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200 years of Bedford County

Posted Monday, December 3, 2007, at 8:41 AM

It's been 200 years -- and we're still ticking.

Bedford County was chartered 200 years ago today (Dec. 3, 1807). One wonders what those involved would think of today's lifestyles if they could enter a time machine and spend a little time in 2007.

What would their initial reaction be to cars and SUVs? Would they recognize a parked car as the modern version of horse and buggy? (Were there buggies in 1807?)

And we've become quite a melting pot. Spanish is commonly heard. Somalians, including women in Muslim garb, are routine sights. Our ancestors would be surprised - and, hopefully, not prejudiced.

Appearaces change. I doubt our ancestors would recognize a thing about Shelbyville except maybe the circa-1814 Episcopal church, Shelbyville's oldest surviving building. On the other hand, some of the rural landscapes -- the Chestnut Ridge treeline seen from flatland some distance away -- would possibly be instantly recognizable. We still see a few things largely as they saw them.

I'd guess people's appearances have changed much more. Buckskin-clad men would now be wearing suits and ties. And would our temporary 200-year-old visitors be distracted by today's women, whose attractiveness is much more visible in today's clothing? Probably so.

Anyway, happy 200th to us. We've got a few added wrinkles (200 years will do that) but, overall, we're better than ever. Here's to 200 -- and many beyond that -- more years.

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I was just wondering if in all that 2 hundred years was there any record kept of the day they hanged Bill Bates? My mother,Ruby Tucker Wilhoite,carried around the article and picture of him hanging in a tree in front of courthouse for years,which was later lost when we lived in Fla.Any info on this topic would be greatly appreciated. Michael Wilhoite Sr.

-- Posted by rodeo on Tue, Dec 25, 2007, at 8:36 AM

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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.