Rumors And Legends From Cades Cove Book

Leonard and Lydia Ledbetter Cades Cove Preservation Book

Recipes, Remedies & Rumors Volume I Cades Cove Preservation Association (photo and excerpts)

The cookie recipe I shared with you on Monday was from the book above-and was the recipe used by the lady in the photo- Lydia Buchanan Ledbetter.

“Lydia’s parents were John and Hester Lail Buchanan. Lydia Buchanaan was born Nov. 11, 1913 at home. She was born in the Canes, a section of Cades Cove. Lydia had three sisters and one brother. She went to school in the Canes, walking 2 1/2 miles, until they moved out in 1929. Her grandparents, G.Y. and Lydia Buchanan donated the land for the Buchanan Cemetery.”

Her husband, Leonard, had a rich long family history in Cades Cove. Another excerpt from the cookbook shows some of the more interesting history.

Matthew Manuel (Bud) Ledbetter and his family worked hard through the week. Sunday was their day to rest. If the boys got rowdy, Bud put them in the fields picking up rocks. They used them to make “rock walls”. These rock walls were used to keep cows and deer out of the garden and to turn water off the crops.

Daniel Calvin (Cal) Ledbetter and Anna Rebecca Shields, daughter of Frederick David and Phoebe Jane Walker Shields, decided to get married. They eloped on horses. Anna had on all five of her dresses! They got marred on the trail going to White Oak Sinks. Her father came out School House Gap and shot off into the Sinks and said, “I guess I killed them!”

One day Bud told Tom, his son to take the mule and go plow the lower forty. No one saw Tom the rest of the day. About suppertime, Bud said he’d better go check on Tom. He found the mules tied to a tree and no sight of Tom. The next they heard from Tom, he was in the form of a letter. Tom had run off and joined the Army!

Cal Ledbetter and his son, Roy, had taken a wagon load of produce to Knoxville for sale. On the return trip, Cal had bought bananas. Roy was sitting in the back of the wagon eating the bananas. He said “You know Dad, these bananas would be good if they didn’t have such a big core in them!”

Wade Effler would often go to visit Bud, who was his grandfather. He said he remembered the sixteen foot table, which had a bench on both sides. Wade said there was always plenty to eat. Bud would go to the cellar to get honey. The honey was stored in five-gallon lard cans. They would have big plates of ham for supper. After working the hot fields all day long, G-Grandpa Bud would go down to the Blowing Hole Cave and cool off. In the summer time, cold air comes out just like air-conditioning.

These Rumors and Legends were passed to us by Paul Ledbetter, son of Cal.


I hope you enjoyed the peek into the Ledbetter family history.


*Source: Recipes, Remedies & Rumors Volume I Cades Cove Preservation Association (photo and excerpts)


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  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    June 25, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    Those rocks are not conducive as well as being not conductive. Sometimes, when I ain’t paying attention, that spell checker thingy makes me look like a fool.

  • Reply
    June 25, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    I thought that little story of Cal and Roy and the banannas was great. Sounds like something my folks would say.
    And Cindy’s comment was very
    thoughtful about life is good.
    I got part of my old homeplace and I’m content and happy there.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    June 25, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    As an amateur genealogist this is better than peanut butter cookies by far. Blount County TN where Cades Cove is located in next Swain County NC and many of my relatives wondered back and forth between counties and states without noticing the dotted lines.
    I saw many miles of stacked rocks in my youth. I know they were to clear and protect farmland. I had no idea they were used to treat the over production of testosterone.
    There are remnants of rock walls everywhere here in Burke County, but few near where live now. I live near the Catawba River (not on the river lest you think I am one of the rich ones.) I surmise that eons ago my place was at the bottom of the river. I have been picking up rocks here for 22 years and have barely scratched the surface. My problem is, most of the rocks are smaller than your fist and rounded. That’s not conductive to building rock walls.
    I have some pretty good soil comparatively in my little garden spot but that is because I sifted much of it. I still hit a rock with almost every strike of my hoe. I think they must be floating to the surface. Do rocks float? They have to be coming from somewhere. The only other cause I can think of is that a mob of little boys are coming by at night and throwing rocks in my garden.
    The place I lived before (still in Burke County) had far fewer rocks but was covered with coal. But that’s a whole nuther story.

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    June 25, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    Tipper, that was very interesting. I love to read about Cades Cove history.

  • Reply
    June 25, 2015 at 8:50 am

    Thanks for more history! I’m still thinking about that cookie recipe. Yummy!

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    June 25, 2015 at 8:48 am

    Oh, my goodness! What could be more romantic than the tale about eloping on horseback? I wonder if Blowing Hole Cave still functions? And that honey! In this day when a quart of local honey costs close to ten dollars, imagine the price for a five-gallon lard can full of golden goodness! Those were definitely “the good old days.”
    Thank you for sharing these wonderful stories, Tipper.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    June 25, 2015 at 7:20 am

    It’s a little peek into another time. We have such constant contact with, well with anyone in the world we want to contact. Can you imagine Chitter or Chatter going off and you having no contact for months or years!
    I think of that time being calmer and slower and, in a way it was, but they worked hard 6 days a week. Hard physical work.
    I think I’d like something in between, something slower and quieter. Wait a minute, that’s exactly what I have. I moved to my little old house out in the country where it is quiet, slow, and peaceful and I brought my computer and my cell phone with me!
    What more could a girl want.

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