Coming home to Canoe

In the camp, from left, Emily Woodson Frank; reenactor Major Ron Griffin, Battalion Commander; Carolyn Watson Liles; reenactor Andy Akins.

Some folks walked through the living history camp set up by re-enactors. Others browsed from vendor to vendor. Some checked out the vintage cars while others listened to the bluegrass filling the air. And throughout the day, folks visited the displays in the Canoe Civic Club – old pictures, memorabilia. History books were available for purchase. And for many of the people milling about, much of that history is their history.

The first Canoe Community Homecoming brought people together and memories to mind. Saturday, November 18, Hill Street was alive with activity although a sudden rain shower and wind gusts caused some to take cover and vendors to shut down.

Dozens of pictures are posted along a wall in the civic club. Old pictures from Canoe School, early days of the community, history on display.

Old friends and some classmates from the old school reconnected during the day – Emily Woodson Frank, Carolyn Watson Liles, Ray Lowery, Wiley Tait, Sherry Digmon.

The reenactors’ camp was set up on a piece of ground where cousins Carolyn Watson and Emily Woodson played as kids.

As Carolyn said of this area and her roots, “It doesn’t leave your blood.”

Ernestine Forte, who grew up near Canoe, had her first grade teacher’s grade book and one of Olvena Smith’s bonnets. Treasures indeed.

It was just what organizers Kevin and Sondra McKinley had hoped it would be – a Canoe Community Homecoming.

“It was a successful day and people are already talking about doing it next year,” Kevin said.

Kevin and Sondra McKinley


Ernestine Forte with keepsakes


The photo wall in the Canoe Civic Club