A Landing a Day

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Finger, Tennessee

Posted by graywacke on November 25, 2009

First timer? In this (hopefully) once-a-day blog, I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48). I call this “landing.” I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near. I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

Dan –  I was looking for three USers in a row, but ‘twas not to be, as I landed in a PSer (now an OSer) . . .TN; 26/25; 2/10; 19; 154.5.  Here’s my landing map, showing my proximity to Finger, Enville, Milledgeville and Henderson.

You can see Tar Creek on the map, in whose watershed I landed.  Tar Creek flows to the S Fk of the Forked Deer R (2nd hit); to the Forked Deer (3rd hit); to the Obion (3rd hit); to the MM (714th hit).

Here’s a broader view:

And here’s my GE shot, showing I landed in a pleasant-looking rural area with mixed farm fields, pastureland and woods:

Here’s what I could find out about Finger from a Plunk family website:

In the northern section of McNairy County lies a small town, Finger, Tennessee.  The Plunk Family settled in this area about 1823.  Finger was named in 1895.  It lies near the tracks of The Mobile and Ohio Railroad built in 1857.

Several stories have been told about how Finger got its name. My father, Frank Plunk, told this story:   “A boxcar train called The “Little Doodlebug” or “Dinkie” carried passengers and the US Mail between Jackson,Tennessee and Corinth, Mississippi.  It delivered mail to what is now Finger, but the problem was nobody had settled on a name.  The town was referred to by several different names, including Possom Trot, Anderson’s Store, McIntyre’s Crossing, Brown Crossing, Mt. Carmel and Huggins Creek.  The Train Conductor told William P. Massey, the person receiving the mail, “The Community had to give this town a single name, because the mail was getting mixed up with all the different names”.

William P. Massey was thumping his finger on the boxcar trying to come up with a name. The Conductor said, “Why don’t we call it Finger?”

Finger and southern Chester County are well known for its open pit cooked whole hog bar-b-que. In the late 1800’s George Dickey with the help of his friends and relatives hosted the first Finger Bar-B-Que and Picnic. It was an annual event, held the first Saturday in August, and has been going on for over a 100 years. Friends and relatives from hundreds of miles away come together to reunite and recollect on past memories. On August 2, 2003 six of Frank and Luda Plunk’s boys return to Finger,Tennessee to enjoy the annual Finger Bar-B-Que and Picnic.

I couldn’t find out anything about Enville, but I love how this town could have been featured on Sesame Street (get the joke??).   I found a 110-acre property for sale in Enville (asking price $367,000).  It looks really great, and the price ain’t bad.  Here are some pictures:

OK, OK, enough on the real-estate ad.  Anyway, Milledgeville is truly GD.  Henderson is a little more substantial.  Here’s some history (from the town’s website):

Henderson, Tennessee, was formed in the 1850’s as a railroad stop on the Mobile Railroad. During the Civil War, there was a major Confederate States of America recruitment center located along what is now Front Street, and the 51st and 52nd Tennessee Infantry were raised here. After their departure, the Railroad Depot and area around it was occupied by Union forces.

Some locals (Raiders) loyal to the Southern Cause set fire to the Depot, and it was reduced to embers. The Union Troops were captured and given to Confederate troops in the area, and they were, in turn, sent to one of the South’s prisons.

Henderson has had several interesting natives who made an impression upon our nation. Sue Shelton White was raised on Church Street in Henderson, and she became one of the great leaders of the Woman’s Right to Vote Movement of the early 1900’s. She was considered a militant, and spent five days in a Washington, D.C. jail.  She later helped design the US Social Security System under Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Here’s a picture of Sue.  I figured she’d be a stern, grumpy-looking old lady.  I was wrong!

Back to the write-up . . .

Henderson is a progressive modern, small Southern town, but it also has its heritage and history deeply embedded within its borders and embraced by its citizens. In 1973, the legacy of McNairy County Sheriff Buford Pusser was preserved in film when “Walking Tall” was filmed in Henderson and Chester County. Many Henderson residents served as extras or played bit parts in the film that launched several sequels.

Henderson’s most famous son is country music singer and songwriter Eddy Arnold, who was born in Henderson in 1918. In the 1930s, Arnold could be seen every Saturday sitting atop downtown’s overhead bridge, strumming his guitar and telling skeptical onlookers that someday he’d be famous. He kept that promise, rising to the top of the country charts with songs such as “Make the World Go Away” and “What’s He Doing in My World.” Arnold was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1966.

From Wiki:

Richard Edward Arnold (May 15, 1918 – May 8, 2008), known professionally as Eddy Arnold, was an American country music singer who performed for six decades. He created the Nashville sound in the late 1950s, and had 147 songs on the Billboard Magazine music charts.  One authoritative study ranks Arnold as the all-time leader for hits and their time on the charts. Arnold sold more than 85 million records from 1943 to his death in 2008.

On May 31, 2008, RCA Records released as a single To Life, a song from the album After All These Years. It debuted at #49 on the Hot County Songs charts, Arnold’s his first entry in 25 years and a recording by the oldest person to chart in Billboard. It set the record for the longest span between a first chart single and a last: 62 years and 11 months (“Each Minute Seems Like a Million Years” debuted on June 30, 1945), and extended Arnold’s career chart history to seven decades.

To hear Eddy singing “Make the World Go Away,” click here:

I’ll close with this Henderson sunset:

That’ll do it.



© 2009 A Landing A Day


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