Remembering Life on Powell River before Norris Dam

Remembering Life on Powell River before Norris Dam

In the early 1930s, before a large dam was built beneath the forks of the Clinch and Powell Rivers, a little girl of early pioneer ancestry lived in a white two-story house across the Powell River from the mouth of Cedar Creek. She was born there, as had been her uncle, who also lived there with her parents, maternal grandmother, three younger siblings and an older cousin. Their home was on a large farm encircled by a bend of the Powell River on three sides.

In the spring of the year, the little girl loved to watch the river as it rose upon its banks. On these same banks and river bottoms, Union soldiers had trained for the Civil War. The little girl learned many treasured stories from her uncle of soldiers long gone from the training field. Her grandmother, also born on the river, had first hand memories of the war.

The farm house had a small older wing on the rear that included the kitchen, referred to by the family as the Little House. In the winter, a huge log placed in the fireplace kept the kitchen warm. Sitting around the fire, in the kitchen illuminated by kerosene lamps, the family read the Bible, Sunday School lessons, The Knoxville Journal, Progressive Farmer and whatever textbooks the children were studying from in school.

While her mother was busy cooking, or doing other things for the family, the little girl would help her grandmother rock the younger children in a wooden cradle. The cradle had heavy rockers and sat in front of a window by the hearth in the kitchen.

On Sundays, the little girl and her sister would trail their father on a farm horse, named Maude, up the side of Cedar Creek and the Sugar Hollow Branch to church. Each time the trail would cross the branch, Maude would lower her head for a drink potentially plunging the girls, it seemed, into the stream below.

The sisters loved to attend Sunday School at Sugar Hollow. Maude Ridenour, a Campbell County school teacher, was their teacher. Each lesson was on a card with a picture. These were kept in a box at home after each lesson has been gone over a number of times. Relocated as a result of the formation of Norris Reservoir, the congregation is known today as Coolidge First Baptist.

One hot August afternoon, the little girl's father came home in the farm wagon with a John C. Winton primer. Soon she was carrying the little book with her to a nearby one room school. The school closed, due to low enrollment, after two weeks and she began to ride the bus to a much larger school at Demory. No doubt many of the parents of the children who arrived by bus worried about their children being so far from their care. Fortunately, Mrs. Jane Boshears Morton, who lived within site of the school, was known to be generous with her time tending to the needs of sick children. Perhaps she ran the first school clinic in Campbell County right out of her home.

Although the little girl's family did not have electricity while living on Powell River, they did have telephone service. Should the party line be out of order for any reason, Andy Heatherly, proprietor of the A.J. Heatherly General Store would take messages from his telephone at the store and deliver them personally throughout the neighborhood in his Model T Ford.

These wonderful happy early childhood years on Powell River came to an end one morning in early December of 1934 when the little girl rode in the cab of a moving truck with her grandmother and three younger siblings to their new home closer to town. The gingerbread style house would be home to her parents for over fifty years.

Written partially in her own words, the little girl in the story was my mother Nadine Heatherly Stephens (1925-2002). More than eighty years have come and gone since hers like so many additional families were dislocated in advance of rising waters behind Norris Dam before the gates were closed on March 4,1936.

The spine of the ridge that ran down the center of the farm, where she was born, is visible, to the left, year-round from the opposite side of the lake at the tip of Heatherly's Point and is known today as Spangler Point or Point 10.

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MPL Small Business Expo

Saturday, March 23, 2019 - 09:00

Small Business Expo
Hosted by Maynardville Public Library
296 Main St, Maynardville, Tennessee 37807
Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 9 AM – 1 PM
Our 3rd Annual Expo to showcase the many small businesses in Union County. Drop by to see what our county has to offer and support these local businesses.
If you are a business owner looking to attend fill out the following google form by March 15th

https://goo.gl/forms/pVrShemJAPtgzaiB2

Area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders

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"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.

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Obituary

Stephen E. Griffith

Stephen E. Griffith, age 65, of Corryton, TN received his angel wings Monday, March 18, 2019. He is preceded in death by his parents, Claude Warner Griffith and Doris Jacqueline Griffith. He is survived by his wife, Debbie; children, Carrie Griffith, Samantha (Frank) Lord, Marcus (Kayla) Atkins and Chris Griffith; sister, Susan (Bob) Tebbitt; brother, Scott (Laura) Griffith; grandchildren, Samuel, Ethan, Sarah Elizabeth, Ella Kate, Zane, Caleb, Daniel and Ava.

Michael E. Nicley

Michael E. Nicley age 61 of Maynardville passed away on Sunday, March 17, 2019, at his home. Retired auto mechanic from Treece Auto Repair. Preceded in death by his father Edward Nicley and sister, Christine Nicley. Survived by his wife of 38 years, Shelia Nicley; mother, Madge Workman; children, Jonya Coffey (Bryan), Bubby King, Jonathan Nicley (Christy), Jamie Cheeks, Jennifer Graham (Jay); fifteen grandchildren; one great-grandchild.

Earl B, Walker

Earl B. Walker-age 100 of Knoxville passed away Monday morning, March 18, 2019 at his home. He was a U. S. Army Veteran of World War II. He loved singing with the old harp singers. Earl loved his family and his happiest memories were of his family. He was also very proud of reaching his 100th birthday and celebrated it March 10, 2019 with his friends and new family at Deane Hill Place where he had lived the last 10 years. Preceded in death by wife: Cleo Nicely Walker; infant son, Bobby Walker; parents, Oscar and Coker Walker; siblings, twin-sister, Ireland D.

Helen M. Harris Burrell

Helen M. Harris Burrell, 87 of Knoxville, passed away on March 17, 2019 following a short illness. She was a member of Redemption Harvest Church of Knoxville.

She was preceded in death by her parents Dotha Hughes and Eunice Hughes; first husband Verlon Lionel Harris; second husband Max E. Burrell; as well as all her brothers and sisters.

She is survived by her son David Harris (Sharon), grandson Timothy Harris (Christy) and two great-grandsons Nolan and Luke Harris, in addition to many nieces and nephews.

John W. Dukes

John W Dukes of Maryville passed away Friday, March 15 2019. He is preceded in death by wife Jo Dukes; parents Robert & Vina Mae; brother Larry “Bud” (Sue); and sister Nancy. He is survived by daughters Anita Craig of Ooltewah; Lori Nelson (Bryan) of Sweetwater and son Spencer of Nashville; grandchildren Jason (Jessica) Cooper of Maryville and Hillary Cooper of Indianapolis; 6 great-grandchildren; several nieces & nephews; and Dr. Bob Dukes, Rock Dukes and Susan Pilkay with whom he had a special bond.

Alvin Doyle Atkins

Alvin Doyle Atkins, age 78, passed away March 15, 2019. Preceded in death by mother, Ruth Keeney and father, Dana Atkins. Survived by wife Dorothy Williams Atkins, sons Alvin and Tonya Atkins and Brian and Leslie Atkins, grandchildren Charles, Elizabeth, Bridget, Brandon, and Brayden, step-grandson Austin (Charity), great-grandchildren Mercedes, Aiden, and Thea, several nieces and nephews. Family will receive friends 5:00-7:00pm Monday, March 18, 2019, at Mynatt Funeral Home Halls Chapel with service to follow.

John Thomas Keck

John Thomas Keck-age 27 of Corryton passed away Tuesday evening, March 12, 2019 at his home. Preceded in death by mother, Regina Ann Keck.

Survivors: father, Carl Johnny Keck, Corryton; sisters, Emily Keck of Maynardville; Hannah Gillespie of Lebanon, TN; brothers, Justin Keck of Nashville; Aaron Anderson of Huntland, TN; grandmother, Linda and Rodney O’Brien of Blaine; uncle, David Kitts of Halls. Several nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends.

James "J.D." Killion

James Douglas "J.D." Killion passed away, March 15, 2019, at Norris Health and Rehab Center, following a lengthy illness. He was born November 2, 1933 in New Tazewell, TN. He was a member of Emory Pike American Christian Church. J.D. was a member of the U.S. Air Force. He is preceded in death by his parents, James M. and Mossie V. Killion; his first wife, D. Blanche Cox Killion and by his second wife M. Jane Cole Killion. J.D. is survived by his daughter Sheila K.

Fred Parrott Jr.

Fred Parrott, Jr., age 85, passed away March 13, 2019. He was a member of Alice Bell Baptist Church. Fred was a proud veteran of the US Army, serving during the Korean War. He was a devoted father and grandfather who loved his family deeply. Left to cherish his memory are wife of 66 years, Marykate "Katie" Parrott; sons Phil (Connie) and Todd (Chris); grandchildren Christopher (Melissa), Krystle (Daniel) and Abbey (Sean). In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made to the Alice Bell Baptist Church Building Fund, 3305 Alice Bell Road, Knoxville, TN., 37917.

Volley H. Cunningham

Volley H. Cunningham age 60 of Knoxville went to be with Jesus on Tuesday, March 12, 2019. He was such a kind and loving person, and was always concerned for his family. He loved his family, friends and the family pets. Always willing to lend a hand to help anyone in need. He loved woodworking and making things, one of his hobbies was building things including houses for the family pets and other various projects. He loved gardening and created many family garden projects. He grew prize winning tomatoes which he lovingly gave away to others. He enjoyed singing country and gospel songs.

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