Tennessee Valley StoryCorps: Catherine Cook Brown and Ann Gray

Jul 9, 2019

Today on Tennessee Valley StoryCorps, local historian Ann Gray talks to her friend, Catherine Cook Brown, about her memories of downtown Chattanooga.

Catherine Cook Brown passed away seven weeks after this conversation was recorded. 

From Ann Gray: 

Catherine Cook Brown was from one of the founding families of South Pittsburg. She grew up in this small town, went off to college, married, raised a family and moved back in her later years. She was well-read and informed. She was the youngest friend I had – even though she was at 89 –  and she was so excited and looking forward to inviting the entire town to her 90th birthday party on July 14. We were planning her birthday bash at the time of her death on May 10, 2019. One more thing, since Cornerstones was donated the Choo Choo Terminal Station and we launched a capital campaign this year to raise $1.4 million, I was very intentional to ask her to retell her personal experiences of visiting this site in the 1940s. I wanted this recorded and remembered. She told me that she had never returned to the Terminal Station after the family learned of her cousin’s death in WWII. Her memories were of him at the station boarding, smiling and waving good bye. She also said it was just too sad for her. However, she visited the station on the day of our storytelling – and that meant a great deal to us both.

Tennessee Valley StoryCorps brings you conversations from people who went to the StoryCorps recording booth in Chattanooga's Miller Park in the spring of 2019. This series is produced and edited by Will Davis and made possible, in part, by EPB Fiber Optics.