Monday, April 21, 2014

A Summer Retreat

After the Civil War, during the Reconstruction Period, several local retreats were built as vacation spots. These hotels were surrounding the many mineral springs at the base of White Oak Mountain.  Families from Hamilton, James and Bradley counties would get away and bath in the mineral spas and enjoy some time away from home. These mineral springs were touted to have many healing powers. Residents who were sick with rheumatism, skin infections, tuberculosis, or poor digestion,  prayed that these medicinal waters would help cure all of their health woes.

One such hotel, the Mineral Park, was built on Highway 11 at the base of the mountain, around 6 different springs. It was located about 3 miles up Old Lee Highway between Ooltewah and Cleveland. This 2 story hotel had one advantage that the other nearby retreats did not have. They were close to the railroad. While others were located some distance from the railway with a steep and uneven hill to climb; Mineral Park was erected near enough to the railway to allow a level plank walkway to the inn. The Southern Railroad that went between Cleveland and Chattanooga would stop in front of the resort and allow vacationers to get off. Hence, this park was easily accessible for the feeble and infirm.

from the archives of Mitch Kinder

Although the Park existed maybe as early as 1899, the Inn, built in 1910, contained 23 rooms and a dance pavilion. There were also several cabins on the property. Moderate rates and modern improvements were also the draw to this location. Below are some advertisements for the Park.

All of these advertisements were found in the Cleveland Public Library
Cleveland, Tennessee

The Springs were used for larger gatherings as early as 1906. Here you see The Independent Order of Odd Fellows, celebrating the founding of the IOOF and their own Lodge in Cleveland, at Mineral Springs Park . Other nearby Odd Fellow and Rebekah lodges were invited to the celebration.

from the archives of Mitch Kinder
Also, from 1910 -1912, Mineral Park was the site for the encampment of the Ocoee Baptist Association. There were more than 500 attendees.  A number of preachers and denominations took part in the 1910 program. The park worked diligently in preparations and construction of a tabernacle on the grounds for these events. This building was their pride and joy. The building must have highlighted the meeting, because the Association continued to come back for another two years.

In the beginning, the Mineral Springs Inn was owned by Charles P. DuVergery.  Dr. H. P. Fitch, while living on Grindstone Mountain, later purchased the Inn and made the improvements necessary to bring in the Ocoee Baptist Association. In 1931, O.J. Lawson, the Bradley County Sheriff, purchased some of the property, fixtures, barn, and houses and began to operate the Mineral Park property. In a effort to keep the resort flourishing, he remodeled many areas and converted the dance hall into a Sunday School room. He also planned to convert the hotel into a tourist home and summer resort for religious gatherings.

But sadly, the popular resort came to an end in March of 1933. A fire erupted in the south wing and spread throughout the entire structure, leaving the building in ashes. Later, the springs were covered to make room for utility lines. 

Becky Eaves, an East Brainerd resident, recalls going there as a child around the early 1930's.  She remembers a very large, enclosed pavilion that was used for picnics. She does not remember seeing any springs. Later, what was left of the park went into disrepair. Families no longer attended any activities there. Men began to go there to drink and fights became a common occurrence. It wasn't long before the park closed down permanently.

There is some controversy as to whether this park was ever in James County or not. It is currently in Bradley County, however, it is directly on the county border. As we know, the Bradley County and Hamilton County borders moved slightly during the James County Era. Where was the line drawn on that road? There are no maps in existence that would show the amount of detail necessary to determine that. However, the existing deeds for this property are in the Bradley courts. It appears as if this property, although directly on the county line, never was in James County.

If you have any information concerning Mineral Park Springs, please leave a comment or contact us and share your corrections or additions.

Mineral Park
Mineral Park Springs
Six Different Mineral Waters
Best Arsenic & Iron Water in the South

*postcard from the archives of Mary Hyde 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Chattanooga Delta Workshop This Weekend

Have you signed up for the workshop this weekend. Now that we know the weather is going to be gorgeous, there are no more excuses. If you haven't registered yet, you can come Saturday morning and register at the door. Just $25/$30 will take care of all of your genealogy needs.

We have an awesome line-up covering a broad range of topics including; genealogy, history and methodology. We should be able to meet everybody's needs no matter what your skill set is,  a beginner, intermediate or advanced researcher.

8:30-9:30        Registration
9:30-10:30      Linda Mines- "The War of 1812 and Beyond in Tennessee"
10:30-11:30    Linda Woodward Geiger, CG, CGL - "I Swear Allegiance" - Naturalization Records:                                                                                     1790-1950
11:30-1:00      Lunch
1:00-2:00        Linda Woodward Geiger, CG, CGL -  "More than Land Descriptions: Treasures                                                                                                   Among The  Deeds"
2:00-3:00        Debra Leining - "Tracing your Family History using the The Family History Center                                                              and  Family Search"

No need to worry about lunch. We have you covered! If you want it...Ooltewah has it. Ooltewah has every fast food restaurant that you can think of. If you want to sit down and discuss everything that you learned during the morning sessions, then Ooltewah fills that bill too!  When you can not eat any more, come back, buy a James County Book and settle in for the afternoon sessions.

We look forward to seeing this weekend ! Come join us at the Ooltewah United Methodist Church located at 6131 Relocation Way, behind the Bi Lo.

You don't want to miss it!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Football vs. Genealogy

As we all know, this is the Big Weekend for football fans. It's Super Bowl weekend. GO BRONCOS! You might ask why I care who wins. I am not particularly a big football fan. So why does it matter to me? Well, I'll tell you why. The Broncos have Tennessee's beloved son, Peyton Manning, as their quarterback. If you live in Tennessee and attended the University of Tennessee during the Peyton Manning era, as I did (yes, I see you doing the math in your head to see how old I am) then your blood runs deep orange. Peyton Manning has always been the one to paint it orange. A UT alumni will always smile when they hear his name mentioned or see his face on the television set. GO PEYTON! I should say.

Now comes the next question. Why am I posting this on a genealogy/history site? I'm so glad you asked. I have attached a link with the family ancestry of the Manning family. Archie Manning, Peyton Manning and Eli Manning are names that go back many generations. As genealogist, we all are taught about naming patterns, and this practice is still being used in our generation. Even in today's society, people still care about their ancestry. Isn't that awesome!

This is just an example how one can incorporate genealogy and football at the same time.  Now, maybe you can get something done on your research and not feel bad about it, while your husband is watching TV.
GO PEYTON! But, just keep chanting, GO PEYTON!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Winter 2014 Meeting

Well, the entire holiday season has come and gone. Mine, of course, began just before Halloween and has just now ended. It is now time to say goodbye to the holidays and welcome in the new year.

A good place to start will be the next historical society meeting. How many of you feel the same way?
We have another good speaker for you this quarter. His name is Bob George from the Bradley County Historical Society. He will be speaking on the history of Cleveland and its Revolutionary Heroes.Their most important hero was Colonel Benjamin Cleveland, a commander at the Battle of Kings Mountain during the American Revolution.

I must admit that I don't know anything about this. I am looking forward to what he has to say. I just love History! Hope to see you there!

Ooltewah United Methodist Church in Ooltewah at 2:30 pm on Sunday, February 2, 2014.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Notice of Fall Meeting 2013

Beep... Beep... Beep....Breaking News

The fall meeting has been scheduled for THIS Sunday. Yes, I said this Sunday at 2:30 at the Ooltewah Methodist Church.

David Knicely will lead a discussion on Dead Man's Cut and how it got its name. We hope to include everyone in the discussion. So bring your stories and photos with you.

This is a perfect discussion on the weekend after Halloween when the James County Spirits are still roaming around.  MAUHhahaha  (Hear it Here!)

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Very Tiny Moon

I have been the very happy recipient of one of many remarkably kind persons who are sharing their "stash" of James County ephemera. The people who have been sharing with the Historical Society via me have been amazing. When information is shared, everyone is a winner. There is very little documentation left concerning James County, so when items are shared, it adds to the puzzle that is James County. These ephemera items help to tell the story of our lost county. Thanks to all of you who are sharing James County with the rest of us.

One of the items, I'd like to share with all of you. This one really intrigued me on many levels. Firstly, the advertisement for Mellin's Food, is a brand that I had not heard of. Secondly, who is this little girl, named Idella Mae Moon from  Norman, Tennessee? Thirdly, I had never heard of "The National Magazine" before.

The Advertisement

From the Archives of Mitch Kinder

Department of Progressive Advertisers
for the BABY

Idella Mae Moon,  Norman, Tenn.,  a Mellin's Food Baby

A discouraged young mother wrote to us the other day and asked, if we really believed that Mellin's Food would help her baby. She said that she had already tried many different foods and methods, and baby was steadily growing worse.
We told her that we felt sure that Mellin's Food would help her baby, and we sent her a Sample Bottle of Mellin's Food and our beautiful book, "The Care and Feeding of Infants." We also told her just how to prepare the first few feedings of Mellin's Food and how to continue.
Now she writes that baby is doing splendidly .[S]He gains steadily, is happy all day long and things couldn't be better
How about your little one? Let us send a Sample Bottle of Mellin's Food and the Book to you. Both are FREE. We know you ought to have them.

Mellin's Food Company                                                                                   Boston, Mass.

Don't fail to mention "The National Magazine" when writing to advertisers.

The Magazine

Let's start with The National Magazine. What is this magazine? When was it published? That will help us to establish the date of this advertisement. Joe Mitchell Chapple bought The Bostonian in 1896. He gave the magazine a new name and a new vision. In November of 1896, the magazine became known as The National Magazine. The name change signified the transformation from regional topics to those of national interest. This allowed for more general and broader topics to be published. It was written for the average reader and cost only 10 cents.The articles included primarily American subjects, then foreign topics that were deserving of our attention were added. It was highly illustrated and also included many short stories. Topics relating to women were also authored by women. An innovative idea at the turn of the century.
Examples of a few of the covers from the magazine are shown below. You can read an example of this magazine here.

provided from Wikimedia Commons

The Mellin Baby Food

Gustav Mellin was a chemist from London, England. He took the difficult formula from another chemist and perfected it to a degree where an average mother just needed to add water and milk to create a baby formula for mothers who could not nurse their babies. It was an extract of malt and wheat that could be kept in a clean and dry environment. This allowed the food to have a shelf life and be mobile to accommodate the lifestyle of the family. It was said that the food "would produce firm flesh, strong limbs, sound teeth and healthy bodies that defy disease."  It was touted to give cow's milk all the nutritional value of breast milk. Later, the firm located a center in Boston to distribute the food to a worldwide market. This move was a very successful marketing tactic. The American market was open to a product of this type.

Credit: Science Museum London

Before Gerber babies ever appeared in the marketplace, Mellin Food conducted another successful marketing tactic with their advertising campaign. A Mellin Food advertisement typically displayed a picture of a healthy child and a glowing letter of endorsement from the child's mother. The ads covered all forms of media, mostly magazines. Each advertisement showcased a different photo of a beautiful child, their names and locations, sometimes the parent's names, and a testament to the product. By 1890, Mellin Food became the most popular infant food on the market. There are many examples of these on the internet, especially e-bay. Here are a few other examples of these Mellin babies. E-bay has the same advertisement you see above with Idella Mae Moon and the magazine is dated 1907.

The Baby Moon

Idella Mae Moon was born on the 23rd of February, 1906 to Abner Lafayette and Laura Moon in James County, Tennessee. She was eldest of 4 children. The Moon family lived and farmed in the same area their entire life, but the political address changed during the James County era: from Hamilton County to James County and back to Hamilton County again. In fact, the Moon family lived in an area where the name of the town also changed. It began as Norman's Store, then the name changed to Norman, then to Work, then to Friendship.  The Friendship community lies south of the Salem community and bordered the Tennessee River on the west. This land contained rich, river bottom farmland. 

The earliest known settlers into the area were William Denny, William T Moon, several other Moon families, and Simeon M Eldridge. Some of the other settlers in the area were Ford, Cooley, Thatcher, Rains, Irwin, Norman, Priddy, Henry, Malone, and McCreary.

Idella Mae married Marlin Rigsby between 1930-1935.They lived in the Hwy 58 area and she was a school teacher/librarian. She later married R L Kelley and lived in Ooltewah. She was the Ooltewah High School Librarian for many years. She died in 1997 at 91 years of age.. Although there may be information on the early Moon's, there is not much more known about the life of Idella Mae Moon, but we do know, that for a short while, she was the face of Mellin Foods.

If anyone knows any information that they would like to add concerning this story and the life of Idella Moon, please contact me with a message or comment below.