Sampson’s Hollow lies in the middle of over 100 acres of beautiful farmland just about a stone’s throw away from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The blue mist of the mountains is legendary to our mountain range in East Tennessee Blackberry Farm, a world-renowned five-star resort, is our next-door neighbor. The farm is approximately 15 minutes from the entrance of the most visited national park in the nation. Townsend, Tennessee is called the “peaceful side of the Smokies.”
The farmland on which Sampson’s Hollow is located was given to Sampson’s oldest daughter, Sarah. Sarah Flynn Livingston inherited approximately 16 acres of the land from her father and mother. Several years ago, Sarah decided to leave it to her 4 grandchildren as their inheritance.
Sampson’s father, Joseph W. Flynn, owned 1 of the original homesteads in W. Miller’s Cove. The only remains of that homestead on the property are the remnants of an old well and a stand of daffodils that continue to bloom each spring. In the winter of 2001, Josh Livingston and his fiancée, Lesley Roberson, announced that they planned on getting married on the family farm.
The following journal entry was written:
“ Even with the threatening weather, I could not have asked God for a more perfect evening for my son’s wedding. It was as if His Handprint was on every aspect of the event. As I sat there on the front row in the middle of the field, I felt the first raindrops and heard the thunder. There was no back-up plan. If it rained, everyone was going to be soaked. There was no alternate location. Then the thunder got louder and the wind picked up. Our pastor was just standing in the middle of the “pulpit” of God’s creation, smiling, not seeming to worry one little bit. He seemed to already have it on higher authority that all would be well. It was amazing. The clouds parted to the left and right of our assembly. I could see the rain in the distance on both sides, but not overhead. The wind calmed, the thunder still rolled, but now ever more gently. After the ceremony had concluded and the worst did not occur, people came up to me and told me that they were praying for the storm to hold off. Then one of my dear friends said that the thunder was Heaven’s way of applauding. One of the cousins said that Mamaw and Dada were in heaven negotiating with God to hold the rain. As I think about it now, it’s almost as if He were saying, “Be still and know that I am God” when the thunder sounded. The wind cooled the temperature and there were no bugsâ€”at all. And when the bluegrass group played “Dooley” from the Andy Griffith show as Josh and Lesley drove away in the horse and carriage, I smile to think that God might have been tapping His feet–just a little bit.”
—Mother of the groom