McNairy Magazine 2019

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

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

MCNAIRY MAGAZINE 21

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