WORLD WAR I to be the Focus of FCHS’s Spring Roundup

The Fentress County Historical Society will present its twenty-seventh annual Spring Heritage Roundup, the last weekend In April. For the first time, what has always been a Saturday event, will begin Friday evening, April 28, with a program commemorating the 100 th anniversary of World War I. To be held at Sergeant Alvin C. York Agricultural Institute, the program will be titled Fentress Countians in the Great War. Activities will continue on Saturday, April 29 th , at York Elementary School, with the same theme, and will last throughout the day.

The highlight of the Friday evening event will be a presentation by Dr. Michael E. Birdwell, a Tennessee Technological University History professor and Chairman of the Tennessee Great War Commission, the mission of which is to commemorate the 100 th anniversary of World War I. In addition to serving in this position, Dr. Birdwell also chairs the Tennessee National Register Review Board and serves on the Executive Committees of the Sergeant York Patriotic Foundation and the Tennessee Preservation Trust.

Joining Dr. Birdwell on the program will be Ms. Deborah York, Executive Director of the Sergeant York Patriotic Foundation and great-granddaughter of Sergeant Alvin C. York. She will talk about the mission and the accomplishments of the Foundation as well as upcoming events commemorating the life of Sgt. York and the Centennial of the Great War.

A selection of patriotic music will be performed by York Institute’s Noteworthy, Mr. Bill Bowden will perform The Ballad of Sergeant York and the school’s Junior ROTC will present colors.

The evening, which begins at 6pm, will include dinner and there will be several exhibits on display from the Fentress County Historical Society, the Sergeant York Patriotic Foundation the Sgt. Alvin C. York State Historical Park.

Tickets, which will be available April 3 rd , are $20.00 for adults and $10.00 for students and may be purchased at the Fentress County Historical Society Museum in Allardt, Saturdays 10m-1pm, and at other locations (to be announced). For more information, call 931-752- 7818 or 931-879- 7622.

On Saturday, the Spring Heritage Roundup will continue at York Elementary School, starting at 9am. Again focusing on the theme, Fentress Countians in the Great War, the Fentress County Historical Society will present a full day of exhibits, genealogy, historical reenactments, book sales, music, storytelling, art and more.

Some of Fentress County’s First Families will receive First Family Certificates and information will be available to others who are interested in achieving this designation for their own families.

Exhibitors will include the Sergeant York Patriotic Foundation, the Sgt. Alvin C. York State Historic Park and the Fentress County Historical Society, with others to be announced later. The Historical Society’s exhibit will include information about Fentress County soldiers who were veterans of or lost their lives in the Great War (World War I).

Members of the Society will be on hand to answer questions pertaining to Fentress County history and genealogy and to assist Roundup attendees with book purchases.

Music will be such as one might have heard during the time of the war and story-telling will recall the circumstances and events of that era, both at home and abroad.

Box lunches will be available for purchase in the cafeteria at noon.

Saturday’s Spring Heritage Roundup event is free and open to the public.

Everyone is encouraged to come and spend the day learning about the Great War, an event which did much to shape our country as we know it, today. It will be a great experience to share with family and friends, a once-in- a-lifetime happening.

For more information on the Spring Heritage Roundup, read the Fentress Courier, listen to local radio stations and stay in touch with the Fentress County Historical Society’s web page, and the Society’s Facebook page.