FRATERVILLE MINERS MEMORIAL HIGHWAY
Dedication Ceremony

Combined with Briceville School
Annual History Field Trip
19 May 2006

(104th Anniversary of the mining disaster)

The Fraterville Miners are "Gone, but not forgotten" as many of their headstones read.  To honor the over 200 Fraterville miners who perished in the Fraterville Mine Disaster of 1902, a section of Highway 116 stretching through the Coal Creek area was renamed the "Fraterville Miners Memorial Highway" by Senate Resolution.  The resolution was the result of the efforts of Senator Randy McNally and Representative Les Winningham.  The highway signs were unveiled on the 104th anniversary of the mining disaster. 

Participants included:  Senator Randy McNally, Representative Les Winningham, Descendants of the Fraterville Miners, Lake City Mayor Buck Wilson, Briceville School 4th & 5th graders, and citizens.  Thanks to Anderson County Sheriff Bill White for providing road and traffic security for the ceremony.


Left to Right: 
Lake City Mayor Buck Wilson, Representative Les Winningham, Senator Randy McNally, & Barry Thacker, PE
(Note:  The bandanas were worn in honor of the Coal Creek miners who fought in the Coal Creek War.  The miners were known to don bandanas as their uniforms.)

PRESS COVERAGE of this important event in Coal Creek history was provided by:  Bob Fowler from the Knoxville News Sentinel, WATE-TV Channel 6, WVLT-TV Channel 8, Anderson County Channel 12 public television, and the Clinton Courier News.

Knoxville News Sentinel story

Courier News coverage


Students began their annual history field trip at the site of Drummond Bridge, where miner Dick Drummond was hung during the Coal Creek War of 1891 and 1892

Each year, the Coal Creek Watershed Foundation (CCWF) sponsors a history field trip for the 4th and 5th graders of Briceville School.  CCWF teaches the students the rich coal mining history of Coal Creek so that the students learn the important role their ancestors took in our national history.  The students should be proud of where they come from.  Historic sites visited on this date were:  Drummond Bridge, Militia Hill, Fraterville Mine, Fraterville Itinerant Miners' Cemetery, and Briceville Church. The students also participated in the dedication of the Fraterville Miners Memorial Highway.
Jan Whaley, descendant of the Slovers and Roberts who were killed in the mine, and Norma Jeannie Pitts, descendant of the Brooks and Hightowers, stand in front of the new sign in Fraterville. Briceville students on their history field trip helped unveil the new sign posted in Briceville.

To view photos from the day's events, click on image to enlarge

Students' visit Militia Hill to reenact a battle between the miners and TN Militia:
Barry Thacker teaches the students the history of Militia Hill and the Coal Creek War

Students reenact the miners trying to sneak up on Fort Anderson during the Coal Creek War

Students gather in a section of the trenches dug by the militia over 100 years ago
Dedication & Unveiling of the Fraterville Miners Memorial Highway:
Barry lifts Coal Creek Scholar April Byrge on his shoulders to remove the plastic from the new highway sign Barry addresses the crowd Senator McNally gets a little help tying on his bandana
Louise Nelson, granddaughter of Fraterville Miner David Dezern, speaks to the crowd
about what this day
means to her
Janet Whaley, descendant of the Slovers and Roberts who were killed in the mine, and Norma Jeannie Pitts, descendant of the Brooks and Hightowers, stand in front of the new sign in Fraterville.
Students visit the site of the Fraterville Mine:
Students walk along the trail to the Fraterville Mine site where the miners walked before them

Students find the old railroad ties where the rail from the mine once ran

Students gather at the mine site.  They were treated to a history lesson by Coal Creek Scholars April Golden and April Byrge.
Visit to Fraterville Itinerant
Miners' Cemetery:
Students gather at one of the fieldstones that marks where one of the itinerant miners were buried after the disaster
Lunch at Cracker Barrel: After lunch at the Cracker Barrel where the staff noted what well-behaved students these were!
Unveiling of the highway sign
posted in the Briceville area:

Visit to historic Briceville Church and Cemetery:
Students walked from the park up to the historic Briceville Church and Cemetery Barry reads Eugene Ault's farewell message that is inscribed on his headstone. Eugene died in the Cross Mountain Mine disaster of 1911.

Students gather around Rev. John Thomas Moore's headstone located in Briceville Cemetery

Links to other Briceville School field trips

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CELEBRATING OUR 16th YEAR!!