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History preservation group seeks to reinstate Tennessee historical markers

By Tim Cable, tcable@wcyb.com
Published On: May 09 2014 05:07:49 PM CDT
Updated On: May 09 2014 03:38:00 PM CDT

It's a busy sign of the times, zipping by state historical markers without even noticing them.

SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. -

It's a busy sign of the times, zipping by state historical markers without even noticing them.

One local chapter of a history preservation group called Sons of the American Revolution noticed some of these markers were missing. "In several cases, they've come down because of construction on the highways," said chapter president John Wakefield. "A few have come out because they were damaged, and they got sent off to a warehouse in Johnson City."

So the S.A.R. group signed on for a special reinstatement project. "We are working with the state historic commission and the local department of transportation which has these markers," Wakefield said. "We are seeking to get a bunch of these reinstated in their proper place."

They got one marker posted back in its proper place along highway 126 near Kingsport. "Eaton's Fort, which was a garrison for horses during one of the first battles with the Indians who had sided with the British in the Revolutionary War," said chapter member Larry Ball.

They're also working on getting the Powder Branch marker re-signed at the corner of Milligan Highway and Powder Branch Road. "That's where Mary Patton made the gunpowder that was used for the overmountain men in the battle of King's Mountain," chapter member Bob Wetzel said.

The way they see it, this S.A.R. group is not just putting the signs back in their rightful place -- they're taking it as a sign that they're putting history back in its rightful place. "Well, this is our life isn't it?" Wetzel said.

"There's one great saying that says history isn't dead," Wakefield said. "It is not even past, it's present."