I was fortunate to visit the area of his birth and see the replica of the cabin he was born in.
Built in the 1950's it was modeled after a late 18th century log cabin from that area.
With just one room and a ladder leading to the loft the family lived in tight proximity.
The front and back doors faced each other with a wide gap all around the perimeter for the freezing air to penetrate. The two windows were wooden shutters also with gaps and I cannot image how cold it was even with the open wood fire.
My husband took me on a freezing day in 2006.
It was a good day to go as it helped me understand the hardship of these poor pioneer families. Every day was a struggle finding food and keeping wood cut and supplied for warmth.
Looking closely at the structure I couldn't find a single nail.
I found this truly amazing!! as well as the fixation of the timber on the wall corners, all without nails.
Heavy hardened mud filled the gaps between the logs keeping much of the wind and cold at bay.
Set near the banks of a fast flowing Nolichucky river.
I imagined Davey struggling to maneuvering his wooden barge on the swift wild current.
There is nothing quite like standing in a place where you know others have stood before you.
Then allowing your mind to drift... taking you back through time to that bygone era. Closing your eyes you can see the figures in heavy clothing and skins for warmth. Smell the fresh pine scented air, and feel the peoples expectancy for survival.
I was a little girl when the Fess Parker movie of Davey's life became popular.
I learnt to sing the song,"Born on a mountain top in Tennessee."
My sister brought my little brother a coon skin hat with tail.
I jealously looked longingly at that hat wishing I was a boy to wear one also.
I brought one each for all of my grandchildren in Australia, even the girls.
I learned he was so much more than a frontiersman.
He was also a politician and a soldier.
Because of men and women like him, we live in our wonderful world of today.