Think back to those days when there was no air conditioning in the summertime. Windows could be opened, but often there were no screens. Flies, wasps and other pests could come right in.
Thick curtains might be closed against the sunlight. Shades could be pulled.
Without adequate refrigeration, the cold water spring was a true help. An icehouse was a blessing for those who lived in town.
There were few city swimming pools at that time, certainly none at individual homes.
Creeks were the answer on hot August afternoons. Robertson County was fortunate to have many – Buzzard Creek, Honey Run, Carr’s Creek, Sycamore, Sulphur Fork. Of course, there was also the Red River.
The Robertson County History Museum currently has an exhibit focusing on “Tennessee Waters: Shaping Our Land, Our Lives, Our Future.” It is sponsored by Humanities Tennessee, the Tennessee Historical Society and the Albert Gore Research Center.
The Museum also has a number of activities just for children.
An Art Contest begins Aug. 5 and ends Aug. 12. Entries must be drawings, sketches or paintings of waterways, wildlife, wildflowers or historic buildings/places in Robertson County. These entries must be submitted in person at the History Museum.
Children have been able to receive free kits at the Museum during this exhibit. Robertson County Scrapbook kits and Birdwatching kits have been popular.
Through August, other kits will be available. These will include Fishing kits and Hummingbird kits.
A Scavenger Hunt runs through Aug. 31. Children may pick up a sheet in the lobby, answer questions and be entered to win a prize.
In the lobby of the Museum is also the Tennessee Waters exhibit.
Several standing screens offer a picture of the creeks, streams and rivers that are so valuable here in Tennessee.
One screen is specifically related to water in the state’s history. It includes Cherokee folklore telling the creation of the world as it related to water.
There is a picture of Mound Bottom on the Harpeth River in Cheatham County. It was the site of a great town during the Mississippian period around 1000 BCE.
In 1541, Hernando de Soto brought his Spanish explorers through the Nolichucky Watershed and the River of the Cherokees is specifically noted on a 1755 map.
Spain, Great Britain and France all quarreled over control of the rivers in this area. They wanted the water not only for transportation but also because of the valuable furs that would be available to them.
There are, of course, photos of river baptisms, another aspect of the importance of water in Tennessee.
In the Eagle’s Eye is sponsored by the Robertson County Historical Society. Call 615-382-7173 for more information.