relate. All relevant information will be incorporated in this area’s reach-out-and-touch history book at DPA, but only if those who have access to it are willing to provide it.
In addition to buildings and items, members of the committee are looking for old photos that tell a story, for diaries or account books that relate a history, for reminiscences recalled from great-grandparents and further back about the area’s earliest days — for Yesteryear connections.
Maybe you have one.
Why not share?
Mrs. Caudle may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 5.25.09