The Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park, located in Limestone, Tenn., is chock full of activities and history. The park is located just a short destination from the Tri-Cities and has something for everyone in the family.
“We have so much to offer here that our community may not even realize is in their backyard. It is definitely worth their drive out here; after all we are here to protect this beautiful area for their enjoyment and for future generations to enjoy,” said park ranger Dawn Elberbawy of Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park.
The history of Davy Crockett is vivid throughout the park. The Crockett family lived, or it is presumed they probably rented, on the property from 1785 to 1792. There is a “foot stone” that is still in front of the cabin and was placed there between 1886 and 1889 as a monument. On Aug. 17, 1958, the property consisted of 3.3 acres and was officially dedicated as the “Davy Crockett Birthplace Park.” It was also at that time the Davy Crockett Birthplace Association was formed.
In the early 1960s, Davy Crockett Birthplace Association became affiliated with the State of Tennessee. During this time, the Association bought 10 more acres of land making the park 13.9 acres. In the late 1960s, a stone monument was built for Crockett. The monument consists of stone from every state in the United States and each state is represented with its name engraved on a stone in the monument. Also during this time period, the KOA built a campground at the park.
In 1973, the park was taken over by the State of Tennessee Department of Conservation Association and the Davy Crockett Birthplace Association was dissolved. In the 1970s, 51.9 acres were added to the park. It was during this time that it became a state historic site. The swimming pool was built in 1983 and, three years later, the Visitor’s Center and Museum was built. The last 38 acres was added in 1995 bringing the park’s size to approximately 104 acres, which is what it remains today.
Located on the property is the Old Grist Mill owned by William Collett who fought during the Civil War and is buried on the property. The Old Stage Coach road that ran from Knoxville to Abingdon runs through the property. The Strong Inn, once on the property near the Limestone Creek, was a stopping point for several presidents of the United States. It was a popular location in the late 1800s and early 1900s because of the springs that supposedly held healing powers.
The park holds a variety of activities throughout the year such as the Thursday Night Movies taking place now through August. Every other Thursday night, family movies are shown on a big screen down at the campground shelter. The movies are free of charge.
Weekly programs are available in the summer months on nature, wildlife habitats, geology, paleontology, nature hikes, fishing on the Nolichucky, traditional arts and crafts, campfire programs and more. Educational programs can also be arranged for groups of students or families by contacting the Visitor’s Center.
A family affair celebrating “Crockett Days” will be held Aug. 17-18. The event celebrates the birth of David Crockett, one of Tennessee and Greene County’s most famous sons. The public can enjoy living history demonstrations, activities, kids’ games, and enjoy period food and music. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Looking ahead to the fall, the park will host “Mountain Melodies” celebrating the traditional mountain music in our region on Oct. 12 at the campground shelter. Trick or Treat in the Haunted Forest will be held on Oct. 25 from 7 to 8 p.m. and $1 per person donation for the park will be taken at the entrance. Kids enjoy walking on a lighted trail while ghost and ghouls hand out treats.
The Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park is a family destination that offers an assortment of activities, a pool, campground, walking/hiking trails and historical information. For more information contact the Visitor’s Center at 423-257-2167 or visit http://www.tn.gov/environment/parks/DavyCrockettSHP/.