Presswood to share Columbus history at 3 today in Calhoun
by By GREG KAYLOR Banner Staff Writer
Oct 21, 2012 | 643 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Polk County Historian Marian Presswood will be the featured speaker for the Charleston- Calhoun-Hiwassee Historical Society regular monthly meeting Sunday.

Presswood will be sharing information about the history of the old town of Columbus which was located in the Linsdale community of Polk County and was the first county seat.

The meeting will be held at 3 p.m. in the community room of the Calhoun United Methodist church located on Highway 163 (Bowater Road).

In 1809, John Hildebrand was sent by the government to build a grist mill for the Cherokees who lived in the numerous towns along the Hiwassee River, and a thriving little town sprang up around it.

In Feb. 1840, John Thomas, Jonas Hoyl, James Hawkins, John Willis, Allen Armstrong, Thomas Harper and John Hannah were selected as commissioners who had the job of establishing a county seat.

Columbus was known as a “frontier town” and had a heavy Cherokee Indian trade.

According to historical documentation, the population of Columbus was between 200-500 settlers.

Officials determined the town of Benton to be established as the county seat and eventually, Columbus disappeared from the north bank of the Hiwassee River.

Polk County had been established from portions of Bradley and McMinn counties and was named after James K. Polk.

Presswood, the official Polk County historian since 1993, is a retired educator of 30 years, the past president of the Polk County Retired Teachers Association and president of the nearly 400-member Polk County Historical & Genealogical Society that she reorganized in 1995. She has volunteered four days a week for the past 14 years at the genealogy library she established in 1997, and also serves as librarian.

As a member of the community, she and her husband, James, have added more than 3,200 pictures of local grave markers to that website in just the past two years.

Presswood is the first inductee into the Polk County High School Alumni Hall of Fame and was the 2007 recipient of the East Tennessee Historical Society's prestigious Ramsey Lifetime Achievement Award.

The CCH Historical Society meets each month on the third Sunday at 3 p.m.

Membership is only $10 per year and comes with special discounts at the group’s events throughout the year. The 2012 fees are due now.

Anyone interested in membership or receiving emails regarding meetings or activities, please contact Darlene Goins at 336-2763 or or Faye Callaway at 336-5694.