It is hard to imagine such a thing happening today, but in the 1920s, two lucky Boy Scouts were allowed to be Governor of Tennessee and Mayor of Nashville for one hour. The positions were obviously ceremonial, but still it is an interesting footnote about life 100 years ago. And, this was front page news!
“Boy Officials to Run City Tuesday for Hour Picked,” The Tennessean, April 25, 1925, pg 1.
The brief tenures of Governor Charlton Rogers and Mayor Murrey Johnson.
When researching an institution that is almost 100 years old, it is easy to focus on buildings, big names, newspaper articles. These are the things we look to in history to tell the story; things we can confirm and point to for verification.
Sometimes though, we overlook the impact the “institution” has on people. After all, if people weren’t positively affected, the institution wouldn’t exist for 100 years.
So, this week, a poem. “The Summers” was written by Lisa Human McCormack (eldest daughter of Reservation Director Ed Human) probably around 1975, after six summers of life at Camp Murrey. This captures Boxwell–the home, not “the institution”–better than most of us can articulate.
To all those who have worked Boxwell Staff over the years, thank you for everything you’ve done.
A poem written by Lisa Human McCormack, ca. 1975, after six summers at Camp Murrey.
From the News: Old Hickory Boxwell Kick-Off
In January 1959, Middle Tennessee Council held a kick-off meeting in a plane hanger at Berry Field in Nashville. Berry Field is “the old airport,” which was replaced by the Nashville International Airport in the mid-1980s. Indeed, in 1959, Nashville had just begun “modernizing” Berry Field to what we now call “the old airport”! (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nashville_International_Airport)
There are several familiar names here, including Leslie G. Boxwell, E. B. Stahlman, Jr., E. E. Murrey, Jr., Rudolph Light, R. D. Stanford, and Beverly Briley. Also note that the plan being pitched here calls for “the development of four separate and complete camps plus a central service area. Each camp will have accommodation for 200 boys, and another area will be used as a leadership training camp.”
“2000 Here Help Kick Off Boy Scout Campaign Fund,” The Tennessean, January 26, 1959, pg. 2.
Tennessean article outlining the Old Hickory Boxwell’s kick-off campaign in 1959. At almost $900,000, this would be the largest capital campaign in Scouting history
The First Boat Harbor
The first iteration of the Boat Harbor–known as the Ski Dock then–was a strong selling point for the Reservation. Remember, Old Hickory Lake had only just been completed in 1954, so the lake was still quite new when the Reservation opened in 1960.
As a result, photos like this one were often used for promotional purposes. Here John Cyril Stewart pilots a sail boat in the Harbor. If you look closely, you can see one of the two old barns that used to grace the back part of Camp Stahlman!
Stewart himself started on the staff in 1964 at the Crab before moving to Parnell and then finally to the Ski Dock in 1967. From there, he went on to become the Ski Dock Director in ’71 and ’72.
John Cyril Stewart and a sailboat in the Ski Dock harbor, ca. 1970.