Time Does Make a Change - 60 Years on Signal
I've been thinking very deeply here of late,
about the trying days we are living in. It's sad to see so many young
people who are so deep in sin and crimes of all descriptions, disobedient, and
unthankful for the things God has given us. I think back of the good old
days that have led me this far. I was born in Chattanooga on S. Broad
Street in 1890. (It was White Side then.) My father [William Harrison
Tittle] was in business. He had a store but fire destroyed the building
and so we moved to the country in Lookout Valley and farmed. I was large
enough to turn watermelon vines for my father. I have a poem I wrote on
May 21st 1939, about memories of my life on the farm back in my childhood days.
We walked 3 miles to school in all kinds of weather. We had no school busses
back then and I didn't know what a great big world I was living in, but I was a
happy little girl and I'll never forget how my relatives all loved and petted me
though. I was too busy and didn't take much petting as I've stated in my
poem. In those days my great-grandfather Thompson had a corn mill over
near Tiftonia (it is now) in Lookout Valley. I still remember the large
wheel that turned and ground the corn into meal. This large and mighty
wheel was turned over and over by a stream of water running from the
mountainside. It was amazing and a wonderful sight to see how the corn was
crushed and made ready for the good cornbread we all loved. All the people
far and near brought their corn to this mill. I would go with Uncle Frank
[Benjamin Franklin Tittle, son of David F. and Margaret Nabors Tittle] when he
went to the mill. This land has been sold to the City and has a recreation
for the recreation for the police. It's named Pine Gap. I'm sorry
they didn't keep the large wheel for sightseeing. Well, the time came when
we had to move back to Chattanooga. Judge Will Cummings gave my father a
job working for the City [of Chattanooga]. I like the country best. We
could make a garden as we had a large lot with a barn and we had two cows and my
mother had such good milk and butter and many people came and bought milk and
butter from us, they liked puffy white butter.
We children went to school in the Fifth Ward. It was a large school and was a block wide between William and Long Street and when the bell rang for lines to gather we marched in by music of drums. I remember Miss Ethel Woods and Miss Mamie Moore. I liked to draw so I would decorate the black board for my teacher at Thanksgiving and Christmas. My sister Delia and I went to Sunday school down on Whiteside Street near the fire hall. I can picture those beautiful fire wagons sitting on the street and the pretty horses prancing in their harness ready to go if a fire bell rang. I can still remember we went to a little frame store building on Market Street called the Racket Store, which is Miller Bros. now. My Mother stopped there; to trade in Chattanooga was a very desolate place back then. It has become a large and beautiful City with a large population. I also remember our 3rd and 4th grade school class going to our large auditorium in Chattanooga to a program and we sang the Star Spangled Banner and America. I still love those songs. I've always liked to sing. Singing has been the pride of my life and the joy of my heart.
On the day of April 29, 1903, Jesus called my dear father home to be with Him and we moved back to the country. Such a loneliness came into my heart I did not know what to do so I went into a room, made a pallet on the floor and crossed my hands to die. I wanted to get away from the sorrow that gripped my heart. Yes, my soul was sick, my heart was sore; I had a longing for something I could not find. I realized later that I was under conviction, God had started to perform a good work in me. I was 13 years old, I had started building a bridge, and I've tried to build it deep, strong, and wide that I could span over the swelling tides and storms of my life her eon earth. God has given me the blue prints how to build this mighty bridge. He has been leading me through the many years and blessed me in rearing my children. Many times He has made a way for me when I could see no way out.
Now I have been living on Signal Mountain over 60 years. The first time I was on Walden's Ridge was in 1905 or 1906, when my Uncle Frank Tittle carried the mail to Fair Mt. and there was a small Post Office at the top of the W Road down where Lon Keef lives, called Albion View. The W Road was rough and narrow not much traveling in those days. I didn't know then that I would ever live on Signal Mountain. I was about 14 years old going to school at Mr. Creek under G. Russell Brown. Then in later years after I was married we moved to Walden's Ridge. We had 3 children and lived on the old Hixon place about 1 mile south of the W Road. Foster Hampton and family was our closest neighbor. It was very lonely, not having close neighbors, but with the children and my work it kept me singing on my way. We lived there about 4 years. Then we moved to Wilders Point where my husband, Walter Brown, worked on the Signal Mountain Hotel. Then when it was completed, I took my children there to Sunday school. There were no county schools in that section so my children went to Mountain Creek School on the streetcar.
There have been many changes on Signal Mountain since we came up here. I've worked at many different things. I have served many of the good people in the past years. They would come to my house for all kind of vegetables, berries, chickens, eggs, milk and butter. Most of them have passed on and are living in the great beyond. I loved them good people, Miss Ida and Flora Landress, J. F. Sanford, the Fred Bryans, Mrs. Faucette, Mrs. Francis Martin and son Linton, Mrs. Stokes and daughters, Dr. O'Neal, Captain and Hutson, Clarks and many others. I helped build two churches and one Baptist Mission. Judge Bachman, Mrs. Bachman and Mrs. Martha McCoy, their daughter, were neighbors to be proud of. They have done kind and wonderful things for our mountain and its people. I have enjoyed all the things I've done working in the church and Sunday school, getting up Christmas programs and others. I learned to love this work when living at Mountain Creek. I was secretary of the Sunday school and acted in many of our programs. While young I played the organ when needed at church. I would like to go back over the days of working for the up building of God's great program for he has done so much for me. I have gained many friends here and enjoyed my life on Signal Mountain. It has been a sweet journey and a happy life even amid all the sorrows, heartaches and disappointments that have come my way. I'm so thankful Jesus has led the way. I cannot express how I feel that Signal Mountain is one of the dearest and most beautiful places in the world to live. When I go to Chattanooga and look down at the beautiful canyon of the great and beautiful Tennessee River, then glance over on Elder Mountain where we use to go and pick huckleberries, I would bring two gallons of berries off that mountain for my mother every time we went. This was called Raccoon Mountain then, so the name has been changed. It was rough and steep in places. We always gathered a weed called snake root or rattlesnake master. My cousin knew the weed and we always carried it in danger of snakes. We crossed the river down at the ferry near the shoals in a large boat called a yawl. The oars and rows helped the ferryman to cross the river. We had a jolly time gathering muscadines, chestnuts and wild grapes and it is joyous to live back in the days of our youthful life. We had all day services with dinner on the ground, singing conventions, prayer meetings and sometimes we had a box supper and everything was carried on nicely. We had wonderful school programs and the neighbors loved each other. We didn't have the conveniences then that we have now but people were happy with what they could make an honest living with.
Some of the people from the valley and above Mountain Creek brought their cattle up here on this mountain in the summer to graze and they would have a chosen place to come up, about every two weeks, herd the cows in this section, called salting ground. We had a dairy several years ago and our cows run out and grazed in the woods and fields. We are not free to do all these things today as we were in the golden days of yesterday. Sometimes my heart yearns to be back in these good old days of long ago. Though we are all nearing a brighter day, Jesus is making preparation to come for his chosen bride and take us to live with Him where the streets are made of purest gold, the walls of jasper, and the gates are of pearl swinging on golden hinges. Oh just think how wonderful it will be when all the redeemed saints of all ages are gathered together in that bright celestial city, where we will never have no more sickness, no more sorrow, nor pain, nor death, and no more good-byes. We'll have a new body and a new life. We sill not need anything we've used in this world for everything will be furnished over there. Jesus will be the light of that beautiful city.
Are you preparing for that great event? If not you should be, tomorrow may be too late. I'm so glad I accepted Jesus while young, that I can think of the precious years instead of a life of wasted years. I want my life to count for Him, the one who died for me. He has given me many talents and I have tried to use them for His great cause. The Apostle Paul saw a state of perfection that we can reach and He commands us to press on to the mark and prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus. He is our comfort through all the trials and sorrows and heartaches we have in this life and when our journey here is ended, He will convoy us home to the banks of sweet deliverance to live with Him through out all eternity forever and forever. Oh, what a day a glorious day that will be when we reach our heavenly home. Then we can sing and shout all over God's Heaven. I want all my friends and loved ones and my children to meet me over there.
I am enclosing my picture when I was about 14 years old and also a picture of Uncle Frank [Benjamin Franklin Tittle] when he carried mail by horse and buggy to Waldens Ridge. My first trip on this mountain was with him in about 1905 or 1906.
I have been asked to write a story of my life on Signal Mountain. Well this is a portion of the memories and I hope it will be a blessing to all who may read it. God Bless You All.
Addie Tittle Brown
The Chattanooga Times 1950
Submitted by Joyce Nell Truitt