The Devil's Elbow...

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Bob Wright

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 24, 2004
Messages
6,514
Location
Memphis, TN USA
The term Deadman's Curve has reminded me of this:

My maternal grandfather was a circuit riding preacher in middle Tennessee around the turn of the last Century, ca 1900. He was a widower and live with his oldest son and his wife. One night just before supper, they heard a commotion and saw some men helping themselves to some horses in the barn. Both my grandfather's and uncle's horses were still saddle out front. They mounted up and gave chase to the horse thieves. The road went uphill and too a sharp left turn. My grandfather has a Navy Colt and fired before the thieves rounded the bend and went out of sight. The shot missed, but the rider was thrown and fell to his death on some rocks below. That gave the bend the term The Devil's Elbow. I have been up there when very young and have forgotten exactly where it is, but local folks at the time did refer to it by that name.


As to the Navy Colt, I know nothing about it, nor do I know if it was the same gun my uncle carried making his rounds as a moonshiner. My Uncle Arthur was pretty wild before "gettin' religion."

Bob Wright
 

ProfessorWes

Hunter
Joined
May 13, 2007
Messages
2,371
Location
Lake of the Ozarks, MO
There was a Devil's Elbow on old Route 66 here in Missouri, dating back to before the road was paved. I believe between Waynesville and Rolla. Eventually it was bypassed when they made 66 four lanes and then built I-44. These days the original two-lane 66 is called Teardrop Road. The scenic overlook in the photo is still there. (Photos courtesy Missouri Historic Highways FB page.)



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wdodd

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 25, 2015
Messages
75
Location
Tennessee
The term Deadman's Curve has reminded me of this:

My maternal grandfather was a circuit riding preacher in middle Tennessee around the turn of the last Century, ca 1900. He was a widower and live with his oldest son and his wife. One night just before supper, they heard a commotion and saw some men helping themselves to some horses in the barn. Both my grandfather's and uncle's horses were still saddle out front. They mounted up and gave chase to the horse thieves. The road went uphill and too a sharp left turn. My grandfather has a Navy Colt and fired before the thieves rounded the bend and went out of sight. The shot missed, but the rider was thrown and fell to his death on some rocks below. That gave the bend the term The Devil's Elbow. I have been up there when very young and have forgotten exactly where it is, but local folks at the time did refer to it by that name.


As to the Navy Colt, I know nothing about it, nor do I know if it was the same gun my uncle carried making his rounds as a moonshiner. My Uncle Arthur was pretty wild before "gettin' religion."

Bob Wright
Mr. Wright,
The Devil’s Elbow you are referring to in middle Tennessee may well be the one located in Smith County, a bit north of Carthage, the county seat.
If traveling southward toward Carthage from the north side of the curve, it is indeed a very, very sharp turn to the left!! Great little motorcycle road also.
 

Bob Wright

Hawkeye
Joined
Jun 24, 2004
Messages
6,514
Location
Memphis, TN USA
Mr. Wright,
The Devil’s Elbow you are referring to in middle Tennessee may well be the one located in Smith County, a bit north of Carthage, the county seat.
If traveling southward toward Carthage from the north side of the curve, it is indeed a very, very sharp turn to the left!! Great little motorcycle road also.

YES! That is the one. I remember a reference to Smith County. Thanks for the input!

Carthage, Westmoreland, Difficult, Defeated Creek and Bethpage are all familiar names I heard my mother speak of. She lived for awhile in Red Boiling Springs. My grandfather is buried in the cemetery of Bethany Missionary Baptist Church in Red Boiling Springs. My cousin was a pastor there at one time. And nearby, not too sure where, is the first concrete swimming pool built in Tennessee. They diverted the creek to fill the pool. It has been many years since I was there.

Bob Wright
 
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