Come see us...

Goree is a quaint, quiet town with easy access to the lake, guided hunting/fishing, hunting lodges, RVing, camping and extremely affordable real estate for your very own hunting headquarters. Finally, Goree has the last stop for bait, beverages and snacks before heading to the lake, Millers Creek Reservoir.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Sneak Peek... is a peek. The Goree exhibit at the Historical Museum in Benjamin is complete along with all the other Knox County towns' displays. (including the brick maker from Rhineland) We put the finishing touches on it yesterday by adding paper placards next to the items and photos. Much of the contents are borrowed from the Goree Memorial Building and will return home in six months. Some was brought to me from Mary DeHaro who is cleaning out our school. Some of the items are only stories...Joyce's infamous skating rink story, Trudy's memories of the doodlebug and dairy farm. Much of the contents were donated items from the W.W. Coffman (Lois Moore Estate) family. He was instrumental in the development of the 'new' Goree. The story of Goree's namesake was something I'd never heard. Anyway the grand opening is on Saturday and begins at 10:00 a.m. I think a lunch will be available in town, as well.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Doodlebug

Trudy Coffman Trainham and her sisters, Peggy and Glenda, have fun recalling their adventures on the Doodlebug. There are stories to be heard when in their presence about their beloved trips to town on the Doodlebug.
In the United States, doodlebug was the common name for a self-propelled railroad car. They were popular with some railroads during the first part of the 20th century to provide passenger and mail service on lightly-used branch lines, obviating the need to operate conventional trains consisting of a locomotive and coaches. Several railroads, mostly small regional and local networks, provided their main passenger services through doodlebugs in a cost cutting effort. However, in the railcar usage of the term it may have been derived from the phrase "doodling through town" that may have been applied to reference the function of the coaches

History of Goree, Part 14 (New Goree & School)

The New Goree & The New School
by John H Bates

In 1906, there was a small one room school called Chigger Hill located about one and one-half miles south west of present day Goree on the land now owned by P.H. Routen. The new town of Goree had started and the Chigger Hill School was moved to the present Goree at midterm. The town relocated because of the railroad, thus being dubbed ‘a railroad town’.

Miss Minnie Nelson was the teacher at the Chigger Hill School and she finished the spring term at the new location. Goree had built a three room building consisting of two classrooms and an auditorium. Mr. & Mrs. C.S. Carter were the new teachers at the beginning of the fall term in 1906. W.P. Edwards and J.E. Crouch were trustees.

Besides Mr. Carter, there have been eight other men to hold the position of superintendent in the past 58 years. Namely J.W. Bowman, a Mr. Hargroves, Elmer Truman, E.L. Cover, H.D. Arnold who began in 1920 and taught until his tragic death in 1950.

Some time between 1906-1918, more classrooms were added to the original three room building. In the fall of 1921 and spring of 1922, four additional classrooms, a study hall and an auditorium were added. I do know if this is correct, as I was a student at this time. In 1929, the present high school building was completed and I was a member of the first class to be graduated in the new structure.

I believe Goree holds somewhat of a record in the most number of years some members of the faculty have spent teaching in one location. Mr. Arnold taught 30 years; Mrs. H.L. Moore-43; Mr. J.H. Bardwell-20; Mrs. Bardwell-17; Mrs. Bettie Taylor-19; and Mrs. Arnold -20. I believe 149 years of teaching for 6 people in the same school is quite unusual.

History of Goree, Part 13 (Movie Theater)

by John H. Bates

Another memory of yesteryear was the showing of the film “Birth of a Nation." Our local theater showed the fourteen reel picture over a two night run. Seven reels were shown one night and the picture resumed the next night. The “Birth of a Nation” was a story of the Civil War and the reconstruction of the South. This picture was the film industries version of General Sherman and his dam Yankees march to the sea.

Doctor Taylor was all keyed up because the picture showed the burning of his beloved Atlanta. Just before Atlanta was burned, my mother fainted and Doctor Taylor was called to attend her. I often wonder if the good Doctor ever did get to see all the picture. I know I didn’t, for in those days you missed a portion of the picture if you were late or called out of the picture if you were late or called out, as there were no re-runs.

History of Goree, Part 12 (Town)

by John H. Bates
Time marched on and Goree grew. By 1920, we had three cotton gins, two theaters, and any number of business houses. The town had organized a band and a three day July 4th picnic had started when the first note came from the band pavilion.

Another highlight of yesterday was when Mr. Bill Glenn, of the County Seat came to asses taxes. Mr. Bill would drive up to our place late in the afternoon, in his new Model T that had cost at least $400.00 and my mother would make a dash for the milk cooler for a pitcher of buttermilk. Mr. Bill, the tax assessor, would come in, shake hands all around, and drink that pitcher of buttermilk, regardless of the size of the pitcher. After supper, the very thing we are discussing would begin. The early days on Knox prairie and do you remember when? I heard enough of it to last a lifetime, or so I thought, but here I am, a half century later, trying to tell something I heard long, long ago.

History of Goree, Part 11 (First Natl Bank)

The Bank
by John H. Bates

1906, Goree also saw the organization of the First National Bank. The new bank was in the first brick building built.

Mr. Dan Allen, Mr. W.W. Coffman, and Mr. Ernest Allen were officers of the bank.

Mr. Dan Allen told the story about the U.S. Government sending two men to Goree to make a report on the vicinity. They stayed around a few days and during this time they and Mr. Allen had become much good friends that the agents let him read the report they were sending to Washington.

In this report they had remarked that there was no reason why it would ever rain in the vicinity. For Goree was too far from the ocean and too far from the mountains, and according to all known factors those were the causes for rain, the Goree country had none of them, so they just didn’t expect it would ever rain there.

History of Goree, Part 10 (First Churches)

First Churches
by John H. Bates

The Methodist was the first to build a church, but all denominations used the building for worship. Bro. J.B. Curry was appointed pastor.

Brother Eiland and Brother Dulaney organized the Baptist Church and Brother Joe Lockhart was the first regular pastor.

The Church of Christ was organized by Brother Ed Bedford, J.D. Morton, and J.R. Mayberry. The pastor was Brother Bettercreek.

The Christian Church was started by the families of W.H. Griffin, E.W. Norris, Walter Price, John Lee, Walter Loe, Mrs. Sally Farris, and Dr. J.W. Melton, who was the community veterinary and later Knox County sheriff.

Friday, June 19, 2009

History of Goree, Part 9 (Goree Township)

by John H Bates

In 1906, the Goree Township was laid off and men were beginning to erect businesses, houses, homes and churches.

Mr. E.B. Wilson was the new railroad town’s first postmaster and also owned and operated the first Dry Foods Store and hotel, Wilson’s Hotel.

Mr. Henry Griffin and Mr. W.E. Coffman were the proprietors of the drug store operated under the name of W.W. Coffman & Co.

Mr. J.F. Crouch opened a barbershop and P.J. Camp, a tailor shop.

Hines & Wilson established Goree’s first grocery store, and W.J. Blount and George Moore a hardware store.

J.C. Woolridge & Co. added a lumber yard in Goree and Frank Davis was manager.

Goree had two blacksmith shops in 1906. J.C. Morton owned and operated one, and Mac Spears and Bud Glover, the other.

Tom Davis had a five & dime store and A.A. Brooks furnished the young people entertainment with the skating rink.

E.W. Norris and his uncle built and operated the new town’s first cotton gin.

The first residences constructed in Goree were those of J.C. Morton, J.W. Nesbitt, and J.K. Wisdom.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

And the wall came tumbling down...

Before work began...
View from the sidewalk in front of the ice plant.

We had a storm this past Saturday night. Kent has been expanding the ice business into the hardware store once owned by Les Jameson. The structure had been cleaned out and made ready for a loading dock/garage area for the ice biz. The store front was in the process of being renovated. If you will remember, a few months ago the brick had been sandblasted. The loss of the structure to 100 mile an hour winds was a sad setback. The bank building looks incomplete now that the structure that once shared its' architecture is now in a pile on the ground.