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Bright Hope Furnace Ledger (1835-1836)

Furnace Creek, Greene County, Tennnessee


~ researched, transcribed, and provided by ~
A. Claude Ferguson

[This is a WIP - works in progress - being edited and coded into html by Sandra N. Ratledge for Tennessee Ties website only. Do not attach to family trees or copy and upload on any other websites. The entire transcription project was given to me by Claude Ferguson, for which I am deeply appreciative. Claude's transcription is painstakingly meticulous, indicative of a devoted researcher. He relates to my husband, Stephen Ratledge, through the Clowers family mentioned in this ledger. Links to the various pages will be provided at the bottom of this page in the chart.]

Katharine SUSONG Harmon, a Greene County resident and a descendant of many named in the Bright Hope Furnace Ledger, lived near Timber Ridge Church and the Bright Hope area. She had taught school at one time in the one-room Bright Hope School which no longer exists. She provided a typed copy of a few pages of the Bright Hope Iron Works company store ledger to me, a descendant of many named in the ledger, in October of 1988.

In April of 1989, Katherine Harmon offered to show me the original ledger stored in the Tusculum College Library. She introduced me to Mr. Wayne Dobson, then Archivist, Rare Books Collection, Tusculum College. Mr. Dobson permitted us to view the ledger and to copy additional entries. Several "cousins", including Marjorie EWART Boles (Washington), Robert and Louise DARBY Boles, Duane and Rosemary BOLES Harvey (Kansas), William James Kibler (Ohio), Louise Holland, Katherine SUSONG Harmon (Greene County), and I visited the Tusculum College Library in March of 1991 to view the ledger.

One objective of our visit was to arrange for microfilming and transcription of the ledger. To our surprise and relief, the ledger had been microfilmed by the McClung Historical Collection, Knox County Public Library System, Knoxville, Tennessee. The product was of high quality, and the task of transcribing the entire document from the microfilm was then possible. Mr. Wayne Dobson granted permission to purchase a copy of the microfilm from the Knox County Public Library for transcription purposes. The transcription required about six hours work per day for three months and was completed in the spring of 1992. Transcribed pages containing entries naming future President Andrew Johnson were presented to the Andrew Johnson National Monument in Greeneville, Tennessee.

The Bright Hope Furnace Ledger is housed in the Tusculum College Archives in the President Andrew Johnson Museum Library, Tusculum College, Greeneville, Tennessee. The Museum is open Monday Friday 8 A.M. to 5 P.M. Researchers wishing to view the ledger should contact Cindy Lucas for an appointment. She may be reached at 423-636-7348 or 800-729-0256 ext. 348 or e-mail

~ A. Claude Ferguson ~


This site is dedicated to the memory of my mother Beulah Cline Nipper, a beautiful product of the Knobs.

©1999--present year by Sandra N. Ratledge. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Any reproduction or inclusion of this website's contents in publication whether online or in print is prohibited. Do NOT copy photographs and upload on Find a Grave or any other internet websites, blogs, attach to family trees, or print in publications. Do NOT copy stories, articles, documents, sketches, anecdotes, letters, obituaries, content data, etc. and attach to family trees or upload on other websites of any kind.

Sandra Ratledge

All you kinfolks, put some mail in that old box!