yesterday's tennessee

Yesterday's Tennessee


Wilma Cogdell

[As published in The Lexington Progress, March 29, 1995]

Blue Goose community is in the western part of Henderson County on Highway 412 about two miles east of the Madison County line.

According to an article in the November 23, 1928 issue of The Lexington Progress, plans were made for road with surveys showing Wolf or Marsh Ridges and the road would be built on the right or north side of said ridges. This was Highway 20, later designated as Highway 412.

David Thomas "Toe" Cogdell gave Blue Goose community its name. About 1929-1930, when the new road was built through the community, he tore down an old house that stood on the property he owned adjacent to the Cogdell Cemetery. From this salvaged lumber, he built a filling station and a small store.

In a letter written some years ago, one of Tobe's grandsons stated that he remembered quite well that Pappy was trying to come up with a name. Of course he had many suggestions. This grandson was positive Tobe arrived at the name by noticing a blue goose on either an apple or an orange box with the Blue Goose brand name. The grandson remembered that it was pretty. He said Tobe made the sign for the store in detail from the picture on the box.

A dance pavilion was built just west of the store. It was in operation for a short time and often was the scene of knock-down, drag-out fights among the patrons. Music was provided by Tobe, his nephew Wash Cogdell and other musicians in the community. It is said that the noise emanating from Blue Goose could be heard at some distance.

During this time, gambling or slot machines referred to as "one-armed bandits" were also available at Blue Goose to those desiring such entertainment. They were housed in a separate building that was operated as a beer joint. After the business closed, for whatever reasons, these old machines were stored in a building on Mrs. George W. Cogdell's property for several years and thought to be sold for scrap metal during World War II.

Blue Goose community's reputation was not the best during its early years but residents there today are proud to call it home.

At one time it was shown on Tennessee state maps and Greyhound Bus Lines listed it in their schedule. You could buy a bus ticket from anywhere in the country to Blue Goose, Tennessee.

Tobe Cogdell was born in 1863 and died in 1941. He and his wife, Collie (Estes) Cogdell are buried in the Cogdell family cemetery at Blue Goose.

When Blue Goose store closed in May 1994, the blue goose that had been on the building for over 60 years was taken down. Members of George Cogdell's family borrowed it for a pattern and had another goose made. The duplicate of the original blue goose may be seen today hanging in the front yard of the Cogdell home on Highway 412 at Blue Goose.

The Blue Goose, January 1999

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