Old Hickory Land Grant
Every story has a beginning. Officially, the story of the Old Hickory Boxwell begins right here, when the United States Senate passed a bill granting 500 acres adjacent to Old Hickory Lake to the Middle Tennessee Council for the creation of a new Scout camp.
Okay, technically, this isn’t the beginning, but that idea makes for a much more sensational opening!
“Senate Passes Bill For Scout Lake Site,” The Tennessean, August 31, 1957, pg 8.
Article from the Washington Bureau on the passage of a bill for the land grant we know as Boxwell.
The First Commissaries
Before they were self-service or used service windows, Boxwell’s Commissaries were tents. They were rather large tents screened from the military. Specifically, they were GP (General Purpose) Medium tents, which means they were approximately 16’x32′.
These first commissaries were located at Parnell and Stahlman in roughly the same places the permanent buildings currently exist. And, if you remember your history, the tents were replaced with the permanent structures as part of the 1972 Capital Development Campaign.
Seen here is the inside of one of these commissaries. The photo came to us with no names and thus we aren’t sure which camp this photo belongs with. Regardless, you can see the cash box here as well as an assortment of items you could purchase. You can also see those fantastic 1960s sleeveless Boxwell staff shirts!
Inside the original Old Hickory Lake Boxwell Commissaries. Note the glass bottles for soft drinks.
The Field Trials
As we’ve mentioned before, Old Hickory Boxwell was used for Field Trials (dog hunting) in the first few years. The abandoned ponds are still on site, though you have to go look for them.
The article this week is about those trials. Indeed, the Tennessean Archives for the 1960s is littered with notifications of these trials. You will likely find more articles on the trials than on camp itself! This particular trial is for Saturday, March 13, 1965. There had been a trial just the week before in Memphis and Ward Akers had participated with his dog, Tar, who came in fourth! Unfortunately, we were unable to find an article that revealed how Tar did the next week…
“Trials Slated,” The Tennessean, March 11, 1965, pg. 53
Notice for a Dog Trials event at Boxwell Reservation, March 11, 1965.