Robbins: Mabbitt Springs and Summertown remembered

Members of the Robbins, Decosimo and Strang families gather on recent a Saturday outing at Mabbitt Springs.

Col. Creed Bates, the principal of Chattanooga High School, resided in St Elmo during the cooler months and came to his family's log cabin in Summertown, now in Walden, during the summer. Sunday afternoons were open house when he shared apples, cider and stories with a stream of students, mountaineers and passersby. He had a rich collection of mountain folklore, and on Aug. 5, 1956, delivered a history of the Mabbitt Springs in dedicating the new Myra Smartt Kruesi bridge. (Ms. Kruesi famously drew Frierson, Killebrew, Brock, Martin and Kruesi grandchildren to her summer place.) Below are excerpts.