Conservation News – Emily Davis Property in Monroe County

FLC Profile of the Emily Davis Property

Emily-DavisIn our ongoing effort to highlight Foothills Land Conservancy’s diverse land programs, we plan to profile various East Tennessee conservation easements and their benefits to the community. To kick off these efforts, both Bill Clabough and Elise Eustace decided to take a drive out west this month, eventually landing in Monroe County.

After a few left and right turns among the barn silos and grassy plains we landed in a hollow, also known as Bat Creek Knobs Farm. To say this 580 acre tract is beautiful just can’t quite cut it. A good description might be one-of-a-kind, with a quintessential winding creek, barn and family home that happened to be sprawling with 3 generations of Davis’s all enjoying their summer in the woods.


Bat Creek Knobs was assembled from three adjoining farms. Originally occupied by the Native Americans through the mid-nineteenth century, the farm has produced artifacts, like shell fossils and arrow heads, and includes both pasture land and woodlands. A few hundred yards from the main house rests a cabin built by the Cherokee Indians at Ball Play and reconstructed on-site by Dr. James Davis himself. Upon purchasing the farm, the family constructed a 4 acre pond and planted 350,000 pine trees on eroded portions. Another important contribution to the farm – 7 planted beech trees – each named after one of the Davis children now ensures her sons and daughters can watch them “grow as they grow”.

Although both Dr. James & Emily Davis resided in the Chattanooga area for most of their lives, they were among some of the first East Tennessee residents to place a conservation easement on their property. Emily recalls hearing Gail Harris speak about land protection in the early 1990′s and decided to look into land protection options. Mrs. Harris and her husband James were early pioneers of conservation practices and are credited in helping start up the organization, Alternatives for Blount County (a predecessor of FLC). Mr. & Mrs. Harris eventually placed their own conservation easement on 105 Blount County acres in 2002.


To Mrs. Davis, family and friends experiencing the joys of the land with her and others are what’s important. “I’ve enjoyed sharing the farm to have visitors drive up my road, stop at the creek, and appreciate the quiet is wonderful.”¬†Along the quarried, pre-civil war stones lies a quote on a sign initially read by Emily and James on a carved bench. The sign above their well now reads:

Friend, there’s welcome here for thee
Stop and all God’s glory see
Pause and rest, think and pray
Then go in peace on thy way

Thank you to Emily Davis and her family for sharing their time, stories, and love of the land!!

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