Imagine our surprise when Sgt. Alvin York's son greeted us at the door! Andrew Jackson York, age 83, began by narrating each photo in the entryway, adding personal and poignant comments as we enjoyed the collection. In the living room, there was Sgt. York's desk, lamp and Bible, and other family memorabilia fills the home. We took a walk behind the barn and down to the river, across the swinging bridge, to the cemetery where the hero, his wife Gracie (or "Mommy" as Andrew lovingly called her) and other family members are laid to rest.
Let me back up and say one should begin the tour at the general store, where you'll see a short movie and get your map of the sites. You can grab a cold drink and something to eat here, too. I loved the grist mill and the sound of water running over the dam. Bring a picnic lunch and have it under the mill on the banks of the river. There are plenty of picnic tables, restrooms and a playground.
We all know the soldier from the Gary Cooper movie of 1941, but this tour introduces you to the man. He returned to his humble beginnings, refused millions of dollars in endorsements, and spent his life helping the community he so loved. Let's not forget this great American.
There is no admission, but please donate to keep the home open and restore Alvin York's historic Bible School.