Cracker Barrel has its Christmas music playing. Walmart  has cleared a large space for the display of Christmas trees.

And the Robertson County Historical Society has named the seven places that will be on its annual Christmas Tour of Homes.

Jim Beasley’s home was originally the Dairy Queen (Dairy Dip?), located across North Main from the old Woolen Mills buildings in Springfield. Nearby is the old Coca-Cola plant, now Christmas Done Bright. It is also on the tour.

A third place to tour on North Main is the home of Walt and Beth Hannabass. The home of Betty Doble on North Walnut is another home which may be visited.

The Woodalls’ loft apartment in downtown Springfield will be on the Christmas tour this year. Also in the area and open to those with tickets are the History Museum and the Glenn Memorial.

The Christmas Tour of Homes is always scheduled for the second Sunday of December from 1 to 5 p.m., and this year is no exception.

This year, however, the cost of a ticket will be $20.

Another difference is that tickets will be available only to Historical Society members from October 28 to Nov. 8. After Nov. 8, tickets will be available to the public.

Detailed information about each place on the tour will appear later in this column.

As fall is still on the calendar, however, one of the favorite places to celebrate the season is Port Royal. The covered bridge which was once there remains one of the most-missed icons in the area.

Ralph Winters often wrote about the history of Port Royal. He told of the log rafts that carried various farm products from the Sulphur Fork/Red River to Natchez, Mississippi, or to New Orleans. After the products were gone, the flatboat would be broken apart and the logs themselves were sold.

With money in their possession and walking home along the Natchez Trace, many travelers were beaten and robbed; even murdered.

In his 1806 will, George Nevil left to his son a quantity of money “if ever received from the Natches.” Winters explains that their tobacco had been sent to Natchez by flatboat and they were awaiting “settlement” from England! Amazing! In 1806!

In 1818, a steamboat came up the Cumberland River so that freight could be shipped to the Port Royal area. Produce no longer had to be carried by log rafts to Natchez or New Orleans but only as far as Clarksville.

Port Royal was a thriving community and a “flourishing trading center” for over 100 years.

In the Eagle’s Eye is sponsored by the Robertson County Historical Society. Call 615-382-7173 for more information.

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