NEWS & UPDATES

215 E. Main St.
Linden, TN 37096
(931) 589-2453


 
NEWS & UPDATES

215 E. Main St.
Linden, TN 37096
(931) 589-2453

 Courts of Perry County Tennessee Perry County Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau Lobelville, TN Linden, Tennessee pc library icon 84x84

 

DISCOVER PERRY COUNTY

Historic Driving Tour

 

 

The 110-acre Craig Farm was purchased by freed slaves Tapp and Amy Craig in 1871.  In the six years between the end of the Civil War and 1871, Tapp Craig, of African American, Anglo, and American Indian ancestry, and his wife, Amy, also of mixed ancestry, continued to work on the Guthrie Farm and traded a yoke of oxen for the $150 down payment to purchase the 110-acre tract of land from Samuel Young on 25 December 1871.

The total cost of the Craig Family Farm was four hundred dollars, which was paid in full over the following two years.7 The Craig Family Farm is reportedly the first African American-owned farm in Perry County. As the property was settled by an African American family during the years following Emancipation, the Craig Family Farm is significant as an excellent example of the settlement patterns of farms throughout the South during Reconstruction as identified in the Historic Family Farms of Middle Tennessee MPN when newly freed people of color expressed their freedom through property ownership, a right that had been denied to them under the institution of slavery.  

Through the generations, the family farmed peanuts and harvested timber from the land.  McDonald Craig, grandson of Tapp and Amy Craig, worked the family farm and fought on the Pacific Front in WWII. Upon returning home, he continued fighting for freedom by purchasing a Chevrolet school bus to drive African American students to the segregated school in Henderson County from 1954-1965 on top of his daily farm labor, prior to integration of schools in Tennessee.

This Century Farm in Perry County is a powerful reminder of connections between agricultural and US history. The enslaved, like Tapp and Amy, were farm laborers.  African American men like McDonald Craig fought heroically in WWII, leaving farms in the hands of other family members. Many WWII veterans-- like McDonald driving kids so they had access to education in rural counties-- contributed to the Civil Rights Movement. Stories like the Craig’s trace how individual families are impacted by the culture and politics of the world around them, and how each of us can work to help others during times of conflict.

McDonald Craig is also an outstanding musician, who can yodel in the style of Jimmie Rodgers, considered the father of country music, and is always a big hit at local musical venues.  In 1978 McDonald went to Meridian, Mississippi for the Annual Jimmie Rodgers Yodeling Championship. He beat out 72 contestants for First Place, making him the first and only African-American Yodeler to ever win that honor. According to his wife, Rosetta Craig, the Musuem curators did not want to award him, but the Judges, music business officials whom they had commissioned from California, insisted. The Museum reluctantly awarded him First Place but denied McDonald the full honors [a photo and plaque placed in the Museum] that were normally bestowed on prior winners. Undaunted by the incident, McDonald humbly accepted his win and moved on.

The pdf version of the original application with the National Register for Historic Places is available by clicking on the link below, where you can view the details in more depth as to the structure's construction and use during the period 1871 to 2006 when application was made to add the Craig Family Farm to the National Register of Historic Places.

pdfcraig-farm.pdf

 

 

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There are many ways to enjoy your visit to Perry County, Tennessee.  Whether it's fishing, hunting or just the great outdoors that draws you here, please remember to play safe and always wear a mask when in a group.

 

215 E. Main Street, Linden, TN 37096

 

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