Murfreesboro Tornado

Yesterday a tornado touched down in Murfreesboro, TN.  The farm house that my mother grew up in, that I visited almost every summer as a child, that my uncle Johnny lived in and was slowly trying to fix up was hit by the tornado.  

The trees behind the house are gone now.  The roof is supposedly gone over the back side of the house.

The trees behind the house are gone now. The roof is supposedly gone over the back side of the house. Photo from 2006.

My uncle Harry, who built his own house just down the lane from the main farm house, had his house damaged as well.  As did my uncle Andrew.  His house, just across the creek supposedly has some roof damage.

My wife Eleanor takes in the surroundings of the creek I played in endlessly as a kid.

My wife Eleanor takes in the surroundings of the creek I played in endlessly as a kid. Photo from summer 2006.

All of the trees in the creek bed above have been uprooted as well.  Johnny can see all the way to Andrew’s house across the creek.  The buffer of trees used to block the view of the houses across the creek is no longer there.  

View looking downstream from the creek.

View looking downstream from the creek.

My cousins and I would wade through the creek.  As we grew older the trips got shorter in length as more and more houses spread down to the banks of the creek on either side of the farm.  Now the only wilderness in the area, the farm had deer in the creek with regularity.  When I was young there were never any deer on the farm or in the creek bed .

 

Strange that this was out of focus but I think it gives a greater sense of the tree canopy around the farm that has now been lost.

Strange that this was out of focus but I think it gives a greater sense of the tree canopy around the farm that has now been lost.

My mother is on her way there now.  My uncles say the farm house has too much damage and must be demolished.  I almost wanted to fly there to see it for myself.  But I think I am going to stay here.  Eleanor and I have decided that we will go there at some point this summer and buy and plant a few trees on the property.  I can of course be thankful that none of my family are hurt or injured as the tornado killed two in the area and injured scores more.  But there is a sense of loss I feel regardless.  I also really want to photograph what it looks like now although I feel it might be very painful.

View from the back garden behind the main farm house.  I wonder if the statue is still there.

View from the back garden behind the main farm house. I wonder if the statue is still there.

I have only one photograph of the main house that I know of that is in color.  I may have more negatives somewhere.  This one below is cross processed, therefore the strange color scheme.

I think this is from year 2000 or maybe 1999.

I think this is from year 2000 or maybe 1999.

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5 Responses to “Murfreesboro Tornado”

  1. Thanks for the pictures, this is a very sad loss. If you get any pictures from M’boro family, let us know.

    Your (very distant cousins) John & Raquel

  2. Warms my heart to see these photos b/c Cabinwood and the Nelson farm looks nothing like this now nor will it ever again.
    Anjona

  3. Molly Nelson Van Ort Says:

    It is still heartbreaking to see each day I go back. Johnny, Brandon, Lilla and Andrew moved most of the furniture and Johnny’s paintings and belongings left into storage yesterday and today. It poured last night and I’m sure the house is swamped. It’s my goal this week to tarp it in order to preserve the interior woodwork and woods and lighting fixtures for the resurrection of a gathering place for the family.

    Betsy Clark’s son, Jimmy Hull, and a friend came out with a big front end loader and moved the huge tree trunks blocking the driveways in three different places. What wonderful help! Peggy says more friends are coming out this week to help cart off trash. Andrew and Peggy and Harry now have electricity and Brandon, Lilla and I had a hot meal with P&H before coming back to Nashville last night.

    Forgot to tell you…Andrew and Robert rode out the tornado in their bathtub with 2 wiggling Welsh Corgis.

    Love,

    Mom

  4. Tonya Malzone Says:

    Brett,

    Your parents hosted a going away party for Carrie Freeman at this cabin many years ago, and Mike and I were blessed to have spent a relaxing Sunday afternoon with your grandmother there. I cannot begin to know how saddened you all must be. Please know that you are all in our prayers.

    Mike & Tonya Malzone

  5. Joan Field Says:

    Brett- I just received photos from my sister Susan Mullens. She went to Murfreesboro this month to visit. She has become family historian taking up where my Mom left off. I called her the day I heard on the news about tornado. She kept in contact with Shannon and I think your Mom and I wanted her to call to make sure everyone ok.

    I only visited the farm when I was in college 1970 with my mom Cornelia “Nene” Cary Field over spring break. Your grandfather John Nelson was my Mom’s 1st cousin. My Grandma Cornelia Spain Cary and your great grandmother Lizzie Street Nelson were sisters.
    I remember waking up Easter morning in the farm house to the sound of screeching. A neighbor’s peacocks had wandered over and perched in the tree. I often think of that visit and getting to know my family.
    I have small 4×4 pen & ink titled “France’s Back Porch” inherited from my Mom. A Christmas ’94 present from Frances that I look at every day.

    distant cousin from Omaha Nebraska
    Joan Field

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