Parrott’s Tourist Camp


Traveling Highway 111 from Livingston to Byrdstown nowadays is a breeze compared to the winding, curvy old Highway 42 that we used to have to travel. And sometimes it’s fun just to get back on what remains here and there of Old 42 to see if anything looks familiar. Most of the time it doesn’t. Time changes everything. However, part of an interesting landmark still remains on that old highway, standing silently by, and probably unnoticed, or in some cases just totally forgotten about, as busy traffic goes whizzing along on Highway 111. Most folks who are younger than 40 don’t even know about Parrott’s Tourist Camp, and that it was quite a place in its day and time.

Alard G. Parrott, born in 1897, and wife Inez Bell (Keisling) Parrott were the owners of that once thriving business that consisted of ten cabins and a restaurant. Each cabin had a sink and commode in the room, but no bath tub or shower. Two bath houses had been built separately from the cabins, one for men, and one for women. Alard and Inez also owned and lived in the home that is now known as Southern Porches Bed and Breakfast. The Parrotts returned to the Boom Community after living for a while in California where Alard worked in the oil fields. They were the parents of two daughters, Nell Corinne and Lura Jean. The death of their six year old daughter, Lura Jean, brought them back from California. Corinne was nine years old at the time of her sister’s death.

After returning to Tennessee, Alard began farming. Inez maintained their home, and used her egg money to help with the expenses of Corinne’s high school education. Corinne attended Livingston Academy, and during the week, she stayed with a cousin who lived in Livingston.


In the early 1940's, Parrott’s Tourist Camp along with a restaurant was established. Inez did most of the cooking for the restaurant, and served home grown vegetables from their farm that were offered on their menu. The different types of meats cooked at the restaurant came from the farm too.
She seasoned most everything she cooked with lard. Inez is described by her granddaughter, Cindy (Linehan) Trulock, as an incredibly wonderful cook. The camp was open from early spring through the fall of each year, and the majority of people who stayed there were groups of fishermen. Occasionally, someone just passing through would stop for the night. Lots of local folks came to eat at the restaurant on weekends. Norma Rich Kerbaugh told me the very first hamburger she ever ate came from their restaurant. She said she has never forgotten how good that hamburger was.

Alard and Inez Parrott


The Parrott’s daughter, Corinne, met and later married John Edward Linehan while attending Tennessee Tech. John Edward Linehan was originally from New York. He and Corinne share the same birth date, June 4, 1921, something their daughter, Cindy, thinks is very romantic. The Linehans became the parents of two daughters, Cindy and Kathy (Linehan) Jaffe. (Cindy lives in Climax, Georgia, and Kathy lives in Cookeville.) For a time, the Linehan family lived in Rome, Georgia, but the distance did not keep them away, and every other weekend, they drove up to help with the camp. One of Cindy’s favorite memories is getting to help serve in the restaurant. For a time, the Parrotts employed someone to help in the kitchen, a black man whose first name was Lewis. Lewis played peek-a-boo with Cindy when she was small, and would sneak candy from the restaurant to her when no one was looking.

Souvenir postcard from Parrott's Tourist Camp


Kathy has a lot of good memories about the summers spent with their grandparents at the camp. She and Cindy referred to them as Mammie and Papa. Kathy remembers how hard her Mammie worked in the kitchen, and that the place she could be found when she churned butter was at the back door of the restaurant to catch a bit of breeze as she worked. Kathy and Cindy would sit on the steps and talk to her while she churned. Papa and his buddies spent a lot of time sitting in ladder back chairs with cane bottoms. They would sit with the chairs leaned back against the building laughing and talking, whittling and spittin’. Another chore Kathy remembers her grandmother doing was washing the motel sheets out in an old cauldron. They were hung out on a clothesline to dry, and when her grandmother brought them in after drying in the sunshine all day, she would always iron them before putting them back on the beds. Kathy said "When we would visit, the very best thing was to climb in those sweet smelling sheets at night and lay there and listen to the crickets."

With the addition of new highways, the landscape continually changes, and sometimes homes and business get caught right in the middle of these improvements. That was the case with the Parrott’s Tourist Camp. The new highway came right down the middle of the Parrott’s property, and not too many years after the highway was completed, that business closed. The four remaining cabins and restaurant building stand as silent reminders of a time when they were quite an attraction in that area. Fishermen who traveled from long distances to stay there probably went to sleep lots of nights in one of those cabins dreaming of the big one that wouldn’t get away the next time. Weary travelers who stopped for the night, probably grateful to find such a nice place to stay, woke up the next morning refreshed and ready for another day’s travels, especially after enjoying a bountiful breakfast with fresh country eggs and homemade biscuits all prepared by Inez. That restaurant was probably a place many families headed for right after church each Sunday. I can almost smell the fried chicken right now! Life goes on, and changes take place almost daily in our lives, but it’s always fun to look back and remember the way things were, like the days Parrott’s Tourist Camp was in operation. It was a place that not only provided fishermen who traveled great distances to fish on Dale Hollow lake a good place to stay, but was also very accommodating for overnight guests, and where a good home cooked meal could be enjoyed. Thank you Cindy and Kathy for sharing the information and pictures for this story. I couldn’t have done it without you.


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