Our cover school is located in Carter County, Tennessee. Lower Shell Creek School was built to replace an older one-room school. Building began in 1911 and
was finished in 1912. The school was originally built for grades one through eight
but was expanded in 1928 to go through
twelfth grade. Students attended this location through the early 1950s, until moving to a newer building about a half mile
away. By the early 1970s, the school had
completely consolidated with Cloudland
Elementary and High Schools.
The building is a two-story wooden
building that was painted white. The lower
floor consisted of three classrooms, and the
second floor was used by the Junior Order
of Masons. Two outhouses were located behind the building, and there was a well in
front of the school.
As was the case with most rural schools,
Lower Shell Creek School classrooms contained a bucket with a dipper for drinking.
This communal water source was one reason that illness spread throughout the community.
Carter County, Tennessee, is home to
the world’s largest natural rhododendron
garden and numerous rivers and lakes. The
area was originally known as the Watauga
Settlement and was settled in 1769. Carter
County was established in 1796 and was
named for Landon Carter, the son of one of
the first settlers.
Another Carter County feature is the
Covered Bridge which was built in 1882. It
is believed to be the oldest covered bridge
that is still used by pedestrians. The bridge
has a span of one hundred thirty four
feet and was constructed for three thousand dollars by Dr. E. E. Hunter, George
Lindamood, and other carpenters. The
Covered Bridge, made mainly of mountain
oak and white pine, was called an engineering feat at the time of its construction.
In 1901, a great flood destroyed all other
bridges over the Doe River, but the Covered
In addition to the Covered Bridge and
Rhododendron Garden, the area is well
known for the Carter Mansion (built be-
tween 1775 and 1780) and the Veteran’s
Monument (built in 1912.) The Appalachian
Trail crosses through the area, and it is a va-
cation destination for thousands of visitors
a year who come to fish, hunt, and hike.
For more information visit www.usgw
.htm and www.cartercountyhistory.com
Tina Rice is a veteran homeschooler of 22
years. Three of her four children graduated homeschool, and her baby is a sophomore. Tina is the owner of Tina’s Tie Dye
( www.TinasTieDye.com) and the author
of Exploring Color and Science with Tie
Dye—a fun tie-dye-based science unit
study. She and her husband Tim run a
small publishing company. Tina and Tim
use an eclectic mix of Classical and relaxed
educational materials. You can reach her