The Entrance to Boxwell
The recent road-widening construction on Highway 109 forced Boxwell to move its current sign. This got us thinking about the old entrance into camp and some of the history there. So, this week, we look at the hanging sign.
The hanging sign was not at Boxwell when the current location first opened, but it came along pretty soon thereafter (more on that later). The sign was on one of several steep embankments. There was an embankment on each side of Creighton Lane as you turned in, and of course, one across Highway 109 that is still there today. When you turned into Boxwell coming north toward Gallatin, the hanging sign was on the right hand side of Creighton Lane, just like the current sign is.
Of course, these embankments were prone to heavy erosion when the rain, er, Boxwell dews came. So, as legend has it, Stahlman’s Con-Yard Director, a White County teacher by the name of Tom Parker had a solution: the sttaff would plant kudzu on the embankments. The invasive nature of the plant species was not yet understood in the States, so it shouldn’t be surprising that Boxwell Staff planted a LOT of kudzu over several summers–one plant about every foot! Indeed, planting kudzu was even an SL activity for both camps; no one was spared.
As you can see in this photo from about 1970, the kudzu has taken root, both under the sign and across the highway. It is already quite thick in this photo, leading to periodic attempts to kill it. None were wholly successful!