THE DATE: Thursday Eve July 2nd through Sunday July 12th, 2020 – East Tennessee (Norris Lake & Maryville TN)
This blog post is a detailed description of the Davis Family Reunion taking place this fourth of July week, 2020.
The large Official “Davis Family Reunion & Barbecue” will be held July 5th (described below) for all extended kin far and wide.
The week long festivities are listed below starting with arrival date (July 2nd mid day on into evening).
We will be having the reunion in two locations over the course of the week, Norris Lake State Park Campground and then our farm in Maryville, Tennessee.
The goal is to have a great time, begin to meet some of our relatives from this part of the world we never knew before, learn our family history and explore the locations of our ancestors.
The itinerary is as follows: (The first half of the trip will focus on Davis history and fun / the second half will be about Middletons / Warren history)
July 2nd, folks fly in to Knoxville airport (not Nashville – 3 hours away)
July 3rd (Fri.) through July 7th we will all be camping at Norris Lake Dam State Park.
We will have an RV and have rented two other camp sites. We will provide tents/sleeping bags etc. for Matthew and family and Noelle and family. Angie will be renting an RV or a historic conservation cabin at the park for her and her extended family. See link https://tnstateparks.com/parks/cabins/norris-dam to reserve cabin.
We have a big ski boat, canoes, kayaks, inflatables etc. for all of us to have a great time at the lake. If Angie and others want to also rent a pontoon boat, that is also available at the marina. They also have a public swimming pool, tennis courts, basketball courts, caves/caving, hiking trails, ATV rides and the best fishing in the entire state of Tennessee within the park.
July 4th (Sat.) – We will be going to the 4th of July festival at Museum of Appalachia.
The Museum of Appalachia actually has historical artifacts from our ancestors in the museum. This is a living indoor and outdoor museum where you can experience how folks lived back in the 1700 and 1800s. There will be a big celebration with patriotic ceremonies and lots of music— the old- time mountain music and folk tunes of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Along with that they will be “shooting the anvil” throughout the day – a significant historical moment for our ancestors. Anvil shooting used to be a fairly common way that rural folks celebrated special events– they “shot the anvil”into the air to celebrate the nation’s Independence, Christmas, and even Davy Crockett’s election to the U.S. Congress. A few years ago, two men, each more than 100 years old, watched the Museum’s anvil shoot and recalled this tradition from their early boyhood. They say the “boom” can be felt 15 miles away. Our ancestors absolutely were part of this tradition in this valley.
July 5th (Sun.) – OFFICIAL DAVIS FAMILY REUNION & BARBECUE @ Norris Dam State Park Pavilion (11am – 3pm)
We have rented the large covered pavilion overlooking Norris Dam (inside the park) for the formal family reunion. This day we will get together with all our ancestors and share in festivities, food and stories about our family’s past. We intend to have Tennessee kin here as well. There will be extensive information available in digestible ways for all of us to learn the “Davis History” with our kin far and wide. There will be games for kids; gunny sack races/ corn hole / horse shoes, etc. as well to get kids into the Americana experience.
July 6th (Mon.) – Besides boating, camping and fishing we intend to go to James Davis’s grave nearby in Poplar Springs/Oakridge and do some cemetery cleaning and caring for this very old cemetery plot (literally in someone’s back yard).
Our ancestors lived in this valley and further up the Clinch watershed, all the way back before the Revolutionary War. We will be able to spend time learning this history and visiting the old graves of our ancestors.
July 7th (Tues.) – Tour Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. Our ancestors had the first “settlement” atop Cumberland Gap – called Davis Tavern in the late 1700s. As well, our ancestors were the first “long hunters” previous to Daniel Boone, and were with Daniel Boone as the “Wilderness Trail” was mapped. This trail was the first trail in early colonial America where pioneers crossed through the mountains to begin their journey west.
We will tour the Hensley Settlement (our ancestors) atop a mountain at the park where folks will see how they lived in the early 1800s. As well, we will tour Davis Tavern and also walk the Wilderness Trail of Daniel Boone and our ancestors. We will be able to see the entire valley our family first settled at the time of Indian raids and the famous Cherokee treaties that later settled these wild lands.
July 7/8th (Tues. Eve/Wed. Morn) we will be packing up and heading to our Maryville location – HiBar Ranch.
We will casually pack up our camping and resettle at our HiBar Ranch location in Maryville. We will have accommodations for our entire family. We have bedrooms, RV, off the grid cabin & a bunk house for family to stay in.
While spending time at the farm and touring the Smoky Mountain National Park, we will be shifting gears and learning more about the Warren and Middleton side of our family tree.
We have created another website so you all can follow our life on the farm and new babies being born presently. This should help give all the grandkids and grand nieces and nephews a sense of “farm life” they will be able to engage in while here. Click here to follow us at http://www.hibarcreations.com . There are videos of the babies thus far (we have seven baby goats and one baby lamb as of this morning.). There is also a great deal of photography that gives you a sense of the farm and the accommodations and facilities that you will be staying in.
July 9th (Thurs.) – Visit Cherokee Museum and Cherokee Reservation – Smoky Mountain National Park
The Cherokee Reservation has a living exhibit where we are able to spend time on the reservation with the native Cherokee tribe. We will learn about their customs and ways and learn more about the Melungeon and Cherokee woven into the Davis family tree.
July 10th (Fri.) – Relax at Farm ( Farm Life )
We will have lots of fun things for the kids to do; camping out, milking goats, building a tree house, fishing in the catfish pond, etc. Between cast iron cooking, relaxing in the mountains and learning more about our family history, the goal is to spend time simply enjoying each other and having a large fireworks / barbecue here at the farm while enjoying simple mountain life.
July 11th (Sat.) – Options of hiking Appalachian Trail and/or Relaxing (Farm Life/Mountain Life)
This is the day before everyone leaves, so we view it as a day folks can go back to Norris Lake and fish, fish near by, we can hike the Appalachian Trail, stay at the farm, or basically do whatever.
July 12th (Sun.) – Everyone flies home.