Last Stand at Fork Creek

Carolyn Richey

The disappearance of a once vibrant, proud and thriving farm community became a living nightmare. Neighbors were bullied off their land, with many moving out of Loudon County in an attempt to escape TVA’s far-reaching, powerful grasp.

Our farm was much more than just a piece of land. We were connected to it in such a way that it was an extension of who we were and how we lived. It was a friend who knew our past and held our future, teaching lifelong lessons with the renewal of every season. Each field held familiar haunts and cradled sweet memories that helped us become who we are today. The farm, as well as our community, had deep-seated roots in my parents’ hopes and dreams as they diligently worked the land and raised their family. Visualizing the farm in the hands of an agency that would abuse and destroy it broke my heart.

Scattered throughout our family heritage were strong-willed patriarchs who made decisions based on their convictions of right versus wrong. So, with strong principles, backbone and grit, we took our stand and prepared for the battle before us.

I feel emotionally compelled to share “our story:” A farmer’s story of strength, intelligence, conviction and perseverance. A story that reveals more than a decade of fighting a faceless, powerful enemy. - Ben Ritchey

It's been said that every farmer has a story, each as unique as his sun-lined, weathered brow. This is such a story, a firsthand, factual narrative of the struggles and encounters endured by the Jean and Ben Ritchey family as they farmed their land, raised their children and bore the brunt of federal condemnation by the Tennessee Valley Authority. It is offered as a testament to their courage and will to persevere at a time when farmers were forgotten and justice gave way to political greed. - Carolyn Ritchey

2 lb
11 × 1.5 × 8.5 in