Historic Markers Across Tennessee

The Kelly Family Farm

Marker ID:  
Location: on Kelly Lane, Kodak, TN
County: Sevier
Coordinates: N 35° 56.85    W 083° 41.353
  35.9475    -83.68921666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None


The Kelly Family Farm
Seven Islands State Birding Park

Prior to the creation of Seven Islands State Birding Park, several generations of the Kelly family farmed and lived on this land.

The French Broad River's "Kelly Bend" name comes from the family, however, the Kelly’s called it "Seclusion Bend".

The modern era of the Kelly family began in 1917 when Joe Bruce (J.B.) Kelly married Ruth Ellen Creswell and moved to the 268-acre farm that had been in her family for several generations.

"I farmed with mules and a goose neck hoe in the early days," recalled J.B. in 1988. They raised traditional crops and tended to dairy and beef cattle, pigs, and chickens.

J.B. ad Ruth had three sons: J.B. Jr., Hal and Eugene. When J.B. Sr. retired, J.B. Jr. and Hal took over the day-to-day operation of the farm.

Hal married Dorothy Jean Rutherford and they had three children: John, Sally, and Chris who was the last Kelly to manage the farm before it became a wildlife refuge, and a state park.

A photo of this marker may be found on HMDB.org