Union University
Union University Dept of History

Department News




History Group Does Community Service Project At Green Frog Historic Village

Nov 4, 2009
A group of five history faculty members and twenty-one students participated in Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society’s community service project at Green Frog Historic Village in Bells, Tennessee, on November 4, 2009. The project was a part of Union University’s annual Campus and Community day activities where faculty, staff, and students perform a wide variety of tasks for community groups, schools, and organizations.

The history department’s assignment at Green Frog was two-fold: to build an outbuilding (outhouse) similar to the 2-3 million that the Works Progress Administration oversaw the construction of during presidency of Franklin Roosevelt, and to participate in the assembly of a small log cabin for children made out of nineteenth-century oak logs. Faculty and students divided into two work details, with each detail focusing on one of the buildings. Dr. John Freeman, the proprietor of Green Frog and the history group’s host for the day, led in the construction of the log cabin, while Dr. David Thomas of Union’s history department supervised work on the outbuilding. Considerable progress was made on both structures, although neither was quite finished by the end of the Union group’s work time.

Following lunch, Dr. Freeman led the group on a tour of the historic buildings at Green Frog. Participants saw a demonstration that retired printer Mr. Jesse James Roberts provided on a linotype print machine in the village’s print shop, and then Dr. Freeman showed them the interior of a nineteenth-century log cabin as well as that of an old cotton gin. The final activity of the day was a hayride around Dr. Freeman’s farm.

The group experienced a special treat at Green Frog, when they met Dr. Hyran Barefoot, retired president of Union University, who came to the village to demonstrate how to make hominy. Dr. Barefoot gave participants a taste of his product in the afternoon.

The weather for the Campus and Community day project at Green Frog was bright and sunny, with temperatures reaching the low sixties. As for the village, it contained a lot of history that participants enjoyed learning about, and its park-like setting was strikingly beautiful as the trees there were at the peak of their autumn colors.


Participants in the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society-sponsored community service project at Green Frog Historic Village on November 4, 2009, include: (front row, left to right) Dr. Terry Lindley, Kate Cline, Elizabeth Blevins, Holli Zimmerle, Courtney Burton, Elaura Highfield, Mary Alisa Techentin, Savannah German, Julianne Little, Lauren Bogdan, Jessica Duck, Caitlin Roach, Glenae Nora, and Camille McCullar; (back row, left to right) Megan Winters, Dr. Keith Bates, Kevin Reid, John Poole, Dr. Stephen Carls, Will Miller, Travis Lutz, Noah Arnold, Dr. John Freeman, Cameron White, Dr. Hyran Barefoot, Dr. David Thomas, and Dr. Judy LeForge. Kristi McMurry, Union’s official photographer at Green Frog that day, took the photo.


Dr. Stephen Carls introduces Dr. Hyran Barefoot, president of Union University from 1986 to 1996, to the Union service project participants. Dr. John Freeman, owner of Green Frog Historic Village, is on the right.


Students get work gloves for the construction projects they will work on. They are (left to right) Lauren Bogdan, Camille McCullar, Julianne Little, Megan Winters, Will Miller, and Travis Lutz.


Dr. David Thomas and history major Glenae Nora cut a board to use in the construction of an outbuilding at Green Frog Historic Village.


History major Kevin Reid (left) prepares to tighten a screw with a drill while working on an outbuilding at Green Frog Historic Village. Travis Lutz (center) and Will Miller (right) provide assistance.


History major Noah Arnold puts a floor board in place for a children’s cabin at Green Frog Village. John Poole (right) waits to do the same thing.


Courtney Burton carries a board to put in place for the floor of a children’s cabin at Green Frog Historic Village. Behind her are (left to right) Holli Zimmerle, Jessica Duck, and Dr. Stephen Carls.


Dr. John Freeman (right) talks about the age of the oak logs used in the construction of the children’s cabin at Green Frog. Listening to him are history majors (beginning with student dressed in black with back to camera and going clockwise) Elizabeth Blevins, Noah Arnold, Cameron White, Mary Alisa Techentin, and Kate Cline.


Enjoying the beautiful weather at Green Frog Historic Village are (left to right) John Poole, Caitlin Roach, Jessica Duck, Julianne Little, Savannah German, Elaura Highfield, Holli Zimmerle, Dr. Judy LeForge, and Courtney Burton.


History major Elizabeth Blevins takes a break from her work detail to try out a swing at Green Frog.


Katie Schatzer (second from left) interviews Dr. John Freeman for Union’s newspaper, The Cardinal and Cream, while Mary Alisa Techentin (right) listens.


Kristi McMurry, the Union photographer assigned to the Green Frog Historic Village community service project, takes a break for lunch.


Kevin Reid and Dr. Judy LeForge participate in a light conversation with others during the lunch break at Green Frog.


Dr. Hyran Barefoot lets Courtney Burton (left) and Elaura Highfield have a sample of hominy that he has prepared for the Union group on November 4.


Dr. Keith Bates (left) and Dr. David Thomas help put the roof on the outbuilding that Union faculty and students had as one of their construction projects on November 4.


Mr. Jesse James Roberts plays a guitar solo for several Union students and faculty at Green Frog. Listening to him perform are (left to right) Glenae Nora, Lauren Bogdan, Elaura Highfield, Courtney Burton, Holli Zimmerle, Dr. Judy LeForge, Jessica Duck, Elizabeth Blevins, and Dr. Terry Lindley.


Dr. John Freeman gives the Union history group a tour of an old cotton gin located at Green Frog Historic Village.


Dr. John Freeman talks about his home and a nearby cotton field during a hayride tour of his farm at Green Frog. Seated in the wagon are (left to right) Dr. Stephen Carls, Dr. David Thomas, Noah Arnold, Kate Cline, Glenae Nora, Mary Alisa Techentin, Cameron White, Lauren Bogdan, Travis Lutz, Courtney Burton (behind Travis), John Poole, and Julianne Little.