Porterdale Mill on the Yellow River
NAMED for: Oliver S. Porter, Mill Owner

 

 

October 27, 2003
 

Hello from a Porterdale Girl!!!  My name is Kay Shaw Coggin and I was born in the Porterdale Hospital on January 21, 1947.  Dr. Mitchell delivered me.  My parents are Bernys and Lucille Shaw.  My grandfather, W. C. (Bill) Ivey, was mayor of Porterdale for 35 years.  We were members of the Julia A. Porter Methodist Church. 

I am so glad to see someone else that loves Porterdale as much as I do.  It's sad that Porterdale has changed so much, but like you, I have SO MANY wonderful memories.  I remember Mr. Potts.... when I first started driving, he would shake his finger at me every time I drove through Porterdale, whether or not I was driving too fast!!  So many wonderful people in that mill village that had such an impact on my life.

My mother, Lucille Ivey Shaw, passed away this past June at the age of 85.  She had written a book, Diary of a Cotton Mill Girl, which you can probably check out of the library.  In this book, she talks about the creation of the village and has numerous pictures of how the buildings looked back then.  The ones you have on your web site do not really show the town as it looked in its heyday.  She also talks about the people who built the village and how things were back in the 20's and 30's.  Sidney Hatfield was my cousin and he died last year.  He lived for many years in Knoxville, TN.

Dot (Day) Smith wanted me to let you know that she is going to send you some pictures that she has.  One of them is of the bridge that you spoke of in your article.  I have a lot of pictures of Porterdale that were left to me by my grandmother, Dora Ivey, who clerked in White's Department Store from the time she was 13 until she was 72!  But, in all of those pictures, I do not have a picture of the wading pool.  There was a plaque on the pool in honor of or in memory of (I can't remember) Sidney Yancey.  I used to play with his daughter, Ellen Yancey.  I will ask her if anyone in their family might have a picture.  Dot even has a picture of the tennis courts that were in the spot where the gym was built! 

By the way, the Betty Jean you mention that you saw in England, could her last name have been Reynolds???

One of my favorite memories of going to school at Porterdale was that when you became an 8th grader, you got to help pack the boxes for the big Christmas Tree in the gym.  How exciting that was!  When I was in school, Jordye Tanner was the principal............although I did know Miss Maude King.  I remember dreading the walk down to the store to get those dreaded typhoid shots each spring.  Mrs. Annie Day was so wonderful, but all of us school children hated to see her when Spring came!!

I lived at 35 North Broad Street when I was growing up.  The house next door to the Presbyterian Church.  When I married in 1968, we lived in Porter Place, and my reception was out on that beautiful lawn!

If you have any questions that I might help you with, just let me know and again, thanks for taking me down memory lane!

Kay
Kay S. Coggin
Group Marketing
Ext. 3505