Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Mechanicsville, Tennessee

(picture courtesy of the author)
Mechanicsville by Melanie Garrett Nistad
Cannon County, Tennessee
This is the cover of a book that I had mentioned in a previous post. If you enjoy reading about life in the United States, families, small towns, history, or whatever interests you might have, you will enjoy this book.
I've never been to that area, but I could relate to the stories. We had some of the same things in my home area of Texas, when I was growing up.
The book includes articles about places like the Short Mountain Methodist Church, the Switchboard House (we had one of those at home, but we called it the telephone office) various stores, events, and families. There are lots of pictures and even maps to tell the history of the area.
"Miss Mary's Column", from the local newspaper there, sprinkled through the book, helped to tell the story. Miss Mary Reams wrote of her hometown for the local newspaper, recording much about life and people of that area.
I found one of her clippings, which is also in the book, among things that had belonged to my grandmother. That gave me a lot of information to start out with in searching for family history. I only knew that my grandmother's last name was Arnett, and she had told me that her father was "a hillbilly doctor in Tennessee". And that's all I knew-until I found that clipping of "Miss Mary's Column" a few years ago. The column described him, told where he lived, gave his children, told how he came to the area, etc. It gave almost everything, except his name, when he died and where he is buried!
Through the internet, I got some genealogical information, and Melanie, the author of the book, contacted me with pictures of Dr. Arnett's home (which her family owns), a deed that gave the disposition of his property and named his children, and information on his church membership-Short Mountain Methodist Church. In her book, the news column is dated in 1950, something that I had not known, or the name of the newspaper. She has been a big help to me in finding out more about my family.
We still haven't found his death and burial information. Wouldn't you know that, the year that the deed was made with his property information on it, 1913, is the year that Tennessee didn't keep death records! Possibly, his tombstone is missing, as it hasn't been found, either.
Of course, the book was extra special to me as it contains information and pictures of my families, the Arnetts and the Meltons. There is a picture of the house and part of Dr. Arnett's family on the cover. The house turned out to be a log cabin beneath board additions. There are lots of pictures of it and the restoration work, in the book.
Many other families are included besides those who are related to me.
If you would like a copy of this book, send me an e-mail and I will forward it to the author.
She advised me that the book is about sold out, but she can order more. You can pre-order for a waiting list , if you would like a copy. So, let me know if you want one. Just click on the Contact link in my sidebar .
The book, in the first printing, was $25 plus shipping.
Primary elections are over in Texas. News cameras and anchors packed up and left for the next big event. Candidates have gone their way and are making news in other places.
In our house, we decided that we must have cancelled each other out! We all voted for different people. My daughter and grandson went back at night for the "Texas Two Step", the Democratic caucus. I didn't hear of anything in the evening for the Republicans. While the news is reporting long lines and big turnouts, my daughter said there were only 20-25 people who showed up where she was. She and her side were outnumbered. Looks like Obama won here, with all the college kids, but not by much, while Hillary won the state. McCain also won here, but Huckabee was close. There were a good many votes for people who are no longer running, which probably didn't help those who were still in the race.
I hated to see Huckabee's speech last night, where he pulled out of the race for president. I didn't support him, but, like most of the candidates, each one did have some good things to offer. And the rest of the primaries on the Republican side, are going to be less exciting, without the competition. We sat up late to watch the returns on tv. It was fascinating as it was so close. It was even tied, exactly, in one county.
Congratulations to Calvert native, Mary Helen Bonilla Berlanga, now of Corpus Christi, who won her race for the State Board of Education.
Take a look at Virginia Vaughan's blog. There is a link to her in my sidebar. She has some of the layout for her book, "Last Year On The Farm", on her blog today.
Please sign my Guest Book at the bottom of the page, if you haven't already done so. Thanks for reading and sharing! Please let me know if you see something of interest.

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