Apr 13 2009
06:08 am
By: WhitesCreek

By Ray Collett

Hello Readers...Easter Sunday has been busy here at our house so the Rockwood Memories today will be a little shorter. ..I am still researching the 1925 Mine explosion.

A couple of emails about it, one from Jo An Howard Gaines.." I saw the names of two great uncles in your first article, Jehu Howard and Sam Howard. They were brothers to Sewell who owned the Rockwood Stove Foundry and interest in the mines. My grandfather was Jasper, who was a brother to them. He worked in the mines all his life. Their father was Nathan who came to Rockwood in 1865 from Wartburg right after the Civil War. Early Rockwood history is so interesting. Is there a "Rockwood Historical Society" one can join to share stories and ask questions? It would make a very interesting "event" perhaps a week-end where we could gather and share stories and include some music." Jo An Gaines...."
Thanks Jo An....a very good idea. Rockwood certainly needs a museum. My good friend and faithful reader Sam Doughty sent this email..."The Sam Doughty killed in the 1925 mine explosion was my grandfather. Floyd and my dad, Clarence (Coon) were brothers. Floyd being my uncle. Floyd and I talked about the mine explosion several times, but me and Dad never did talk about it much. My grandmother and I did, Granny died in 1986 or 1987 at the age of 96. They said after Sam Doughty died in the 1925 mine explosion, that the next Doughty boy born, was to be named after him, (Sam) which was me in 1944." Sam.
Thanks Sam, a real interesting story..
Rockwood's fifth annual "Thunder Road Festival will be held Sat. April 18, 2009 with lots of fun, music, food, and crafts all day. Gospel Music will be starting around 11o'clock at Homecoming Park downtown, lasting all day. Classic cars will arrive later on with vendors, arts and crafts on Rockwood Street. At "Yonder Hollow' ( the old Bilbrey Building) the finest in bluegrass music will start at noon and last until 8 or 9 or later.
Bands will include Gene Horner's FiddleShop Band, Tommy Carter's Clay Hollow Band, Westel's own J-Team, Ray Bull and The Ragin' 'Bull Band, the well-known Whitewater Band, and Alex Leach with Kody Norris and his "Traveling Bluegrass band..These are all free inside "Yonder Hollow. Also there will be a baby crawl contest around 10am...Cake and Pie Contest, Costume Contest, all at "Yonder Hollow during the day. Just check the numerous posters all around town for the times of these events. Entries are still being accepted for arts, crafts, food, and costume characters, Rockwood 2000 - A civic organization in Rockwood, Tennessee is the link and will give you all of the information.
Rockwood sure had its share of "moonshiners" and "bootleggers" among it's colorful characters. I have ran across a couple of "stills" while roaming the mountain as I was growing up in Clymersville. I remember the recipe and could probably build a half-way decent still...The way the economy is, oh well......
The Knoxville News-Sentinel had a writer who I admired many years ago named Bert Vincent. I am sure a lot of you remember him and his column "Strolling." Mr. Vincent loved to write about rural folk and one story still sticks in my mind about 'moonshine."....It seems this elderly lady had a flock of geese at her home amongst her other farm animals and one afternoon in late November , she saw them all lying down in her backyard. Running out to check on them, she just knew they were all dead. She hated to see them go to waste, so she commenced to plucking off their feathers to make her some "featherbed" mattresses. Must have been about fifteen or twenty of them. After finishing her plucking, and going back in the house, she peered out the window and saw them all naked walking around. It seems they had got into someone's still and drank the mash and passed out. Now it was November, hog-killing cold and those poor naked geese....She rounded up some neighborhood church ladies and they had a knitting party and knitted sweaters for those geese. Probably kept them from freezing. Now that was the truth according to Bert Vincent....
Another of my remembrances was Cas Walker...I KNOW all of you remember "The Old Coonhunter." I have wanted to write about him, but a couple of readers sent me this website that is really a pleasure to read...Classic Cas Walker: Message to shoppers | KnoxViews This is a great website and lots of stories about Mr. Walker plus a good video interview with him. I know this will bring back memories...I hope to see you Sat. at "Thunder Road." I will be at "Yonder Hollow" so stop by and say "HOWDY." It will broadcast live all day on WYHM 580 AM
Until next week.....Ray

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