Friendsville (Images of America)

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9780738582382: Friendsville (Images of America)

Friendsville is a small town with a rich, varied history. It had its beginnings in the late 1790s, when several related families with the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) moved from North Carolina into what is now Blount County and established a Friends meeting about 12 miles from Maryville, the county seat. The families built a gristmill and a sawmill and later sold town lots. The Friendsville Post Office was established in 1850, and the town was incorporated in 1953. Friendsville has played a remarkable role in the history of the United States. The Friends, who did not support war or slavery, operated several stops on the Underground Railroad during the Civil War, helping runaway slaves, freed African Americans, and southern residents who wanted to fight for the North or move north to avoid the war. The area is now noted for its marble production, with Friendsville pink marble gracing such buildings as the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Friendsville historian George B. Henry and Linda Braden Albert, a section editor and columnist with the Daily Times in Maryville, coauthor Images of America: Friendsville. Henry and other longtime Friendsville residents provided the images.

Review:

Title: The birth of a small town: Friendsville's unique past chronicled in new book
Author: Melanie Tucker
Publisher: The Daily Times
Date: 7/22/2011


The city of Friendsville covers roughly 3 square miles and houses a population that hovers around 1,000 or so, but there's no mistaking the stamp it's left on Blount County and the world.


Friendsville was settled in the 1790s by the Religious Society of Friends, better known as the Quakers, who opposed both war and slavery. The town became a key player in the Underground Railroad which aided runaway slaves and others who wished to escape to the North. William Hackney was a Friendsville Quaker who helped more than 2,000 people leave the South using a cave called Cudjo's Cave that is located in Friendsville. It is even the subject of a book written by John Trowbridge in 1863, called "Cudjo's Cave."


If you want to know anything about Friendsville, its historian, George B. Henry, is the one to seek out. He's been collecting stories, photographs, documents and other historical information for decades. Henry taught eighth grade history for 35 years at Friendsville and has lived all of his life in this small Blount County town with the exception of a brief move to Maryville.


He and Daily Times Sunday Life editor Linda Braden Albert have collaborated on a just-released book in the Images of America series published by Arcadia Publishing. "Friendsville" makes its debut Monday.


"People have been after me for years to do a book," Henry said. "This is what I like to do. I've given talks all over the place. I collected these photographs from 40 or 50 people, but a lot of this stuff I collected for myself."


Fascinating history


The book contains more than 200 photos that are divided into six categories -- churches, education, marble quarries, other businesses, structures and people. Those selected for this project were pared down from about 4,000 that Henry has in his possession as well as a number loaned by others with ties to the community.


Henry and Albert started work on the book about a year ago. And while he's heard the stories of Friendsville's early years over and over again, Henry said perhaps the most fascinating tales are the ones centered around the Underground Railroad and the Hackney family. Henry was even close once to locating Hackney's ledger where he recorded the names of those he helped escape, but it wasn't to be. He said its whereabouts today are unknown.


As a child, Henry said he used to explore every cave around Friendsville, including Cudjo's Cave. It is located on private property and the owners wish to keep it hidden.


Friendsville natives and history buffs will recognize some of the families pictured inside. The Dunlaps, Endsleys, Crisps, Lees, Tiptons, Frenches, Craigs, Greggs, Greers, Hamils and Painters have a long-standing relationship with this small town. Some were part of the marble industry that thrived here. Some operated flour, saw and grist mills. Some were instrumental in teaching school or they played athletics, or both.


One of the most famous visitors to Friendsville had to be William Forster, a Quaker from England who also visited several governors and the president of the U.S. Henry said he died while making this trip from England and was buried in the Friends Cemetery. His body, Henry said, was floated down the river to his final resting place.


Friendsville has always placed importance on education, beginning with the establishment of The Newberry Institute that was organized by the Friends in 1854. It later became Friendsville Academy, which closed in 1975. Henry was one of its graduates.


Ralph Waldo Lloyd, who became president of Maryville College in 1930, has a connection to the Academy. His father served as principal there.


There was a black school in the community named George Washington Carver. Friendsville Elementary opened in 1919 and continues today. Friendsville High enjoyed a long existence before shutting its doors in 1979. Big Spring and Disco schools are also part of Friendsville's not-so-distant past.


"At one time, there were seven principals in Blount County who came from Friendsville," Henry said.


Commercial hub


Henry's brain is filled with dates spanning across decades. He knows the banking history. Like, for instance, the State Bank of Friendsville operated from 1908 to 1912. The Peoples Bank came along next, from 1915-1936. That first bank was the only bank in the county outside the city of Maryville at the time, Henry pointed out.


Albert, who coauthored another book in the Images of America series with Kenneth Cornett, entitled "Blount County," said working on this second one has been both fun and educational. She didn't grow up in Friendsville but has gained so much knowledge about the town through this partnership, she feels like she's at least an adopted daughter. "George is the one who knows everything," she said.


For Albert, one of the most fascinating pieces of Friendsville's history is the list of businesses that once operated here.


"What really intrigued me was what a commercial hub Friendsville was," Albert said. "You wouldn't think about it now with it being such a small place. This place was humming back yonder."


The first flour mill was built here in 1810. There was also a furniture factory, gristmills for grinding corn, sawmills, a tannery and even a cannery.


Henry also talked about a large store operated by T.R. Lee back in 1891. Customers could find most anything they desired, and they came from outside the community. "This was like going to Wal-Mart today, Henry said.


This book by these two friends wouldn't be an accurate depiction of Friendsville without the chapter on marble quarries. Several operated in the area, aided by the convenience of the railroad that was built in 1891.


The John J. Craig Company was one of them. It got its start in 1894. Others that followed included the Brown Quarry, Evans Marble, J.B. Jones Company, Vermont Marble Company, Luck Stone and Tennessee Marble Company, which continues today.


Tennessee Marble supplied marble for the Grand Central terminal in New York City, the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, D.C. and the Ritz Carlton in Charlotte, N.C., this book points out. Marble from Friendsville was also used in the construction of the Smithsonian Institute and the National Art Gallery.


This is Henry's first book, but with his wealth of knowledge, probably not his last. He coached basketball at Friendsville for years, so a book related to sports would certainly make sense. This historian who will turn 77 in August is just glad to have this opportunity -- to put a lot of what he has collected into book form for others who will appreciate and remember.


"I have always loved history," Henry said. "To see people get more excited about it -- that tickles me."

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Book Description Arcadia Publishing (SC), United States, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Friendsville is a small town with a rich, varied history. It had its beginnings in the late 1790s, when several related families with the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) moved from North Carolina into what is now Blount County and established a Friends meeting about 12 miles from Maryville, the county seat. The families built a gristmill and a sawmill and later sold town lots. The Friendsville Post Office was established in 1850, and the town was incorporated in 1953. Friendsville has played a remarkable role in the history of the United States. The Friends, who did not support war or slavery, operated several stops on the Underground Railroad during the Civil War, helping runaway slaves, freed African Americans, and southern residents who wanted to fight for the North or move north to avoid the war. The area is now noted for its marble production, with Friendsville pink marble gracing such buildings as the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780738582382

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