Part of the bedrock of the City of Whitwell’s history is the impact of the coal mining industry. Multiple generations supported their families mining coal and the closure of the nearby mining operations nearly devestated the city. Whereas the city is arguably moving past the loss, today marked the latest effort to honor those who lost their lives in the mine as well as the industry’s thread throughout the fabric of the city.
JT Shadrick, who is widely recognized as the face of the city’s effort to remember, declared the unveiling of the commemorative “Big John” statue as the culmination of his and several other advocates’ dream. People entering Whitwell from the west will be able to see “Big John” as they at the intersection of 28 and 108 on the left.
Shadrick wished to thank all those affiliated with the statue including the city council and Tennessee Galvanizing and all of the businesses that helped offset the costs.