History

A Rose By Any Other Name…

Stop 11: Rose Center, Rose Council for the Arts

Morristown, TN 37814

website: http://rosecenter.org/

The Rose Center is a very historical and important piece of Morristown, TN’s history. What first started as a co-ed high school built in 1892 has now turned into the cultural center of Morristown. The Rose Center operated as a high school from 1892 up through 1975! After the school closed, monies were raised to turn it into a cultural community center. It now houses an art gallery, educational workshops, art workshops, drama workshops, fitness classes, dance classes, music classes, and a variety of other programs. It also acts as a history museum, and there are still original classrooms open for tours. For more information on the Rose Center’s history, click here: http://rosecenter.org/wordpress1/about-the-rose/discover-our-history/.

One of the biggest events the Rose Center puts on is the annual Mountain Makins Festival. It is held every year in either October or November. Mountain Makins celebrates all things Appalachian Heritage as well as everything art, especially local artists. The festival will have dancers, open art exhibits, old timey/heritage dress and ways of life, local food carts, and so much more. If you need a reason to hop on the quilt trail and really see Appalachian Heritage, this is a great reason!

The Rose Center is also available to rent for your wedding, party, or big event. Community is the word that really fuels them. Not only do they provide services for the community via arts initiatives and programs, they rely on the community and grants to keep them going. Without supporters, the Rose Center, Morristown’s cultural center, would not exist. So take some time and look at these pictures and then go on down and spend some time at the Rose (then stop at Java Garden for a coffee-which also happens to be right across from another quilt square!).

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Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier…

Stop 7: Bear Paw at Davy Crockett Tavern Museum

2002 Morningside Drive, Morristown TN 37814

Open May-October, Tues-Saturday 11 am-5 pm

General Admission $5, $1 for students

 

Appalachia is filled with so much history, from how our area was settled by immigrants who weren’t supposed to settle in the mountains, to our music, to our way with food. Even our early settlers and pioneers were characters whose histories are filled with just as much folklore as they are with genuine facts. Appalachians are known for their storytelling and I got my fill of it, both historic and of the tall-tale kind, on my latest trail stop: The Davy Crockett Tavern.

 

David Crockett (who never referred to himself as Davy) was a frontiersman, politician, Americana figure, and solider. He was born and raised in the Limestone/Green County/Hamblen County area of Tennessee. Although his childhood home is in Limestone, the tavern, run by his parents, is located in Morristown. Here, individuals could eat, sleep, drink, and rest their horses. Growing up, David helped steer cattle and hunt game for the tavern, and he really did shoot black bears and wear coonskin caps. Crockett was part of the Tennessee House of Representatives and later held a seat in the 21st United States Congress. He served two terms, then went off to fight in the Texas Revolution, where he died defending the Alamo. What makes him such a folklore legend in Appalachia are tales of his larger-than-life personality, his charisma and his appearance. Crockett was known for his pointed nose, rosy cheeks,large forehead, and small chin. He also told some stories himself. While many people get him confused with Daniel Boone, Crockett and Boone never knew each other. Boone was alive 50 years before Crockett.

 

I learned this and so much more from my tour guide, Sally. I could tell that Sally loved telling the story of Crockett and life in the pioneer days. As she walked me around the premises of the historical site, she told me tales of the fire that made the Crocketts relocate, how David’s grandparents are buried in Rogersville, and about the grist mill his dad had. Sally also took me through a looming room and taught me about looming, spindles, the different kinds of thread they used (like flax! it isn’t just for eating!), and how they used a certain type of bug, called cochineal, to dye things bright red. I even learned where the childhood song, “Pop goes the weasel” comes from (and it isn’t about a real weasel chasing a mulberry bush). I saw old cast iron skillets, pots, irons, and curling irons. Sally showed me old coins and old paper money. There was even a ledger from the store that David’s mom, Rebecca, bought from. Believe it or not one could get a lot of stuff from that store. She was filled with so much knowledge that I could have stayed all day and listened to her. She was that good. While I was finishing up my trip more visitors came in for a tour. Sally’s face just lit up; she was so eager to show them around the tavern.

 

The Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities is the group that helped to restore, rebuild and acquire items for the Tavern.The APTA acquired the land in 1957 and the museum was built between 1957 and 1958. The furnishings have been donated by local families via the APTA. Outreach is very important to them, so they hold educational field trips and do work with Eagle Scouts. Their quilt square is a 4×4 piece painted by a local Morristown artist, Robert Spirko. The quilt square came to them from Nana Bear Quilts, which was a popular quilt store/quilting place in Morristown. When they closed, Nana Bear Quilts gave the bear paw square to Davy Crockett Tavern. It is significant because Davy Crockett was very proficient in his hunting skills, and it is one of the things he is known for.

 

In addition to all of this, they hold Live History Days and celebrate Davy’s birthday! The Live History Days are where people can come and learn about pioneer life and do things like our ancestors did. On Davy’s birthday they celebrate all things Davy and even have knife throwing competitions! Check the website for more information: http://crocketttavernmuseum.org/news.html

 

This is a great place for families and those interested in history. For $5 you get a guided tour and your money goes to help keep up the Tavern, which is taken care of by volunteers.

 

 

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The tavern, front view

The tavern, front view

back of the tavern, the original tavern was where the trees are

back of the tavern, the original tavern was where the trees are

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Up close view. It is covered by a protective glass to keep it from getting weathered.

Up close view. It is covered by a protective glass to keep it from getting weathered.

Bear Paw quilt pattern. It was painted by a local.

Bear Paw quilt pattern. It was painted by a local.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The shed and an original wagon of what the Crockett's would have used

The shed and an original wagon of what the Crockett’s would have used

 

The original grist mill that Davy's dad used

The original grist mill that Davy’s dad used

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A loom

A loom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A spindle with some linen cloths in the background

A spindle with some linen cloths in the background

 

spinner's weasel/clock wheel: where "Pop! Goes the weasel" comes from

spinner’s weasel/clock wheel: where “Pop! Goes the weasel” comes from

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Up for a game of checkers? They would use the end of the corn cob, dry it out and use different color corn for the different sides.

Up for a game of checkers? They would use the end of the corn cob, and color them with a market to differentiate the sides. They were called draughts.

Stop One: The Bryan House in Rutledge, TN

The Bryan House is a very special stop on the AQT. The Bryan House is home to Clinch-Powell RC&D, the not-for-profit organization that brought the Appalachian Quilt Trail to our region. Clinch-Powell RC&D acquired The Bryan House in 2004 following the death of Doc Bryan, for whom the house is named.  They have since restored and renovated the house and opened it up to the community for tours. It is also used as a local meeting area for community groups.

 

The Bryan House has a long and interesting history in Rutledge, Tennessee. It was originally built in 1869 for Michael Goldman, who was the County Court Clerk of Grainger County as well as a merchant. He was not originally from Grainger County and the locals referred to him as a “Jewish Yankee carpetbagger”. After Goldman’s death, the house was passed on to his son John N. Goldman, a lawyer who practiced in Rutledge.  When he died it passed on to his daughter Johnnie Alexander Long. She had left it unattended for some years when Doc Bryan purchased it in 1937.

 

Dr. L.C. Bryan and his wife purchased the house from Johnnie and began extensive renovations. The Bryans were an interesting family with a big presence in Rutledge. Doc Bryan practiced medicine for sixty-seven years, retiring at the age of 93. From 1927-1968 he delivered 3,424 babies. The Bryans hosted Sunday Suppers at the house, along with croquet in the summer on the lawn. The croquet tournaments were such serious business that the children could not participate; they had to watch from the side as the adults played.

 

Bryan House is open for informal tours Monday-Friday, from 8:30-4:30. Clinch-Powell RC&D staff and resident Appalachia CARES/AmeriCorps members are on-site and will do their best to answer any questions you may have about this remarkable structure and the families who have called it home.

 

****If you are in the area the week of June 16-21st, it is Clinch-Powell RC&D’s special 25th Anniversary Open House. Staff and volunteers will be conducting tours between the hours of 1-4 pm. Light refreshments will be available.****

 

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