CHRONICLE. CENTENNIAL ISSUE. Dear Uncle Gib reader, I’m working on an article right now that is taking quite a bit of researching time. When finished, it is hoped that you will enjoy learning of this interesting citizen of the county. It’s been so hot that I thought even if it had appeared before, the reader might enjoy this little article, get cooled off, and get a good belly laugh in the process.
RECREATION IN THE 1880s. A VIVID AND AMUSING DESCRIPTION OF A SKATING PARTY ON PERKINS POND appears in the issue of CROSSVILLE TIMES for January 20, 1887.
Old timers give the location of that pond as southwest of the house where Mrs. Walter Hill resides, at the extreme south end of Main Street.
Mentioned in the article are Sheriff Anderson who some people remember as “Chuck,” and who grew the finest watermelons this county has ever had grown in it; and John Kerley of the same family as our county judge, Thos. J. Kerley, and French who was a ward of the late Dr. Tom Snodgrass.
The episode is printed as follows:
Perhaps the most ludicrous sight ever witnessed in Crossville was seen on the Perkins’ pond last Sunday morning, where a large party of skaters and a larger crowd of spectators gathered. The ice, in consequence of the warm weather, was decidedly rotten, but that did not deter the most venturesome of the ‘kids’ from chasing each other up and down the ice-skimmed puddle.
Pretty soon the heavyweights, such as Sheriff Anderson, F.B. Perry, John Kearley and others proceeded to enjoy some of the sport themselves. Perry was busily engaged in gathering the head gear of every one on the pond and making off with it, the bare-headed enthusiasts following him as fast as possible on a slippery voyage of recovery.
Eventually Perry turned a spasmodic flip-flap and landed on the back of his head.
The sheriff came next and fell over the prostrate skater, and following closely after trooped a couple of the big boys and cloud of the aforesaid “kids.”
When the crowd was nicely piled up, the ice cracked like an eggshell and the conglomerate mass of humanity disappeared from view. The first to come to the surface was French, telling his rosary in a frantic manner with one hand while he clutched for the raven locks of the sheriff with the other, and closely following came out our “devil,” his imp ship having stood on Perry’s neck in the meanwhile, the latter still being in the mud on the bottom.
When Anderson and Perry did come to the surface they resembled the imaginative sea serpents you read of. They were all rescued without much trouble amid much laughter. The water was about four feet in depth.
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Old Uncle Gib is a weekly historical feature published each week. Old Uncle Gib is a pseudonym that was used by S.C. Bishop, who founded the Chronicle in 1886. Bishop actively published the Chronicle until 1948.