Historic Collinsville News – June 2023

Celebrating Tennessee Statehood

Tennessee turns 227 this June, and Historic Collinsville Pioneer Settlement is celebrating with a special FREE DAY for all guests on Saturday, June 3, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.!

Visitors can enjoy a variety of special activities for all ages in commemoration of Tennessee Statehood Day, including a timeline of Tennessee history from 1796 to present day. In addition, historians and reenactors will demonstrate life skills from the 18th and 19th centuries. Guests will also enjoy special musical performances by the Traveling Caudells. Learn more

COMING UP: Join us for Dad’s Day Out on Saturday, June 17, with free admission for dads!

Meet Weakley the Raccoon

Historic Collinsville’s current mascot is a raccoon named Weakley, a namesake of the site’s founders. In addition, Tennessee House Joint Resolution 156 adopted the raccoon as Tennessee’s official wild animal in May 1971. Weakley has unmasked his writing skills by sharing his recent poem based on the Resolution.

Read House Joint Resolution 156

Weakley’s Poem: “Whereas No. 156”

The 87th General Assembly
Proclaimed and thus adopted the raccoon to be
The official wild animal in Tennessee
In May of 1971 – for you and me!
Whereas great in abundance in the state
The coon’s important fur was all first-rate!
Its infamous mask is a mystery trait
Its opposable thumb assists its needs – it’s great!
Whereas a “Coonskin Cap” was on display
In the Halls of Congress day after day!
Oh, yes, the ringed-tailed-mammal made its way
Into our history books one month in May!
Whereas the boys and men from all around
Thought of Tennessee as coon-hunting-ground!
Where many wild raccoons at night were found
One could hear their loud chatter – what a sound!
Whereas from the state’s night-‘coon-hunting sport
Came rich, colorful tales – the tall-tale sort!
For to hunt a coon, one could not fall short
’cause a raccoon can make a safe tree fort
Whereas Resolution No. 156
Includes raccoons in the symbolic mix!
This is a symbol, that in your mind sticks
Signed – Weakley, the raccoon, that writes for kicks!

History of Tennessee Statehood

The State of Tennessee celebrates its 227th anniversary on June 1, 2023. The land that would become Tennessee was known as the “Territory South of the River Ohio” or more commonly as the “Southwest Territory.” This territory officially existed from May 26, 1790, until June 1, 1796, when Tennessee was admitted to the United States as the 16th state.

The 1790 United States census shows there were seven counties in the Southwest Territory with familiar names such as Greene, Hawkins, Washington, Sullivan, Davidson, Sumner, and Tennessee. Tennessee County was comprised of today’s Montgomery and Robertson Counties. The people of Tennessee County voted to relinquish the name of Tennessee and adopted Montgomery after John Montgomery and Robertson after James Robertson. The name of Tennessee was now available to be taken up by the new state.

Learn more about Tennessee history at https://www.tnhistoryforkids.org/