Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Long-awaited Unveiling of Birthplace Civil War Trail Marker Draws Enthusiastic Crowd

The unveiling of Admiral Farragut's Birthplace Civil War Trail Marker on April 28, 2012, made history in more ways than one: all three mayors of Knox County, Tennessee attended! City of Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, Town of Farragut Mayor Ralph McGill, and Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett spoke on behalf of their constituencies. In addition, the headline speakers were Tennessee Tourism Commissioner Susan Whitaker and Dr. Carroll Van West, director of the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area.
Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero told attendees that her ancestors came from Minorca, an island off the coast of Spain where Admiral Farragut's father was also born.

An estimated 100 people attended
Helping celebrate the unveiling of the Civil War Trail Marker in Admiral Farragut Park on April 28, were Tennessee Tourism Commissioner Susan Whitaker, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, Tennessee Daughters of the American Revolution State Treasurer Julia Springer, and Eleanor Meisenheimer with the Andrew Bogle DAR.
(left to right) Tennessee Tourism Commissioner Susan Whitaker, City of Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero, Tennessee Sesquicentennial co-chair Carroll Van West, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, Town of Farragut Mayor Ralph McGill, HoLa Hora Latina president Angela Masini, Farragut Folklife Museum board member Mul Wyman and board chair Louis LaMarche (who dressed as Admiral Farragut), Knox County Executive Director of Parks and Recreation Doug Bataille, and event organizer Margot Kline

The story below by Sherri Gardner-Howell appeared in the local Knox County Shopper News neighborhood weekly publication (

The good Admiral can still draw a crowd. Three mayors, a state senator, numerous representatives from city and county councils and board of aldermen, historians, Civil War buffs, Daughters of the American Revolution and community leaders made up a large crowd on April 28 for the unveiling of the official Civil War Trail Marker honoring Adm. David Glasgow Farragut at Admiral Farragut Park [just west of Northshore Town Center].The setting was chosen for more than aesthetic beauty. The marker sits on the bank of the cove, across from the place where David Glasgow Farragut was born in 1801.

Margot Kline, one of the community leaders who helped spearhead getting the Trail marker, served as master of ceremonies, welcoming co-sponsors Hola Hora Latina. Admiral Farragut’s roots as the son of a merchant captain from Minorca, Spain, provided the tie to Hola. Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero quipped that she might be a distant cousin of Farragut, as Rogero’s family also came from the Spanish port city of Ciutadella, Minorca.

Farragut Mayor Ralph McGill and Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett also spoke about Farragut, with McGill expressing the town of Farragut’s pride in Adm. Farragut’s significant role in the nation’s history. 

Commissioner of Tourist Development Susan Whitaker reminded those gathered of the importance of cultural and historic sites as draws for tourists. 

“Visitors to Tennessee are two times more likely to visit a cultural and historic site. With the trail marker program, we have taken the time to do it right,” said Whitaker. “We now have 234 markers in 77 counties in the state.”

Lou LaMarche, chair of the Farragut Folklife Museum board, came dressed as Admiral Farragut. He told the crowd of the hardships of Farragut’s family and the humility of Adm. Farragut.

"Admiral Farragut never posed as a hero,” said LaMarche. “He was a military man.”

Dr. Carroll Van West, co-chair of the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial, thanked those who had worked to secure the right place for the Civil War Trail marker. 

“We wanted a place that would tell his story,” said West. “This spot is not only a beautiful view, but a historical view. The river helped define the history of Tennessee, including why the Farragut family settled here.” 

West added that Farragut was not only a hero to Tennesseans, but to the nation. 

“He served in countless wars and has a pivotal place in American history. David Farragut brought the U.S. Navy into its modern era.”

Helping make the special event moving were the presentation of the colors by members of the Farragut High School Junior ROTC and the inspiring vocals of Kelle Jolly singing the national anthem and the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” She was accompanied on the snare drum by Martin Hodge.

more photos from the morning:

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