This year we travel to Tennessee for the 2021 DPCA National Specialty. This is a new venue and location for our annual convention, so I thought I would delve into some Tennessee history.
The state’s name is derived from the Yuchi Indian word “Tana-see” which means “the meeting place,” quite appropriate for the gathering of our membership for our national convention. It was dubbed the Volunteer State because of its high number of volunteers during the War of 1812. Speaking of wars, the city of Greenville, TN has the only monument in the country that is dedicated to both Union and Confederate soldiers. Perhaps this is because Tennessee was the last state to secede from the Union during the Civil War. Likewise, it was” “BY AMY” “at the first to be readmitted once the war had ended. Tennessee was admitted as a state on June 1, 1796, mak- ing it the 16th state in the union.
You are probably thinking you might be in the vicinity of the Grand Ole Opry or Elvis’ Graceland. Sadly, Nashville, the state capital and the country music capital fo the world, is nearly four and a half hours from Kingsport, and Memphis is more than seven! Also in Memphis is the American Civil Rights Museum, once known as the Lorriane Motel and the location of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s death.
Oak Ridge, TN (home of The Oakridge Boys) is a bit closer, at two hours, and is the Energy Capital of the World because of its work on the atomic bomb, as well as continuing research into energy usage. Also within a two hour drive is the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, which is the country’s most visited national park – something that surprised me!
Here are a few fun facts. The state bird is the Mockingbird, and the state flower is the Iris. Mountain Dew found its beginnings in Tennessee, and was originally created as a soda to mix with whiskey. Famous Tennessee natives include Dolly Parton, Samuel L. Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Justin Timberlake, Davy Crockett and Morgan Freeman.
And, what are fun facts without politics? Andrew Johnson, a native of the state, held every local, state and federal level elected office, including President, of course. He was also the first president to be impeached.
Now, for a bit of information on the Cit of Kingsport, where we will be hanging our hats for more than a week!
The city was named for the area along the Holston River, which was so named by early settlers. The Long Island of the river is a US National Historic Landmark, being the starting point of Daniel Boone’s Wilderness Road expedition that took him through the Cumberland Gap.
Historical points of interest include:
Allandale Mansion – Once a 500 acre farm where championship Black Angus cattle and blue Ribbon Tennessee Walkers were raised, Allandale is now a popular venue for special events. Tours of the mansion are just $3.00.
Netherland Inn – A National Historic Site, this Inn was built in the early 1800s, rising above the Holston River. It was established as a shipping point, and developed into an inn and tavern for travelers along the river. It is available for tours Saturday and Sunday from 2pm-5pm.
The Exchange Place – A living history farm at the site of what was once a community that served as a self-supporting plantation. It recaptures life in the early 1800s where you exchange horses, money and stories!
And, naturally, there is an abundance of outdoor trails, parks and activities to keep you busy as well. If you’re looking to catch some beautiful autumn scenery, check out Bays Mountain Park & Planetarium, Warrior’s Path State Park or the Kingsport Greenbelt. Until next time… which is hopefully in Kingsport!