Born and raised in Lynchburg, Virginia, history and the arts, and the conservation thereof are important to Barbara Shattuck.
She says her great-great-grandfather surrendered at the Appomattox Courthouse alongside Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and then he walked the six miles back home. The homestead is long gone but the Shattucks still own about 150 acres or the original 600 where they now raise Loblolly Pinetrees.
Shattuck attended Radford College for women in Virginia. It was during these college years that she met her husband Tom. Together they came to Middlesboro where they have lived for over 50 years now. They have been married for 60 years and have two sons and a daughter, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Of their early days in the city she says it was a grand place to be.
“Middlesboro used to be a very active town,” said Shattuck. “We had an arts club, a music club, a junior women’s club — an arts council was implemented and we brought in all kinds of wonderful plays and events. When we first moved here Cumberland Avenue was vibrant. During December and the holidays you could barely walk down the sidewalks it was so crowded.”
Shattuck also played an instrumental part in the creation of the Bell County Historical Society’s Museum. With all her civic efforts Shattuck says the thing she is most proud of is making the Queen’s train for the Mountain Laurel Festival.
She says she’s never had a profession — that she has just done a lot of different things over the years. She believes that things just happen in one’s life the way they are supposed to happen and you end up right where you are supposed to be.
“When I was in college I worked for the Radford newspaper, I’ve taught school, and I’ve owned several businesses over the years,” said Shattuck. “I thoroughly enjoyed the catering business — that is what I liked the best. I like people eating my food and say it is good.”
The Shattucks together had a tour company called Wilderness Road Tours. They gave half-day tours of the Middlesboro area and ferried hikers to the many area trail heads.
Shattuck currently serves as curator for the Alexander Arthur Museum on Cumberland Avenue. She is a member of Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church and volunteers at the Cooperative Christian Ministry.
Reach William Tribell at 606 302-9100 or on Twitter @wtribellmdn