BOOGERTOWN GAP                        
Boogertown Gap - The Place
Boogertown GapIn case you're not from around these parts, Sevier County, TN, or if you are and haven't heard of it, YES, Boogertown Gap is a real place. It’s a gap, or low spot, on a high  ridge that separates the rural communities of Boogertown  and King Branch. Keith used to pass over that gap many times as a kid riding in his parents car, and later as a bigger kid in his own car. But he never knew it had a name, he just knew that was where his cousin Alana Watson fell out of the back of  her dad’s moving Model T pickup truck and tumbled through the briars.  She’s well and thriving. Later in life, as education crept into his years, Keith saw on a United States Geological Survey map this gap was given  the name Boogertown Gap. We wonder why those mapmakers, or whoever picks map place names didn’t call it King Branch Gap or why the other four gaps you have to cross to get into Boogertown didn’t have the clout to capture the mapmakers attention. In fact none of the other gaps have  map names, but I’ll bet you the locals have one, or many for each.  Boogertown Gap was a place my father as a child spent many summer nights with his dad and brothers around a campfire listening to the hounds on a fox chase, telling stories, and maybe eating a June Apple. 

Boogertown is real too, and like so many other places, it too, has another name, much more palatable to the upstanding citizenry, but not as affectionate or evoking as Boogertown. It’s other name is Oldham or Oldham’s Creek, named for James Oldham who moved there between 1790 and 1795, having moved from South Carolina where he and his sons served in the Revolutionary War.  James had a brother who traveled with Daniel Boone and all of his brothers fought at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse.  James later migrated to eastern Indiana leaving behind his legacy that would become Boogertown.   

Origins of the name Boogertown are many, so here for your continued reading pleasure are two of the most prominent stories of how Boogertown got its name. During the Civil War, an "unknown" soldier, perhaps and outlier or deserter, saw some eyes in the bush which frightened him. It turned out to be a cow, but for that his "booger" in the bush became the namesake for Boogertown. Another is that a man wanted to move his family out to this area to raise a bunch of "boogers" (kids), and for that the area received its name. Whatever the true origin of the name be, in some areas Boogertown is still timeless from my early years and full of local tradition and lore. The house pictured above is the house where Keith's father was born back in 1928 and where Keith spent many summers with the Watson family.   Imagine a couple of miles distant through the background of this photo, is Boogertown Gap.  At right Keith (1972) is pickin his Uncle Boyd's Regal f-hole arch top guitar on which he heard Boyd pick Wildwood Flower many times.  You guessed it, the barn is in Boogertown and the house in the background is where Keith's dad was born.  At left is Boyd (on the right) in his playing days with Benny Sims, according to Boyd's daughter.  

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