3 In Your Town: When Soddy met Daisy
Soddy-Daisy was home to Hamilton County's first courthouse and government seat, Poe's Tavern. The tavern, built in 1819, was the home of Soddy-Daisy resident Hasten Poe. In 1838, the tavern served as a way station for 1,900 Cherokees who were on the Trail of Tears. During the Civil War, Poe's Tavern served as a hospital for both Union and Confederate troops. Though the original Poe's Tavern was torn down in 1911, the city of Soddy-Daisy has reconstructed a replica of the building a block away from the original site.
Coal mining became the industry leader in the mid-1800s. Several dozen mines lined the ridges and mountains surrounding Soddy, Daisy and Sale Creek. The industry boomed for several decades, supplying railroads and steel fabricators with their coke products.
As Chattanooga grew, the majority of the county's money was spent there. Leaving outlying areas feeling short-changed.
"We were like the feed trough if it's sloping then the ones at the upper end get most of the feed and the ones at the low end don't have much left,” described former mayor Max Orr. “We're a pretty good ways out from the county seat so most of the money got spent before it got out here."
In the summer of 1969, Malcom “Max” Orr took the reigns as the first mayor of the newly consolidated Soddy-Daisy. His first working budget was just $384,000 dollars.
"We had nothing to start with,” said Orr with a laugh. “We didn't know where the next check was coming from or when we would get it. We had a volunteer fire department, we had a police chief and one or two patrolmen..and a lot of volunteers."
After four years with Orr in office, change was noticeable. Two miles of blacktop pavement had been laid down in Soddy-Daisy. That's notable as Soddy Daisy's Depot Street was actually the first paved road in Hamilton County years prior. The lake park was underway and there was $100,000 dollars in the bank.
Preparations are underway for the City of Soddy-Daisy's 50th Anniversary Celebration. On Saturday, September 28, 2019, from 10 am until 2 pm, the community and friends are invited to Veterans Park to enjoy the numerous activities scheduled that day in honor of the City's special milestone.
Celebration festivities planned for the day include free entertainment, food, and souvenirs. Commemorative 50th Anniversary hats and t-shirts will also be available to purchase.For more information on Soddy-Daisy's 50th Anniversary Celebration, you can go to www.soddy-daisy.org or call (423) 332-5323.