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Appalachian Adventures: Wanna know the big deal about Big Creek?

Appalachian Adventures: Wanna know the big deal about Big Creek?


BRISTOL, Tenn. — I battled wits with Linda Kirk, an avid researcher for the Bristol Historical Association, for 30 minutes, but, still, I got virtually nowhere in my quest to find out more.

We had a big talk about Big Creek, that fabled community at what is now the bottom of South Holston Lake.

Go to the South Holston Dam in Sullivan County, Tennessee. Look over the wide waters, and that’s where you would have found it.

Big Creek was a rural community as well as a summertime resort on the South Fork of the Holston River during the early 1900s, just below Holston Mountain.

As early as 1911, that’s where Anne W. Armstrong lived.

She was a writer of numerous business articles for newspapers and magazines.

And, in 1930, Armstrong had a book published called “This Day and Time,” which was a thinly disguised account of life on Big Creek.

One story says she lived in a cabin.

And, according to local lore, that cabin now stands on Lavinder Lane in Bristol, Tennessee.

Still, Kirk won’t tell me anymore.

“Come to the meeting on Nov. 19,” she said, over and over. “And we’ll have the big reveal.”

Folks, I must say, there are clues:

ONE: Kirk says the cabin on Lavinder Lane was put here in 1942 — a year after the construction began on South Holston Lake.

TWO: She mentioned a date of construction as 1933 — a time when Big Creek was still a big deal.

THREE: The couple who lives in the cabin, Ron and Tanya Rogers, said they have had a few ghostly experiences here, like figures that move on their own. Not that that means anything necessarily. But, as for me, I subscribe to the theories of the late great Bristol historian V.N. “Bud” Phillips, who would tell of both ghosts and Big Creek: Any kind of cabin that’s been moved might have attracted some restless spirits, who may just want to go back to Big Creek!

Still, Kirk ain’t saying much more, other than, “We found out a bunch of stuff.”

But, hey, I figure there has to be a reason that Kirk, 65, is now going on and on about Anne W. Armstrong.

“Come to the meeting,” said Kirk. “Then you’ll know.” | 276-791-0709 | @BHC_Tennis

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