Community News New book, fair focus on Soddy, Daisy and Montlake history

Community News New book, fair focus on Soddy, Daisy and Montlake history

January 10th, 2018 by Emily Crisman in Community North Hamilton

Attendees check out historical artifacts and information at the Soddy, Daisy and Montlake Historical Association's second annual history fair. This year's event is at Soddy-Daisy High School Saturday, Jan. 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Contributed photo)

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

The fourth book in Soddy, Daisy and Montlake Historical Association President Steve Smith's "The Good Old Days" series focused on the area's history is now available at Floyd Hardware and Kay's Kastles in Soddy-Daisy. (Contributed photo)

The fourth book in Soddy, Daisy and Montlake...

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Those looking to revisit the good old days can do so with Soddy, Daisy and Montlake Historical Association President Steve Smith's new book.

The book is the fourth installment of Smith's series, "The Good Old Days: A Short History of Soddy, Daisy & Montlake," which he began in 1990. The four books contain more than 1,000 old photos, copies of invoices, and maps from Soddy, Daisy and Montlake.

The fourth book, at 512 pages, is the result of 14 years of research, which Smith gathered by talking to local residents with a long history in the area and examining artifacts passed down through their families, he said.

The main focus of the new book is on the coal mining industry in Soddy from the Civil War through around 1930. It features information on historical artifacts still visible along Little Soddy Creek off of Hotwater Road, the mining hub for the Soddy Coal Company.

There is also a chapter on Daisy and Montlake, including a copy of the Montlake Coal Company's 1912 ledger book containing the names of miners.

Though focused on the area's coal industry at the time, the book also includes historical information related to the Civil War, particularly about Soddy Shoals, a group of three islands located in the Tennessee River at the mouth of Soddy Creek, where one can still make out the remnants of a trench and three cannon emplacements present since the war.

"During the Civil War, the Union army had at least three cannons there to prevent the Confederate army from moving soldiers from Knoxville to Chattanooga," said Smith.

Readers will also find sections on local businesses in the Soddy and Daisy areas. One photo features Porter Poe's Pine Pole Palace, a two-story beer joint made of pine logs which many locals erroneously believe to be the original Poe's Tavern. The true location of Poe's Tavern, the original county seat built by Hasten Poe, is revealed in the book through the obituary of his descendant John Poe, which contains a description of the tavern's location at the time of John Poe's death in 1937.

A group of Daisy miners pose for this 1903 photo. (Contributed photo)

A group of Daisy miners pose for this...

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

The cost of the new book is $35 for historical association members or $40 for nonmembers. It can be purchased at Floyd Hardware, or at Kay's Kastles, where all four books in the series are available.

The books can also be found at the association's Good Old Days museum, though it is currently closed due to the high cost of heating the space, built in 1921, formerly the Soddy Bank at 11298 Wall St. The museum is set to reopen the last weekend of February, Smith said.

A Hixson native who married a resident of Soddy-Daisy, Smith said he has lived there for more than 40 years and has always been interested in the area's history. His mother's family owned property on Daisy Mountain, and his great-uncle was a depot agent in Daisy from 1882-83, he added.

Those interested in learning more and seeing artifacts in person may do so at the association's third annual history fair, to be held at Soddy-Daisy High School Saturday, Jan. 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Locals will share family memorabilia, genealogical information and Native American and Civil War artifacts.

Last year's fair drew 700-800 attendees from throughout the region, said Smith, and there will be 68 booths for attendees to peruse this year.

"I think people interested in local history will enjoy it, and people moving into the area who want to learn about the history of the area," he said.

Soddy-Daisy High School is at 618 Sequoyah Access Road, Floyd Hardware is at 10040 Dayton Pike and Kay's Kastles is at 8804 Dayton Pike. All are located in Soddy-Daisy.


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