We love to hop in the car on pretty days and take rides in the country. It is always nice to have a destination and we remembered a friend of ours telling us about the homestead of Sgt. Alvin C. York in Pall Mall, TN. He had lent us the book and the movie, which we read and watched last year, but had not taken the time to go visit. We were going to remedy that with this trip. (learn more about Alvin York). See Interactive Map.
You might have seen the movie “Sargent York” made about him starring Gary Cooper (see images from the movie). Sgt. Alvin York was one of the most decorated soldiers of WWI, winning the distinguished Medal of Honor. Below is a scene from the movie.
Well, the route we were going to take (up I-75, then west), was thwarted by a tie-up due to an accident on the interstate, so we quickly detoured, which was OK with us. The roads were curvy going around the Cumberland Mountains. After a while, the mountains were mysteriously gone. When we were almost near our destination, we started going downhill and we could start seeing mountains again. We had been on a plateau! Being from Ohio, I have not experienced many plateaus and it was very neat – quite surprising actually.
The State Historic Site is open every day and is free to the public. There is quite a lot to see. There is the home, across the street is an old country store that Alvin had owned (rebuilt on the original site) that serves as a visitor center with a movie, a mile away there is a cemetery where he and quite a few of his family members are buried, a little bit down the street from the cemetery is the remains of the Sgt. York Bible School that he had founded, and last but not least, across the street from the home, is a beautiful old mill and dam that he also had owned.
At the dam, what made me look twice, was a sign that said “Swim at your own Risk”. Back in Ohio, you would have been barred from swimming at all. Kudos to Tennessee for being practical and using common sense.
An interesting side note, according to a local who lives at the next town, the town of Pall Mall, TN is pronounced like “pal” and mall rhymes with “pal”.
Other Nearby Sites
Allow more time to visit some other sites in the area.
Highland Manor Winery, the oldest winery in Tennessee, is in nearby Jamestown, TN.
Historic Rugby is on the way also. It is a beautiful, historic town that was built to be a utopia by British born citizens.
My recommendation would be to stay at a B&B in Rugby and use this as your home base. Rent some bikes, go to the winery, and visit Sgt. York.
Life is an Adventure!