Middle Fork, Tennessee

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Middle Fork, Tennessee
Unincorporated community
Middle Fork, Tennessee is located in Tennessee
Middle Fork, Tennessee
Middle Fork, Tennessee
Coordinates: 35°32′09″N 88°29′12″W / 35.53583°N 88.48667°W / 35.53583; -88.48667Coordinates: 35°32′09″N 88°29′12″W / 35.53583°N 88.48667°W / 35.53583; -88.48667
Country United States
State Tennessee
County Henderson
Elevation 568 ft (173 m)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Area code(s) 731
GNIS feature ID 1293662[1]

Middle Fork, alternately known as Middlefork or Lizard Lick, is an unincorporated community located in the southwestern portion of Henderson County, Tennessee, United States[1] and was settled prior to the formation of the county in 1821. The first organized church in Henderson County was Middle Fork Primitive Baptist Church which was chartered in 1823.[2]

History[edit]

Post office[edit]

Middle Fork was one of the original post offices in the county, and was situated at the crossroads of the Lexington-Purdy Road and the Jackson-Saltillo Road. A small salt lick gave rise to the moniker of Lizard Lick. The Post Office, Middle Fork, was closed in 1892 and re-opened, as Middlefork while Dr. Arnold was postmaster. The post office was closed and consolidated into the Luray Post office in 1904 when rural routes from the railroad were established. Obediah Hendricks and John Crook, early settlers of the area, were appointed to the first County Court upon the creation of Henderson County in 1821. By 1836 Frederick Phelps and Nicholas Garrett had also settled in the community.[3][4]

Situated within a few miles of Pinson Mounds, Middle Fork has also produced several sites for Native American artifacts such as arrow heads, drills, scrapers, and pieces of pottery.

Role in the Civil War[edit]

During the Civil War, Middle Fork furnished men to several Tennessee Confederate infantry regiments: 13th, 27th, 51st, 52nd, and Browns 55th; and several cavalry regiments: 18th Newsome's and Wilson's 21st. Henry Carver, buried at Middle Fork Primitive Baptist Church, was the first casualty during the War.

Although no major skirmish or battle occurred at Middle Fork, the Skirmish at nearby Clarks Creek, Tennessee on September 23, 1863 led to a small occurrence near the community. Several rifles were left behind and the Union soldiers took them to the blacksmith shop and bent the barrells, and then threw them into a ditch.

Schools[edit]

Middle Fork and Big Springs Schools were started in 1877, and a black school, Joyner’s Grove, in 1908. Middle Fork School moved from the downtown area in 1895 to the current site. The present building was erected in 1920 and was closed during County consolidation in 1960. The cotton gin closed in the late 1980s, as well as the last store.

Religion[edit]

Religious life in the community is served by Unity Baptist Church (1848), Middlefork Road Baptist Church, Old Jacks Creek Baptist Church, and Palestine Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

Notable people[edit]

Randall Wallace Screenwriter (author of Braveheart)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Middle Fork, Tennessee". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 
  2. ^ "Tennessee Encyclopedia, Henderson County article". Retrieved 1 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "Tennessee Encyclopedia, Henderson County article". 
  4. ^ "Middlefork, A Forgotten Community". Henderson County Times. Retrieved 1 September 2012.