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+36° 31' 52.66 , -82° 30' 50.58 (36.531295, -82.514051)
John Wilburn Dickson : Dickson County School Namesake
Lewis Chase : Dickson County School Principal
"Today is yesterday's pupil." - Benjamin Franklin
In a manner of thinking, we might say that the history of Dickson Elementary School grounds dates back to the Revolutionary War times. On east Center Street, near its intersection with Memorial Boulevard and back of the ravine behind the school building on Virginia Avenue stands an historical marker which reads:
Battle of Island Flats First Skirmish
Marching down Island Road from Eaton's Fort on July 20, 1776, the Colonial Militia crossed Eaton's Ridge to this ravine. Here, they rushed the British-allied Cherokees, who were hidden behind trees, with such violence that the Indians were forced to retreat. The militia regrouped, held council, and marched on the main battle, one of the significant battles of the Revolution in the West. - Tennessee Historical Commission
During their studies of history of kingsport and Tennessee History, fourth grade groups dressed in costume to refight the Skirmish of July 20, 1776.
read more ... Battle of Island Flats
Hal Spoden and his wife Mimi Spoden had provided the school with a map of their research of the Kingsport area. Indicated on the map is the route from Eaton's Fort taken by the Militia to the ravine. This map hung in the school library. When the ravine was made into a nature park and learning center in 1970-1971, Mr. Spoden was responsible for getting the marker from the Commission in Nashville. It was first installed at the entrance to the trail in the nature park but was later removed to its present location at the corner of Memorial Boulevard and Center Street.
This ravine is part of the seven-acre plot donated to Sullivan County for the erection of a new school building by John Wilburn Dickson. This was in 1933. Mr. Dickson died in 1938. Sometime after the death of his widow in 1981, the Dickson home was torn down wand Winn-Dixie Grocery was built on the site. A cherry tree was donated an planted in front of the school in memory of Mrs. Dickson.
Click for The History of Mr. Dickson : rough outline...
The school was built in 1934 and operated as a couty school until 1963 when Kingsport annexed the area. The late Mr. Lewis Chase was the first principal of this county school. Anna Mitchell taught math at the school well into her retirement years, having been recruited to return to the classroom during World War II because teachers were scarce. She was always a highly respected citizen of the community.
Next: Dickson County School Becomes Dickson City School
Please send photographs and class pictures to:
Dickson Grammar School 1938