Graphic by Kerry Messer
topic this week is My Hometown. For me that’s Kenton, Tennessee. A place most folks have never heard of and there’s a reason for that – it was small in the beginning and it remains so today. Kenton’s claim to fame is the Home of the White Squirrel. There are approximately four or so other places around the Country that boast White Squirrels but the City Fathers assert Kenton had them first!
A Book entitled Kenton: Folklore and Fact written in 1972 by Dorotha O. Norton is my source for Kenton’s origin. I was not privileged to be one of Mrs. Dorotha’s English students but my brothers were – they labeled her tough but they loved her. When Mrs. Dorotha moved on to the position of Assistant Professor of English at University of Tennessee at Martin, Mrs. Bonnie Ruth took her place – she was tough too; as well as loved and appreciated. I still remember those book reports with visual aids!
It is said that Mr. Mack Alphin back in well that date is not certain but it was a good while ago probably in the 1800s, discovered these unusual squirrels, nurtured a pair of them and they flourished. They became a delight and a nuisance and remain so to this day. As I said, they are Kenton’s claim to fame as evidence by this sign.
Here, see for yourself they are adorable.
Per Mrs. Dorotha’s book Kenton’s official survey may have been plotted between the years of 1851 and early 1857. Official records date Kenton’s Post Office as being established May 27, 1852.
Let me quote here from Kenton: Folklore and Fact: “Never will a day in the town’s history hold more importance for its citizens than that day of the first train in 1857. It was a day of real celebration, and most of the people of the surrounding area came to see that “wonder”. As a part of the day’s festivities, everybody was offered a free ride from the depot in Kenton to The Old Mill and back — a round trip of about four miles!”
Kenton remains a rural place. My Brother, my Sister-in-law, their daughter and grandson still reside in Kenton and I am looking forward to a visit Home for Thanksgiving again this year. It’s a quiet place, for the most part. People love genuinely and have plenty of stories tell over a good cup of coffee or a Dr. Pepper if you prefer.
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Kathie, the white squirrels are so cute! I never knew such a thing existed! Since we moved 2 years ago, we’ve really enjoyed a larger-than-average yard with existing trees. We see so many more birds and squirrels (we only have brown and black, though). The boys love that they can always find a good stick or two in the yard, too. Thanks for sharing your town with us at #TheLoft this week!
White squirrels are new for me, too. My friend in Canada has black squirrels – that was unusual, too. I always thought they were “standard gray” like we have around my town. 🙂 Thanks for sharing with us – this is really unique and I love it!
Who knew squirrels came in so many colors?! 🙂 We have brown and black here. I’m really curious now about how many varieties there are, haha.
I have never heard of or seen a white squirrel until now! Very cool and interesting to learn about your small town.
Thank you Karen for stopping by; glad to introduce you to the white squirrels and I am glad you introduced me to Lake Michigan via your Loft post. I had no idea it was so beautiful! It reminds me of Gulf Shores, Alabama – an hour plus from where we live now. All the seasons on Lake Michigan look beautiful – cold in the winter I imagine but beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.
Kathie, you are right. I have never heard of Kenton, OR of white squirrels. So glad I now know a bit about where you came from. We are both small town girls, huh? Thanks for joining us at The Loft!
Yep. Small town girls set free in the big world! 🙂 One of these days I’m gonna make it to Northern Georgia! Your corner of the world looks beautiful in every season.
So amazing, the uniqueness of towns as much as people. So fun. We just had a chat with the neighbors about how much we treasure seeing the black squirrels here. I actually saw a white one frequent our yard years back. So fun.
Thanks for joining us at The Loft today Kathie! 🙂
Thank you Kathy for visiting with me. Black squirrels? I’d like to see that. I am accustom to grey and white. What a lovely world our GOD has given us! So looking forward to what it will yet be!! Blessings my friend.