Friday, September 23, 2016

A very busy tomorrow

There are two great events that are happening, and they are not depot day related.

Come to Smyrna Public Library and tie dye a pillowcase! All materials are provided! For ages 12-18

Join us at Smyrna Public Library to celebrate Bilbo Baggins and his eleventy first birthday!

We'll have crafts, games, snacks, and contests!

Come dressed as your favorite Tolkien inspired character!

3 PM - 4:30 PM

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Depot Days

One of the larger events in Smyrna is the Depot Days, and it looks like it will be a grand event for the family and individuals alike.

Depot Days has become a Big Deal in the Town of Smyrna.  Every year the event gets BIGGER and BETTER!!!  On September 23rd & 24th 2016 thousands will once again flood Front Street for the 10th Annual Depot Days.  There will be over 100 booths of vendors, food, businesses, beer garden and local artisans represented at Depot Days.  We will have live music on the Nissan Performance Stage, and the Carpe Cafe stage. There will be inflatables for the kids to jump on at no charge, and train rides for only $1 as well as many other kid friendly activities. This is a family fun packed weekend! 
The prelude to Depot Days is a classic car cruise in, Friday night, September 23rd as well as a wine tasting by Smyrna Divine Wine & Spirits from 6pm – 9pm with proceeds to benefit Meals on Wheels here in Smyrna.   The morning of the 24th, Depot Days kicks off at 10am- 4pm with over 100 vendors. Our beer garden will stay open until 8:00 pm this year.  It’s a weekend full of fun and you don’t want to miss!

While it is fun, there are some larger events aligned with the Depot Days

For the artist in your life, or maybe you.

 Do you have artistry you would like to sell? Or even display to be able to take orders? Carpe Artista will again host the Depot Days Artisan Zone! Check out to register for your booth.

For the kids and kids at heart.

Groups of interest + activity

While I have already linked to the Rutherford County Tennessee Historical Society, but did you know there is also a Rutherford County Archaeological Society. They have a Facebook group and a website.

The 501 (c) (3) non-profit Rutherford County Archaeological Society (RCAS) was created in November 2014  to encourage a public archaeology presence in the community.  RCAS began as a Facebook group and its popularity continues with 220+ members. In January 2015, RCAS found its home base at the MTSU Heritage Center of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County.   Bioarchaeologist Dr. Shannon Chappell Hodge was the inaugural speaker at our  first meeting in January.  As we continue to develop RCAS, we provide an important  presence in the community as advocates for sharing and protecting the past.

Now they also have a wonderful activity planned for the kids this coming weekend.

This is in Murfreesboro, but it is planned for the family and free, so it is worth sharing. It is happening at the Heritage Center of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Learn a skill and meet people. A win for all

There is a new group forming in Smyrna with the help of the Library.

Starting September 24th, this new group will be meeting the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month. Beginners to experienced crocheters welcome.
Initial supplies will be available.

The specific time is Saturday, September 24 at 10 AM - 11 AM

Sunday, September 18, 2016

A big box shut down soon

From another site it looks like we are going to be losing one of our big box stores.  Kmart has announced its planned closing for Smyrna.

One of the people there commented that "We are closing. The last day will be around Dec. 11th".

As Kmart is an anchor store for that strip mall, this will not be good for the other businesses there.

With it being emptied soon, is there something you would like to go there in its place?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A bit of a trip

In 1853 travel was not simply tossing lunch into the carriage and heading out. You made plans. A trip to New York was a good distance and many days travel away.

With that said I am rather impressed with the efforts of one local business man to sell his wares to a larger audience. At the 1853 Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations in New York was a rather famous name. Otis. A manufacturer of elevators. Elisha Otis demonstrated an elevator equipped with a device called a safety brake.

In the book "Official Catalogue of the New-York Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations. 1853", it has listed a local connection.

90 Specimens of fans and fly brushes of peacock feathers - George A Blair, Manu. Smyrna Tennessee.

I'm impressed. This was the large trade show for all of America. They had major industry, and in the 'Extreme North Gallery', they had someone showing the wares manufactured in Smyrna Tennessee. You would not want customers unless you could  produce for the customers, especially at such a large exhibit. The odd thing is that I have never heard of anything like this in Smyrna history. 

To give you an idea how small the population was in the 1850's. This is for the whole of Rutherford County.

1850 29,122 
1860 27,918

Smyrna actually grew in the same time period

1950 1,544 
1960 3,612

Right now I'm not even sure there are any Peacocks being raised in Smyrna at all.

As for George A Blair. Checking out some online census records shows that there were some Blair's in Rutherford County, some black and some white. There is really nothing else out there connecting Smyrna and peacocks at all, just this one small bit in a catalog for this fair.

Just a little tidbit of history about Smyrna. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Fun for all ages

Join Smyrna Public Library as we celebrate Grandparents! There will be music, crafts, ice cream floats, and a special puppet show!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Website of interest

If you're interested and enjoy reading about the history of Rutherford County, please take a moment and check out the Rutherford County Tennessee Historical Society. They have a strong online presence and offer a lot of knowledge about the community you live in.

They have a website, a Facebook page, and their publications can be accessed at the MTSU website here.

I'm working on another small paper about how Smyrna almost had an electric Railroad...over a hundred years ago. Take that MARTA!!!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Others in Smyrna

When I did my two posts on having an emergency pack ready for any situation, I did not know before hand that September is National Preparedness month. This is important enough that even CarWise Automotive Repair And Maintenance Smyrna linked to an article about the subject on FaceBook.

Would your car be ready if you had to leave at a moment’s notice? If you were stranded in your car, would you be prepared? During National Preparedness Month in September, the non-profit Car Care Council is reminding drivers of the importance of regular maintenance and do-it-yourself checks, as well as a stocked emergency kit. 
“Emergencies and natural disasters come in a variety of forms, and you don’t always have time to prepare,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “It is important and gives you peace of mind to know that your vehicle is always ready for the task.” 
The article has a good list of things to keep an eye on or check for your and your families safety.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Event Reminder

Don't forget the upcoming Wings of Freedom Fish Fry, and nothing says freedom like lightly browned batter dipped fish.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Cowboys and horses and shooting

What's not to love here, plus admission is free. The event is all week and has different stages on different days. So there should easily be something for you.

Cowboy Mounted Shooting Tennessee Summer Shoot and Eastern US Championships   
09-03-2016 to 09-10-2016 (SCHEDULE AS A PDF)
This exciting and fast action sport will keep you and the family entertained. Combining the skill and accuracy of target shooting with the speed of a horse, riders take aim while putting their horses through courses. 
304-B West Thompson Lane
Murfreesboro, TN 37129 
 Tennessee Miller Coliseum 
Admission:Free admission 
For more information, please call (888) 960-0003.

An example is this coming Friday. Morning until night, with finals after 6:30pm.
FRIDAY 9/9 •
8:00 AM Main Arena: Stage 3: Wranglers, Class 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. (Rotate go order each day) •
8:30 AM Arena 2: Stage 4: Wranglers, Class 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. •
6:30 PM Wrangler Ground Shooting, 2 stages •
7:00 PM Main Arena: Starline Showcase - Sponsor Flag Presentation. - Cimarron Eliminator - Top 10 Limited Division - Top 5 Cavalry Finals - Platinum Performance Senior Incentive Finals - Top 10 Cimarron Shotgun Finals - Top 10 Taylor’s & Company Rifle Finals - Cimarron Eliminator - Top 10 Open Division

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Final concert for the Friday Night Live series

This coming Friday they will be having the last performance of this summers Friday Night Live concert series in Murfreesboro, and it is free. It is events like this that I like to find to share, so if you want a leisurely night out with the family, they have it here for you. Enjoy. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Smyrna and the sad tale of the mud hole.

Most people don’t know, but there was at one time a sizable lake/pond in down town Smyrna. Even where it was at is a hint confusing for some.

The first time I noticed a map that had the pond marked was the 1878 corner blowup map of Smyrna. The 1878 beers map can be found HERE if you wish to view the whole county.

My first reaction was to try to figure out where that spot is today.

I marked in red the three main roads and the one, now gone, rail road crossing. I find it impressive that they had three separate rail road crossings in just the downtown area back in 1878.

I then laid the same crossing lines on a shot of google earth.

Using google earth and the street names, I place the pond near this spot.

This pond was a sizable bit of water. Now this was not just a stagnant body of water, but one that had its own fish and such.

To get a little more history on the pond that is no more, you need to go to a document entitled “FOOT PRINTS IN THE MUD AND DUST AT SMYRNA, TENNESSEE” By Walter K. Hoover. (LINK)

Mr. Hoover is viewed by many as Smyrna’s first historian and much is known about the early part of our community’s history thanks to him.

In the paper he wrote he talks about the an early book in Smyrna

By word of mouth I had been informed that Mr. Joseph Engles had been the first Mayor of Smyrna, 1869. By evidence of record I knew his son Dr. J. W. Engles to be the first mayor of Smyrna under a new and different Charter of Incorporation in 1915. , 
Let me relate to you the circumstances that brought the following evidence to my attention. Evidence that shows the Engles family took care to preserve the record book of the 1869 to 1881 City of Smyrna records, only to come back to light be sheer circumstance. 
This book itself, evidently was left in Smyrna by some officer of the Union Army during the Civil War. It is a large ledger type book seventeen and one half inches tall, eleven and one half inches wide (when closed), leather bound, quite shaken or loose, worm eaten, and dirty, yet the contents are still legible 
So four years after the war when Smyrna needed the then scarce item of paper material to record the incorporation, and continuing minutes and records, some one came up with this Civil War record book. It proved to be an excellent choice.
 This book is full of items that look rather mundane on the surface.

While part of the daily business of government, they do show the earliest form of government, a Mayor and Alderman system, that lasted well into the year 2000+.

The pond was mentioned several times in the book, and was labeled “The Mud Hole case”. It seems to have been a source of problems.

Friday, February 21, 1879. 
"I think that A. Davis has traded Jo. Engles a track of land for his Smyrna property. I hope he has and that Engles will move out of Smyrna at once." (Perhaps where the minute book was found . 
G. S. Ridley was down and he and I went out and looked at the former mud hole and corporate lines and etc. "(in streets) 
Monday, August 4, 1879.  
"In company with J. M. Hight and J. W. Hager I went to Murfreesboro in a spring wagon and was up there nearly all day. The Criminal Court was in session and I went up to prosecute R. H. White for buying witness fees, he having reported the corporation authorities of Smyrna for having a mud hole in the road in December last. I do this to get even with him. Got home at 6 o'clock."
 I will have to say that a public record that says “I did this to get even with him” made me laugh.

Tuesday, August 3, 1880 
"I went to Murfreesboro in my buggie and worked S. E. Hager 's, horse. While up there I paid J. E. Arnold $5.00 and S. E. Hager. paid him $6.30 that being the balance on the corporation mud hole fine." 
Monday, May 16, 1881. 
"I also collected $7.00 due me by the Corporation of Smyrna, amount paid to criminal court in the mud hole case."

The mud hole case seems to dry up here, pun intended, and at this point Mr Hoover put some personal knowledge of the mud hole into the document.

A note by W. K. Hoover.
Look on page 9, 1878 map. See lake near depot. This lake originally extended under the buildings on the west side of Front Street. When Smyrna excavated along this street to install water mains the ditching equipment was stopped about three or four feet deep by railroad cross ties, placed solid together to hold up the roadway. They had to be chopped into to install the water pipes in 1936. 
I have seen boys fishing from a crosstie raft in summer and party's skating on ice in the winter. This lake was drained and filled with cinders by the railroad about 1920,
He mentions this at the very end of the last mention of the Mud Hole case. It was big enough to have a raft for kids, and to go fishing in. It also seemed to extend across Front Street at one point. In the 1880’s it is described as a mud hole, but I guess it got upgraded to a pond by the 1910-20’s.

So there was at one point either a glorified mud hole, or a nascent pond in the down town area of Smyrna.

Sadly I have not been able to find any images or pictures of the mud hole/pond.

A bit of Smyrna history for your enjoyment. The whole document about Smyrna is a good read and worth downloading in either text or PDF. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Local event for the family

A fun community event for the family. It should be noted that they do need volunteers, so you could make this much more of a richer family event by taking an active part.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Help the Smyrna Police Department


Nathan Ray [AKA Lan Aung] was last seen in the Middle Tennessee area during the early part of August. If anyone has contact with Mr. Ray or has information about him, please contact Det. John S. Liehr with the Smyrna Police Department at 615-267-5013.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Flooding and you

Two weeks ago I posted on a FEMA booklet that you could download on being prepared for natural disasters and such. I hope that I did not come off as fear mongering, but the news makes me want to follow up on the issue.


Yep. Specifically the issue of flooding in Louisiana. According to this post from the American Red Cross there are now 65 Tennessee volunteers down there doing what they can to help the people that have been displaced due to rising waters.

I said then “On a personal note, many people, including myself, have a 72 hour bag ready. This has some basic dry food (granola bars are so good), a change of clothing, some bottled water and other basic items”. Right now there are a lot of homeless people down there in shelters with only the clothes on their back.

Now, while the news is live with images of the flood waters, would be a good time to take a moment to assemble a bag with a few changes of clothes, to make up a list of your families medication needs, and anything else that could help make a situation like this more manageable.

The American Red Cross has a list for a possible 72 hour bag that you might want to look at for ideas. I, and they, want you to be safe.

The American Red Cross has a whole section for classes they offer for those that would like to learn First Aid, CPR, and AED courses…What the heck is an AED course. I’ll admit that I had to look it up.

Sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, at any time. With Red Cross AED and CPR training, you can learn when – and how – to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). Our AED courses are developed and taught by experts with decades of combined experience – and deliver simple-to-use techniques and information that can help you save a life. Training is available via our award-winning online classes, in person at more than 550 locations across the United States, and through our best-in-class blended Simulation Learning. All Red Cross AED, CPR and First-Aid Certification classes include a free digital certificate, valid for 2 years, plus free access to digital learning materials and online refresher courses.

Cool. The AED kits are becoming common enough that courses are being offered. That is pretty cool in my opinion.

If you have kids, you can get them trained in Babysitting and Caregiving courses, or have someone that watches your children take the courses for your peace of mind.

The Red Cross offers a lot of help to people, but the best help is to help yourself by doing a few small things to make tumultuous events less so. Take a bit of time and assemble a few sets of clothes for your family and know that they are always there in case of an emergency.

The Red Cross is a resource you might wish to look into for your families sake.

Event reminder

This weekend. Be there.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Wings of Freedom Fish fry

In one month. one of the two largest public events in Smryna is going to be happening, and you are invited...if you buy a ticket. The Annual Wings of Freedom Fish fry is going to occur, and it is fun. No other way to put it, just fun.

“Service Above Self” is the Rotary motto. Holding true to that, the Smyrna Rotary Club has been supporting Rutherford County and the community since the club was chartered in 1971.   As the community has grown, so have the needs of many of our local non-profit organizations: we need your help! 
This signature event enables our membership with the generous support of individuals and businesses throughout the county to give back in two ways. First, to pull together our resources for local charities and second, to have a community event where we can come together to honor local heroes and veterans that helped make our region great. The Wings of Freedom Fish Fry has grown into the premier fundraiser in Smyrna. Since 2003 we have raised and returned to the community over $770,000. 
With your support, we look forward to making this year’s Fish Fry the biggest yet! 
Are you a Desert Storm Veteran? Click here to register and receive entry as our special guest for the 14th annual Wings of Freedom Fish Fry. 
Saturday, September 10th
Corporate Flight Management Hanger @ Smyrna Airport
Gates open at 4pm – Dinner served at 6pm
Click here to purchase tickets for the event.
The event occurs in one month, so make plans, buy tickets, and get ready for a good time.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Summer Concert Series

The second listed event on the Summer Concert Series is happening in a few short days, so make plans for August 12th at the Town Center at 6:30 pm.

The performer is the Jason Lee McKinney Band and they seem to have some real talent.