My father-in-law is 83 years old and I have picked his brain for 24 years about his ancestral roots. I've heard the story of how he was born in a little hollow up a gap in Bean Station, TN. I've heard how the original homestead was covered over with water when the Tennessee Valley Authority came in and built a dam flooding the whole Cumberland Gap area.
Digging a little further into the history of this beautiful area, thanks to all the historical markers around the area, I discovered a little more history that I can pass on to the father-in-law.
Have you guys figured out how much I love history?Bean Station was one of Tennessee's earliest settlement. The valley you see in the picture was a warpath for the Cherokees, led Daniel Boone to Cumberland Gap and was traveled by Davy Crockett. Bean Fort once stood here and was built by William Bean, the first permanent white settler in Tennessee. In front of the fort stood Bean Station Tavern, the largest tavern between Washington D.C. and New Orleans. The tavern housed President Polk, Johnson and Jackson. During the Civil War, the Battle of Bean Station was fought around the tavern. My father-in-law was the only son of an only son. My husband is his only son. Since I only birthed two daughters the Wilder name will now die with my husband. I find it bittersweet that our daughter will be settling in this area. The oldest known ancestor was from Bean Station and now the youngest generation comes back to the area. I know.....I'm nostalgic and old-fashioned. DH and DD were not nearly as nostalgic, in fact, it was all I could do just to get them to get out of the car for this photograph!
This is the last of my traveling posts. I came down with a nasty bug and slept my way through Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Kansas. Thanks for traveling along with me!