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HISTORY OF THE HAMBLEN COUNTY CHAPTER - ASSOCIATION
FOR THE PRESERVATION OF TENNESSEE ANTIQUITIES- (APTA)
County Chapter - Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities
(APTA) was organized on March 26, 1952, at the home of Mrs. Constance
Helms, who was the first president of the organization. Misses Sarah Dougherty
and Meta Turley Goodson were instrumental along with many other women
and men of the community in the early growth of the chapter.
The local chapter was organized soon after the beginning of the state
APTA in Nashville in 1951. The group began small, but soon grew into one
of the most prestigious organizations in Hamblen County. During the 1955
Morristown City Centennial, the local APTA played a major role in the
celebration of the life of David Crockett who spent his boyhood years
in the area.
A highlight of the festivities was the appearance of the Walt Disney
movie star, Fess Parker (Born August 16,1924 - Died March 18, 2010) on
May 29, 1955, while the movie "Davy Crockett,
King of the Wild Frontier" was showing at the Princess Theater in downtown
Morristown. A spectacular pageant was held along with a large parade
thru the downtown streets boasting storefronts decorated with a Crockett/pioneer
A replica of the Crockett family well was constructed on the site of the
original (located in 1949) for the Centennial celebration. Representatives
from the Alamo visited the city. Leaders from Morristown visited San Antonio,
TX. Proceeds from the Centennial celebration were sought by the local
APTA chapter to build a memorial to the Crockett family. Groundbreaking
for the site was held on August 17, 1956. The initial idea was to build
a formal museum with a statue of the Alamo hero out in front.
Due to funding restraints, a log cabin structure was completed which represented
the type of building that would have housed a tavern such as the one run
by Davy's father, John Crockett. Numerous material donations of logs,
large building stones, and items of historical significance from old homes
and other buildings in Hamblen and surrounding counties were included
in the project. The end result was the opening of the Crockett Tavern
Museum on April 21, 1958.
David Crockett 1810
Original oil painting by artist
John Nava of Ojai, CA.
An art quality print with
(24 in. x 38 in.)
available for $40 from the
Crockett Store at the
Direct Descendants of
David Crockett & Kin website.
is a genuine American hero. As a frontiersman, politician, and warrior,
he won acclaim and a permanent place in the lore that forms the history
of America. He may be best known a martyr at the Alamo in Texas' battle
Davy's early life was filled with hardship. As the fifth of six sons among
John and Rebecca Crockett's nine children, Davy watched his father stuggle
with debt throughout his life. The family moved often, but they never
strayed far from east Tennessee. After many failed attempts at business,
Davy's father finally established a successful tavern where the Museum
One of Davy's duties at the tavern was to hunt game for the supper table,
which helped hone his skill with a rifle. Another chore was taking care
of the livestock of the cattle drovers and sheep herders who were staying
at the tavern.
As a young man, Davy was sometimes hired out to drive cattle, as well
as, do other work to help pay off his family's debt. At 15, after leaving
home for three years, he returned home to a joyful reunion with his family.
When he was 17, he received his only six months of education while working
part-time in the area.
by artist Joseph Ross (Santagate)
lost loves, Davy finally found Polly Finley, whom he courted and married.
marriage bond for their union is located in the archives of the Jefferson
County Court House in Dandridge, TN. The marriage bond for Davy's
engagement to Maragaret Elder is also in the archives of the Jefferson
County Court House in Dandridge.A longrifle used by Crockett during
this time is now housed in the East
TN. They rented a farm and lived in Jefferson County, TN, until, at
25, Davy headed west with his young wife and sons John Wesley and William.