The Historic Ousley House

Bate Ousley House

In the Beginning...

It was a bright, sunny and very cold January day when I made the trip to Sharps Chapel to visit with Dave and Tomica Whaley and see the restoration progress on their magnificent historic home. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, and known in the community as the Bate Ousley House, this 1835, Five Bay, Central Passage, Federal Style Home is one of Union County's historic jewels.

In the early years, the Cherokee Indians roamed the area now known as Sharps Chapel. This is most evident by the numerous arrowheads and other artifacts the Whaleys have found around their home. Henry Sharp received a land grant of 700 acres for his service in the Revolutionary War near where the Powell and Clinch Rivers meet. Henry Sharp and his son Conrad built a log cabin on a hill near a large spring. Soon, several log structures went up around it creating a sort of commune. As logs were floated down the rivers to Chattanooga, it is believed that this site was used as a layover for loggers. Some speculate that Daniel Boon and his son Isiah were among the people who stayed at the layover.

Henry Sharp's grandson Jacob built a fine brick mansion on the property in 1835. The structure was built by slaves who were highly skilled and trained in the craft and traveled the territory building homes. The bricks used to build the home were molded and fired just behind the house. Hand crafted wanes coating, mantels and cabinetry are original to the home and a fine example of the craftsmanship of the era.

During and after the Civil War, Jacob Sharp fell upon hard times. He sold the house and property to Jacob Ousley and moved to Friends Station in Jefferson County where he is buried. Jacob Ousley's children were born in the house as were his grandchildren who still own 400 of the original 700 acres. Jacob was a Methodist Minister and successful merchant at the time. Beginning in 1970, the house languished unoccupied for almost 30 years and was considered to be a 'haunted house'.

A large barn was built on the hill north of the house. Much of the interior is built from logs that apparently were previously used in other structures. This is evident from the old half dove tail cuts that exist randomly in the logs. Setting next to the barn is one lone cabin having been moved there from another site. It is reasonable to believe that this was the cabin that Henry Sharp originally built and lived in as it would have been the most likely structure to have been saved.

Dave and Tomica Whaley purchased the house in 2005 and that's when the restoration began. They bought the house, a mobile home, and two giant, handmade tarps to cover the house as the roof was gone. The mobile home was placed on the property close to the house and that's where they lived until the back half of the house was renovated. They soon learned there was an abundance of snakes on the property, having taken up habitat in the over growth in and around the house. Dave realized this when he saw a huge, long black snake curled in a bundle up in the tree out back. It fell to the ground and slithered away leaving a lifeless little squirrel. On another morning, he goes outside to find the heart of some unidentifiable critter lying on the walkway. That's when he turns to Tomica and says "we're not in Old North Knoxville anymore".

Read how Dave and Tomica came about finding this beautiful place and how the house chose them to be its residents and keeper in part II of this story in the next edition of Historic Union County.

Articles

Children's Center Looking for Community Support

In many cases, children who have been sexually or physically abused must visit several agencies at multiple locations in order to get the support they need. Children’s Centers were created to assist in providing a safe haven for then youths. They provide a place where the children can, instead of visiting multiple agencies, come to one location where specially trained professionals collaborate to facilitate a child friendly environment where the child knows he or she will be safe.

Explore Fresh at the Farmers Market

Farmers Market Fresh Program Assistant, Allison Campbell, sharing a weekly recipe sample with Emmagayle and Jennagrace Maloe at Union County Farmers Market

The pantry is empty and the refrigerator is bare, time to shop for groceries. As you drive to your favorite grocery store, you know the routine. Enter the store, grab a buggy, and browse aisles upon aisles of products. After your cart is full and all items are checked off your list, you will head for the front to pay, hoping of course, to find the shortest and fastest checkout.

Big Ridge State Park 35th Annual Music Festival

Stone Creek Band

Stone Creek Band at Big Ridge 35th Annual Music Festival

Big Ridge State Park’s 35th Annual Music Festival was held on August 16, 2019 from 4pm-9:30 pm.

If you ask me, Big Ridge State Park is an excellent place to host a Bluegrass Music Festival. It lies somewhere between Rocky Top and the Great Smoky Mountains inside of Union County, Tennessee.

Wood Dale, Wood-Dale, Wood-dale, or Wooddale?

Our Union County Heritage: A Historical and Biographical Album of Union County—People, Places, Events by Kathleen George Graves and Winnie Palmer McDonald (© 1978 Josten’s) relates the following information pertaining to the establishment for Wood Dale School:

WOOD DALE—June 16, 1898, (P-350). Jackson Boruff and wife to the School Directors of District 3, for love and affection, a lot for a public school, so long as it is used for a school—if abandoned, it falls back to the Boruff heirs. (p. 180)

The Whistler

My father was a whistler. You seldom hear a man whistle these days. Maybe to call a dog or to get someone's attention, but not to whistle a melody. There was a time when cell phones, CDs and DVDs were not available. Whistling was a way to amuse or comfort yourself with a familiar song or hymn.

How do you whistle? It takes some practice and can be either harsh or harmonious. Just put your lips together and say “two.” Now blow. It will take some practice but eventually you will get it right. It will take a while to make enough variety of sounds to whistle a tune.

More on Kids With Back Pain

A major contributor to kids’ back pain is the backpacks they use to tote their stuff, researchers in a new study said. Those who used one strap to carry their packs reported significantly more back pain than did those who used both straps. Those who used rolling backpacks reported back pain the most often. It wasn’t clear whether pain prompted their use of the rolling packs or whether the rolling packs contributed to their pain.

Who Sees the Best Rainbow

Humans are apparently hard-wired to love seeing rainbows, as proven by all the Facebook photo postings that pop up whenever one appears in our area. But have you ever wondered if, say your dog sitting beside you, sees the same rainbow you do? Or how about other animals? Let us delve into color vision by various residents of our planet.

Wrong Trip

Maybe I should have been a stunt woman. Since I have tripped and fallen most of my life, I have become an expert at it. Especially on stairs.

When I was 12 years old, I sang in the seventh grade choir. Let me make one thing perfectly clear: I can’t sing. At all. I basically was in it for my mom’s sake. She loves music and studied it in school, so she was always excited when I joined a choir. Also, it was a good excuse to drag my dad to a concert.

Raspberries, Dewberries, and Blackberries

Dewberries, free clipart

When my father retired and moved to Paradise, Utah, he wanted to grow anything and everything. And he was pretty much successful in most of what he planted. The man had a green thumb! I especially remember the delicious fruit: cherries, apples, sand cherries, strawberries, peaches….

Events

Author Cyn Taylor Book Signing August 28

Wednesday, August 28, 2019 - 09:00

Local author Cyn Taylor will hold a book sale and signing on Wednesday, August 28 from 9 a.m. to Noon at the Halls Senior Center. Taylor has had three new works published this year and will be launching those the day of the signing. Truffles & Kisses, the first book in the Smoky Mountain Magic series will be available as well as A Cove Creek Christmas, Love at the Lighthouse, along with Taylor's first children's book, Theodore the Dancing Christmas Horse, written under the pen name of LeNai LaRue. Saluria, by C. M.

Area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders

Thursday, August 29, 2019 - 07:30
Area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders

"We invite all area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders to come together on the last Thursday of each month at Hardee's at 7:30 am. This is to be a time of fellowship, prayer, and discussion about how we as a community of Faith can work together to have a positive impact on our county. All are welcome!" For more information please contact Kathy Chesney at 865-566-3289.

Thunder in the park cruise in

Saturday, August 31, 2019 - 17:00

August 31, 2019 5pm to ? at Wilson Park, Hwy 33, Maynardville TN (next to Union County High School)

Lots of door prizes for cruise in participants Food vendors in the park Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy an evening of fun and fellowship with family and friends.
This is a free event open to all makes/models vehicles Tractors and motorcycles are welcome
For more info call Gary England 865-705-9147 or Diane England 865-705-5501
UNION COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE 865-992-2811

HMHS Class of 1979 Reunion

Saturday, September 7, 2019 - 17:00

The 40th class reunion for Horace Maynard High School Class of 1979 will be held Big Ridge State Park on Saturday, September 7th. Please call Colleen Graves Beeler @ 865-679-4906 for further details and to let us know you are coming. Make checks payable to "HMHS Class of 1979 " and mail to Melanie (Hill) Lowery, PO Box 81, Powell, Tn. 37849. RSVP's & Checks MUST be received by JULY 31st so we can plan accordingly. "Seniors Shine in '79"

Union County Board Of Education

Thursday, September 12, 2019 - 18:00
UNION COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION

The next regular workshop and meeting of the Union County Board of Education will be held at Union County High School on Thursday, September 12, 2019. The workshop will begin at 6:00 p.m. with the meeting immediately to follow.

Extension of Dr. James E. Carter's contract as Director of the Union County Public Schools will be discussed and considered for approval at this meeting.

Obituary

Rev. E. R. Cooper

Rev. E. R. Cooper-age 84 of Maynardville passed away Friday, August 23, 2019 at Willow Ridge. He was a member of Community Baptist Church and had been the pastor of several area churches. Preceded in death by parents, Elmer and Etter Cooper; sons, Mark and Tony Cooper; brother, Tauby; sisters, Pauline, Georgia and Betty.

Eula Gray Houston McCarter

Eula Gray Greene Houston McCarter- age 86 of Maynardville, born February 10, 1933 the daughter of the late Lewis and Hattie Greene passed away Friday morning, August 23, 2019 at home with her family by her side. Preceded in death by parents, husband, James Houston; both of her sons, Anthony and Tim Houston; grandson, Mathinel Houston and six brothers and sisters.

Otis Beal, Jr.

Otis Beal, Jr., age 79 of Knoxville, passed away at 6:45pm on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 at his home surrounded by his family. He was retired from KCDC. He was a member of Fountain City Presbyterian Church and the Good News Sunday School Class. Otis was preceded in death by his parents, Otis, Sr. and Ona Beal; daughter, Tina Beal Maxwell; and sister, Joyce Burton.

Rev. Daniel Warwick, Sr.

Rev. Daniel Warwick, Sr.-age 87 of Blaine passed away Tuesday, August 20, 2019 at Fort Sander’s Regional Medical Center. He was a member of Little Valley Baptist Church. Preceded in death by wife, Loretta Warwick; son and daughter-in-law, Grady and Pauline Warwick; granddaughter, Danielle Warwick; grandson, Jason Warwick. All of Daniel’s brothers and sisters preceded him in death.

Johnny Ray Hedge, Sr.

Johnny Ray Hedge, Sr.-age 72 of Washburn passed away Monday, August 19, 2019 of natural causes. Johnny was born November 21, 1946 in Bridgeport, Illinois the son of the late Edgar and Elizabeth Hedge. He married Brenda Joyce Chancellor Hedge twice (1964/1981). Johnny was a longtime employee of Hammond Lead Products in Hammond, Indiana until he retired in 1997 due to health reasons. Johnny moved from Gary, Indiana to Fort Gibson, Oklahoma in 2000. Johnny moved to Washburn, TN in 2005. Johnny was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, James (Bud) and Brenda Hedge.

Walter Michael Darden

Walter Michael Darden, age 76, passed away August 18, 2019. Mike was a plumber by trade for over 50 years. He loved fishing and his time on the lake. Preceded in death by parents; father Walter James Darden and mother Florida Mae Darden, sister Judy Darden. He is survived by daughter Sherri Darden, sons; Mike Darden (Peggy), Jody Darden and Tommy Darden (Cindy) brother; Jim Darden (Evelyn), several grandchildren and great grandchildren, honorary daughter Missy Beeler, special friends; Gene McMillian, Hubert Weaver, Johnny Stafford, Larry Greenlee, Dennis Drinnon and Mary Mease.

Goldie Langley

Goldie Langley – age 79 of Maynardville, went to meet her Heavenly Father on Saturday, August 17, 2019. She was a member of Oaks Chapel American Christian Church. Goldie enjoyed the outdoors doing her yard work and cherished her time with her family.

Jake Lee Nicely

Jake Lee Nicely-age 63 of Luttrell, born February 27, 1956 passed away Friday, August 16, 2019 at Willow Ridge. He was a member of Emory Road Baptist Church. Preceded in death by wife, Betty Nicley; mothers, Maude Nicely and Hazel Strevel; father, Neil Brown; brothers, Jim Nicely, Reo Strevel, Tom Strevel; niece, Samantha Chamberlain; nephews, Chucky Roach and Johnny Strevel.

Guy William Merritt

Guy William Merritt, age 67 of Knoxville, passed away Thursday, August 15, 2019. He was an accomplished athlete throughout his entire life. He attended West High School and graduated from Farragut High School in 1970. He later attended Roane State Community College. He served his country with distinction in the United States Army for 28 years, starting with a tour in Vietnam in 1970. He proudly served as a member of the 11th Armored Calvary, 101st Airborne, and Pukin’ Dragons.

Georgia J. Moore Cole

Georgia J. Moore Cole-age 89 of Sharps Chapel passed away Thursday morning, August 15, 2019 at Beverly Park Place. She was born February 23, 1930 in Union County, Tennessee the daughter of the late Ebb and Belle Shoffner Moore. On May 3, 1950, she married the love of her life, Beecher Cole. She retired from Delco in Kokomo, Indiana in 1985. She was a lifelong member of Oak Grove Primitive Baptist Church and attended Amana Baptist Church in Kokomo, Indiana where she had lived until moving back to Sharps Chapel, Tennessee three years ago.

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