Flashbacks in the History of Eva, Tennessee

By Nell Morisette
NewsTribune Special Columnist

The Canning Factory

Mr. Anderson Wadell Lashlee was born August 17, 1869 and was married to Maggie Griggs, born April 9, 1879. They owned property, and in Eva, Mr.. Lashlee encouraged the people of Eva to raise large crops, especially tomatoes. Not far from the depot, he started a canning factory. This was build around 1910. There were two buildings, one for canning and a red one for storage. The main storage was the canned goods waiting for shipment. Mostly women did the canning. Mr. Tom Melton was one of the main overseers. There were two Tom Meltons; this one was called Tom Rachell, as his wife's name was Rachell. A Delco engine that burned kerosene with 65 watt bulbs provided the lights. After canning season, Mr. Lashlee let the youth use the building for a gym. Mr. Lashlee died Sept. 4, 1913. With no on e to encourage the raising of big vegetable crops, the canning factor closed around 1915 or 1916.

The Three Stores Of This Era

Mr. Noah Melton was running a general merchandise store near the depot. He had two delivery trucks. One of his drivers was Sherman Lawrence. Mr. Melton's store can be remembered by the children for his bananas. There were holding pens for the cattle near Mr. Melton's store. People would drive their cattle to these pens to be held until a boxcar would arrive to ship them out. This making his store, the place where the old timers met to chew, dip, whittle and tell tall tales. He sold the store to Mr. Albert Cherry around 1927 or 1928.

Mr. Marshell Pafford owned a store at this time period. The children looked forward to having enough money to buy ice cream.

Mr. Lewis Browning owned the other one.

Two Blacksmith Ships

Mr. Albert Cherry owned a blacksmith shop close to Mr. Noah Melton's store. Mr. Monroe Alsbrook owned the other one. In later years, Mr. Ben Holland and Mr. Frank Boswell had blacksmith shops. It is not known if they bought the first ones or started their own.

Evaland Company

In 1836 Mr. A.W. Lucas owned most of the land around Eva through what is now Hallshire Estate. The transportation being horse and wagon or buggy, he made country lands through his property to be sold in lots or acres. This established the Evaland Company. In 1913 Mr. Lucas gave a deed to some of his property for a church. This church was called the Methodist Episcopal Church. The property on which the Eva School building set was also deeded for a school. Mr. Lucas had a daughter, and he told her she could name the community. Her real close and best friend was named Eva. This is how the little community became the town of Eva.

Memories Of An Eva Historical Landmark
By Gordon Farrar

The Old Potato House on Eva Harbor Road at the juncture of Eva School Road still stands as a reminder of how things were during the 1920's and 30's. The surrounding land was at the time owned my Thomas H. and Effie Sykes Farrar. They lived in the old home on the property together with two sons, Wayne and Gordon. The Potato House was built by my father in the early to mid-20's. The building was to fill a need of the community for a facility to cure and store sweet potatoes from fall harvest following spring and summer. The construction of the building was unique for the period. Trees were cut and hauled to the Doss Holland sawmill to be sawed for the framing. Gravel and sand were hauled from creek beds in the area for making concrete for the foundation and floor. Lumber (weather-boarding) brick, tin (roofing) and other building materials were brought in from Camden. All the transportation of materials was by horse-drawn wagons. The building walls and overhead were sealed inside with tongue- and groove-jointed boards. As the outside weather-board was applied, sawdust was packed in the walls for insulation. Slat partitions were erected inside, forming small compartments or bins to separate potatoes by owner. Also a small corner was equipped with shelving for my mother to store her canned fruit and vegetables. A wood burning stove was used to keep potatoes at the proper temperature during the winter months. By the end of the 1930 times were changing rapidly. With the advent of TVA, World War II, and public jobs ushered in a new era, leaving the "Old Potato House" to history.


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