published Thursday, May 24th, 2012

East Tennessee Historical Society praises Bledsoe County history book

  • photo
    This photo from the collection of the Bledsoe County Historicial and Genealogical Society is included in "Bledsoe County, Tennessee, A Pictorial History, Volume II."

To get the book

Get a copy of "Bledsoe County, Tennessee, A Pictorial History, Volume II" by dropping by the Dr. Ross House at 222 Frazier St., behind the Bledsoe County Courthouse in Pikeville, Tenn., Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. CDT. Books that are picked up from the Ross House are $65.55, including tax. To buy a book by mail, send a check or money order for $65.55, including in-state tax, if applicable, plus $5 shipping, to Bledsoe County Historical and Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 963, Pikeville, TN 37367. For more information, contact Carolyne Knight at knight2@bledsoe.net or 423-447-2817.

A second volume of a pictorial history book created in Bledsoe County has netted an Award of Distinction from the East Tennessee Historical Society for its quality and importance to the history of the community, officials say.

East Tennessee Historical Society executive director Cherel Henderson said the work done by members of the Bledsoe County Historical & Genealogical Society is a model for others to follow.

The second publication in the Bledsoe society's series, "Bledsoe County, Tennessee, A Pictorial History, Volume II," is comprehensive in its content and organization, Henderson said.

The Award of Distinction recognizes "the breadth of what they cover with the book and the organization of the book where they divided the photographs," Henderson said. "It covers a wide range of subjects and communities."

With work beginning in 2007, the second volume of the series expanded on the 1,400 photographs in the first volume, using contributions from local people and their families near and far, according to Bledsoe officials.

The second volume has more than 2,000 photos in its 508 pages.

County Mayor Bobby Collier in his nomination letter to the East Tennessee group called the book "an intimate and personal reflection of the history, culture and citizens of our county."

Carolyne Knight, president of the Bledsoe society, said members took on more of the work for publication this time around, doing all the collecting and organization for the book and leaving only the printing to an outside company.

The book is the result of community contributions and hard work by co-editors Sara Goins and Norma Jean Hobbs, and society member Joan Patton, Knight said.

"It's a labor of love. We absolutely love the people, and we love the county," she said. Bledsoe society members hope "everyone enjoys the book as much as we enjoyed working on it."

The most recent award from the East Tennessee society is the second garnered by the Bledsoe group, she said. The first in 1999 recognized Bledsoe's work to preserve and make public Bledsoe County's Chancery Court loose papers, Knight said.

Henderson said the photographic quality in the pictorial history's second volume was "really good and the digitization of the photographs was good."

"It's an inclusive book subjectwise, communitywise," she said.

The publication makes old photos that have been in the hands of local families "more widely accessible to the public" and "creates a pride in local history and a sense of place," she said.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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