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Picturing the Past 156: The Goat Man

Posted Tuesday, April 24, 2012, at 2:38 PM

The Goat Man, as pictured in the 1950s. (Photo provided by Peggy Williams)
Here's one where some of you are going to have to help me out.

I've heard and seen mentions of the "Goat Man", who traveled through Shelbyville occasionally in the 1950s and 1960s.

Here he is traveling through El Bethel in the 1950s, in a photo sent by Peggy Williams. Thanks, Peggy.

Who was the "Goat Man"? According to stories published in 2009 and 2011 in Murfreesboro newspapers he was the Rev. Charles "Ches" McCartney, a traveling preacher who traveled the nation. He died at age 97 in 1998 just before the turn of the century, the stories said.

The stories mentioned crowds coming to see the 'Goat Man' whenever he appeared.

Any memories of the Goat Man coming through Shelbyville?

Picturing the Past is featured each Tuesday in this blog. Reader contributions are welcome.

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I saw him also back in early 50's on Nolensville Road when I lived in Nashville and he camped at Mill Creek. He came by several times over the years.

My Mother would always make him a plate of food and take to him.

-- Posted by roadrunner on Thu, Apr 26, 2012, at 1:10 PM

I saw the Goat Man when I was a teenager in the 50's in Shelbyville as he would camp down by the Duck River Dam. My wife had a photo of him as he passed through Massachusetts back in those days too.

-- Posted by henrys on Thu, Apr 26, 2012, at 7:11 AM

I remember several times my parents would take me out to see the goat man, and remembering that I could not believe he lived that way. The times that I saw him, he was off 41A behind a restaurant and bar called the Merry Go Round. I don't remember my Dad ever talking to him and we never got too close probably because of the smell. Word seem to get around fast that he was in town, because there always seemed to be a crowd gathered around. There are several good articles on the internet on his life.

-- Posted by cookie on Tue, Apr 24, 2012, at 7:10 PM

Since "The Goat Man" was mentioned in the last blog I did a search on Google, and there is a video and many stories about his travels.He was in the T.G.on May 9 1990,and The Tennessean May 25 2006.I have seen him several times back in the '50's.

-- Posted by Cal t on Tue, Apr 24, 2012, at 5:18 PM

I do remember him selling post cards.I had one for years.

-- Posted by mytaxesaremine on Tue, Apr 24, 2012, at 3:00 PM

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