Born on a mountain top in Tennessee….
For historical accuracy the very first line in one of the most famous historic songs is…. well, inaccurate. To emphasize historic accuracy it would be more along the lines of “born in a river valley in the Lost State of Franklin”. Historic accuracy is the focus of the current park manager, Jackie Fischer. It is also said according to history that “Davy” didn’t much care for the name “Davy”, preferring his birth name of David. This, too, is being addressed and the name of the park is being changed to reflect this, and is my understanding that it has already been officially changed to the David Crockett Birthplace State Park.
The primary focus of the massive changes to the park is to have a separation of modern day to that of Crockett’s period which will be to move all modern items away from the historic period locations of the park. These include shelters, picnic tables, benches, and the monument, much of which is already underway. In Jackie’s words “it’s going to be amazing and people will feel like they’re going back in time when they come here”.
It’s going to be amazing and people will feel like they’re going back in time when they come here.
Following is a list of what is being or to be done
- Name change to David Crockett Birthplace State Park (done)
- Shelter at cabin is being moved closer to the campground to be a campground shelter (currently underway)
- A large addition and renovation will be done to the current office/museum
- Monument will be moved closer to museum/office after construction of the building has been completed
- The current cabin will be moved to the campground and become a campground store
- A new cabin is to be built that in theory better represents the cabin of the Crockett homestead
- A homestead farm with live animals and “a large garden” will be added
- Palisades will be erected to offer a more clear separation of modern vs historic
- Pavement and concrete sidewalks will be removed in the “historic area”
- The small vending machine shed near the cabin is to be moved to the campground and become a campground laundromat
- Rivercane will be planted around the swimming pool to offer visual shielding of the modern day pool from the historic area
- Reenactments will be juried
- The boat dock being moved has been discussed. It will remain at its current location for now but may possibly be moved in the future
The friends group has voiced it’s concern (and met with some hostility in doing so) for the following.
- Rivercane planted on a hill and palasades in a homestead are not very historically accurate, although we do understand the motivation behind the idea of doing so
- A complete lack of ADA compliance in the plans that we have seen so far. We hope this improves going forward
- The fact that the state has a history and reputation for suddenly running out of funds for projects that were “fully funded” before the completion of said projects. (Sabine Hill as a recent example).
- Juried reenactments. Many people who enjoy reenacting cannot afford to be 100% compliant. What is the ratio of reenactors that this will draw vs alienate?
- Who will be tending the livestock on a near 24hr timeline that will be needed?
In addition to the friends group voicing concerns, many people in the general public have been active at the parks many PSA meetings as well as making phone calls to voice their concerns and ask many questions. We thank everyone for their time in this.
Of course we want nothing but the best with the current administration’s plans for the park. If all goes well we feel like they will create a new era and atmosphere for the park. We also wish Jackie the best in her new endeavor as manager of the David Crockett Birthplace State Park. The red headed stepchild park of Tennessee is suddenly the star pupil.
We would love to hear any comments, suggestions, or concerns that you, the public, might have in this endeavor by the David Crockett Birthplace State and the State of Tennessee in the comments below this article.