So the task assigned by my go-to digital gal, Bree, is to blog about local areas and encompass as many local places/names as possible so I can improve my google search at The Victoria House. This part of my job can start to drive me bonkers, until I start making it personal and pour my heart out.
It takes quiet time for me to be creative. Have you heard the saying, “A relaxed mind is a creative mind”. I’m only able to properly develop new recipes, I’m only able to write true words from my heart when my mind is relaxed. So, this week instead of cooking for you I’m making myself sit down (which I don’t do often) and write some long overdue history of the area I grew up in.
It began on the Hiwassee River. My Grandfather, Bascum Harris, was originally from Springtown in Reliance, Tennessee where the Maggie Mill was once named The Harris Mill. He was a Master Welder for Combustion Engineering in Chattanooga, Tennessee and He had a large farm on the Hiwassee River in Calhoun, Tennessee. He was also choir director at The Hiwassee Baptist Church. It is told that before TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) came in and dammed up the Tennessee River, the Hiwassee River was shallow enough for my Grandfather to wade across the River to help lead the choir at a neighboring church in Charleston, Tennessee.
My Grandmother, Ruth Dodson Harris, is originally from The Claxton Community of McMinn County, Tennessee. She passed away in her mid 50’s in April 1975, the year I was born. Her rheumatoid arthritis had taken over.
My Aunt Wanda, now of Signal Mountain, TN, reminisces about the day my Daddy was born. She was almost 9 years old. She says, “it was like they gave me a real live baby doll”. And my Daddy was just that to her. He was her first baby. She went on to have six children of her own.
Aunt Wanda has always been like a Grandmother to me. She remembers the day they moved out of their grandparents home. My daddy was a baby and she remembers pulling him and their belongings behind the mule on a sled down the road to their new (to them) little house. That was the home place I was brought home from the hospital to.
My Grandfather and a group of men would carpool to work in Chattanooga every week. They would carpool back then due to not everyone having a car, the money for gas, etc. They were in a bad car accident on Highway 411 in 1973. He made it to the hospital, but passed away shortly after.
My Dad and His Brother, Zane stayed and settled with their families on the Family Farm in Calhoun, Tennessee. In 1979 a rock quarry company came into town wanting to buy the farm. My dad and his brother began looking elsewhere. That is how my parents ended up in Riceville, Tennessee in the Farmhouse that is now, The Victoria House.