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State Park Provides Historical Quick Destination

By Johnny Molloy

State Park Provides Historical  Quick DestinationDavy Crockett Birthplace State Park marks the beginning of the life of one of Tennessee’s most notable residents. During his time, he was always known as David Crockett. It was only after the 1950s television series trilogy put forth by Disney in which he was dubbed “Davy,” that this erroneous name came to rise. The state of Tennessee ought to know better than to name the state park as they did. Perhaps they were trying to cash in on Davy Crockett craze that followed the shows. Ironically, the state correctly named David Crockett State Park near Lawrenceburg, where he later settled during his lifetime ramblings that ended at the Battle of the Alamo.

Name aside, Crockett was born here at the mouth of Limestone Creek in August of 1786, after his dirt-poor father, John, had moved here from North Carolina. The elder Crockett had fought in the Revolutionary War’s Battle of Kings Mountain as part of the Overmountain Men and perhaps heard about the wonders of what was to become East Tennessee. It was on the banks of the Nolichucky at the present-day state park paddler takeout where young David relates a story in his worth-reading autobiography, A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett. It seems an older boy named Campbell was playing with David’s four older brothers when they decided to get in John Crockett’s canoe. Campbell, inexperienced with a paddle, led the five of them backwards toward a fall in the river (you can see it today) a little below the current boat ramp. David stood helpless on the shore. A farmer named Kendall was hoeing a field across the water and dashed toward the kids, stripping as he ran, then half swam/half floundered to grab the canoe just before it went over the falls.

Even so, the force of the current pulled mightily, but by sheer will, Kendall dragged the boys to shore and out of danger. So while you are here at the state park, make sure to walk down to the falls, along the very bank Crockett walked, remembering this little tale.

The cabin that stands here is a mere replica, but the footstone was part of the original Crockett residence. The park is located off US 11 E near Limestone. It not only preserves the birth site of David, but also has a Crockett museum and an 88-site campground with electrical hookups. Visitors can also enjoy the picnic area on the river banks, where shoreline anglers congregate while fishing for smallmouth bass, bream and catfish. The park swimming pool is open through the summer.

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