Historic correction? David Crockett, not ‘Davy,’ was born in on a mountaintop in TN

The state park named after the “king of the wild frontier” – as he was dubbed in a popular 1960s song —  is getting an overhaul, financed by federal and state money, along with official abandonment of his nickname.

The 105-acre site in Greene County, now officially the Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park, will officially become instead the David Crockett Birthplace State Park, reports the Greeneville Sun.

That announcement by Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill brought nods and positive exclamations from several in the crowd (of 25-30 “invited supporters”), the newspaper says.

Hobart Akin, cultural resources and exhibits specialist for TDEC, said that $700,000 in funding from a federal grant that was supplemented by state matching funds will pay for the portion of the work that involves upgrading the visitor center. Hill said other state funds provided through the administration of Gov. Bill Haslam have been identified to fund the other portions of the project. Work is expected to begin early in 2017.

… Despite containing a log cabin symbolizing the one in which Crockett was born and other frontier touches, for decades the site has been visually dominated by a modern swimming pool and related buildings, a campground, various picnic pavilions and a paved parking area.

Hill and Akin said that none of those more modern features will leave the park, though some, such as parking areas, will be moved. Overall, the historical aspects of the site will become more dominant, with the more modern areas less accented. Privacy methods including plant screening will be used to make the pool area less visible from the historical sections.

 …Not only will there be an enlarged and enhanced garden area, but there will be animal enclosures with cattle, horses and chickens. Areas now covered by paved parking spots will be made earthen again, with most parking shifted to a different area.

Note: A new bust of Crockett at the state Capitol – it bears the name David, not “Davy” – was unveiled on Dec. 6. The Tennessee Arts Commission news release on that event is HERE.

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2 Responses to Historic correction? David Crockett, not ‘Davy,’ was born in on a mountaintop in TN

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    Molly Mann says:

    I’m from Lawrenceburg,TN where David Crockett lived for a time and there is a State Park in his name there as well. Lawrenceburgers never called him Davy.

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    Joe Swann says:

    In the 1833 unauthorized biography of Crockett, Life and Adventures of Col. David Crockett of West Tennessee, I can find no place where he is called anything but David or Colonel Crockett nor is Davy used in Crockett’s autobiography. The Davy Crockett Almanacs of the late 1830’s and 1840’s popularized the familiar name of Davy by saturating the media of the day that popularized bawdy images of a character they created, the Davy of the Almanacs. When Disney picked it up they similarly kept the Davy name that stuck with a huge segment of the population. I have little doubt that he went by David throughout his life and the Davy name was used to create a caricature of the real man.

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