"But, put your home in a community where you think you would like to live; where there are churches, schools, and in an enterprising community that will help you to be better citizens. So far as knowing what you aught to do, I do not. I do not know myself. I do not know what I am going to do, myself. I do not know what is right to do. I do not know what I can do, but by the help and direction of the Almighty God, I am going to live somewhere and try to make an up-right, useful citizen the remainder of my active life, which is not long, and I trust that you will do the same." Dr. Clark to the people of Willow Grove, July 18, 1942, trying to offer hope to a group of people in desperate need . . .
Saturday, November 1, 2008
The Gravedigger Tour
Sound a little scary? Nah, not too much. I'm a sucker for any kind of ghost story. On October 17, Brookie, Chris and I went on the Gravedigger Tour at Willow Grove Marina and Park. It's mostly a walk while the Gravedigger (Darren Shell) tells the history of Dale Hollow Lake and how people were moved out to make way for the lake in the 1940's. The government bought the land and forced families to move. There were over 100 cemeteries that had to be relocated. As you walk through the park, Darren points out interesting spots along the way. There's a spot you can smell hay where there is no longer hay to be seen, but it could be the hay from the Colson Farm, the Colsons who lived there in the early 1900's, who had to move away once the dam was built and the lake was made. Another spot along the way is where Eddie Irons lost his life on his 18th birthday riding his birthday gift, a spirited horse. He was buried near his home. When Willow Grove School was built, his grave was found and he was reburied under the school. Then Willow Grove needed a bigger school and Eddie was unearthed again. I can't remember how many times Poor Eddie was unearthed, but his final resting spot was inside the school steps. Eddie was cemented in this time. In the 1940's when the destruction of everything in the proposed lake's path was demolished, the school steps and foundation remained. They blasted and blasted with dynamite, but it didn't crack! Eddie is still down there, so they say. Interesting huh? If you are interested go to this website and read the interesting stories Darren has told. He's written some great books and for us who live around the lake, they are must-reads. There is more history on the Gravedigger Tour, but I'll let you go listen for yourself. Oh, don't forget your camera so you can capture the "orbs" and mist which show up on your camera where most of the history in the park is located. Don't trust me, check it out yourself on-line or at Willow Grove . . .