Tuesday, August 9, 2016

An Ooltewah Wedding

This is an article from The Atlanta Constitution (pg 3) on 26 August 1887.

I have been trying to figure out the rest of the story for you. I know that both families lived in James County, although they got married in Ringgold, GA. I have also found their marriage certificate showing that they married on the 13th. However, what followed, I would love to know, so I can share it with you. If anyone knows anything about these two families please contact me here or on the Facebook page. 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

May 2016 Meeting

Oops, I did it again. Sounds like a song, but it's not. It's an apology to you for not giving you more notice about our meeting. When the meeting is on the first, it sneaks up on me and it's here before I know that it is even the first of the month. The older I get, the faster time seems to fly.

Without further ado.....

The meeting is Sunday, May 1st at the Ooltewah Methodist Church at 2:30 pm. Dennis Billings will present "Early Times in Old Jim County"  I hope to see everyone there.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Oil on the Mountain

Jackson Citizen  April 12, 1887
Struck Oil in Tennessee
Associated Press Dispatch
Chattanooga, Tenn, April 7- A brief dispatch in the papers, announcing that oil had been found in James county, twenty miles from Chattanooga, threw this city into a good deal of excitement, and at Ooltewah, where the well was drilled, the people are fairly wild. Two months ago James Laman & Co, of Pennsylvania, began to bore for oil in the White mountains, but they attracted no especial attention until yesterday, when the oil began to flow. There is no doubt that oil has been struck. Two companies were formed here a few months ago to bore for oil and gas, and the discovery has had a very stimulating effect, as they will begin work at once.

I found this newspaper article that stated that an oil company from Pennsylvania was drilling in James County and had actually found the black gold. Immediately, I have this vision of the iconic picture of oil pouring out of the top of the well and and everyone dancing around in their new found wealth, similar to the television show "Dallas" or the movie "Giant" with James Dean and Rock Hudson.

As, we have already learned, James County was a poor and underdeveloped portion of East Tennessee. So in reality, oil on the mountain was more similar to "Beverly Hillbillies" (without the riches). The well most likely looked like these rather than the large oil derricks from Pennsylvania.

circa 1880
Library of Congress

The Drake Well from the
Library of Congress

At this time, the oil companies were pushed by the demand for kerosene and oil lamps. These companies were looking for oil everywhere, even in the mountains of East Tennessee. The video below tells of the history of oil.

I wonder where this oil was found. Who owned the property and what became of it? How much oil did this well bring to the property owner? I would guess that there was not an abundance of oil, since Ooltewah did not become the boom town surrounding this find, as other oil well locations had. Does anyone have any information concerning this? If so, please contact me.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

February 2016 Meeting

I just wanted to run a quick reminder by you that the meeting is Sunday, February 7th at 2:30 pm at the Ooltewah Methodist Church. Our presenters for this quarter are Gene and Ruth Merkel. They will speaking about our early American flags. They will also entertain us by coming dressed as George and Martha Washington. How cool is that?

By know, everyone on the email list should have gotten their meeting notice via email. If you would like to be included on the email list so that you can receive an email notice, please notify me and I will get you set up. 
Those that are on the list and are not receiving their email, please be sure to check your spam folder and then contact me to verify your email address.
 I look forward to seeing everyone there.