Thursday, February 20, 2014

Those Places Thursday: Boones Creek, Tennessee

 Boones Creek Historical Trust.  Bountiful Boones Creek, c 2008.

Boones Creek can sometimes be hard to find on a Tennessee map.  The brief entry in Wikipedia primarily provides the GPS coordinates along with a few sentences about this area just north of Johnson City, Tennessee.  But it is an area steeped in history, as one might expect of a place named after Daniel Boone, the frontier explorer.

Recently I spied this book at our local library and ended up buying a copy.  The book, published by the Boones Creek Historical Trust, presents the histories of 45 houses and buildings in the area.  Some of the houses are still inhabited by relatives of the original owners, some by newcomers attracted to a picturesque old home, while others stand empty and show the effects of time.  I've lived in this area for over 30 years and have driven past many of the old homes pictured in this book.  The problem was I never knew the story behind some of these old relics. Thanks to Bountiful Boones Creek I know so much more about the history of this part of East Tennessee and some of its founding families, along with some new recipes to try.

The Bowers / Kirkpatrick House, p 14

Whenever I head over to the interstate I drive past this old, boarded up house.  I would frequently speculate about its history or wonder about those who had lived there.  Now I know that it is the Bowers/ Kirkpatrick House as well as something about its past on land which can be traced back to a Revolutionary War grant.

Each two-page spread in the book features one of 45 homes or buildings.  The spread includes a brief history of the building as well as information about previous, and in some cases, present owners.  Topping off the spread are a few recipes submitted by family members or those associated with the Boones Creek Historical Trust.

The Bowers / Kirkpatrick House, p 15

The book will be a focus of springtime drives in the area since the book also includes a map with the houses and buildings noted.  I'll also look at homes where friends have lived or buildings where I sometimes shop with a new eye, knowing more of the history of these places.

I appreciate the efforts of the Boones Creek Historical Trust of Gray, Tennessee in publishing this book.  What a great way for a local historical or genealogical society to share information about homes, families and the area.  After all, homes, like people, have their stories, stories that are celebrated so wonderfully in this book.

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