Even though it has been ninety-four years since the Scopes Trial was held, memories of it still “linger in the air” around Rhea County! One could hope that people no longer think of us as barefoot and uneducated, but that we have risen to a higher order of thought in the minds of the public.…

Our history holds many tragic events, but perhaps one of the saddest is being put to death for a crime one did not commit. A story about one of these occurrences was recorded in the WPA book on Rhea County tombstones, published in 1938. According to WPA records, the Hughes Cemetery is locate…

“I’m gonna buy a Paper Doll that I can call my own”

The Fourth of July celebrations of today are somewhat different from those in the early days after this date was declared a federal holiday. However, no matter how it is celebrated, the Fourth of July is a day to fly our flag and remember our Declaration of Independence. From a diary entry d…

This past weekend was spent at my Darwin family reunion, where cousins from all over the United States met to learn more about our family history. We looked over family lineage charts and old Bible records, heard ancestral stories, and saw items from past generations. It’s always great to se…

We find that it was not uncommon for our ancestors to have large families many years ago due to many reasons. The lifestyle was very different in the early days of settling Rhea and other counties; farming was the primary occupation of the time, mainly to feed one’s family and for selling cr…

Old newspaper articles are always interesting to read, and the following crime information came from The Dayton Star dated October 5 and 12 of 1911. These two items were copied from those newspapers without any of the original paper showing. This was done by Bettye Broyles, our former County…

Lately the Rhea County Courthouse has been in the forefront of our local news because it has needed some tender loving care called “restoration.” A building which is used every day by many people has to be given proper attention in order for it to continue in “good health” on the National Re…

Country singer Craig Morgan is given credit for having the following message on his Facebook page: “Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.” That is a beautiful thought to keep in our minds each time we see the fl…

This is the time of year when many of us in Rhea County remember Watts Bar Resort, especially if we have grown up in this area or lived here for many years. The resort was located at the West end of Watts Bar Dam on a bluff, and was considered to be one of the most scenic areas in Tennessee.…

Everyone knows that a rose is a rose, but what about a strawberry? Believe it or not, the strawberry is a member of the rose family, and goes with Rhea County like a hand in a glove! Since strawberries are a fast growing crop, and produce runners, which make the next generation of plants, it…

Located north of Dayton, and east of U.S. Highway 27, Buttram Cemetery is the final resting place of many people from all walks of life. According to research, the cemetery was originally begun before 1811 as the burial site for John Howard’s wife. Then, in April of 1811, when Howard deeded …

As we pass by cemeteries in Rhea County and other areas around Tennessee, we can see flowers and flags on graves of those buried in these places. This is because of a tradition we call “Decoration Day,” which is usually celebrated in May and June, and has its beginnings during the War Betwee…

Easter, the time which celebrates Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead, is not on a set date every year as most other holidays are. Instead, it is always celebrated on the Sunday immediately following the Paschal (Passover) Full Moon date of the year. According to the Ecclesiastical tab…

A newspaper article which appeared in the Chattanooga Sunday Times in October of 1936, talks about the legend of Sulphur/Rhea Springs. This article was written by Sarah Ruth Frazier, and gives a detailed account of life in that settlement. According to this story, “Legend has it that in prim…

An entry from the Morgan Brothers Company ledger was made during 1915, with the customer being R.L. Thomison. The notation shows that he bought a mattress for $9.50 on November seventeenth; he also purchased two yards of Hemp pieces for $1.00 and paper for $1.80 on February sixteenth. Paymen…

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In looking back to the days of “glory” in the town of Washington, we see that it was a thriving metropolis, and worthy of remembering during its heyday. According to research, Washington boasted four inns or taverns, two blacksmith shops, two cotton gins, a large tan yard (for tanning hides)…

The Mynatt or Washington Cemetery is located approximately six miles northeast of Dayton and about one mile south of the Town of Washington. It was originally stated by a W.P.A. researcher that the cemetery originated during the lifetime of Dr. Samuel Mynatt and was on Dr. Mynatt’s property.…

There is a saying that states, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and finding out about a picture can speak volumes when it comes to family history. This happened when a picture of the J.W. Gillespie Camp was found among some things belonging to a late cousin of mine. The picture shows a…

An old slogan states that nothing beats a great pair of legs, and no company attested to that more than Kayser-Roth Corporation of Dayton! According to the Charter of Incorporation, dated July 24, 1913, A. P. Haggard, A. B. Andrews, T. W. Caudle, J. F. Morgan, and W. C. Godsey constituted a …

As one views the Kayser-Roth building today, it is hard to imagine the hustle and bustle of a progressive manufacturing business of yesterday. The once humming machines are not only idle, but are gone from the structure, having been shipped back to corporate headquarters in North Carolina. W…

Much has been written about the war experiences of Major William Gibbs Allen of Rhea County, but perhaps a most notable account can be obtained from an article he wrote after the War Between the States. During the war, Allen was a member of the Fifth Tennessee Confederate Cavalry, and was on…

Anyone who has ever witnessed a fire knows that it can be a destructive force which can destroy life and property, putting everything and everyone at risk. Rhea County has had many devastating fires which date back to its early history, and those times provide an understanding of what hardsh…

Very few people are willing to give up salt in their diet; yet, during the War Between the States, many people found themselves doing just that. During this time of war, the South found that one of its greatest needs became salt. Before the war, salt sold for as little as fifty cents a sack.…

What would a diary entry, a Bible verse, and a food preservation book have in common? All of these have one thing in common; they relate to the compound we know as salt. Salt is a substance which is composed of sodium chloride, and is known as halite or rock salt in its natural form. It is d…

In the days of “yesteryear” the church was the focal point of life in a community. Since people lived so far apart, and the only mode of travel was by horse and buggy or just horseback, early settlers had to make every minute count; so the church meeting or church social were the only times …

When thinking about going on a vacation, or “getting away from it all” a person in today’s world considers a camping trip or a stay at a nice motel in a region where there are places of interest. However, in the past, one of the finest places for a vacation was Rhea Springs, which was locate…

The following article is another of the gems from William Gibbs Allen’s scrapbook, and recounts the type of Christmas he and his family celebrated. Since the news story was written in 1916, it would be one hundred and two years old this year! W.G. Allen married Mary Elizabeth Thomison in Dec…

As we are approaching the Christmas season, it is always important to gain some historical significance of how our ancestors celebrated this time of year. To do so gives us a new perspective on making our own traditions and we can find out how our ancestors observed this holiday.

As our nation sits down to a table filled with food on Thanksgiving Day, each of us should thank God for our blessings and give to those less fortunate. (By the time you are reading this newspaper you will have begun on leftovers, or become very tired of turkey!) I am always thankful for our…

As our nation sits down to a table filled with food on Thanksgiving Day, each of us should thank God for our blessings and give to those less fortunate. I am always thankful for our military, serving both here and abroad, so that we can have freedom, not only to serve God, but to live a life…

Homes

Most people like a really great ghost story every now and then, but the employees at the Kayser-Roth plant in Dayton, Tennessee will let you know that their ghost is definitely real! According to many accounts, it seems that a woman, called Misty, was killed by a train on the tracks near the…

This column today is something of a smorgasbord because there is a little bit of everything—diabetic friendly recipes, vegetarian recipes, dessert recipes, no-egg cakes, fish recipes, soup recipes—you get the idea! I hope you’ll find something today that you will want to try. Please notice t…

Since this is the time of year many thoughts turn to Halloween and autumn events, it would seem to be appropriate to look into the unexplained happenings, tragedies and legends associated with the first county seat of Rhea County.

No town would be complete without a place to shop, and Washington was certainly no exception. It became an active and industrious place for all sorts of businesses, with all indications that William Stanton Leuty was its first merchant.

George Livingston Tucker, born April 24, 1831 in North Carolina, was the son of Joseph and Mary (Isbell) Tucker. Paternal grandparents were William and Nancy (Grider) Tucker, and his maternal grandparents were Thomas and Discretion (Howard) Isbell of Wilkes County, North Carolina.

It has been said that “crime doesn’t pay,” and I am sure that any number of people who had broken the law during the early days of Washington would be quick to agree if they were alive today! As we know, crime has always been with us, but the method of punishment has changed over time.

According to research, the use of glass bottles for storage in pharmacies dates from sometime in the 1600’s, and became more common during the mid to late 1700’s. This was because glass did not react with medicinal preparations a much as ceramic containers; therefore, it was a protective con…

While searching for historical figures relating to the Town of Washington, the name David Campbell presents itself many times. Even though Campbell only lived in Rhea County a short while, he made a great impression on the area. He was born in 1750 in Augusta County, Virginia, and studied la…

Mr. Broyles Clayton certainly had his facts altogether as he recounted his long career with Kayser-Roth in Dayton, Tennessee. He began by saying that he had always loved Kayser-Roth, and that the company had, without exception, been very good to him. Clayton also stated that he never wanted …

The month of September is just beginning, and all of us are wondering where the year has gone! We are seeing the stores with Halloween and Christmas wares on their shelves, and yet the weather is still hot, and the fall season a few weeks away. Even though schools in this area begin during t…

While looking for information relating to Rhea County, I came across some hand-written notes, which are significant to the history of Spring City. These statements were written by a Historical Society member who is no longer living, but who cared enough about history to preserve the informat…

Most of us can find one or more pieces of cast iron cookware in our kitchen cabinet, and these have become precious possessions to those who have them. Many people inherit these items from family members, are given them by friends or neighbors, or buy them at yard sales or antique shops. Hav…

As days begin to grow shorter and fall nips at the air, most people of Rhea County start thinking about preparing for the fair. This is an event which has been celebrated since the early 1700’s in the United States, beginning with New York State. Fairs, as periodic gatherings for entertainme…

Many of us are used to wearing a badge or a name tag of some type which shows that we belong in a workplace or at a conference or meeting. However, how many of us can say we have ever held a press pass dating to the Scopes Trial of ninety-three years ago? It just happens that the newest item…

As we are now experiencing the long hot days of July, we can gain a perspective relating to the period involved with the Scopes Trial in 1925. People who attended the trial have told me that Dayton had a true “carnival” atmosphere during that time, and that the town was overflowing with repo…