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Posted by: Marion Elliott (ID *****4270) Date: December 22, 2004 at 06:59:30
In Reply to: Re: Crossville, Cumberland Co., TN, **ANNA B. ??? ?? by Paula H. of 356

All DeRossett researchers will enjoy this....
Maryville Index, (Blount Co. TN) Wednesday, August 28, 1878, Page 2.


Editor Index:

The route by which I reached these places from Maryville was, by rail to
Loudon, then by steamer down the Tennessee to Rockwood landing, which I
reached on the evening of the day that I left Maryville. I then procured a
horse from Mr. Ferguson--a gentleman who owns a large farm near Rockwood
landing---going on horseback the rest of the way. The distance from Rockwood
landing to Piney Falls is some 15 or 16 miles. I followed in part the track
of the Cincinnati Southern Railroad to a point some two or three miles from
Rhea Springs, then up Holloway's Gap to Piney Falls, the name being given
from the fact that Piney Creek, which runs through the settlement, then has
a fall of several feet. Walden's Ridge, on which Piney Falls is situated,
has an elevation of some 800 feet above the plains below, along which the
C.S.R.R. runs. From the "rim" of the ridge back for some 10 or 12 miles the
country is somewhat rolling, but often quite level, being for the most part
covered with forest trees of as thrifty growth as you will find on the
plains below. There is a scattering population settled over this region, the
most considerable of which is at Piney Falls. Here some six or eight
Northern families have located themselves. They are engaged in orcharding.
Fruit trees grow finely on these lands, and seldom fail to yield a good
fruit crop. The old growth of fruit trees are seedlings, yet the fruit on
these is superior to that grown on the plain below.
The Northern men referred to are growing grafted fruit. The budded peach
trees planted by them are beginning to bear. Some of the peaches were over
10 inches in circumference. There can be no question of the peculiar adapted
ness of the lands on Walden's Ridge to the business of orcharding. Grapes
grow finely, as do also all kinds of garden vegetables and vines. The land
is slightly sandy---easily cultivated, but will require to be carefully
farmed. The growth of timber consists of White Oak, Black Oak, Red and
Spanish Oaks, Hickory, Chestnut, Oak, Gum, Poplar, etc. As you approach the
Cumberland table lands, pine trees are also found. Lands are selling at
from, say 50 cents to $5 per acre.
A Presbyterian Church has been organized by Rev. W.F. Rogers at Piney Falls,
and seems to promise a prosperous growth.
From Piney Falls to Grassy Cove the distance is some 10 or 12 miles. This
cove is a peculiar depression in the Cumberland Mountains, of the same
character as Sequatchie Valley, and no doubt produced by the same general
causes. It is, however, separated from that valley by an upheaval of the
same character as that which surrounds the cove generally. But let the
geologists have their say about this. Mr. Killebrew has described the cove
more fully than I may attempt to do. I want to speak, however, of the work
that Rev. W.F. Rogers is doing in the cove. He has thoroughly comprehended
the problem that was there to be solved. The great majority of the people in
the region of the cove and surrounding mountains were without any education.
There was not only the lack of intelligence but there was also the
prejudice, the narrowness, the prevalent national absurdities which
ignorance begets, and which is perfectly impervious to Gospel ideas and
Gospel truth, both on account of the wilfullness that always accompanies
ignorance, as also the fact that the simplest phraseology of the Gospel was
an unknown language to them. Mr. Rogers might have preached to those people
till he had worn himself out, and they would have failed to be essentially
benefited by his labors. He saw that he must do as the missionary to
heathendom finds he must do---open schools, so that by continuous and
persistent instruction he might prepare them to comprehend the significance
of Gospel language, and might also undermine their absurd traditions by the
power of education, but at the same time not abating his work as a preacher.
This, therefore, is what he has done and is doing. His school in the cove is
a model and a light to the surrounding region. Its effect is felt all over
those mountains. Parents who cannot themselves read are becoming anxious to
get their children into his school, which is already too large for his
accommodations. But he has been struggling to meet the growing demands that
his labors have awakened, and has erected a fine, sightly two-story
building, 36 X 44, to be completed this season. The basement is for the
school and the second story for a house of worship. In a word, the problem
referred to is in process of successful solution. The $700 appropriated by
the Presbyterian Board to this building, I predict will yield an income---a
spiritual income, many fold greater than any other investment they have
anywhere made in East Tennessee that I know of, and will also be more
permanent in its character. But space forbids extended remark. When that
building shall have been completed, and simple one-story dormitories shall
have been put up for the accommodation of self-boarders, (and it is expected
that parents who wish to avail themselves of the school will do this)
teachers for both day schools and Sunday schools can be trained for the work
that is now so much needed in that region. Of course this special work is
exceptional in its character and becomes necessary from the peculiar wants
of that region. There is a room both at Piney Falls and at Grassy Cove for
opening up a good many new farms of reasonably good land. The business of
orcharding on the table lands around Piney Falls, it seems to me, can be
made remunerative, by judicious and prudent management, and from the best
information I can get, the Boston Land Company could not find a more
desirable place on the entire table lands to locate some thirty or forty
young families. The land produces also good corn, rye and pasturage.

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