Cherry Grove and Chestnut Hill Community History

By Nell Morisette
NewsTribune Special Columnist

Hello to all who read this.

Before I begin my history I would like to take you back to when I was little, do you remember? You sat before the fireplace on cold days and nights, your legs and face were hot, but cold chills ran up your back. You ran to the quilt box for those handsewn quilts to put around you.

When hickory wood was burning how the sparkles came into the room. The churn sitting on the hearth held milk to clabber to be churned for fresh butter and buttermilk.

Daddy would bank up the fire before going to bed to have a start in the morning. He would pull the dog irons out and the logs laid flat and covered with ashes. The dog irons were placed in the front . As I'm getting older I wonder how many holes daddy had in his long johns from the sparks as he pulled the logs starting the fire up early in the morning.

Now, for our history, it is about two communities I lived in between Cherry Grove and Chestnut Hill.

The Cherry Grove community is located about ten miles form Camden in the forks of Harmon's Creek and Flatwoods Roads. Some of the earlier settlers were Meltons, Hollands, Pahal, Bates, Cherry and Berry. The name Cherry Grove originated from the little school house erected about a quarter mile from the original one. The new school house was built in 1914. It burned in 1939. The children were bused to Eva for one year until a new rock house was built.

From the early settlers many of the younger generations settled near their old home places. They were all farmers until TVA took the land in 1939. Ernie Melton's store was the gathering place in the community. The men in the neighborhood spend much time in the little rock store "swapping tall tales." Most everyone grew sorghum. Wesley Chapel Church was located about a mile front he Cherry Grove School.

The other community was Chestnut Hill. In this community lived many farmers. They not only raised grain for sale, they raised livestock also. Some of the early settlers were Pafford, Cuff, Dillon, Parks, Wilson. On the Big Sandy to Eva Road (now Eva Flatwoods Road) was the Chestnut Hill Methodist Church. It was located about four miles north of Eva. Near the Chestnut Hill Church stood the Chestnut Hill School.

Another way to where I lived was through Nathan Bedford Forrest Park (now state owned) and up "Dug" hill. This road and hill was only a wagon road. When the Work Progress Administration came to Benton County and started building roads, this was one of the projects. My dad and several relatives worked on this hill. They would pick, dig the rocks out of the hill, and push them in wheelbarrows up the hill. Maybe the next week they would load them up and push them down. That is how the men worked at the job until it was finished and they called it "Dug" hill. Wonder if that's why the W.P.A. got its name "We Piddle Around"?

Thought for the week:

Those who love deeply never grow old. They may die of old age, but they die young.


If you have suggestions and/ or additions for these pages, please feel free to write County Host

Brian Nichols

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