Friday, June 3, 2011

Canoe Trip into the Past

Today, and for the next couple of days, I will be taking our local BSA troop canoeing down the Buffalo River. The Buffalo runs though Perry County, Tennessee, where Jim Conder took his surviving family after the massacre. Perry County is where the Cedar Creek Branch was, and descendents of those who stayed in Tennessee ather than emmigrate to Zion still live on the Buffalo River today. I was tempted to take some time away from the trip to visit some one who ancestors were listed on my last post. But if the truth be known I just can't squeeze it in. I'll just have to make a special trip of it.

Years ago, traveling on the river was the best way to get around. Farming was not the best way to make a living in this part of Tennessee. Too rocky and a lot of work. What farming went on seldom brought in enough to sell at a market place. It was mostly for personal use; for fodder or to store for winter. Hunting and fishing were much easier and made possible by the river. [At about the turn of the century some professional farmers from the Ohio River valley came in and started using some more aggressive farming techniques. They did so well, that the local farmers adopted the same practices and farming became a profitable line of work.]

So as you are reading this post, I'll be paddling down a river with a handfull of local boys. We'll be fishing and maybe we'll catch a turtle to cook. They may not be actual descendents of the first members of the church in this area, but they certainly are their spiritual descendents. One of the adults going with us does have ancestors who joined the LDS Church here four generations back. And we'll share some of his stories when we stop for the night. Together we'll be seeing a part of Tennessee that everyone who lived here, Mormon or not, saw 125 years ago.

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