Wednesday, July 08, 2009

the rain in Maine stays plainly on the brain

Quick, who was Knoxville named after? I thought I knew and should have stuck to my guns when I was told I was wrong.

Rain and a cold wind dampened our plans to visit the Maine beaches on Tuesday. Instead we drove along Route 1 toward Rockland, looking for interesting stuff. I saw in the AAA Tourbook that we would be passing by Montpelier, the General Henry Knox Museum. Why not stop there and learn about the man our city and county were named after, or so I thought.

The museum is a replica of the Knox family home. It was built around 1930 to house the family's original furniture, which was donated by the general's great, great grandson. During the tour we learned that General Knox weighed about 300 pounds and died three days after swallowing a chicken bone. He was only 56. The docent said the bone punctured his insides.

A second tour guide, who resembled the late Burt Mustin, seemed especially knowledgeable about the Knox family. He said that he sat at home in his recliner thinking about what he would tell his tour groups that day. I asked what he knew about the general's connection with Knoxville. The Revolutionary War general had never been to Tennessee, he said. That sounded familiar to me. Then the guide said that Knoxville was named after John Knox not Henry Knox. He also claimed that John Knox was the first governor of Tennessee, which isn't true either. Now unsure of myself, I left dejectedly.

It was hours before we got to our next hotel and I could check the Internet. I tried not to wake my wife as I excitedly showed my son the Wikipedia entry for Henry Knox. Just to be sure I checked the City of Knoxville website too. Both agreed that K-Town was named for big Hank. You can be sure that I will contact the General Henry Knox museum in Thomaston to set them straight.

Labels: , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


Blogger Andrew Ballew said...

It makes no sense to be named after a 16th century Scottish Presbyterian Reformer, who I believe never sat foot on American soil. That kind of ignorance is disturbing...

Anonymous Taylor C. said...

John Knox? Seriously? I would question everything that the tour guide said after claiming someone from the 1500s was the first governor of Tennessee. FAIL


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home