David Crockett Birthplace State Park

David Crockett Birthplace State Park, TN

Like the life of Davy Crockett himself, the Davy Crockett Birthplace Historic Site is somewhat ambiguous, where real history has been reconstructed through educated study, stories, and a bit of guesswork. Indeed, when I first told by two young sons we were going to the birthplace of Davy Crockett their response was, "You mean he was real?" Due to generations of tall tales and yarns, the real-life story of the frontiersman, Indian fighter, and congressman David Crockett has become larger than life resulting in most people regarding his existence as more fable than fact. The Davy Crockett Birthplace Historic Site attempts to preserve the birthplace, the site of which is based more in tradition than fact, of perhaps Tennessee's most famous son.

Despite song lyrics to the contrary, Davy Crockett was not born on a mountaintop but on a floodplain along a gently meandering river in 1786. From his own recollections his birthplace was "at the mouth of Lime Stone, on the Nola-chucky river." This seems fairly specific however no written record exists to link him to the location. We do know his father lived in the area (he appears in county records during the 1770's and 80's) so even if this isn't the exact location, the place of his birth was certainly nearby. Added to the discrepancy in location is the centerpiece of the park, the old Crockett cabin. The original owners of the property, the Stonecypher family, had as proof of its authenticity but one single foundation stone. Through subsequent excavations no trace of a cabin was found on this spot but tradition won out and the site was chosen for the reconstruction. Finally, with only a single stone to go on, no one really knows what the Crockett cabin actually looked like so what you see at the site today is a generic replica of a design commonly used during the time period of Crockett's birth.

So there you have it...a generically designed cabin, standing where no cabin has proven to have stood, located at a site which has never been concretely linked to the Crockett family. Like Davy Crockett himself, his birthplace is a mix of fact, fiction, and traditional stories that all work together to make for some truly interesting history. Regardless of its authenticity the site does a great job of commemorating a man who led a life so extraordinary people are still telling stories about it to this day...

  • kw

    on June 19, 2014

    I never knew so much of his life has been so 'lost' to speculation.... sad, but cool how they've tried to 'recreate' what & where it could have/most probably would have been for him! A favorite hero of mine too!!! Yes, why would they put all the states at the memorial? I think I'd prefer they only put the ones of his lifetime on it!