200 years ago next week, parts of Morgan and Overton Counties came together to create Fentress County.
Fentress County will celebrate 200 years with a proclamation event Saturday. Historical Society President Martha Wiley said the event will honor the county’s first families, Fentress County residents who can trace their linage back to 1823 or earlier.
“We do a lot of genealogy with that, and it’s really interesting helping people with their genealogy and finding out all sorts of things that they weren’t aware of,” Wiley said.
The event will begin with a message from Mayor Jimmy Johnson. Fentress has been celebrating its bicentennial with events all year. Wiley said this event is special because it falls very close to the County’s founding date, November 23, 1823.
“It is named for James Fentress speaker of House of Representatives at the time,” Wiley said. “He was a revolutionary soldier and made his home in Clarksville, Montgomery County. There is no evidence he ever came to Fentress County, but as Speaker he named several other counties also.”
The Bicentennial Proclamation Event will start at noon in the Courthouse on the square. Wiley said the bicentennial celebration will not stop with the proclamation event. She said the county plans on doing its Christmas parade in an 1820s style.
“We’re still wanting people to write about their ancestors and their families and things of that nature, and for people who have moved in here write about something they read about the history of Fentress County,” Wiley said. “So, we’re just really trying to get people to think about the history of our county.”
Wiley said of all the events the county has had to celebrate 200 years, a cemetery scavenger hunt earlier in the year was the most memorable.
“13 cemeteries were chosen, and people were given clues as to what they were looking for in each cemetery and writing down what they had seen,” Wiley said. “That got a lot of people out into the community.”