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.


Saturday, August 6, 2016

Event Reminder - Day after tomorrow.

The schedule for the Saint Thomas Mobile Health Unit have them dropping by on the following date

Monday, August 8th:  Smyrna Middle, 9 – 4

Ministry in Motion, Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital’s Mobile Health Unit, is a part of Saint Thomas' mission to help serve the poor and improve the health of disadvantaged individuals and communities. It exists to help provide healthcare to individuals who can not afford it. A faith based institution, Saint Thomas is driven by its Christian principles to help serve those in need.
Ministry in Motion is in service 4 – 5 days a week. If you have any questions or would like additional information please contact Kathy Ferrell at or call (615) 631-7739.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Something to think about

I’ve been sitting on doing a post like this for a while. I simply do not want to sound like doom and gloom during the hot days of summer. The fact that school is restarting means that now is a good time to talk with you, and for you to talk to your kids about natural disaster and man made disasters.

Man made disasters sound ominous, but the simple truth is that Smyrna was a rail road stop, and a lot of shipping of bizarre chemicals move through the very center of our town because of that same railroad. Add to that the major highway running through the east side of town, and you have a lot of issues to worry about. Issues big enough that you should take the time to think about what would happen if you get the word that leaving the area fast is required.

If you have to leave your home, does your school age child know where to go to meet up with you if this happens? Have you a place preplanned to gather at like another relative’s house? Does your child know this relatives telephone number and not just their name on a programmed cell phone.

Be it tornadoes, rail road derailing, or one of many other reasons, there might be a day that you have to run to the car and head out. For those here during the flood of 2010, you know how easy it is for whole sections of a community to be cut off due to raising water.

Here is a link to a FEMA guide (PDF) entitled “Are you Ready?” This guide goes over much more than I could, and in better detail than I could, the basics of what you might want to do if something bad happens.

A simple question to ask your self is this. What happened the last time someone cut their finger in your house? Did you have to hunt around for a Band-Aid, did you have some antibiotic cream or even an antiseptic swab to clean the cut? A simple first aid kit is discussed in the FEMA guide as something that does not cost a lot, yet can give you a basic sense of security in this one area.

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. If you have to leave your house suddenly, a nice change of clothes would be nice, because disaster does not wait for you to have the proper attire on at the time. In fact I have two, one for myself and one for my wife.

Take the time to read carefully the FEMA manual and if you have questions or suggestions, please leave them in the comment section or message me. Thanks

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Friday night live

This coming Friday they will be having the third in the summers Friday Night Live concert series in Murfreesboro, and it is free.