Isaiah Thomas Garrett, aka Tom, was the very first person to invite the LDS missionaries to speak on Cane Creek, Tennessee. He invited Elder Edward Stevenson Jr. to make the journey to his cabin in the hills. But Stevenson was released and went home before he was able to make the trip. His replacements, Joseph Argyle and Thomas Higham, made the trip instead. The place they preached was Tom's home shown here in a 1967 photograph, taken from the backyard. The opening in the center is a dogtrot, which was open all the way to the front. It allowed a breeze to pass through the house in the days before air conditioning.
I knew that it was on the north side of the Creek, about a mile east of the Conder home. I knew that it had passed to the Talley family, after Tom had left Tennessee for the safety of Illinois. I knew that some missionaries had stayed there in the 1940's, even sleeping in the same bed that he missionaries had slept in on the night before the violence. But despite those clues, I couldn't find where the house was today.
Then a few weeks ago, I met with some descendents of the Talley family. They were a wealth of information, some of which I'll share later. But they shed some light on why I could not find it. The owner of the land had built an addition in front of the log home. I was lucky enough to meet someone who had worked on the heating system for the addition. He correctly described the house, with the dogtrot and all.
But it soon became clear that even the addition would not be enough. So, sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s, the owner of the home had the log house portion demolished, sold the logs it was made from, and replaced it with a newer structure. According to my source, an official with Lewis County, it was the last log home standing in the county. Today, there in a mobile home on the site which has had several additions built on to it.
While I may have been 30 years too late to get an update photo. At least I know where it was. Slowly and surely, I'm collecting a better understanding of just where the places connected to the massacre were.
1 week ago