Threads of history weave their way to Fiddlers Grove from DAR

Staff Reports • Updated Mar 21, 2017 at 7:30 PM

Joyce Harris, accompanied by fellow members of the Martha Gaston chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and other friends, held a ceremony Friday where Harris donated the historic rocking loom she had previously loaned to Fiddlers Grove.  

The loom is one of four known to be in Tennessee and was built by Henry Davis in the mid-1800s. Harris and her husband, Richard, bought the loom from Billy Blythe, a local farmer in Statesville in the 1970s. Richard Blythe wove a blanket on the loom and gave the blanket to Joyce Harris. The loom was a wedding present for William Kelly and Sarah Ricketts in 1865.  

Joyce Harris completed research on the Statesville community during the time the loom was built, and she gave a history of Statesville during a speech Friday. For a period of time, the loom was on loan to the Lebanon Woolen Mills Store. Due to lack of history and origin as to the type of loom, it is referred to as one of the “mystery looms of the Appalachians.” 

Joyce Harris formally donated the loom to Fiddlers Grove president Fred Corley during the ceremony.  The loom is on permanent display in the Weaving House at Fiddlers Grove. The blanket is on display in Fiddlers Grove Town Hall.  

The DAR and Fiddlers Grove share a love of history and its preservation. Visitors are encouraged to come by and see the loom and the blanket during the open season for the Grove from April 1 through Oct. 31.  

For more information, contact Fiddlers Grove at 615-547-6111.

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