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
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
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 S. Coggin