Welsh in Coal Creek
History Lesson at Lake City Elementary School
Friday, February 25, 2005

See photos at bottom of page

The 4th and 5th graders at Lake City Elementary School were treated to a lesson on the Welsh and coal mining history of Coal Creek in preparation for corresponding with their Sister-Schools in Wales

The Welsh were well represented during the history lesson at Lake City Elementary School today.  Students and teachers with surnames like Price, Evans, Jenkins, Richards, Williams, Meredith, Phillips, Harris, and Owen learned about the Welsh coal miners and iron workers with similar surnames and others who helped rebuild East Tennessee after the Civil War and form Coal Creek’s early history.

Barry Thacker taking questions from
Lake City Elementary School students after
their Coal Creek history lesson

After the history lesson, students wanted to know if they have a Welsh surname or if they might be related to one of the miners who died in the Fraterville and Cross Mountain Mine disasters.  Lists were provided to help them answer those questions as shown below.


(Photo to Left)
Miss Price, a 5th grade student, was
thrilled to learn she has a Welsh surname.

Welsh surnames at www.amlwchdata.co.uk/welsh_names_and_meaning.htm.

Fraterville Mine disaster victims at www.geocities.com/Heartland/Acres/3415/FMDlist.html.

Cross Mountain Mine disaster victims at www.geocities.com/Heartland/Ranch/4916/CrossMtnExpl.html.

After the presentation, Lake City Mayor Buck Wilson took a poll, asking how many students thought the name of the town should be changed back to Coal Creek.  The vote appeared to be unanimous in favor of the change!

Click on image to enlarge: 

Barry shows the students the model of the Coal Creek Watershed created by Mayor Buck Wilson of Lake City (Formerly the town of Coal Creek).  Historic sites are marked on the model.

Mayor Buck and Principal L. C. Madron discuss the importance of the history of Coal Creek with the students.

The students learned about Henry Howard Wiley who first surveyed Coal Creek in the 1800s and once owned over 30,000 acres here.  His large monument at his grave  can be found in Wiley Cemetery.

Next to Wiley's monument is the graves of Rees R. Thomas and his wife Margaret who were born in Carmarthen, South Wales and settled in Coal Creek as a mining family.  Mr. Thomas' rare Welsh book collection would be found years later at Harvard University library donated by his son, David R. Thomas.


Coal Creek miner
David R. Thomas

Ms. Barton's
5th grade class

Ms. Long's
5th grade class
Mr. Williams'
5th grade class

Briceville School 4th and 5th graders history lesson

Coal Creek Eisteddfod Literary Competition, May 2005

Courier News article about Sister-Schools -- 16 March 2005

Coal Creek Sister-Schools in Wales

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