Enjoying Chattanooga's Greenways
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
To John Shearer:
I have really enjoyed your “Greenspaces” series and have put together a small notebook with all the articles. My goal is to visit each one again and take my own notes.
(Regarding White Oak Park), the story of this park is really quite fascinating as it used to be the site of the former Red Bank landfill/dump. My friend, Tom Murphy, and I would frequently ride to the dump (much to our parents' chagrin) and look for treasures in the rubble. We would often find old bottles, toys, etc., that we would haul home as new possessions. There was an old spring (now capped) that flowed under the site of the old Kingdom Hall, (where) we would stop on our bicycles and grab a drink, putting our mouths below the tube to slurp the cold water. Many folks would come there to fill gallon jugs with this tasty spring water. The pipe (although capped because someone probably deemed the water poison in this day) is still visible as you turn up the hill toward the park.
As you also know, this area is known as Sherman’s hideout and there is a historical marker near the duckpond. Heck, Sherman and his troops probably sipped water from that natural spring.
It ran cold 365 days a year. Even in the hottest months, the flow never stopped.
The remediation of this old public landfill into a greenspace park is a remarkable story as well. I still take my chocolate lab, Ellie, to the park daily for a run and always marvel at the park and the views from the hilltop.
Anyway, I love your series.
David C. Patten