Aug 17 2009
05:33 am
By: WhitesCreek

By Ray Collett

Hello Readers, Another week has flown by leaving me wondering what "Rockwood Memories" will be about this week.
Going to the mail bag, this letter from Councilman Stan Wassom was there and I would like to share it, Stan wrote," Ray,
Another fantastic and entertaining story. This past Sunday Aubrey Cole had one of your books in our Sunday School Class at the Methodist Church and read one of your stories. It was the one about Lloyd Morris and his fight with cancer. Since all of us in class remembered the Sunday Lloyd went forward for the congregation to pray for him, we were all hanging on every word in the story. When Becky Layne, who read the piece, finished there wasn't a dry eye in the class. It was great!
Thanks Stan, that was a great story that Lloyd sent. I hope all of you read the Roane County News today. It has Jennifer Raymond's last story in it, about the old cemetery at the "Sports Comlex" in Rockwood. A few years ago, 1999 to be exact, the Roane County News did a story on it also. The site itself "The Sports Comlex" at one time was where Beech Springs School was located.
I remember going down to the old cemetery as a young boy picking blackberries with my childhood friends Bill Wilkey and Larry Monday. The blackberries were plentiful and we would spend all day picking and selling them for fifty cents a gallon. I think they are around $25.00 a gallon nowadays. Whew, talk about inflation. Anyway, we would try to leave before dark. An old wrought iron fence was around the cemetery and trees were all around it also. When the sun went down, a full moon beginning to shine, and the wind picking up a little bit it sure got spooky. The trees would sway back and forth rubbing slightly against the fence railing giving off the most eerie sound you ever heard. It was like a scene out of a Mark Twain book. Just like Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, we would look around for ghosts. Not for long though, we would skeedaddle out of that place.
J.W.Cisson once said that when he was younger, he was told stories about people seeing Lt. C.M.Kimbrough's ghost walking along the railroad tracks. J.W. said that while he never actually seen it, he believes what people tell him. "They were very creditable people," he said. "Each time the people described what he was wearing in detail. Kimbrough isn't the only Civil War ghost in Rockwood. In a1999 interview, Dorothy Miles, who grew up in Black Hollow, recalled, that when she was about 5 years old, she said she saw two ghostly figures standing by her family's rose bush.
"There were three of us playing below the house, and we all saw them," Miles said. "It was a woman in an old-time dress picking roses with a man dressed in a uniform."
Miles said during the Civil War, people in the Black Hollow area buried items under their houses so the Union troops wouldn't steal them. She also believes people who were killed during the war may also be buried in the area.
"We were really scared, and they stayed by the rose bush for quite some time," Miles said. "I wanted to up there, but I was just too scared."
On her return home, Miles said she told her parents, who believed her. She was also told it was probably the ghost of a Civil War soldier.
"We were too young to know about the Civil War. But later, we realized it probably was a Confederate soldier," she said.
"I never saw them again, but I also will never forget what I saw."
Strange things happen indeed. Lots of Civil War history is in this area. I am sure most are like me and had relatives fighting on each side. So strange, come to think of it, we as kids always played "Cowboys and Indians." I never recall playing "Yankees and Rebels." I guess because nobody wanted to be a "Yankee."
That winds it up for another week. Thanks for the emails and the buying of my books "Rockwood Memories" Volume One and Two. They can be found at "Shacks" Restaurant (now serving Pizza and the Coldest beer in town) , "O'Those Were The Days Antiques," Yonder Hollow", Gail Score's Western Wear' and David Webb's "Rocky Top General Store" in Harriman. or call me at (865)354-7680.

Until next week,.....Ray

As usual...

...a very entertaining story. Thanks.


"I guess because nobody

"I guess because nobody wanted to be a "Yankee." Ahem....anyways...LOL!

Thanks for the great stories. I can't wait to get your books.

On a side note, sorry to hijack your thread, but I have a question about Rockwood. Over the railroad tracks and on a corner across from Victorian Square, I saw a cool old store. Sorry, I can't remember the name of the store or the street. It looks like it may have been an antique store at one time. Lots of cool looking old things in the window. Does anyone know if this store is ever open? I'd LOVE to go in it. If nobody knows which store I'm talking about, I'll ask hubby when he gets home as he knows the name. Thanks.


The store you are wondering about

belonged to the Gordon Hickey family. It was one of three owned by different family members, one being at the corner of Wilder and Wheeler and the other where the Rockwood Homecoming Park is now located. I don't know who owns the building now. I am sure it is still in the Hickey family. A small building was located behind the store for a bicycle repair shop in the 1950's. Dan Franklin, a local Rockwood resided on the property also...Ray Collett

Yep, that was the name. And

Yep, that was the name. And I remember the little bike shop out back. I wish they would reopen the store. I saw some things in the window I'd love to buy. lol Thanks for the info., Ray. :o)

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