Family's Heritage

Family's Heritage: Stories From Main Street, Jonesborough, Tennessee by Dava Lee Russell. Jonesborough, TN: Wilco Publishing, 1996. ISBN 0-9652940-4-8102 pp.

Jones borough, Tennessee is Mecca for those thousands of story-lovers who look forward each year to the National Storytelling Festival held there. It is also, of course, home to the people who live there, and one of its citizens, Dava Lee Russell, lovingly shares her home and family in this book.

First the reader is introduced to the house built in 1840 by Dr. S.J. Cunningham which would later be home to the Broyles family. Each of the thirteen chapters which follows is a separate story of some member of, or person important to, that family. Some of the stories are touching, others humorous, all are homely in the best sense of that word - they are the memories and anecdotes of a loving family, carefully written down.
With the house as a backdrop the reader witnesses a duel on Main Street in which Andrew Jackson killed a man. Another chapter laughs at the experiences of guests through the years as they encounter the proximity of the night train for the first time. Others are gentle looks at family members, holidays, and special occasions. The stories are at their best when straight description gives way and allows the anecdotes to take story form.

This is a book which will be treasured by members of the Broyles/Russell families and by their friends. It might also serve as an example to other families who wish to gather their memories and photos into a family keepsake.

Wilco Publishing Company,241 Brethren Church Drive, Jonesborough, Tennessee. 37659.
The Second Story Review, Vol 2, No. 3, Sep 1997

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