McNairy Magazine 2019


McNairy Magazine is the annual destination guide for McNairy County published by the McNairy County Chamber of Commerce, Tourism, and Economic Development.



McNairy Magazine

Published by

McNairy County Economic

Development and Chamber of Commerce


Eddie Crittendon

Tourism & Chamber Director

Jessica Huff

Magazine Editor

Sarah Rowland Moore

Cover photo courtesy of:

Smokey Joe’s Bar-B-Que & Huffoto

MCEDCC is a vital link between Industry,

Retail, and our community. We strive to

create community pride, growth, and to

help businesses maintain a viable workforce

and customer base. Our members, through

Chamber memberships, help to create a

thriving community.

We are Peaceful, Progressive & Proud!

205 West Court Avenue

P.O. Box 7

Selmer, Tennessee 38375

Phone (731) 645-6360

Fax (731) 645-7663


ABOUT MCNAIRY............5

Important Information



Parks Directory

Golf Courses

Local Swinning

K&M Precision Rifle



Shiloh Corn Maze

Duncan Christmas Tree




Derailed Haunted House

Buford Pusser Festival

Rockabilly Highway


Kids Fest

731 Fest

Freedome Fest



Quilting - Part of

McNairy County History

Music Heritage

Renaissance on Main &

Plein Air Art Festival

Arts in McNairy

Pusser Historic Jail Tours

A.R.T.S. Theater Group

Dewey Phillips

Stanton Litteljohn

Hockaday Handmade


Civil War Driving Tours


Finger BBQ: The Daddy

of All Barbeques

Selmer Farmer’s Market

Ada’s Country Store

Stoll Family Keeps

Sorghum Makin’ Tradition


Taste of McNairy

Love of Literacy

Restaurant Directory


Little Free Libraries

MCHS 50th Birthday

Coon Creek Science


University of Tennessee

- Martin/Selmer

Schools Directory


Chewalla Basketball

Community Sports

School Sports

Award Winning Bands


Walking Tall 25/50K

Big Hill Pond Trail Run


Medical Directory



Chamber Directory

14 Reasons to Join the


McNairy Leadership

2018 Businesses of the




Adamsville Industrial


Selmer Industrial Park

Industry Directory




Unless otherwise stated,

all area codes are 731.


Adamsville, 38310

Bethel Springs, 38315

Chewalla, 38393

Finger, 38334

Guys, 38339

Lawton, 38375

Michie, 38357

MIlledgeville, 38359

Ramer, 38367

Selmer, 38375

Stantonville, 38379


Avg Annual Rainfall 55”

Avg Snowfall 3”

Avg Winter Temp 48° F

Avg Summer Temp 90° F


In case of emergency, dial


Fire Departments

Adamsville Volunteer Fire



231 E. Main St., Adamsville

Bethel Springs Fire Dept.


4068 Main St., Bethel


Finger Volunteer Fire Dept.


2296 Finger Leapwood Rd.,


McNairy County Fire Dept


170 W. Court Ave., Selmer

Michie Volunteer Fire &



5725 Hwy. 22 S., Michie

Ramer Volunteer Fire Dept


16 Key Ln., Ramer

Selmer Fire Dept.


707 Industrial Park Rd.,


Law Enforcement

McNairy County Sheriff’s



300 Industrial Park Dr.,


Selmer Police Dept


144 N. 2nd St., Selmer

Adamsville City Police Dept


231 E. Main St., Adamsville

Bethel Springs Polive Dept.


4066 Main St., Bethel



U.S. Senators

Lamar Alexander

(202) 224-4944

455 Dirksen Senate Office


Washington, D.C.

Marsha Blackburn

(202) 224-3344

Dirksen Senate Office

Building, SD-185,

Washington, D.C.

U.S. Representative

Mark Green (Dist.7)

(202) 225-2811

509 Cannon Building,

Washington, D.C.

State Senator

Dolores Gresham (Dist.26)

(615) 741-2368

13 Legislative Plaza,


State Representative

Ron Gant (Dist.94)

(615) 741-6890

301 6th Ave. N., Suite 117,

War Memorial

Building, Nashville

Local Mayors

McNairy County

Larry Smith


170 West Court Ave.,

Suite 201, Selmer

P.O. Box 301, Adamsville

Bethel Springs

Gary Bizzell, Jr.


P.O. Box 214, Bethel Springs


Jessie Robbins


199 Hwy. 57 West, Ramer


Robert Heathcock III


P. O. Box 98 Finger, TN


Keith Rinehart


PO Box 122, Guys


Anthony Smith

(662) 415-7054

P. O. Box 27 Michie, TN


Dannie Kennedy


P.O. Box 6, Milledgeville


George Armstrong


P.O. Box 38 Ramer


John Smith


144 N. Second St., Selmer


Larry Russel


285 Michie Pebble Hill Rd,



McNairy County



170 W. Court Ave., Selmer


Irving Meek Jr. Public



204 W. Main St., Adamsville

225 Oak Grove Rd., Selmer



880 Pickwick St., Savannah



McNairy County Clerk


530 Mulberry Ave., Selmer



Pickwick Electric



(800) 372-8258

672 Hwy. 142, Selmer


Adamsville Public Works


203 Sunrise Drive,


Selmer Utility Department


500 Peachtree Ave., Selmer

Waste Management

Adamsville Public Works


203 Sunrise Drive,


Recycling Center


Water & Sewage

Adamsville Public Works


203 Sunrise Drive,


Bethel Springs Water Dept.


4066 Main St., Bethel


Selmer Utility



500 Peach St., Selmer

Milledgeville Fire Dept.


202 Ellis Rd., Milledgeville


David Leckner

632- 1401

Jack McConnico

Memorial Library



City parks

Buford Pusser Memorial Park, Adamsville

Ted Hughes, Director of Adamsville Parks & Recreation


The park consists of a lighted basketball court, lighted tennis courts,

playground, with a variety of equipment for kids to enjoy, 4 ball fields,

open air pavilion, picnic tables, 4 grills, shade trees and a walking track.

Bethel Springs City Park

Located behind City Hall and the Community Center.

The park has a walking trail around a green space and picnic tables.

Eastview City Park

Located on Highway 57 behind The Junction Truck Stop. The park

consists of a walking trail, outdoor seating, and baseball, softball and

soccer fields.

Patriot Park

Patriot Park is located on Old Highway 45 between

Selmer and Bethel Springs. It consists of several

baseball and softball fields and a concession

building. It’s maintined by Selmer Parks & Recreation.

Splish splash

Michie City Park

Located on Highway 57 next to Michie Elementary School. The park

consists of baseball fields and a basketball court.

Ramer City Park

Located on Highway 57 across from Ramer Elementary School. The park

consists of a walking trail, outdoor seating, and green space.

Selmer City Park

Sybil Dancer, Director of Selmer Parks & Recreation


Located at the intersection of Highways 64 and 45 in Selmer. The park

consists of a walking trail, basketball courts, tennis courts, soccer field,

baseball and softball fields, playground, outdoor stage, two open

pavilions, outdoor workout equipment, and a city swimming pool.

Dixie Park is located at 230 E Court Ave. in Selmer,

site of the historic Dixie Cafe. The park consists of a

splash pad, green space, and an ADA compliant bath

house. It’s maintained by Selmer Parks & Recreation.

Rockin’ Out

Rockabilly Park, located in Historic Downtown

Selmer, is the site of famed Rockabilly Mural

II and the Selmer Farmer’s Market. The park

consists of green space, a small stage which

hosts outdoor music events, seating, and

various displays of sculpture artwork. It’s

maintained by Selmer Parks & Recreation.





Shiloh Golf Course

2915 Caney Branch Rd,



A semi-private club featuring an

18-hole regulation length golf


Selmer Country Club

1254 Country Club Ln, Selmer


A members-only club featuring

an 9-hole regulation length

golf course, outdoor swimming

pool, and restaurant.

Country Critters

Campground & RV Park

Located at 1331 Elm Rd, Adamsville,

Country Critters Campground & RV

Park is a privately owned campground

complete with RV hook-ups. Call 434-

8989 for more information.

Local Swimming

Easthills Aquatic Club

Sibley Dr, Selmer


A members-only club featuring a large outdoor

swimming pool, kiddie pool, and bath house.

K&M Precision

Rifle Training

Located in Finger, K&M Precision Rifle Training is a state of the art

complex for long range rifle and handgun training. The range hosts

multiple shooting competitions. Its largest is the Bushnell Tactical Gap

Grind Pro/Am Competition attracting shooters from around the world.

Selmer City Pool

Located at Selmer City Park


Open to the public. Features a large outdoor

swimming pool, kiddie pool, and bath house.

Selmer Country


1254 Country Club

Ln, Selmer


A members-only



Big HIll Pond

state park

1435 John Howell Rd, Pocahontas


Pinson Mounds

State archeological Park

The park covers more than 1,200 acres and contains at least 15

Native American mounds. Archaeological evidence suggests

the mounds were both burial and ceremonial in purpose.

Pinson Mounds is a national historic landmark and is listed on

the National Register of Historic Places. Located at 460 Ozier

Rd, in Pinson. Contact 731-988-5614 for more information.


State Park

Chickasaw State Park is a 1,400 acre park that boasts plenty of

recreation: hiking trails, paddle boating, bicycle friendly roads,

primitive or RV camping and cabin rentals and horseback riding.

The park has plenty of picnic space, pavilions, playground, and

beach volleyball. Chickasaw became a state park in 1955 and

before that was one of Tennessee’s 20 New Deal-era parks.

It’s located at 20 Cabin Lane in Henderson, TN. For more

information, call 731-989-5141.



Photo Credit: National Park Service Photo

Shiloh National

Military Park

Established in 1894, Shiloh National Military Park remains

one the the best preserved and most pristine Civil War

battlefields. The 5,000 acre park is located at 1055 Pittsburg

Landing Rd., Shiloh, TN on the banks of the Tennessee River.

The Park is also home to a United States National Cemetery

which contains around 4,000 soldiers and their family. The

park includes Shiloh Indian Mounds. A short walking trail

leads to the mounds with an overlook of the Tennessee River.

Near the mounds you may also catch a glimpse of the Shiloh

bald eagles. The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset and

it’s paved roads are enjoyed by bikers, walkers and runners.

Big Hill Pond State Park is

located in the southwestern

part of McNairy County and

encompasses 4,138 acres of

timberland and hard wood

bottomland. Cypress Creek

and Tuscumbia River border

the property. The flood plain,

adjacent to the river and

creek contains small oxbows

and swampy areas which are

desirable habitat for waterfowl,

wildlife and fish.

Park highlights include the 70

foot observation tower that

offers panoramic views of Travis

McNatt Lake, and the boardwalk

that wends through Dismal

Swamp. Guests visiting Big Hill

Pond State Park enjoy camping,

hiking, mountain biking, fishing

and paddling in the summer.

The park is home to thirty miles

of overnight and day use trails

with four backpack trail shelters.


Corn Maze

Located at the Chateau at Shiloh, 11200 HWY

142, Shiloh, Tennessee, the 4-acre corn maze

is a highlight for families every fall. The maze

is open throughout the month of October

weather permitting. Other attractions include

a mega slide, zip line, corn crib, petting zoo,

hayrides, old fashioned village and other

family fun attractions. The Chateau at Shiloh

is also a wedding event venue, a part of

Crazy K Ranch located in Ramer. For more

information call 434-4473.


Christmas Tree Farm

Families come from all over for a sip of hot chocolate or cider

while hay riding through the fields at Duncan’s looking for

their perfect Christmas tree. Duncan’s Christmas Tree Farm is

a 35-acre farm located at 186 Hester Road in Selmer. The farm

grows Leland Cypress, Virginia Pine, Carolina Sapphire and

Blue Ice. Pre-cut Fraser Firs

are shipped in the week of

Thanksgiving. The gift shop

boasts handmade, fresh

wreaths and garland, bows,

ornaments, and a variety of

Christmas decorations.


Don’t scream

Derailed Haunted House located in Ramer,

TN is a scary and fun indoor walk-through

attraction. Recently, the attraction was

featured in Forbes magazine for their use

of cutting edge technologies. Derailed

features two haunts, Vengeance and Terror

Town in 3-D. Vengeance is a classic style

attraction packed with live actors and

engaging animatronics. It is self paced

so the patron may become immersed

in the richly designed sets. Terror Town

in 3-D is the newest attraction featuring

mind-blowing 3-D artwork that is visually

terrifying under UV lighting.

Buford Pusser

Annual Festival

The Buford Pusser Festival is held every May, the anniversary of the opening of the

Buford Pusser Home & Museum in 1988. The festival includes many events such as

free concerts, carnival rides, the Buford Pusser bus tours, a 5K race, a car and bike

show, and a storytelling event. The Museum is also open to visitors throughout the

festival. 2018 marked the 30th annual festival. For more information, contact the

museum at 731-632-4080.

Guests at Derailed may also enjoy trying

to escape from one of the non-scary

themed escape rooms. Derailed features

Stalag 13 which has a high success rate

and Escape By the Number in 3-D which

presents an extra challenge in a 3-D

environment. Both escape games are

require teamwork. Those who may be

interested in paranormal research should

also check out Derailed during the year to

see what ethereal guests may be visiting

the property.

Derailed features outdoor movies each

night of operation for free. Sit around the

bonfire, grab a soft drink and popcorn from

the concession stand and enjoy a horror

classic with your friends.

Derailed is open each Friday and Saturday

in October and on October 30, and 31, from

7:00 until 11:00 each night. Check out the


for tickets and more information.



Kid’s Fest

Photo Credit: McNairy County News

Kid’s Fest is an annual event favorite in McNairy County held every April. The

event features many family-friendly attractions including fair rides for kids, food

and activity vendors, and many cartoon characters for kids to meet from Disney

princesses to Olaf, everyone’s favorite snowman.

Kids Fest started as an event created and organized by the McNairy County

Chamber of Commerce, but in 2019, Mary Lou Johnson, Inc. will take the helm of

organizing the eighth annual event.

“We’re really excited about hosting the Kids Fest,” said LaShell Moore of Mary

Lou Johnson, Inc., “and we want to continue to make it an even bigger event

children and families can look forward to attending each year.”

Kids Fest will be April 20, 2019 at the Selmer City Park immediately following the

City of Selmer’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt.

731 Fest

731 Fest is a regional initiative

throughout the 731 area code.

Held across various communities

on July 31, 731 Fest in McNairy

County is organized by the McNairy

County Sustainability Committee.

The festival celebrates everything

local featuring many family-friendly

attractions including local vendors,

artisans, farmers, merchants, and

more. In 2018, proceeds benefited

McNairy County Developmental


Rockabilly HIghway


Rockabilly Highway Revival is held annually the second

weekend in June in Historic Downtown Selmer. What began

as a dedication ceremony for Rockabilly Mural I painted by

Brian Tull turned into a full-fledged annual festival attracting

hundreds of people each year. The festival centers around live

music performed at Rockabilly Park, the site of Rockabilly Mural

II. Situated on Rockabilly Highway (45 South), midway between

Memphis and Nashville, Tupelo, Mississippi and Jackson,

Tennessee, McNairy County was ground zero for the cultural

explosion that gave birth to rockabilly and rock ’n’ roll music.



Every Independence Day Selmer Parks

& Recreation hosts Freedom Fest at the

Selmer City Park. The Festival includes live

music throughout the day from local rock

bands to AiM’s Community Band. It also

includes vendors and other attractions and

culminates in a fireworks display at sunset.




Quilting is a living handcraft tradition

— though increasingly scarce — in

much of rural America. Southern

farm communities seem especially

rich in homespun textile techniques

such as quilting, and McNairy

County is no exception. For nearly 40

years, quilt-makers and quilt-lovers

alike have gathered each October

to pay homage to the beauty and

utility of local quilts. The McNairy

County Quilt Show, which began in

Adamsville 37 years ago, has just

concluded an incredible 24-year run

at Bethel Springs United Pentecostal

Church under the direction of the

talented and hardworking Doris

Reece and her Busy Bee Quilters.

Thirty-seven years is a long time,

but the fuller story of McNairy

County quilting comes down to us in

one unbroken thread from the area’s

earliest residents. It weaves its way

in and out of numerous local families

who have their own quilting stories

to tell. But, certainly, one of the most

fascinating and well-documented is

that of the Black family.

Narcissa Erwin married John H.

Black in December 1836. The Erwin

and Black families were pioneer

settlers in southeast McNairy County.

Narcissa’s diaries detail her life on a

small plantation near Stantonville.

The first entries are made a few

months prior to the outbreak of the

Civil War and continue regularly until

1886, six years before Narcissa’s

death at the age of 83. The diary is

an invaluable historic record of life

on a working farm of the era, but

the most intriguing entries are those

that shed light on the quilt-making

relationship between Narcissa and

her only female slave, Chany Scot


In the years leading up to the

Civil War, Narcissa and Chany had

developed a thriving business

operation making garments of every

description and a broad variety of

home textiles, including, of course,

quilts and coverlets. Narcissa, the

seamstress and businesswoman,

used her diary to make an

accounting of supplies bought and

goods sold while Chany, the master

craftswoman, applied a deft hand

at the loom and spinning wheel.


Part of McNairy County History

The diary even records mixed-race

quilting bees where black and white

women came together in common

cause at the quilt frame — a highly

unusual practice for that time.

Chany Black was emancipated in

1863, and John H. Black passed away

just as the Civil War was coming to

its final, bloody conclusion. These

two turns of fate, coming as they did

in rapid succession, could have left

Narcissa completely alone, spelling

disaster for her financial future. But,

incredibly, Chany Black decided

to remain in McNairy County at the

close of the war.

Whether out of necessity or

affection (or both), Narcissa and

Chany continued the quilting and

textile operation even after many

of the agricultural implements and

land the Blacks formerly cultivated

were sold at auction. Quilting was,

undoubtedly, a welcome stream

of revenue, providing a measure of

independence for both women until

they parted company in 1872. Chany

was apparently more partner than

common laborer in the endeavor,

earning enough to establish her own

household and purchase her own

loom and spinning wheel. Three

quilts produced by the team, along

with Narcissa’s diaries that shed so

much light on this history, are now

in the collections of the Mississippi

Department of Archives and History.

Thankfully, McNairy’s textile and

handcraft heritage is still unfolding.

McNairy County Tourism and

McNairy County Friends of the

Library hosted the 38th Annual

McNairy County Quilt and Craft

Trail on Saturday, Oct. 6 in Selmer.

There were 150 quilts on display

in six locations: the Latta Gallery,

Jack McConnico Memorial Library,

McNairy County Historical Museum,

First United Methodist Church and

First Presbyterian Church in Selmer

and Bethel Springs Presbyterian

Church in Bethel Springs.

At the museum, the Needles ’n’

Pins Quilters presented live quilting

demonstrations. The museum

collections included antique quilts

and a loom and spinning wheel

similar to those used by Narcissa

and Chany Black.

Frances Atkinson, Delores Rast, Emi

Dickinson, Barbara Brown and Susan

Hendrix were awarded People’s Choice

awards at their respective locations. Jo

Doris Price was awarded Best of Show for

her quilt created by her late mother-in-law,

Betty Tell Price.

The next Quilt & Craft Trail will be October

5, 2019. Follow McNairy County Tourism or

McNairy County Libraries for more info.

(Story by Shawn Pitts of Selmer, TN.

Reprinted with permission by Tennessee

Magazine with some alterations. Reference:

Lohrenz, Mary. “Two Lives Intertwined on a

Tennessee Plantation: Textile Production

as Recorded in the Diary of Narcissa L.

Erwin Black” Southern Quarterly 27, No. 1

(1988), 72-93)

Arts in McNairy

Arts in McNairy (AiM) is a live theater, an art

gallery, a publishing house, a community

history/heritage center, and more! Arts in

McNairy fosters an atmosphere where all

the arts and artists across disciplines can

learn and thrive. AiM was founded in 2001

on the principle that participation in the arts

is a cornerstone for the development of a

healthy community. Over the years, AiM

has demonstrated this principle through

arts programs, concerts, performances,

festivals, workshops, exhibits and an indepth

exploration of McNairy County’s

rich cultural heritage. The organization has

been recognized at the local, state, and

national levels for excellence in rural arts

development and planning. Simply stated,

we aspire to connect local creatives to the

larger community where their gifts may

be shared and appreciated. Follow AiM

on Facebook or check out their website at for more information.


historic Jail Tours

In 2017, the restoration of the

Buford Pusser Historic Jail &

Office, located in the basement of

the McNairy County Courthouse,

was completed. The jail and

office is now open for tours. For

more information about the jail

or to schedule a tour, contact

Jessica Huff, McNairy County

Tourism Director, at 731-645-

6360 or


On Main & Plein

Air Art Festival

Renaissance on Main’s purpose is

to revitalize Main Street Adamsville

into a convenient, inviting family

destination through the arts and

small businesses. Their Plein Air Art

Festival featured artists from across

the county and region. Professional

and amateur painters competed

in a “live” painting competition.

The winners for the open category

were: Jan Carnell, first; Paige

Joyner, second; and Nancy Sharp

Erwin, third. The winners for the

professional category were: Sandra

Carpenter, first; Amanda Sites,

second & People’s Choice Award

(pictured left); and Mary Spelling,


Photo Credit: Independent Appeal


Theatre Group

A.R.T.S. (Actors Revealing Their Skills)

Theatre Group is a local community

theatre. Shows are performed at

the Marty in Adamsville. The group

performs several shows from August

to June. Auditions are open to anyone

regardless of experience who wants

to start acting. Follow them on

Facebook for more information.


Dewey Phillips

Daddy-O Dewey Phillips of Adamsville was the voice of a pivotal postwar

American generation. As announcer for the Red, Hot, and Blue program, he

helped WHBQ bridge the gap between their white audience and advertisers

and their black audience to bring a new kind of sound to the air —R&B. Dewey

had an ear for the best tracks and brought some of the Midsouth’s most popular

sounds to WHBQ.



From his home recording studio in

Eastview, Stanton Littlejohn did so

much to preserve early Rockabilly

music. Not only did Littlejohn

record the earliest versions of

the legendary Carl Perkins music,

three years before Sun Records.

Littlejohn’s recordings are archived

by the Library of Congress and

his Perkins recordings have

received international interest and


Hockaday Handmade


Hockaday family brooms began in the early 1900s by Will

Hockaday as simply a means to make a living through the winter.

Now, over 100 years later, the Hockaday brooms is now an art

form and tradition carried on by Will Hockaday’s great-grandson,

Jack Martin, on the original equipment designed and built some

100 years ago. Hockaday Handmade Brooms is located at 2076

Hwy 142 in Selmer. For more information or for shop hours, call

Jack at 645-4823 or visit



Shiloh National Military Park Ranger leads a tour on the Battle of Davis Bridge - October 5, 2014. Photo Credit: NPS

McNairy County

Civil War Driving Tours

Key Stories, Places and People

on this Tour: Selmer; Eastview;

Ramer; Chewalla; Pocahontas;

Metamora; ailroad History;

Battle of Chewalla; Camp

Sheldon; Maj. Gen. Earl Van

Dorn; Big Hill; Hatchie River;

Tuscumbia River; Battle of

Davis Bridge; Young’s Bridge;

Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson;

Maj. Gen. John S. Bowen; Maj.

Gen. Edward O.C. Ord; Maj.

Gen. Stephen A. Hurlbut; Big

Hill Pond State Park



Your tour begins at the

Tennessee Civil War Trails

marker on the Mobile & Ohio

Railroad in Downtown Selmer.

Much of the military conflict in

and around McNairy County

centered on control of this vital

railway as well as the Memphis

& Charleston line you will visit

on this tour. We recommend

you take the time to read this

and each of the markers on the

tour for a better understanding

of the historical events, people

and places.

The Davis



From the Mobile &

Ohio marker go left

across the railroad

tracks onto East

Court Ave (Business

Hwy 45/64) and continue

south 7 miles to your next turn.

Immediately after crossing the

tracks get in the right lane and

keep right in the through lane

at the first traffic signal. The

next traffic light is the junction

of Hwy 64 and Hwy 45. Go

straight through the light

onto Hwy 45 South (Mulberry

Avenue). In a short distance

you will come to the traffic

light at the junction of 45 South

and Hwy 142 coming in on your

left. Continue south on Hwy 45

and travel the remainder of the

distance to the stoplight at the

junction of Hwy 45 South and

Hwy 57 in Eastview.

Take a right onto Hwy 57

and proceed west 4.4 miles

to Ramer where you will again

cross the southern extension

of the Mobile & Ohio Railroad

tracks. After crossing the

tracks, immediately turn left

onto Hwy 234/Chewalla Rd.

Keep right on 234 as it veers

away from the railroad and

makes an S turn and heads

south. Travel 4.4 miles to the

crossing of the Memphis

& Charleston Railroad in

Chewalla. Just before arriving

at the railroad tracks, you

will note an intersection with

Guys-Chewalla Rd. coming in

on your left and Butler Chapel

Rd. extending to your right.

Stay on Hwy 234 but note this

intersection as you will return

here to continue your tour.

Immediately after the noted

intersection, Hwy 234 makes

another S curve turning

sharply left then to the right

at Chewalla Baptist Church

as you approach the railroad

tracks. This is the M&C Railroad

which was the first railroad

in the United States to link

the Atlantic Ocean with the

Mississippi River in 1857. It was

of great strategic significance

during the Civil War since it was

the only rail line running east to

west through the Confederacy.

The M&C and M&O crossed at

Corinth, MS just to the south of

this location ensuring that the

entire area would be hotly

contested throughout the


From the railroad tracks

stay on Hwy 234 and proceed

.5 miles to the state historical

marker on your right. Pull

off in the gravel area near

the marker to read about

Chewalla in the Civil War. On

the eve of an ill-fated attempt

to regain control of Corinth,

MS (Second Battle of Corinth),

Confederate troops under Maj.

Gen. Earl Van Dorn camped in

this area the night of October 2

& 3, 1862. Van Dorn’s retreating

army returned to camp here

the night of October 4 & 5

after failing to retake Corinth.

Union pursuit resulted in the

Battle of Davis Bridge several

miles west of this position on

October 5. The high, east-west

ridge you are now on, just

south of Chewalla, was also the

site of Camp Sheldon. Sheldon

was a 21-acre fort constructed

by the 18th Missouri Infantry

USA in the fall of 1863 and

occupied by various other

Union units until the end of

the war in 1865. Union soldiers

stationed at Sheldon guarded

the M&C railroad and scouted

the roads around Chewalla

for Confederate troops and


From the state marker,

retrace your path one mile

back to the intersection of

Hwy 234 and Butler Chapel

Rd. (alternately take Turner

Rd. from the state marker to

intersect Butler Chapel Rd. in

1.7 miles and go left). Go left

on Butler Chapel road and

proceed 1.8 miles to cross the

M&C Railroad track. You are

following the route taken by

Van Dorn’s forces as they were

pursued by Union General’s

McPherson and Rosecrans

after the Second Battle of

Corinth. Just west

of Chewalla,

Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn


skirmished with

Van Dorn’s cavalry

scouts. After crossing the

railroad tracks on Butler Chapel

Rd., proceed 3.5 miles to the

intersection of Cypress Rd. on

your right (Also note Butler

Chapel Baptist Church on your

Right) and Rosa Burrow Ln

on your left. Proceed through

the intersection and travel 1.6

miles to the Tuscumbia River

bridge. Butler Chapel Rd. now

becomes Wolf Pen Rd. You

are entering the Big Hill region

where McPherson’s pursuing

Federals finally caught up with

the Confederate rear guard

commanded by his West Point

classmate Maj. Gen. John S.


Traveling through the Big

Hill region, note the high ridge

to the right (north) of the road.

Confederate troops defended

the Tuscumbia River crossing

(Young’s Bridge) from this

ground in the late afternoon

of October 5, 1862. As you

approach the Tuscumbia

River note the high ground

to your left (south). Bowen’s

Confederates fell back to this

position, nearer the bridge,

towards nightfall and repulsed






b a c k


t h e




You are

now in the heart

of the easternmost

battlegrounds associated with

the Davis Bridge engagement.

From the bridge, look to your

left down the main channel of

the Tuscumbia River. The site

of the original Young’s Bridge

was about 100 yards to the

south of your present position.

Nightfall brought the fighting

to a close marking the end

of the Battle of Davis Bridge

here. Bowen’s troops fled

across the river to rejoin Van

Dorn’s main column under

cover of darkness burning

the bridge to prevent further

pursuit. Proceed across the

Tuscumbia River bridge and

follow Wolf Pen Rd., 4.4 miles

to the Hatchie River well north

of the Davis Bridge Battlefield.

Immediately after crossing

the Tuscumbia you will note

another small bridge over a

tributary stream. This is not

the Hatchie River. One mile

after crossing the Hatchie

River bridge, Wolf Pen Rd.

dead ends into a stop sign at

Essary Springs Rd. Look to

your left and note the fork in

Essary Springs Rd. The left fork

continues on Essary Springs

Rd. to the Davis Bridge site

and the right fork becomes

Pocahontas Rd. leading to


Go left on Essary Springs

Rd. and immediately take the

right fork on to Pocahontas

Rd. which climbs steeply up

the ridge. In 1.2 miles you will

come to the Metamora marker

and a gravel parking area on

your left. In 1862 the small

hamlet, Metamora, set atop

this ridge providing a good

view of the Hatchie valley to

the east as the land sloped

back towards the river. At the

time of the battle, Stateline

Rd. crossed the Hatchie at

Davis Bridge and climbed

directly up this ridge near

your current position. Early on

October 5, the Confederate

army was approaching the

Hatchie from the east with

McPherson in hot pursuit. Van

Dorn dispatched a division to

cross the river and hold this

ridge until his exhausted army

could make the river crossing.

Van Dorn’s army had camped

here October 1 in route to

Corinth and he intended to

retrace his steps to Ripley,

Mississippi. Meanwhile, a large

forcer of Federal’s under the

command of Maj. Gen Stephen

A. Hurlbut had left Bolivar in

the early morning hours of

October 4, to reinforce Union

troops at Corinth or block the


Confederate retreat across

the Hatchie. Early on October

5, Maj. Gen. Edward O.C. Ord,

joined the federal columns

moving on Metamora,

assumed command, and

hurried artillery and infantry

into position along this ridge

while Van Dorn’s men crossed

the river. Ord rained heavy fire

down on the Confederates,

disabling their artillery and

pinning their rifles behind Burr’s

branch in the valley below.

Before noon the Confederates

had suffered heavy casualties

and been driven back across

the Hatchie River where Ord’s

men pursued in force.

Proceed north on

Pocahontas Rd. retracing your

path 1.2 miles to the earlier

noted intersection with Essary

Springs Rd. Go right on Essary

Springs Rd. and travel 1.1 miles

to the entrance of the Davis

Bridge site on your left. As you

Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Cheatham

Key Stories, Places and

Figures on this Tour: Selmer,

Bethel Springs, Purdy,

Adamsville, Railroad History;

Confederate monument; Col.

Fielding Hurst; 6th Tennessee

Cavalry USA; Hurst Nation;

Bethel Presbyterian Church,

Hurst home; Bethel and

Purdy Cemeteries; Laughlin



approach, note Burr’s Branch

in the lowlands and the terrain

sloping upwards towards

Metamora on your right. The

Hatchie River is beyond the

wooded thickets and small

fields on your left. Pull over at

the Davis Bridge site to explore

the grounds around the

Hatchie River. A path leading

towards the river roughly

traces the old Stateline Rd.

which crossed the river at Davis

Bridge. Observe the memorial

markers on your left as you

approach the Hatchie. At the

river, you will note a wide bend

a short distance, upstream

to your right. Ord’s zealous

Union troops pursued the

retreating Confederates across

the bridge and tried to form a

line of battle on the east bank

astride Stateline Rd. The short

distance from the road to the

river bend could not contain

the Union forces crowding

Spring; Maj. Gen. Benjamin F.

Cheatham CSA; 2nd Division

Army of the Mississippi CSA;

Maj. Gen. Lew Wallace USA;

3rd Division Army of the

Tennessee USA

Your tour begins at the

Tennessee Civil War Trails

marker on the Mobile & Ohio

in from the west bank of the

river, so the Union pursuit

fell into confusion. Ord was

wounded in the crossing and

command reverted to Hurlbut.

Across the river, in front of

you, and extending to the left,

the ground rises slightly and

forms an easily defensible,

natural embankment. The

retreating Confederates

received fresh reinforcements

from Van Dorn’s main column

and formed their own line of

battle astride the road. Artillery

along the ridge to your left and

infantry on the road and to your

right unleashed a murderous

assault at close range

exactly a heavy toll. Fighting

continued from mid to late

afternoon. Caught between

the two rivers with Union

forces at his front and rear, Van

Dorn was desperately seeking

an alternate route to cross the

Hatchie and take his army to

safety. Confederate cavalry

identified Crum’s Mill, six miles

to the south, as the last chance

to avoid disaster.

Van Dorn moved his supply

train south towards the

crossing, created a diversion

on his left flank, and withdrew

his army from the Hatchie,

thus ending hostilities at Davis

Bridge. Van Dorn escaped

under cover of darkness and

marched his army back to

Ripley and then on to Holly

Springs, Mississippi. As you exit

the Davis Bridge site, turn right

on Essary Springs Road and

travel 1.5 miles back to Hwy 57.

To return to Selmer, go right

toward Ramer and retrace your

route to Eastview. A few miles

east of Pocahontas, visit Big

Hill Pond State Park on your

right for more local Civil War

information. Go Left on Hwy 45


The Hurst/



Railroad in Selmer. Much of the

military conflict in and around

McNairy County centered on

control of this vital railway

as well as the Memphis &

Charleston line which crosses

through southern McNairy

County (See the M&C on

the Davis Bridge Tour). We

recommend you take the time

to read this and each of the

markers on the tour for a better

understanding of the historical

events, people and places.

From the M&O marker

turn right on West Court Ave.

(Business Hwy 45/64). You will

proceed through two traffic

lights and pass by the McNairy

County Courthouse on your

left and the Latta Visitor and

Cultural Center on your right.

You may wish to stop at the

Confederate monument on

the courthouse lawn or at the

visitor center for other tourist

information and exhibits.

Stay in the right lane and in

.5 miles veer right at the traffic

light onto Peach Street (Old

Hwy 45). In a few hundred feet

you will see historic Oak Hill

Cemetery on your left. Peach/

Old 45 will turn into Main Street

once you reach Bethel Springs.

Proceed 2.6 miles to the

welcome sign on your right.

You are entering the historic

community of Bethel Springs,

so named for the church

(Bethel Presbyterian) and

the multitude of artesian

aquifers (springs) in the area.

The plentiful source of water,

needed by steam engines,

was the primary reason Bethel

Spring (Bethel Station) became

a major stop on the Mobile &

Ohio Railroad.

In another .9 miles you will

arrive at Laughlin Spring.

The gazebo on your left, next

to Bethel Springs City Hall

shelters one of the traditional

underground springs. An active,

public spring is accessible

on your right adjacent to the

gravel turnaround and picnic

area. It is here, in August

1862, that Col. Fielding Hurst

mustered the 6th TN Cavalry

USA. Hurst camped here and

watered his horses and men in

these springs. Kevin McCann’s

“Hurst’s Wurst: Colonel

Fielding Hurst and the 6th TN

Cavalry USA” is an excellent

resource for those interest in

the exploits of this notorious

band of “Homemade Yankees.”

From Laughlin Spring

proceed .4 miles to the Hurst

Nation state historical marker

on your left. You may wish

to pull off in the parking area

to your right (Bethel Springs

Church of Christ) to read the

marker and learn about the

influential and controversial

Fielding Hurst and his family

who lived in and controlled

this area of McNairy County.

Proceed a few hundred feet

on Main Street and turn left on

4th Avenue. You are entering

the grounds of the historic

Bethel Presbyterian Church.

The church and cemetery to

your right are listed on the

National Register of Historic

Places. Both Revolutionary

and Civil War soldiers are

buried in the cemetery and

the church building that

stood on this site served as a

military hospital, barracks and

administrative space for both

armies during the Civil War.

The current building which

was constructed in 1893 is

the oldest church building in

McNairy County. It serves as

the meeting place for an active

Presbyterian congregation

today. Please be respectful of

their assemblies during regular

worship times.

Veer to your right between

the church and cemetery and

keep right onto 3rd Avenue.

You will come to a stop sign at

South Main Street. Go left and

take an immediate right turn

onto Bethel-Purdy Road. You

will notice the railroad tracks

in front of you and the historic

Bethel Station rail yard to

your right. This is the northern

extension of the M&O Railroad

where your tour began.

March 1862 witnessed heavy

concentration of Confederate

troops here under Maj.

Gen. Benjamin F. Cheatham

(Right). Acting on orders from

commanding officer, Gen.

P.G.T. Beauregard, 4,000 men

converged on Bethel Station

by road and rail to counter

Union forces amassing

at Savannah and Crump

Landing on the Tennessee

River. Beauregard feared that

a Union offensive was being

planned on the M&O at Bethel

Station. When it became

apparent that Corinth was the

target and the main force of

Grant’s army would land at

Pittsburg landing, Beauregard

ordered Cheatham’s division to

mobilize and rendezvous with

Confederate columns moving

north from Corinth toward

Shiloh. Cheatham’s division

would be embroiled in some of

the heaviest fighting at Shiloh’s

infamous Hornet’s Nest.

Continue across the railroad

tracks on Bethel-Purdy Road

and drive 4.4 miles. You are

now traveling the historic

route marched by Cheatham’s

Confederate troops to the

battle of Shiloh. Union troops

also used this road to access,

occupy and destroy the

railroads north of Corinth

following the Confederate

retreat at Shiloh.

You will reach a stop sign

at the intersection of Bethel-

Purdy and Bethesda-Purdy

Roads. Go left on Bethesda-

Purdy Road and drive .6 miles

to Gann Road on your left.

Go left on Gann road and

travel .7 miles to the Purdy

Community Center and the

Fielding Hurst and Purdy

Tennessee Civil War Trails

marker. Note the Old Stage

Road veering off to your right at

the .4-mile mark. You will come

back to this road to complete

the last leg of the tour to

Adamsville but for now, keep

left on Gann. The Hurst and

Purdy marker will direct your

attention to the only remaining

antebellum structure in Purdy,

the old Fielding Hurst home,

directly behind the current

community center. Purdy

was the McNairy County seat

during the war and the center

of intense activity by both

Union and Confederate forces

throughout the conflict. Prior

to Shiloh, Cheatham occupied

Purdy with a small force and

monitored traffic on the roads

towards Crump, Pittsburg and

Hamburg Landings. Skirmishes

between both regular troops

and guerilla fighters took place

in the area and Confederate

sympathizers in Purdy were

harried by Hurst’s 6th TN

USA throughout the war.

Confederate General Nathan

Bedford Forrest developed a

particular loathing for Hurst

and unsuccessfully sought to

capture him at his Purdy home

on more than one occasion.

While in Purdy, you

might wish to visit the two

cemeteries where many

of McNairy County’s early

settlers and a number of civil

war soldiers are buried. To

access the cemeteries from

the community center parking

area, go right on Gann and

take an immediate right on

Purdy-Beauty Hill Road. Just

past the Hurst home, you will

see a narrow gravel road on

your left which leads to the first

cemetery. When you return to

Purdy-Beauty Hill Road go

right and pass the community

center and the intersection of

Gann Road on your left. Take

the next right on Hurst Lane to

access the second cemetery.

Hurst Lane will dead end into

a turnaround. Proceed back to

the Tennessee Civil War Trails

marker and community center

to resume your tour.

From the community center

parking area, turn left on Gann

and proceed .3 miles back to

Old Stage Road coming in on

your left. Go left on Old Stage

and travel 5.4 miles to the

stop sign at the intersection of

Old Stage and Hwy 224. This

road was heavily picketed

and traveled by Union

and Confederate troops

throughout the war.

Go right on Hwy 224 and veer

left to remain on Old Stage

Road in .6 miles. You will pass

through the small community

of Hickory Flat in route to

Adamsville. In 3.2 miles after

veering onto Old Stage Road

from Hwy 224 you will arrive at

the Tennessee Civil War Trails

marker at Adamsville on your

right. Pull off in the parking area

at War Memorial Park to learn

about Adamsville in the Civil

War. At the time of the Battle

of Shiloh, two brigades of Maj.

Gen. Lew Wallace’s division

(USA) were camped in this area

and joined his circuitous march

from Crump’s Landing on to

the Battle of Shiloh (follow

the general’s movements on

the Wallace trail map). Heavy

concentrations of Union

troops under Wallace and

Confederates commanded

by Cheatham in McNairy

and western Hardin counties

frayed the nerves of both

commanders as well as their

superiors. Cavalry from both

sides scouted the roads from

the Tennessee River back

towards Purdy and Bethel

Station through the early part

of 1862. A number of inevitable

small clashes triggered several

false alarms until the decisive

blow finally came at Shiloh on

April 6, 1862.

From War Memorial Park

return to Old Stage Road and

proceed a few feet to the stop

sign at the intersection

of Hwy 64. To return to

Selmer, go right and travel

west 12.2 miles back to the

intersection of Hwy 64 and

Hwy 45. To pick up the Wallace

Trail and follow the Union

general’s troop movements

to the Shiloh Battlefield go

left on Hwy 64 and proceed

east through Adamsville. Go

4.6 miles into the small town

of Crump and make a right on

Crump Landing Road. Proceed

.7 miles to Crump Landing

on the Tennessee River and

follow the instructions on your

Wallace Trail map.


Finger BBQ

The Daddy of All Barbeques


s celebrates 123 years

Between 1823 and 1895, the

area around present-day

Finger, Tennessee, in McNairy

County, was dotted with

small settlements. Places like

Anderson’s Store, Tar Creek,

Cotton Ridge, Mount Carmel

and McIntyre’s Switch, among

others, were home to small

groups of settlers. These small

settlements usually consisted

of a few scattered homes, a

trading post or general store

and post office little more.

These little settlements

continued to grow as did the

countryside around them.

By the time of the Civil War,

the area was full of farms and

a few plantations such as

the Ingraham, Anderson and

Tisdale plantations. McIntyre’s

Switch, often referred to as

McIntyre’s Crossing, was

located along the banks of

Huggins Creek on the Mobile

and Ohio Railroad. It was a small

sparse settlement consisting

of a grist mill operated by

Robert Thompson McIntyre,

a few scattered homes and

the shops of a few tradesmen

including a carriage maker

and a blacksmith. However, by

the early 1890’s, the area was

becoming more populated

and the need arose for a post

office. However, the name

of the community did not

satisfy the United States Post

Office Department. Instead,

the citizens of the area were

charged with coming up

with a name for the new post

office which, in turn, would

result in the renaming of the

settlement. Many names were

considered and according to

local oral tradition, a meeting

was held to discuss the name

of the new post office and they

arrived at “Finger.” The new

town had a new name, a new

post office and promise of a

bright future.

In the same year, 1895, in

what is thought to have been

a celebration of the area’s new

name and new post

office, the Finger

Barbecue and

Picnic was held for

the first time ever.

This first barbecue

and picnic was

held on the John

A. McIntyre farm east of the

present town in the bottom

ground near Bushel Creek.

McIntyre was the son of Robert

T. McIntyre, the founder of

McIntyre’s Switch, and himself

a leading influence in the area.

The big event was held on

McIntyre’s farm for only a year

or two, but no more.

No later than 1897, the

Finger Barbecue and Picnic

was moved to the grove where

Dr. W.M. Barnes’ home was


Speaker on platform in the 1920’s with crowd in the background.

the subject of “Railroad

Domination and Its Evil Effects”

at the August 1905 Finger

Barbecue. This was ironic. For

one thing, Finger is located on

the Mobile and Ohio Railroad.

For another thing, that very

railroad brought large numbers

of spectators to Finger to enjoy

the festivities and hear Mr.

Whitehurst expound on the

evils of such railroads. The

crowds were thick before the

stage and packed in a tight

formation awaiting the next

speaker. Linen and seersucker

suits, straw boaters, outraised

hands and deep voices

proclaiming many messages

were common sights on the

stage in those heady days.

It is difficult today to

appreciate the entertainment

value of a good speech at the

turn of the last century. Most

people in the area lived on

isolated farms and there was

little to break the everyday

monotony of hard work. Events

like the Finger Barbecue

later built. It was held in this flat

open grove for several years

including the first several years

of the twentieth century. At the

time, no home stood on the

site and it could accommodate

large crowds and was within

walking distance of the

Mobile and Ohio Railroad and

Depot. Arthur “A” Williams, a

Bethel Springs businessman,

attended the barbecue from

1901 to 1910. In 1901, he

estimated the crowd to be

anywhere from 6,000 to 10,000.

A Ferris wheel was erected

that year for the enjoyment of

the crowd. Another interesting

attraction that year was the

sight of Professor Nicholas B.



Hardeman, a popular minister

and a namesake for nearby

Freed-Hardeman University,

preaching one of his great


Politicians and orators

regularly took the stage at

the Barbecue to entertain

and enlighten the crowds.

Speeches covered all sorts

of subjects: politics, culture,

popular entertainment,

issues of the day and good

old-fashioned story-telling.

According to the old Memphis

News-Scimitar newspaper,

six to eight thousand people

heard Mr. T.B. Whitehurst,

a leading attorney of the

Selmer bar, speak on

Evelyn Clayton Barham at the Finger BBQ, ca. 1971-1973.

provided that needed break

for many families and an

opportunity to enjoy something


Many of the interesting

speeches and people were

featured at the barbecue

because of the diligence and

planning of one man. That man

was George Freelin Dickey

and he was often referred to

as the “Barbecue King.” Dickey

was the son of George W.

Dickey and Amanda McIntyre

Dickey, the sister of John A.

McIntyre. Born in 1882, Dickey

was a colorful character who

had a knack for promotion

and salesmanship. The late

Jackson businessman and

columnist Bob Parker wrote

of Dickey that “it seemed that

‘old G.F.’ had been to the folks

of Finger what Barnum was

to the circus world.” Dickey

had contacts all over West

Tennessee and the Mid-South

region. It was not unusual to see

Dickey making the rounds in

Jackson or Corinth convincing

wholesalers and suppliers that

it was good business for them

to donate goods and products

to the Finger Barbecue and

Picnic and donate they did!

Dickey was referred to as

the head of “The Committee”,

which was a group of

gentlemen who planned the

activities and attractions for

each year’s event. The group

ensured that advertising and

promotion were ever present

in the months leading up

to the big day. Dickey and

his Committee coordinated

the appearance of talent,

political figures, the roasting

of the hogs, goat, sheep and

chickens, the availability of

deserts and drinks, and any

other activity vital to make

the Barbecue a genuine and

memorable success. In fact,

others sought out Dickey’s

talents. Dickey was, for his day

and his town, a true master

showman and he ran this show

from 1900 until 1943.

Dickey and the Committee

also recruited many

charismatic speakers as well

as talented entertainers.

Among the great speakers

to entertain, inform and

hold the crowd spellbound

were such mighty figures

as Congressman and future

Governor Captain Gordon

Browning, Prof. Horry Hodges,

a well-known historian,

politician and educator, State

Senators W.W. Craig and

William K. Abernathy. Each of

these men was renowned in

his day and played a great role

in Tennessee history. Each took

his opportunity to speak to

issues and problems of the day

that were of concern to him

and those gathered around

him. In the West Tennessee

heat and humidity, men fanned

themselves with their hats and

loosened their neckties while

ladies fanned themselves

with cardboard fans covered

in commercial advertising.

The children ran to and fro on

the barbecue grounds seeing

sights and hearing things they

would never forget. Speaking

of the children, they had treats

all around them, whether it be

ice cream and other sweets,

toys and gadgets or games

and grew into old age warmly

recalling the sights and sounds

of barbecues past.

The entertainment was

impressive. The acts that

took the stage covered a

wide spectrum and included

acts from afar and in the

neighborhood. Local talent

took the stage and played

the fiddle, accordion, guitar,

mandolin, banjo among others.

They sang, played, picked,

strummed and danced. Locals

such as Waldo Davis as well as

impromptu family duets, trios

and quartets sang out cheerful

tunes. Still there were more

renowned acts who traveled

to the small town to play to

thousands. Legendary acts

including the famous Carter

Family, Buck Turner, Speedy

McNatt, Slim and Speck

Rhodes, Pee Wee King and

the Golden West Cowboys,

Little Texas Daisy, Sarie and

Sally, the Delmore Brothers

and the Snuff Variety Gang put

on shows that made the trip to

Finger truly worth the effort.

In the 1920’s, the Barbecue

changed venue again. It found

itself near the Finger Cemetery

on land owned by the family

of the late James R. McIntyre,

the brother of John A. McIntyre.

On this property, the event

was held for years. Many

memories were made here.

Vendors sold their goods and

the smells of barbecue drifted

through the trees and around

the hollow and groves near

the old McIntyre home. People

continued to flock to Finger.

From the early 1920’s through

1943, the event continued to

thrive and grow. Dickey could

not do it all himself and so

relied on a dedicated group of

assistants. These men helped

him in many ways. Hardy Leath,

Robert M. Smith and John

Rouse all practiced the art of

the barbecue annually here.

In 1924, they boasted, “We will

barbecue forty big fat hogs,

this year, with 15 nice fat sheep

thrown in for a snack.” The food

itself was a memorable thing

for generations to come and

many recalled into their old

age the taste and smell of the

meat roasting in and the smell

of the smoke coming from the


There were plenty of good

cold snacks for youngsters

and adults alike to enjoy.

Over the years, flyers boasted

5,000 cases of cold drinks, six

thousand gallons of ice cold

lemonade and 2,000 gallons

of cold ice cream, all a treat

on a hot West Tennessee day.

These treats were especially

memorable for youngsters.

Companies such as Midwest

Dairy, Coca-Cola, RC Cola and

many others provided cases

and cases of their products

to keep folks cool and their

bellies full.

The Finger Barbecue

continued to flourish, but in

1943, the death of Freelin

Dickey left a huge void in

the event and its planning.

Others pledged themselves

to continue the great event.

One of those men was Jim

Droke, whose wife was a

niece of Freelin Dickey. During

the 1950’s, Droke and his

son George carried flyers

and handbills all over West

Tennessee trying to drum

up support and attendance

for the event. The Finger

Barbecue and Picnic hung

on to life throughout the

1950’s and into the early

1960’s. However, times were

changing. Television had come

into being and families were

starting to take vacations away

from home, not going back

home. The crowd was trickling

off and the spirit of the local

homecoming seemed to be

ebbing away.

In 1964, it appeared it was

over. For the first time since

1895, no Finger Barbecue

was held. Times were indeed

changing. 1964 turned into

1970 and still no Finger

Barbecue was held. Indeed,

this was the first break in

tradition. The event continued

through World War II despite

world events. That changed in

1964. Indeed, for the first time

in decades, the first Saturday

in August was a quiet one in

Finger, Tennessee and would

continue to be for years.

In fact, at that point, the

Finger Barbecue and Picnic

became only a memory for

some years. No longer would

the politicians and hucksters

walk around visiting with the

people. For years, people

came back from more than

twenty-five to thirty states to

visit. They looked forward to

the first Saturday in August

every year as they prepared

to amble back down the paths

of their own yesteryear. Yet

beginning in 1964, it seemed it

would be no more.

After the Barbecue faded

from its former glory and

passed into memory alone

and a few years of inactivity

had passed, the old spirit

seemed to be reborn. In fact,

though not of the same nature

as the once festive Finger

Barbecue and Picnic, a new

festival was established. This

new event was given the

name of the “Finger Friendly


Festival.” It was not promoted

by a local resident for the same

purposes. This new festival

was promoted by the Memphis

songwriter and singer, Eddie

Bond. A friend and promotor

of Finger native Buford Pusser,

the singer was a natural born

salesman. He promoted

the new festival all over

Memphis, Shelby County

and north Mississippi.

Bond’s friends, including

local club and bar owners,

bought advertising

space in hastily prepared

festival programs. Bond

billed himself as the

“Police Chief” of Finger,

Tennessee and gave out

officer’s commissions to

friends and associates.

From 1971 through 1973,

both locals and out-oftowners

were treated

to wrestling matches,

skydivers, fireworks,

barbecue, politicians and

more. Bond promoted

himself by promoting his

friend, the former McNairy

County sheriff. The event,

despite its inspiration or

shortcomings, was still an

excuse for people to come

home and enjoy good

food and better company

among their old friends

and close relations. The

Finger Friendly Festival

was sanctioned by the new

municipal government

of Finger, incorporated in

1970. The town aldermen

saw the festival as a way

to bring attention to their

small town. The Festival

was held in 1971, 1972 and

1973 but faded quickly

after Pusser’s death.

Again, the Finger

Barbecue and Picnic, went

on a long hiatus. From 1974

through 1983, no event

was held. Still, things were

happening in Finger and

it struggled to remain

relevant in an ever-changing

world. In the early 1980’s, a

dedicated corps of volunteers

was working to build a

volunteer fire department.

They started small, worked

hard and struggled to find ways

to fund their department and


bring attention to their cause.

In 1984, these volunteers and

other community leaders hit

upon an idea. Why not sponsor

and put on a community

barbecue and picnic? Then

and there, like the mythical

phoenix arising from the ashes,

the Finger Barbecue and

Picnic was resurrected.

The final and present location

for the Finger Barbecue was

on the grounds of the old

Finger School. It was here the

event began again in 1984 to

aid in the fundraising efforts

of the new fire department.

Like the barbecue of old, it

began with hopes and dreams

and was built upon year after

year. Those who once roamed

the barbecue grounds as

youngsters full of energy

now returned as elderly

people moving far slower but

with hearts full of love and

affection for their hometown.

They brought their children,

grandchildren and greatgrandchildren

and listened

to music, ate good food and

spent time with old friends and


Since 1984, people have

come back home to visit,

eat those good barbecue

sandwiches and homemade

ice cream and meet plenty of

politicians, each glad handing

and making promises. For

thirty-four years, the Finger

Barbecue and Picnic has

marched on keeping the spirit

and ideas of the town’s

founders alive. It has

survived war, recessions

and the Great Depression,

naysayers and sometimes

low attendance. Still, it


Although nowhere near

the scale of G.F. Dickey’s

“Daddy of All Barbecues,”

when thousands of

people flocked to the

barbecue grounds, it has

still taken on some of the

spirit of the barbecues of

bygone times. Now held

in October, it continues to

maintain the flavor of its

origins, a celebration of

the town and people who

hold it. It serves a purpose

and no longer particularly

as a fundraiser. Indeed,

its purpose is far greater

than anything of that

nature. It holds a place in

local history and culture.

It is believed to be one

of the oldest “continuing”

such events in Tennessee.

It is certainly the oldest

in McNairy County and

surrounding counties. It

has carved its own place

in local and regional

history. Its continuation is

a must. Out of the last 123

years, it has been held for

106 years.

Perhaps one day it

will again ascend to the

ranks of greatness among

events, like that greatness

that characterized it as a

fine festival in the early

years of the twentieth

century. Perhaps just one

day the spirit of Freelin

Dickey, his Committee and the

glory of the Finger Barbecue’s

yesteryear will return, never to

fade. With work and dedication

to heritage, it just might be.

(Story submitted by John Talbott

of Bethel Springs, TN.)


Farmer’s &

Craft Market

The Selmer Farmer’s & Craft Market is open five days a week

and is located at Rockabilly Park in Downtown Selmer. As a Pick

TN site, it’s a perfect space for farmer’s and craft merchants

to sell their wares and for McNairy County residents to find

locally grown and made products. Farmer’s set up in the

pavilion and crafters set up in Rockabilly Park. Though there

is no cost for setting up, vendors must fill out an application

and return it to McNairy County Tourism at the Latta. Contact

Jessica Huff for more information at 731-645-6360.

Ada’s “The Unusual” Country Store

Ada’s Country Store is an

Amish grocery located at

9653 HWY 45 N in Bethel

Springs. Recently expanded,

the store features homemade

food, including canned

items, homeopathic teas,

herbs, and supplements,

health products like gluten

and sugar-free items, and

more. The store also has a

well-loved deli which serves

handmade sandwiches on

fresh baked breads, hoop

cheeses, fresh sliced deli

meats, and fresh veggies.

You can also find homemade

soaps and bath products by

Mammy’s Soap Company.

Contact them at 934-9310.


Stoll Family Keeps Sorghum Makin’

Tradition Alive

Stoll family members squeeze the sorghum stalks in the field and the raw juice

is pumped into a tank on a pickup truck. The tank holds 200 gallons of raw juice.

Folks who live or travel around

the small town of Finger in

northern McNairy County

know when they see the Stoll

family out in the fields cutting

down sorghum cane, Autumn

has officially arrived.

Many also start making

plans to buy a jug or two of

the sweet old Southern staple,

pure sorghum molasses.

Steve Stoll’s sorghum mill

is part of a family farming

operation that grows

garden plants in the spring,

watermelons and cantaloupes

in the summer, and old

fashioned sorghum syrup in

the fall. His three sons, Kenny,

23, Duane, 21 and Keith, 16

and 16-year-old nephews,

Matthew and Mason, work

alongside him helping to bring

the harvest in. The McNairy

County farmer learned how to

grow the ancient grain from his

own father, the late Victor Stoll,

who as a kid helped his father

grow sorghum in Arkansas.

Though sorghum is actually

a type of grass, it closely

resembles corn with broad

leaves. Instead of tassels it has

a cluster of seeds at the top of

the plant. Considered a mostly



drought-tolerant plant, it still

takes a lot of management for

quality food-grade sorghum.

As with other crops, the

weather often determines

how much a sorghum crop

will yield. This year, there

was a long dry spell during

the late summer. Sorghum

farmers also had to scout for

and control sugarcane aphids

that in recent years have been

destroying stalks.

Stoll, who planted his

sorghum crop in May,

harvested for two weeks in


“We are running a little late

this year so we’ll be harvesting

until the weather ‘freezes’ us

out,” he said.

To make the syrup, the

sorghum is cut and the

seed heads removed, then

“pressed” in the field to extract

all of the juice out of the stalks.

If a storm comes through and

blows any of the stalks down,

they are hand-cut. Within a

couple of hours of extraction,

two hundred gallons of juice

is transported back to the mill

where it is cooked.

“Cooking the syrup is an allday

process,” said Stoll. “My

sons and nephews extract the

juice all day and I cook it all day

until I have a finished product.

It’s a continuous flow of green

juice coming in and product

coming out.”

His expertise after years

of cooking the sweet, earthy

sweetener lets him know when

it’s the perfect consistency.

He also judges for its color,

sweetness, clarity and flavor.

The business man said his

mill will make a little under

4,000 gallons this season,

but use to make as much as

11,000 gallons when he had a

bigger operation. The finished

product, sorghum “molasses”

is “pure” with nothing added

and is sold in pints, quarts

and gallons throughout

the area, including Roger’s

and Gardner’s in Corinth.

He also sells it all over the

state of Tennessee, northern

Mississippi, Alabama, Missouri

and even Texas. The syrup can

also be picked up at his mill on

Sweet Lips Road near Finger.

Before it became mainly

a family operation, Stoll said

they would cook up 500-600

gallons of product per day at

the mill but now they did more

like 200 gallons of finished

product a day. His wife,

Linda, helps during the entire

sorghum making process.


her, we


run this


She’s the


said the



their three

sons, the


have a



Amy. Stoll

noted both

his wife and

mother eat



every day.

N o t


to the




plants were


from Africa in the mid-1800s

as a cheaper and more

accessible sweetener. Though

considered a Southern

tradition and practically

synonymous with hot biscuits

and butter, the syrup was even

more commonly produced in

Mid-Western states in the late


Sorghum is also an ancient

grain. Thousands of years

ago, it was eaten by ancient

Egyptians and for centuries

has been a staple food for a

large portion of the populace

in Africa and South Asia.

Today, it feeds more than 500

million people in more than

30 countries and is the world’s

fifth major crop.

“There are a wide range

of ways sorghum molasses

can be used in cooking and

it is a very healthy product,

except for diabetics because

of its high sugar content,” said

Stoll. “It is all natural – we add

nothing to it. It’s just plain juice

cooked down to a sticky syrup.”

“Though its hearsay, I’ve

been told in the old days,

doctors used it for medicinal

Steve Stoll cooks

the sorghum in

the shed on his


purposes,” he added.

Sorghum-based foods, teas,

beers and extracts are still

used in traditional medicine in

West Africa. Medieval Islamic

tests also listed medical uses

for the plant.

According to a study

published in the “Journal

of Agricultural and Food

Chemistry,” sorghum syrup

“has high nutritional value with

high levels of unsaturated

fats, proteins, fiber and

minerals like phosphorus,

potassium, calcium and iron.

It also has more antioxidants

than blueberries and


American chefs are definitely

taking notice of the syrup’s

health benefits, calling it the

“wonder grain.” It’s being used

to drizzle over salads, risottos

and especially, in baking.

The dark caramel syrup has

a flavor that is uniquely its

own. For many Southerners,

its sweet, slightly bitter

flavor brings up memories of

generations past. Considering

“everything old is new again,”

sorghum’s long endurance has

proven to be a valuable food


Which is good news for

Stoll’s Sorghum Mill and

sorghum molasses’ lovers


(This story, compiled by

freelance writer Carol

Humphreys, first appeared in the

Daily Corinthian and Pickwick

Profiles. It is being reprinted with

permission. Photos by Mark

Boehler / Daily Corinthian.)

Steam rises from the sorghum cooking at Stoll’s Sorghum Mill.

Photo Credit: McNairy County News

Taste of McNairy

2018 Taste of McNairy was held March 27 and hosted 21 local

businesses, churches, and civic groups. The groups set up

themed booths and served tasty samplers of various foods

from pork tenderloin sliders to pinto beans and cornbread

to desserts. The event is organized in support of Habitat for

Humanity. Awards were given in the following categories:

Pickwick Electric won Best Entree for their Pork Tenderloin

Mango Sliders; CB&S Bank won Best Dessert for their donuts;

and BancorpSouth won Best Decoration for their table theme.

LOve of





Love of Literacy Dessert

Tasting is a favorite annual

event in McNairy County

held near Valentine’s

Day. Local businesses

and organizations

decorate tables and

Photo Credit: Independent Appeal

serve dessert samples.

There is entertainment

and fun to be had by all.

Judges award prizes for best desserts

and decorations. Funds raised benefit

the McNairy County Literacy Council

to support McNairy County Adult

Education and their initiative to help

adults pursuing their high school

equivalency test. The event supports a

good, educational cause. The event is

sponsored by Independent Appeal.






Ada’s Country Store & Cafe

9653 HWY 45, Bethel



JR’s Steakhouse

6708 HWY 45 S, Eastview


Hillbilly’s Wing Shack

26280 HWY 69, Adamsville


Hungry Wolf Sports Bar &


780 Mulberry Ave #1,



Jenny’s Cafe

224A N Maple St.,



Kokomo’s 50s Diner

740 US-64, Adamsville


Ole Monterey Cafe

6017 TN-22, Michie


Ramer Station Restuarant

4000 TN-57, Ramer


Rockabilly Cafe

103 S Front St, Selmer


Grill 57

4500 Highway 57 W


Saw Meal Restaurant &


731 E Main St, Adamsville


Starr Diner

369 Mulberry Ave, Selmer


T&T Grocery

3171 US-64, SELMER



China King

117 W Court Ave, Selmer



The Main Ingredient


Pappy John’s Original


3597 US-45, Selmer


The River Barbeque


723 E Main St, Adamsville


Smokey Joe’s BBQ

304 E Poplar Ave, Selmer



The Bean Scene

130 E. Main St., Adamsville


Retro Coffee Bar

@retrocoffeebar on

Facebook and Instagram


Dannuhcakes Sweet Shop

134 E. Main St., Adamsville

U.S. Doughnuts

467 Mulberry Ave, Selmer


Fast Food

Burger King

645 Mulberry Ave, Selmer



619 Mulberry Ave, Selmer



431 E Main St, Adamsville



621 Mulberry Ave, Selmer


Sonic Drive-In

589 Mulberry Ave, Selmer


325 E Main St, Adamsville



152 S Y Square, Selmer


1017 Mulberry Ave, Selmer



Mama Fia’s Cafe

375 Mulberry Ave., Selmer



Atzimba Mexican


469 Mulberry Ave, Selmer


El Palomino Mexican


185 W Court Ave, Selmer


Los Aztecas Mexican


588 Mulberry Ave, Selmer


Panchito’s Mexican


112 E Main St, Adamsville



Domino’s Pizza

226 E Court Ave, Selmer


Hometown Pizza

593 Mulberry Ave, Selmer


Pizza Hut

1029 Mulberry Ave, Selmer



Top O’ the River

5831 TN-57, Michie


The Corner

6237 Shiloh Adamsville Rd,




Snack Shack

156 S 2nd St, Selmer

Fat Cats

121 N. Maple, Adamsville


Jenny’s Cafe

234 N Maple St, Adamsville


Molly’s Mobile Kitchen

Downtown Bethel Springs


Pat’s Cafe

110 E Court Ave, Selmer


Wink’s Cafe

155-199 S 2nd St, Selmer


Crazy K Cabin Rentals

833 N Prather Rd, Michie


Deerfield Inn

414 E Main St, Adamsville


Old Home Motel

211 E Main St, Adamsville


Shiloh Chennault Bed &


2525 Houston Cemetery

Rd., Ramer


Southwood Inn

631 Mulberry Ave, Selmer


Star Plus Inn & Suites

644 Mulberry, Selmer



MCHS 50th Birthday

In honor of its 50th year of operation, McNairy Central High School celebrated

a year long birthday party with decades themed football games in August

through October from the 70s to the 2000s. The events culminated in the grand

reopening of the newly restored McNairy Planetarium. MCHS is one of only two

schools in Tennessee with a fully functioning planetarium. The planetarium

hasn’t been in use for about 20 years.

Coon Creek

Science Center

Within the 232-acre grounds,

located at 2983 Hardin Graveyard

Rd. in Adamsville, lies one of the

most important fossil sites in

North America. Owned by Pink

Palance Museums since 1988, the

creek bed of Coon Creek contains

a treasure lode of 70 million year

old marine fossils left behind

when the waters of the Gulf of

Mexico receded from the area.

The site attracts both youth and

international scientists.


Little Free Libraries

University of


The University of Tennessee at Martin established an extension campus in

Selmer in 1998. Since then, the UTM McNairy County/Selmer Center offers

a full rotation of general education and undergraduate courses to support

more than 80 specialized programs. The center can design curricula to

meet the needs of local business and industry.

When LaShell Moore, a pre-k teacher with McNairy County Schools, was asked by Beth

Hamilton of the McNairy County Health Department to write a grant to address minority

disparity in McNairy County she readily agreed.

“Being an early educator, I wanted to write a grant about something I was passionate

about and that something is literacy,” said Moore, “Every day I see children who struggle

to read for one reason or another and it’s very heartbreaking to witness.”

As an educator, Moore knows that children will continue to struggle throughout

life if they don’t know how to read. The goals of the grant, which was awarded by the

Tennessee Division of Health Disparities Office of Minority Health and Disparities, was

two-fold: to show the correlation between reading skills and health disparities and

improve child literacy levels in rural communities to increase the chances for healthier

lifestyles among children.

The $5,000 grant purchased outdoor library boxes through Little Free Libraries, books

and other supplies. So far the focus is on Selmer due to a report conducted in early

February that showed a greater need for the boxes in Selmer than in other parts of the

county. But the intention is to expand the project to every municipality.

The boxes are registered on the Little Free Libraries website where a map of all box

locations can be accessed.

Though the project is focused on books for children ages birth to 6th grade, future

plans include expanding the selection to youth and adults. Book donations are being

accepted at the Latta, 205 W. Court Ave. in Selmer, and Jack McConnico Memorial

Library in Selmer or books can be left inside any of the boxes.

In partnership with LaShell and the McNairy County Health Department, John Huff,

a Life Scout of Troop 231, and United Way of West Tennessee helped install the boxes

which was an eagle scout project for Huff.

“We have formed really good partnerships with different organizations such as the

McNairy County Health Deptment, Boys Scouts, Girls Scouts, Mary Lou Johnson, Inc.,

Friends of McNairy County Libraries, McNairy County Libraries, Selmer Parks and

Recreation and Arts in McNairy,” said Moore, listing organizations that played vital roles

in planning, organizing, installing and keeping the boxes furnished and maintained.

For more information about Little Free Libraries contact LaShell Moore at lashell.


Director of Schools, Greg


530 Mulberry Ave Suite 2,




Adamsville Elementary


220 S Elm St., Adamsville

Bethel Springs Elementary



4733 Main St., Bethel Springs

Michie Elementary School


6418 Hwy 57 E, Michie

Ramer Elementary School


4173 Hwy 57 E, Ramer

Selmer Elementary School


533 Poplar Ave., Selmer

Selmer Middle School


635 Poplar Ave., Selmer

Adamsville Jr./Sr. High School



815 W Main St., Adamsville

McNairy Central

High School


493 McNairy Central Rd.,


UT-Martin McNairy County/

Selmer Center


1269 Tennessee Ave. Selmer

McNairy County Adult



701 Industrial Park Dr, Selmer

TN College of Applied



3070 US-64, Crump, TN


Basketball for

Outreach: Chewalla Basketball League

The most successful youth

sports league in McNairy

County in the past five years

is the Chewalla Basketball

League. Chewalla Baptist

Church has sponsored the

league that has attracted

players from four counties in

the area.

Chewalla Baptist had

completed a large remodeling

job in 2013 that included a

new gym when the idea for a

league came together . Church

leaders decided to begin the

children’s basketball league as

a way to reach the community.

“We did not want to just

have a league for our church

members,” said CBC pastor Bro.

Richard Doyle. The preacher

has been at the church for

over 20 years and knew sports

would be a good way to attract

parents and children to join the


Chewalla began the league

in 2014 and the numbers have

grown every year. The league

had 192 players or cheerleaders

from age 5 through 6th Grade

this past year. The surprising

thing is more than 40 percent

of those in the league came

from outside the church.

Ross Shelton, a former

McNairy Central standout

athlete, was chosen as the

director and has worked

many hours to run the league.

Adam & Meg Day, Avon &

Belinda Shelton, Jeremy &

Holly Whitten, Will & Megan

Shelton, Brandi Wardlow,

David Johnson, Wes & Sarah

Beth Dotson, Chris & Adrianne

Whitten, Paige Teague, Logan

& Lacey Chappell, Joey &

Heather Whitten, Kayce

Howard, and Eric Holcombe

are just a few that have helped

to build the league as coaches

and other roles.

The church made sure

the players learned not only

about basketball, but about

the Gospel. When the teams

practice, they hear a devotion

during their break about Jesus.

“We did not want any child

leaving without hearing the

Gospel,” said Bro. Richard. “Our

goal is to have no player or

cheerleader leave our league

without knowing we love them

and Jesus loves them.”

Shelton said church

members had made it plain

they did not want a child

turned away because they

could not pay the entry fee.

He said people give money to

help cover the fee for any child

that does not have the money.

The league

on Saturdays

d u r i n g

January and




the league

has been

a success

and the


f r o m


has been



f r o m



outside the church.

If your child has not been a

part of the league in the past,

there will be information on

Chewalla’s Facebook page this

fall and forms are given out at

each elementary school in the


(Story submitted by Jeff York of

Chewalla, TN.)



Community Sports

Adamsville Parks & Recreation

Football, Cheerleading, Basketball and Soccer. Applications for Dixie

Youth T-ball, Softball and Baseball are available through City Hall, and

games are played on the fields in the Buford Pusser Memorial Park. Call

926-5675 for more information.

Photo Credit: McNairy County News

School Sports

Adamsville Jr./Sr. High School

Football, Basketball, Soccer, Baseball, Cheer, Golf,

Softball, Track & Field, Tennis

Ramer Community Sports

Baseball, Softball, Basketball, and Soccer. Registration will be advertised

in the local papers on the following schedule: baseball and softball in

late February and basketball in November. Contact 731-610-6063 about

Ramer League Soccer.

Selmer Parks & Recreation

Football, Basketball, Cheer, Softball, Baseball, Soccer, and special needs

athletics. Games are played at Selmer City Park, Patriot Park, and the

Selmer Community Center. Call 645-3866 for more information.

McNairy Central High School

Football, Basketball, Soccer, Baseball, Cheer, Golf,

Softball, Volleyball, Tennis, Track & Field

Bethel Springs Jr. High School

Football, Basketball, Cheer, Softball

Michie Jr. High School

Football, Basketball, Cheer, Softball

Ramer Jr. High School

Football, Basketball, Cheer, Softball

Selmer Middle School

Football, Basketball, Cheer, Softball


Adamsville High School Band

grand Champions

McNairy County boasts two of the top five high school marching bands in the state of Tennessee for 2018 with Adamsville High

School winning their second consecutive Grand Championship at the state final competition on November 3, 2018.

The achievement marks their 11th state championship in all, second consecutive championship, and first championship win

in Division II.

The band is led by Band Director David Stevens who served as assistant band director for several years before becoming

head director.

Upon returning to Adamsville after the competition, students received a special police escort to the school with family and

friends welcoming their return with cheers.


McNairy County


best Community

for music education

McNairy County Schools was recognized by the

National Association of Music Merchants as one of

the Best Communities for Music Education. Kerry

Radcliffe (pictured left) is a music teacher who

was recognized as Selmer Elementary School’s

Teacher of the Year for 2018.

McNairy Central Band Top 4 in State

The McNairy Central High School BandCats came home as 4th overall out of 24 bands, winning

2nd Place Guard, 3rd Place Drum Major, and 4th Place Percussion in the state final competition

in 2018. Many alumni said the 2018 band is the best Bobcat Band they’ve seen. The MCHS

BandCats have a stunning record under the leadership of band director Ryan Foret. The

students work incredibly hard throughout the year to hone their skills and create phenomenal

performances both on and off the field, from their marching band season in the fall to their

winter and spring concerts.


Walking Tall 25/50k

Trail Run

The Walking Tall 50/25k Ultra Marathon was an inaugural event held October 20, 2018 to

great success. The race attracted 365 registrants to McNairy County from 21 states across

the nation, including California, Montana, Idaho, Michigan, Nevada and Connecticut.

Organizers Brian Williams, Sean Hilsdon and Big Hill Pond Park Ranger Justin King

spent well over 18 months developing 31-mile and 16-mile trail routes, revitalizing 100%

of the Big Hill Pond trail system, developing advertising and marketing material and more.

Elite trail running athletes reported that the race was the hardest and most beautiful

50k they had ever run. Sean and Brian’s design was for a hard but beautiful race that

would allow people a taste of the stuff they have on the coasts.

“We tried to make the course hard enough for the most grizzled trail runner but doable

for the first timer,” they said.

Though the morning started off with an early, cold rain, the weather eventually cleared

by the start of the race.

Daniel Arnold of Benton, Ark. placed first in the 50k setting a course record of 4:48:19.

Chris Winter of Memphis placed first in the 25k with a course record of 2:28:13.

The race brought many benefits to McNairy County. Big Hill Pond noticed a monumental

surge in traffic in the park with more visitors kayaking, hiking and camping. Local hotels

sold out that weekend. $14,000 was donated to Big Hill Pond and $3,500 was donated

to the Tennessee Park Rangers Association. Whenever possible, all expenses of the race

were spent in McNairy County.

The second annual Walking Tall 50/25k Ultra Marathon will be held October 19, 2019.

Registration will begin January 1, 2019 at 1 p.m. Visit to register.

Follow the race on Facebook at Big Hill Pond Walking Tall 50/25k or on Instagram at



Robin Barnes

Barnes Family Chiropractic


112 S Magnolia St., Adamsville


Shawn Pitts

Selmer Chiropractic Center

134 Warren Ave, Selmer



McNairy County Ministerial


First Christian Church

133 North 3rd St., Selmer


Quinco Mental Health Center

641 East Poplar Ave., Selmer


Fax 731-645-9885

10710 Old HWY 64, Bolivar


1410 Pickwick St., Savannah


Services: Treatment,

psychiatric, rehabilitation,

crisis, prevention and

counseling services.


Ron Bell

718 Federal Dr., Selmer


David Bradley

349 East Main St., Adamsville


Randall Deaton

518 East Main St., Adamsville


Ronnie Fullwood

177 West Court Ave., Selmer


James Hoover

518 East Main St., Adamsville




Jackie McClain

1030 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


Greg Wilson

710 Federal Dr., Selmer



Adamsville Healthcare &

Rehabilitation Center

409 Park Ave., Adamsville


Lynnfield Place

150 High School Rd., Selmer


McNairy County Health Care


835 E. Poplar Ave., Selmer



Adamsville Family Pharmacy

726 East Main St., Adamsville


Deberry Drugs

834 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


Fred’s Discount Pharmacy

399 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


Lott Family Pharmacy

835 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


Michie Pharmacy

5823 HWY 22 South, Michie


Mid-Town Pharmacy

270 E Court Ave, Selmer


Quality Care Pharmacy

144 Houston Ave., Selmer


Rite Aid Pharmacies

409 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


Todd’s Discount Drugs

347 East Main St., Adamsville


Walmart Selmer

1017 Mulberry Ave., Selmer



Deaconess Homecare

912 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


690 Pickwick St., Savannah


Regional Home Care, Selmer

1040 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


Fax 731-646-3762

Volunteer Health Care

317 Poplar Ave., Selmer



Mercy Hospice

137 Cypress Ave., Selmer



McNairy County Health


725 East Poplar Ave.

P.O. Box 429, Selmer



Services: Child Health,

Tennder Care, Immunizations,

Family Planning, Sexually

Transmitted Disease Control,

Tuberculosis, Nutrition,

Women’s Infants and Children

(WIC), Children’s Special

Services (CSS), Primary

Care Clinics, Basic Prenatal

Care, HUGS (Help Us Grow

Successfully), Vital Records,

Health Education, Food and

General Sanitation, Motor

Vehicle Registration

Providers: Charlotte D.



Tracey Howell, LMT

A Peaceful Escape

134 Warren Ave., Selmer



James H. Smith, O.D.

The Eye Clinic, P.C.

138 Houston Ave., Selmer


Andrea Mitchell, O.D.

270 E Court Ave A, Selmer


Joseph Driscoll, O.D.

Selmer Eye Care Clinic

135 S Y Square, Selmer


John D. Dodd, O.D.

236 N Maple St, Adamsville




Juan T. Aristorenas

135 West Main St, Adamsville


Fax 731-632-9335

Devender D. Reddy

305 East Main, P.O. Box 503,



Fax 731-632-0903

The Clinic

M.S. Bakeer

714 Federal Dr., Selmer


Fax 731-645-8898

Services: Casting of simple

fractures, removal of simple

skin growths, evaluation/

removal of skin cancers and

abnormal growths, treatment

of cuts, boils, abscesses, and


McNairy Internal Medicine &


699 East Poplar Ave., Selmer


Fax 731-646-1333

Providers: S. Nicole Feeney,

Donna Norris, APRN

McNairy OB/GYN Associates

705 Poplar Ave., Selmer


Fax 731-646-2101

Providers: James D. Baxter,

Andrenette Fleming

Michie Healthcare Associates

5823 HWY 225, Michie


Fax 731-239-9472

Providers: Dee Blakney, FNP ,

Debra Cobb Collins, FNP

Michie Medical Clinic, Inc.

6659 Michie Pebble Hill Rd.

P.O. Box 297, Michie

731-632-1783; Fax 731-632-


Providers: Mary Sue

Humphries, FNP

Premier Internal Medicine &


Keith Perkins, M.D.

714 Federal Dr., Selmer


PrimeCare of Adamsville

345 HWY 64, Adamsville


Fax 731-645-5195

Providers: Michael H. Smelser,

John Vinson, Susan K. Godwin,


PrimeCare of Selmer

1 Primecare Dr., Selmer


Fax 731-645-5195

Providers: William Ryan

Bartz, Drew Eason, James D.

King, Timothy Linder, Dana K.

Martin, FNP, Bryan McCarver,

Sherry Moore, FNP, Cindy K.

Jones, FNP, Tiffany B. Gray,

FNP, Natalie Luttrell, FNP,

Emily K. Cooper, FNP, Mary

Beth Shirley, PA

Ramer Family Health Clinic

3856 HWY 57 West, Ramer


Fax 731-645-8312

Providers: Barton A. Chase,

Rocky Holmes, FNP

Trinity Medical Clinic

181 South Y Square, Selmer


Fax 731-434-0203

Providers: Rhonda Hunt


Simchah Huizar

Breath of Life Yoga & Therapy




834 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


Dee’s Vintage Odds & Ends

5534 US 45, Selmer


Deusner & Kennedy

177 W Court Ave., Selmer


Dickey Metals

300 N Third St., Selmer



​400 S 4th St., Selmer


Action Realty

102 W Court Ave.

A Building, Selmer


Adamsville Healthcare &


PO Box 325, Adamsville


Adamsville/McNairy County

Industrial Development Board

​203 Sunrise Dr., Adamsville


Adelsberger Marketing

8 Yorkshire Cove, Jackson, TN


Advantage Insurance

171 S Third St., Selmer


All City

263 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


American Johnny

PO Box 42, Michie


American Legion

PO Box 712, Selmer


American Legion Auxiliary

PO Box 712, Selmer


Antlers & Arrows/Southern

Charm Salon

118 S 2nd St., Selmer


B & B Propane

5756 Hwy 22 S, Michie



515 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


Bank of McNairy

610 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


Beauty Bar, Michelle ONeal

586 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


Bethel Springs Rosenwald

92 Wisdom Rd., Bethel Springs


Better Source Supply

1093 N Maple St., Adamsville


Bodiford-White Insurance

584 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


Breath of Life Yoga

999 Lola Whitten Rd., Suite 3



Butcher Boy

640 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


Cato Fashions

1023 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


CB&S Bank

731 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


Central Bank of Adamsville

436 E Main St., Adamsville


Chambers Insurance

160 S Second St., Selmer


City of Adamsville

231 E Main St., Adamsville


City of Ramer

16 Key Ln., Ramer



601 Washington St., Corinth,



Connector Castings

671 Industrial Park Dr., Selmer


Cook Coggin Engineers

110 N Third St., Selmer


​Country Critters Campground

1331 Elm Rd., Adamsville


​Crazy K Ranch

833 N Prather Rd., Michie


Danny Roberts Heating & Air

186 Warren Ave., Selmer


DeBerry Drugs

Do All Custom Machining &


421 TN Ave., Selmer


Dodd Eye Clinic

609 N Filmore, Corinth, MS


Dolphin Waterslides

334 E Main St., Adamsville


East Main Pharmacy

712 E Main St., Adamsville


Eveready Auto Parts

624 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


Express Employment

196 Carriage House Dr.,

Jackson, TN


Fast Pace Medical Clinic

1021 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


Faye Wise Conaway

Transamerica Agency and




First Baptist Church

310 West Court Ave., Selmer


First Class Storage

PO Box 799., Selmer


First United Methodist Church

1122 W Cherry Ave., Selmer


Floral Connection



178 S 3rd St., Selmer


Flowers Repair Shop

211 Sunrise Dr., Adamsville


Fullwood Dental Clinic, LLC

485 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


Grace Allen Formals and Mae

Lane Salon

144 Houston Ave., Selmer


Gracefully Designed

159 W Court Ave., Selmer


Hagy’s Catfish Hotel

1140 Hagy Ln., Shiloh, TN


Hamilton Ryker

1901 East South Harper Rd.,



HB Outfitters

Jones St., Selmer


​Henry Furniture

533 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


Hollingsworth Locksmith

44 McMahan Rd., Ramer


Home Banking Company

795 E Poplar Ave., Selmer


Hostetler Construction

863 Sol Colston Rd., Finger



110 N 2nd St., Selmer


Ingle Photography



Independent Appeal

111 N. Second St., Selmer


J&B Auto Sales

125 Old Hwy 45, Guys


Jackson State Community


2046 N Parkway, Jackson, TN


Jones Exhaust

442 Arendall St., Adamsville


Jones Motor Company

917 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


Kelly Services

1081 Vann Dr.

Suite 101, Jackson, TN


KG Gifts

140 W Court Ave., Selmer


Lamar Advertising Company

2389 Dr. F. E. Wright Dr.,

Jackson, TN


Lambert Sports & Fitness

914 Mulberry Ave., Jackson,



Larry Raines Realty

504 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


Lawson Welding

92 Three Star Dr., Selmer


Legacy Hospice

137 Cypress Ave., Selmer


Liberty National

Bradley P. Gray

529 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


Life Clean & Simple

Maria Howard


Lifeline Blood Services

183 Sterling Farm Dr., Jackson.



Lifespan Health

726 East Main St., Adamsville


LifeWind Covenant Church

63 Linsey Ln., Selmer


Los Aztecas Mexican


588 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


Lott Family Pharmacy

​835 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


Lynnfield Place

150 High School Rd., Selmer


Ma Ma Fia’s Café

130 E Main St., Selmer


Magnolia Regional Hospital

611 Alcorn Dr., Corinth, MS


Main Street’s Small World

141 W Court Ave., Selmer


Mammy’s Soap Company

Bethel Springs


Nichole Park Photography



Mary Lou Foundation

PO BOX 153, Selmer


MAS Components

2282 Airport Rd., Selmer



621 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


McNairy Central High School

493 High School Rd., Selmer


McNairy Co Board of


530 Mulberry Ave.

Suite 2, Selmer


McNairy County Commission

170 W Court Ave.

Suite 201, Selmer

McNairy Co Developmental


565 Industrial Park Rd., Selmer


McNairy County Exchange




McNairy Co Farm Bureau


555 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


McNairy County Farmers Co-


Hwy 142, Selmer


McNairy County Friends of the


225 Oakgrove Rd., Selmer


McNairy County Foundation of


144 Sunset Cove, Selmer

McNairy County Health Care


835 E Poplar Ave., Selmer


McNairy County Historical


114 N 3rd St., Selmer


McNairy County Imagination


PO Box 391, Selmer


McNairy County Libraries

225 Oakgrove Rd., Selmer


McNairy County News

252 Mulberry Avenue, Selmer


McNairy County Mayor Larry


170 W Court Ave., Selmer


McNairy County Soil



512 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


Michael’s Tire Shop

583 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


Mid South Family Farms

3715 Shiloh Adamsville Rd.,



​Mid-So Farmers Co-op

335 TN Ave., Selmer


Midtown Pharmacy, Suite C

270 E Court Ave., Selmer


Mind Gamez

110 N Second St., Selmer


Mitchell Eye Center, Dr.

Andrea Mitchell

699 E Poplar Ave., Selmer


Monogram Refrigeration LLC

789 Peach St., Selmer


Muddy Creek Media

NCS Fulfillment Center

149 N Railroad St., Selmer


Nichole Park Photography


North End Wine & Spirits

425 Peach St., Selmer


Office Pro

515 Childs St., Corinth, MS


Owl Creek Lumber

700 Industrial Park Rd., Selmer


Paul Fisher Oil Company

365 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


Personnel Placements, LLC

569 Mulberry Ave., Selmer



Phillips 66 Spectrum Corp

500 Industrial Park, Selmer


Pickwick Electric Cooperative

672 Hwy 142, Selmer


Quinco Mental Health Center

641 Poplar Ave., Selmer



2199 Highway 72 E, Corinth,



Regions Bank

116 S 3rd St., Selmer


Retro Coffee Bar



River City Concrete

850 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


Rosewood Place Apartments

200 Redbud St., Selmer


RSVP Program

408 Park Ave., Adamsville


Selmer Chiropractic

​Dr. Shawn Pitts

134 Warren Ave., Selmer


Selmer Collision Repair

356 Industrial Dr., Selmer


Selmer Finance Co

192 Houston Ave., Selmer


Selmer Golf & Country Club

1254 Country Club Ln., Selmer


Selmer/McNairy County

Industrial Development Board

205 W Court Ave., Selmer


Selmer Middle School

635 E Poplar Ave., Selmer


Selmer Quick Stop

430 Peach St., Selmer


Selmer Smiles, Dr. Ron Bell

718 Federal Dr., Selmer


Selmer Tobacco Beverage

837 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


​Senior Citizens Center

408 Park Ave., Adamsville


Servpro of McNairy

542 N Church Ave., Henderson


Shackelford Funeral Directors

160 Cypress Ave., Selmer


Shelter Insurance

132 N 3rd St., Selmer


She Shed Fitness

132 W Court Ave., Selmer


​Silicon Ranch

222 2nd Ave South, Suite 1900

Nashville, TN 37201

​Simpson & Simpson Law

108 N 3rd St., Selmer


Skyline Eye Clinic

138 Houston Ave., Selmer


SMC Recycling

117 Texaco Dr., Selmer


Smith & Lambert Certified

Public Accountants

105 Second Street North,



Smokey Joe’s BBQ

302 E Poplar Ave., Selmer


Sneak-A-Peek Boutique

114 W Main St., Adamsville


Sonic of Adamsville

325 Main St., Adamsville


Sparks Custom Fabrication

445 Farber Dr., Adamsville


Speedy Lube

815 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


St Jude The Apostle Catholic


1318 E Poplar Ave., Selmer


Star Physical Therapy

1021 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


State Farm, Kenneth Hawkins

567 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


State Farm Milton Nash

1040 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


State Farm. Shawn Sisk

158 E Main St., Adamsville


Steve Sweat Body Shop

2144 Highway 64 E., Selmer


Stockdales Selmer

581 Mulberry Ave., Selmer



152 S Y Square, Selmer


TCAT Crump

3070 US-64, Crump, TN


Tennessee A.C.T.S.

102 N Maple St., Adamsville

Tennessee Coil Spring &


180 Church Ln., Selmer


Terrific Tans

102B W Court Ave., Selmer


Terry Abernathy Attorney

115 S 2nd St R., Selmer


The Bean Scene

130 Main St., Adamsville


The Corner Restaurant

6237 Shiloh Adamsville Rd.,



The Law Office of Bryan Jaxon


100 W Court Ave., Selmer


The Loft on Court - Lower


156 W Court Ave., Selmer


The Shack Salon & Gift


207 Jones St., Selmer


The Venue at J. Lipford’s Alley

135 E Main St., Adamsville


Top O the River

5831 TN-57, Michie


Town of Bethel Springs

4066 Main St., Bethel Springs


Town of Selmer

Mayor John Smith

144 N 2nd St., Selmer


Town of Stantonville

PO Box 59, Stantonville


United Country Farm & Home


​811 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


United Stainless

95 Lakeview Dr., Selmer


United Way of West


PO Box 2086, Jackson, TN


Uptown Design

116 South Y Square, Selmer


Uptown Salon

586 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


UT Extension

703 Industrial Park Rd., Selmer


UTM McNairy County/Selmer


1269 TN Ave., Selmer



1017 Muleberry Ave., Selmer


​Weaver Communications, Inc.

4820 Hwy 128, Savannah


We Made It Inc.

330 S Maple St., Adamsville


WTH / Primecare, Suite B

270 E Court Ave., Selmer


Wilson Family Dentistry

710 Federal Dr., Selmer



512 Rowland Ave., Jackson


Yachad, LLC

205 Henco Dr., Selmer


Personal Memberships

​Billy Joe and Martha Glover

Kirk Hamlin

Linda Hamm

Suzanne Henson

Tom Neal Hamilton

​Paul Tower

14 Reasons to join the
















Free Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, publicity in both county

newspapers, coverage on Chamber’s newsletter and

Facebook page.

The Chamber distributes an annual McNairy Magazine

that includes a membership listing.

A Chamber member’s services are spotlighted each

week in the Monday Morning Mail newsletter.

The Chamber honors one Chamber Business of the

Month and Industry of the Month, each month.

Advertising opportunities available in county maps,

Chamber magazine, and website.

The Chamber partners with organizations that aid in

the expansion and growth of local business such as the

TN Small Business Association. Meetings are available

through the Chamber monthly with, Small Business

Specialist, Joel Newman of Jackson, TN.

Opportunity to serve on Board of Directors or

committee(s) of your choice. Allowing direct impact

upon the future of your community while promoting your

business. ​

Being housed in the McNairy County Visitor’s Center

allows the Chamber to furnish newcomers and tourists

with packets and brochures regarding members, and

local attractions.

Networking opportunities are provided on a regular basis

through the Chamber, with events like Chamber Coffee.

Small business meetings available monthly with

#ShopMcNairy campaign in place to aid small business

and encourage the community to shop local.

The Chamber acts as a liaison between the business

community and local, state, and federal government.

When needed the Chamber will address matters that

affect the local economy and business.

Job Fairs are available through the Chamber to connect

businesses with potential employees.

Recommendations and referrals are made to your

business, when


The Chamber plays an

active role in community

by supporting festivals,

events, and county





McNairy Leadership is a local

youth and adult leadership

program organized by McNairy

County Chamber & Economic


McNairy Leadership’s

purpose is to identify,

encourage, and equip

community-minded youth and

adults who want to become

more involved, who want to

help McNairy County become

a better place, and who are

willing to embrace leadership


Each class consists of up

to 24 people. For the youth

leadership class, that’s 12

juniors from McNairy Central

High School and 12 juniors

from Adamsville High School.

From August to May, the

youth and adult groups

participate in team building

activities, read leadership



material, and visit local

businesses, services and

attractions while learning

about topics such as

agriculture, tourism, nonprofits,

education and

healthcare, economic

development, and local

government. The final trip

is to the Tennessee State

Capitol in Nashville where

the groups learn about

state goverment.

The groups are tasked

with completing a

community project by

their graduation in May.

McNairy Youth

Leadership class of 2019’s

project is to present a

voluntary tobacco-free

zone resolution to local

communities. They

are partnering with

McNairy County Health

Council. The students will

spend an hour of community

service cleaning local parks

and installing tobacco-free

signage provided by McNairy

County Health Council.

McNairy Adult Leadership

class of 2019’s project is

to restore the gazebo and

water well located at Bethel

Springs City Hall. The project

will consist of fundraising in

order to restore the gazebo

and build up the original

water well into a functioning

water fountain at the heart

of the gazebo. The City of

Bethel Springs will continue

a beautification project of the

area to install landscaping and

other measures.

The class of 2019 Adult

Leadership class consists of

Brooke Moore, Chasity Cruz,

Deborah Sullivan, Elizabeth

Cooper, Jeannie Tuber, Justin

King, Keesha Hansen, Michelle

Davis, Sarah Landreth, Sarah

Moore, and honorary member

Jerrey Thurston.

The class of 2019 youth

leadership class consists

of Candice Jones, Chelc

McCoy, Cody Infield, Eli

Lambert, Emalee Gramse,

Jordan Gibbs, Karenna

Rainey, Katelyn Anglin,

Liza Smith, Molly Finley,

Sarah Chrestman, Shelbie

Pickens, Alex Bauman,

Allie King, Chloe Barmer,

Clara Bodiford, Emma Tull,

Evie Foret, Madison Bond,

Madison White, Maggie

Whitaker, Megan Hodum,

Tori York and Trevor Ferrell.



2018 Businesses of the month

JANUARY - BancorpSouth Selmer

FEBRUARY - Lambert Sports & Fitness

APRIL - Mind Gamez

MAY - Cook Coggin Engineers, Inc.

JUNE - Fast Pace Urgent Care

JULY - Arty Party Penguin

AUGUST - McNairy County Healthcare

SEPTEMBER - Uptown Design

OCTOBER - Sneak-a-Peek Boutique

NOVEMBER - The Loft on Court

DECEMBER - McDonald’s



Adamsville industrial Park


Certified site

At Copeland Drive on TN HWY 22 // 44.45

acres // M-2 Heavy Industrial Zoning

For more information visit:


Solar Farms

McNairy County boasts two 20-megawatt solar farms located on

Highway 142 and off Highway 45 operated by Tennessee Valley Authority

and Pickwick Electric.


industrial Park

At Tennessee Avenue, Selmer on TN HWY 45 // 75

acres // Industrial Zoning

For more information visit: https://mcnairycountyecd.



400 S 4th St., Selmer


Adamsville/McNairy County

Industrial Development Board

203 Sunrise Dr., Adamsville


Butcher Boy

640 Mulberry Ave., Selmer


Connector Castings

671 Industrial Park Dr., Selmer


DBH Attachments

158 Sunrise Dr., Adamsville


Dickey Metals

300 N Third St., Selmer


Do All Custom Machining &


421 TN Ave., Selmer


Knight’s Saw Mill

211 Falcon St., Selmer


Langley Wire Cloth


218 Enterprise Dr., Adamsville


Lawson Welding

92 Three Star Dr., Selmer


Magnum Press, Inc.



MAS Components

2282 Airport Rd., Selmer


Monogram Refrigeration

789 Peach St., Selmer


Moore’s Sawmill

8674 Leapwood Enville Rd.,



Owl Creek Lumber

700 Industrial Park Rd., Selmer


Phillips 66 Spectrum Corp

500 Industrial Park, Selmer


Pickwick Electric Cooperative

672 Hwy 142., Selmer


Precision Assembly

465 Industrial Park Dr., Selmer


Price Saw Mill

3881 Highway 64 W., Bethel



Ripley Industries

PO Box 245, Adamsville


Selmer/McNairy County

Industrial Development Board

205 W Court Ave., Selmer


SMC Recycling

117 Texaco Dr., Selmer


Sparks Custom Fabrication

445 Farber Dr., Adamsville


Tennessee Coil Springs &


180 Church St., Selmer


United Stainless

95 Lakeview Dr., Selmer


Whitco Steel Fabricators

202 Enterprise Dr., Adamsville


Yachad, LLC

205 Henco Dr., Selmer








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