Rock face

The Chumbley name is a bit less well known as some of the other landmark names around town, however, the Chumbley family was instrumental in the history of Old Stone Fort State Archeological.

Park ranger Caleb Doster explained that the trail is named for John A. Chumbley.

“His family owned a core section (about 400 acres) of what today is Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park, and he was instrumental in preserving and eventually turning the property over to the state, which led to it becoming a State Park in 1966,” Doster said.

Doster notes that Chumbley and several other members of his family are actually buried in a small cemetery on park property off of Powers Bridge Rd.

Doster referenced a thesis by former OSF park ranger and the Cultural Resources and Exhibit Specialist for Tennessee State Parks Hobart Akin:

 “With her death in 1927, Frances Wooton’s estate became the property of her daughter, Sarah Chumbley, and her husband, William Wallace. With the help of their son, John, the family directed much of the site’s use for the next 39 years.

“After John returned to the United States at the conclusion of the Great War, he began working as an attorney for firms in Washington D.C. Around this time he also worked with the National Democratic Party’s labor relations committee. Despite this distance, John participated in family discussions about managing the Old Stone Fort property, including visitors to the property and proposed business plans. In the wake of Fannie’s ‘(Frances)’ death, the family seemed disinterested in further attempts to develop the property for industry. Instead, the family discussed turning the archaeological site and remains of the paper mill over to government agencies for management.”


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