If you’ve driven down the country roads of Marion County in the last eight years, you’re sure to have noticed the brown and white signs which mark the spot where places such as country schools once stood.
The Rural History Buffs of Marion County was organized in the fall of 2011 to find a way to help people discover the exact location of vanished towns, ferry crossings, abandoned coal mines, grist mills, stage coach stops and other historical sites.
Many schools have been marked by the organization, with nearly 150 different schools scattered throughout the county over time. Over the years, former students and grandchildren of former students have asked the organization to put up signs with their names as donors on the back side of school signs. The location of some schools, however, will never be marked as they are now under Lake Red Rock or on roads that are no longer in existence.
So far, the organization has placed 164 signs and would like to invite the public to recommend additional places of historical significance for sign placement. A request can be made through one of the organization’s board members or by attending a board meeting. Meetings are held at 10 a.m. on the third Thursday of each month at the Marion County Extension Office in Knoxville.
To see pictures of existing signs and brief descriptions of their locations, visit www.ruralhistorybuffs.org.