Monday, February 28, 2011

Cane Creek Historical Marker

Yesterday, I spoke with a friend who lives on Cane Creek Road in Lewis County. She told me that the historical marker for the Cane Creek massacre is missing. Now, there are a few possible explanations. It could have been knocked or blown down. Tennessee does have tornado problems. But there hasn't been a tornado through there and there is no damage to the surrounding area. Plus the post is still there, which means it wasn't knocked down by a car. In addition there are parts of the sign still attached to the metal post, which means it wasn't removed by someone with the proper tools. Call me paranoid, but I think it was vandalized. I'm heading up there this weekend to get a photo myself. I'm also contacting the Tennessee Historical Commission.

The sign is the second placed by the historical society, the first was placed in 1966 at a small pull-over spot along the main highway. There was even a picnic bench at the first spot. But according to one local resident it was knocked down and was missing for a long time. The Historical Commission records show the sign was replaced only once in May 1996. At the same time the sign was moved to the intersection of Cane Creek Road and Hwy 41; closer to the Conder farm but with no place to pull over and read it. The sign reads:

TENNESSEE'S MORMON MASSACRE

One-half mile west on August 10, 1884, at a farmhouse on the east fork of Cane Creek several Mormon missionaries and their followers were attacked by a mob of disguised citizens. Killed were two missionaries, Elders William S. Berry and John H. Gibbs, two of their local associates, Martin Conder and J. R. Hudson; and one of the mob. The fight was caused primarily because of local opposition to the practice of plural marriage by the Mormon Church.

Tennessee Historical Commission


4 comments:

Amy said...

I guess that could be a real collectible. When my family and I first moved to the area where we live, we were surprised to find that many street markers were missing. We found out why when we started looking for a house -- a lot of people have the street markers in their homes as decorations. (You'd think people would put them away before the open house! There has to be some sort of crime involved!)

Best wishes with your efforts to get the marker replaced.

BruceCrow said...

Thanks Amy. I hadn't thought of it as a possible trophy. It just boggles the mind what people want.

BruceCrow said...

I just heard back from the Tennessee Historical Commission. The Department of Transportation will remove the old post and the sign will be added to the list of signs needing to be replaced. But the budget for this is limited so for now, no date has been set.

Out of curiousity I asked how much it will cost and if donations would be accepted. The cost is $1,475.00 to replace the sign and it could be paid directly to the company that makes the signs. Apparently community efforts to pay for such a sign are not uncommon.

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