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The Wessyngton Estate Story

In Robertson County, Tennessee, there is a great and rich tapestry of history, from the fertile soil to the rivers and woods, and the people themselves. At the heart of history in agriculture, and most notably, tobacco.

You would be hard-pressed to find someone who grew up in this part of Tennessee that has not spent at least a part of their life in the fields of barns, doing some of the hardest work out there. One of the most interesting locations in Robertson County is The Wessyngton Estate.

Rabbit Circle Farm Tours

Washington Farm, also known as Wessyngton, has been known as the largest antebellum plantation in America. Owned by a cousin of our first president, George Washington, it is a beautiful and haunting place. Sadly, it was also a slave plantation, the very soil full of memories of those times.

The name Wessyngton, an old English name that later was changed to Washington, became known far and wide. Joseph Washington, born in South Hampton County, Virginia in July of 1770. He first came to Robertson County, Tennessee in 1796, and visited his cousin, Colonel Cheatham. He married a sixteen-year-old daughter of one of the wealthiest men around when he was the age of forty-two. By 1812, Wessyngton had grown from a sixty-acre purchase to over 1,000 acres.

This is a photograph of Joseph E. Washington Sr., the owner of the Wessygton Plantation (seated), and his family.

Tobacco was one of the main exports which established our economy, along with the furry and hemp trade, respectively. Washington became a well-known name, and largely due to George Augustine Washington, Joseph’s son. He took over the operation in the late 1830s, and their landholdings had increased to over 4,300 acres. Eventually, it grew to more than 13,000 acres. George soon gained the title of the largest slaveholder in Tennessee. Exports from the plantation included produce, brandy, and hams, as well as tobacco.

Wessyngton was undeniably a large part of that history. The plantation records were donated to the Tennessee State Library and Archives toward the end of the twentieth century, and are public records.

Four former enslaved individuals of the Washington family of Wessyngton Plantation located in Cedar Hill in Robertson County, Tenn. Featured are Allen Washington (standing) who worked as head dairyman; Granville Washington (standing) who worked as a personal valet and body servant to George A. Washington; Emmanuel Washington (seated) who worked as the cook; and Henny Washington, who worked as the head laundress.

In 1860, there were something like two hundred and seventy-four slaves that lived and worked the plantation. They were housed in log cabins and lived a very humbling and difficult life. Once the Civil War began, Wessyngton was naturally affected, and would never be the same. In September of 1863, federal troops first came to Wessyngton and took approximately twenty-four men and boys to work on military fortifications, as well as the railroad. Some of those men enlisted in the Union Army. When the war brought freedom, some of the free men remained at Wessyngton.

There is actually a slave cemetery located on the property where even their children and grandchildren were buried up into the 1920s.

Memorial Monument
n Plantation African American Cemetery
Cedar Hill, Robertson County, Tennessee

It is estimated that over one thousand of their descendants still reside in the surrounding areas. History can be very ugly, but it is necessary for us to understand the mistakes and sins of the past, so that we may move forward into a brighter future. At the heart of this heartbreaking history is a story of so many families who were affected in numerous ways by slavery and beautiful land that once thrived due to the nonstop hard labor of people who worked under the real threat of violence. Their prayer meetings were held in secret by necessity, and the threat of violence did not quell the faith and those strong and hard-working people, men and women who did so much to build this great nation.

These days, Wessyngton is a beautiful and quiet place, and a shadow of its former glory, a glory that came at far too great a cost. It is a story that needed to be told, and although the sadness of the telling may be too much for some, I feel that we owe it to those slaves and their descendants to not only remember this history but to share it with others.


Tennessee is a lovely land and place of great significance, and Robertson County holds much of that in the hearts and minds of its people. Conceived of a nation of freedom that was hard bought, Tennesseans are a people like no other. We have grown stronger together, as part of a nation that was once divided.

Now, more than ever, we should learn from the past, finding the hidden beauty in the strength and faith of those unsung heroes who truly built Wessyngton and had such a large part in the building of America we know and love today.

Author: David Turner


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10 Crazy Facts About Tennessee You Probably Didn’t Know

Tennessee is a large state in the south-eastern United States. It’s known for its music and culture, as well as being home to many caves and rivers. However, there are facts about Tennessee that you might not know! This blog post will give you facts about Tennessee that not many people are familiar with.

  1. Tennessee earned its nickname as, “The Volunteer State” during the War of 1812

Tennessee is a state full of die-hard Volunteers who fought for the country. The nickname, “the Volunteer State,” was given to Tennessee after sending 1,500 volunteer soldiers to fight in defense during the Battle at New Orleans in 1812. The answer lies in the long and honorable history of self-sacrifice, courage, and patriotism of its citizens.

2. Nashville isn’t the birthplace of country music

It’s no surprise that the country’s music capital, Nashville is home to many stars and it’s known to be Music City. But Bristol is actually the official birthplace of country music for several important reasons. Find out HERE.

3. Reelfoot Lake came from shaky beginnings

The lake was formed entirely from a series of earthquakes in 1811-1812. A series of catastrophic earthquakes shook West Tennessee and the rest of the Central Mississippi Valley. Some reports said that the quakes were strong enough to awaken sleepers in Washington, D.C., and allegedly some tremors were felt twelve hundred miles away in Quebec City, Canada. 

These days, the 15,000 acres of water in Reelfoot Lake State Park brings visitors from all over the country to explore bald cypress trees and nesting pairs of eagles. The perfect place to go for those who love photography. It’s one-of-a-kind!

SEE ALSO: Here are the 7 Best Lakes to live near in Tennessee

4. Martin Luther King, Jr. took his last breath at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy is an inspiration that will never die. He took his last breath at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis where he was assassinated on April 4th, 1968, and people all over still come to see what’s left of him there today.

After his death, the motel became a landmark and now is preserved as the American Civil Rights Museum.

5. Kingston was the state capital for one day, September 21, 1807

This was a result of a treaty with the Cherokees. In the Tellico Treaty of 1805, the Cherokees requested that the state capital be moved to Kingston, and the state agreed as part of the treaty.

Unfortunately, the Indians didn’t stipulate how long they wanted the capital at Kingston. The legislature met there for a few hours on September 21, 1807, making Kingston the capital for one day. They then returned to Knoxville which once again became the capital. 

6. The Knoxville World’s Fair in 1982 hosted 11,127,786 people

We find that to be exceedingly fascinating. The World’s Fair brought people from all over the world to Knoxville to see exciting new inventions, food, and international displays. The fair’s theme, “Energy Turns Our World,” debuted many inventions pertaining to energy and its practical applications.

SEE ALSO: 5 Most Awaited County Fairs in Tennessee You Shouldn’t Miss Every Summer

7. Copper Basin was discovered from space. INSANE.

The three man-made marks on the planet that were visible from space were said to be the Great Wall of China, the pyramids of Egypt, and the Copper Basin (CB) in Tennessee. The Copper Basin in southeastern Tennessee became the site of increasingly extensive and successful reforestation efforts. 

8. Home of the LARGEST freshwater aquarium

In Chattanooga, you will not only find a freshwater aquarium but a newer saltwater aquarium as well. Head out to Tennessee Aquarium with your friends and family. The Tennessee Aquarium is one of the world’s largest freshwater aquariums, and easily Chattanooga’s biggest attraction, contributing more than $115 million to the city’s economy annually.

9. Home of 10,000 caves

Cumberland Caverns

Tennessee is home to 10,000 caves beneath its mossy hills and flat farmlands. While you cannot enter all of these caves; there are others that offer magnificent and one-for-the-books experiences.

SEE ALSO: Tennessee’s Scariest Places and Their Shivering Stories

10. Jack Daniel’s made his fortune in Lynchburg

Lynchburg is in Moore County, the smallest county in Tennessee. Even though it’s home to the Distillery, it’s a dry county and has been ever since Prohibition.

One more fact about Jack Daniel is that he died awfully after kicking his safe and allowing the wound to get infected.

What actually happened was that one morning Jack came into work early and decided to open up the safe for the day, rather than waiting for his nephew to arrive. Legend has it that he became frustrated as he repeatedly got the code wrong, and kicked the safe, breaking his toe. It is said that this injury brought on the blood poisoning that took Jack’s entire leg, and eventually his life.


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Meteorites in Tennessee

Every summer, folks in Tennessee stay up late to watch the Perseid meteor showers in mid August. Rural Tennessee offers open fields clear skies, and soft green grass. Its the prefect opportunity for a late night pallet, a couple of RCs and a MoonPie!

While you are looking up think about this …. Over 3 Million years ago, 3 massive meteorites hit Tennessee.

Flynn Creek Crater

( Cookeville, Tn.)

Is about 3.8 km in diameter and the surface of this crater is weathered and distorted. The rock layers of Flynn Creek Crater are folded, likely recording deformation along the margins and rim of the crater but it’s still an interesting site to explore.

How to get there:

The crater is located about 8 km south of Gainesboro and less than 20 miles from Tennessee Tech in Jackson County, Tennesee.

Howell Structure

(Middle Tennessee

North of Fayetteville at Howell)

The Howell Structure is considered a ring-like structure that features about 2.5 km in diameter; deformed and disturbed.

How to get there:

It is centered on the unincorporated village of Howell, in Lincoln County, Tennessee, USA, about 110 km SSE of Nashville, TN.

Wells Creek Basin

(Clarksville at Cumberland City)

The biggest one is nearly 1000 feet in diameter, weighing in excess of 100 million tons. About 95-320 million years ago, this crater in Tennessee was hit by either an atomic explosion or a comet that had huge force and impact. The rocks dip at a very great angle, and some places are nearly vertical.

How to get there:

Follow Cumberland City Highway / SR 149 South, just North of Cumberland City after crossing the Cumberland River; or the meteor crater’s edge can be seen from Highway 149 east of Erin.

You don’t have to move to the moon to live on the edge of the universe. I am sure that we can find you spot in the middle of nowhere with views of the Milky Way, the Big Dipper and the North Star.

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People in Tennessee are the Funniest When the Weather’s Freaking Hot!

We all know that there’s something about the Tennessee heat and the way it makes everything slow down but there’s something about it that just speaks to us like nothing else.

The heatwave is no joke in Summer, but folks in Tennessee know just how to make it through. How? By describing the intensity of the heat in creative ways that’ll crack you up!

Here are some of our favorites:

  • It’s like a steam bath out here.
  • I’m sweatin’ like a hog.
  • It’s not the heat—it’s the humidity.
  • Crank up that A.C. till it’s blowing snowballs.

This one’s the funniest!

  • It’s so dang hot that I just saw a hound dog chasing a rabbit—and they were both walking.

Speaking of the devil…

  • Even Satan’s sweatin’ today.
  • Hotter than Satan’s house cat
  • Hot as the hinges on the gates of Hades

But guys, seriously.

Stay hydrated. Grab the fruity-flavored sorbet in your favorite store or just dunk yourself in a tub full of ice (just kidding!)

If you need any help finding a good spot in Tennessee where heat can be bearable, reach me at Cell 971-400-6420 or

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Going broke because of your mortgage? Here’s what you can do.

To prevent losing your homes, the Biden administration has announced new housing assistance measures for homeowners with loans affiliated with the government.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Veterans Affairs have collaborated to reduce monthly payments for homeowners who are struggling financially so they can stay in their homes on a long-term basis without losing equity or building up debt.

Here’s what they are talking about:

FHA Loans

The new HUD guidelines, which apply to all homeowners with FHA loans, require borrowers impacted by COVID-19 to be offered a no-cost option for resuming mortgage payments. A 25% reduction to their P&I payment shall be given to FHA borrowers who cannot resume their monthly payments – eligible for as part of a loan modification. This relief will be offered via two specific programs:

  • COVID-19 Recovery Modification: If you cannot resume monthly mortgage payments, you can extend the mortgage term to 360 months at current market rates, with an aim to reduce the monthly P&I portion of your mortgage payment by 25%.

  • COVID-19 Recovery Standalone Partial Claim: FHA borrowers who can resume their monthly payments have the option to continue these payments and cover their missed payments with a zero-interest, secondary loan. This loan is repaid when you sell the home or refinance your mortgage.

USDA Loans

USDA COVID-19 Special Relief Measure:
Eligible USDA loan borrowers can access a combination of:

  • Up to 20% reduced P&I payments
  • Interest rate reduction
  • Term extension
  • Mortgage recovery advance to help cover past-due mortgage payment

VA Loans

Veterans Affairs (VA) COVID-19 Refund Modification: Assists eligible VA borrowers to access a 20% or more reduction in monthly P&I payments.

The above options for homeowners with FHA, USDA, and VA loans are new and designed to supplement the following protections already in place:

  • Foreclosure moratorium extension: through July 31, 2021
  • Forbearance enrollment extension: through Sept. 30, 2021
  • COVID-19 Advance Loan Modification
  • Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) existing COVID loss mitigation options.

Additional Assistance

Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF): President Biden’s American Rescue Plan provides $9.961 billion toward homeowners whose finances were negatively impacted by COVID-19. These funds will be integrated into the payment reduction options and can be used for mortgage payments assistance, homeowner’s insurance, or utility payments.

Extended Term Option: The Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) is working on a security product that allows government agencies, such as the FHA and HUD, to extend mortgage terms to up to 40 years. This option, combined with the monthly payment reduction program, may be suitable for borrowers who are behind on their mortgages and can benefit from the monthly payment reduction associated with this option. The downside is the extended term product is not expected to be available until later this year.

Relief Opportunities for Borrowers Not Currently In Forbearance

HUD, VA, and USDA will continue to allow homeowners to start COVID-related forbearance applications through Sept. 30, 2021.
Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgages will continue to be eligible for COVID-related forbearance.

Other Resources

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) offers more information on relief options, protections, and important deadlines on its website.

The number of households in forbearance has decreased by 50% from the pandemic peak, the Biden administration said. Still, nearly 1.75 million Americans remain in forbearance. So, clearly, many Americans still need deeper assistance.

The Biden Administration Just Announced New Measures to Prevent Foreclosures. Here’s How to Use Them | Next Advisor – In Partnership with TIME

So, if you find yourself still struggling to make mortgage payments and not sure if you qualify, why not think outside of the box? Instead of asking your loan providers for help, just sell your house! It’s never too late to make big decisions now.

The best option you are looking for is right in front of you.
Reach me at Cell 971-400-6420 or

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Buying a home? Don’t say these things to sellers

When you’re buying a home, you want to make sure that you don’t do anything that could put the sale in jeopardy—and that includes saying the wrong thing. A lot of homes have cameras installed so don’t speak openly with your realtor when you are in the home.

video from outlined the three things buyers should never say to the seller or seller’s agent when purchasing a home, including:

  • “This is my dream home!” The more visibly interested in and excited by a home you are, the less negotiating power you have—so even if you’re head over heels for a house, play it cool during the buying process.
  • “That couch is hideous!” An easy way to get on a seller’s bad side—and potentially cause your home purchase to go south? Insulting their style or home decor.
  • “You’ll never get that price!” Agents and sellers set a specific selling price for a reason. Even if you think the price is outrageous, keep it to yourself; otherwise, you run the risk of looking like an amateur buyer who doesn’t understand the market or home values—which, again, can hurt you during the sale and negotiating process.

The Takeaway:

Bottom line? Anything you say to the seller or seller’s agent can either help or hurt your chances of successfully negotiating and purchasing your home—so choose your words wisely and avoid saying anything that could negatively impact the sale.

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Nearly Half of Americans Are Planning To Relocate in 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people to reexamine where they live—and in response, many are choosing to relocate.

But how many people are looking to relocate—and what’s driving those relocation decisions?

recent survey from LendingTree found that nearly half (46 percent) of respondents were planning to relocate in the next year—and that number was even higher for people who can work remotely (64 percent).

The biggest factors driving relocation decisions included:

  • A desire to reduce living expenses (44 percent);
  • Feeling their current home was too small (27 percent); and 
  • Looking for different features in a home (27 percent)

The Takeaway:

So, what does that mean for you? If you’ve been thinking about relocating and buying a new home? You’re not alone. And if you’ve been thinking about selling, with so many Americans considering relocation in the near future, many of those people are going to be in the market for a new home—making now a great time to list.

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23 Of The Strangest Things Homebuyers Have Asked Sellers to Leave With the Property

It’s not unusual for homebuyers to admire a seller’s belongings. Chances are they may share similar taste—they bought the same house, after all! 

But some go as far as to ask that certain items remain with the home as part of the deal. It’s easy to imagine clients wanting to include mirrors, window treatments, and maybe even chandeliers—but some take it a step farther and make really bold requests. 

We asked our audience to share their experiences with the wildest things their buyers wanted thrown in with the property to seal the deal, and some are downright startling. Take a look and prepare to shake your head in disbelief!


Believe it or not, some buyers have the nerve to request the seller leave the family pet behind. Ouch! And we’re not just talking about cats, dogs, and fish—but those are in there too. Check out some of the more exotic animals buyers were eager to own!

This one’s for the birds…

Not just ANY type of gorilla…

“Anyone seen my ass?!?!”

Yeah, peacocks are louder and meaner than anyone thinks…

Maybe they shoulda kept their intentions to themselves…

That’s about as big and alive as I want a leopard in my life to be…

Same goes for any Bigfoots…

One more animal one left, bear with me…


We’re not talking about a kids’ Hot Wheels collection! People legitimately ask for cars. And nice ones at that!!!

Weird that none of these requests were for a Nissan, or a Honda…


That thing better have been a hand-carved, one-of-a-kind piece…

This one will sound crazy to people…in like 73 years.

I’m more of a Daffy Duck person myself, but I get it…

No butts about it…

How else are they gonna know where to hang ‘em?!?!

Miscellaneous “Odds” & Ends

Does this count as a window treatment?

This one must’ve raised some eyebrows…

Well, it is hard to find a reallllllly long extension cord…

I hope they clarified that it wasn’t wood-burning!

“And throw in your bell bottoms!!!”

There’s a first for everything…

This is literally a “baby” grand…