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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Patsy Cline Plane Crash Site

Patsy Cline Plane Crash Site

On March 5, 1963, the plane carrying Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas, Hawkshaw Hawkins and Randy Hughes on their way back to Nashville ran into bad weather, crashing into a secluded area. There were no survivors.

Decades later, if you now travel US641 through Camden, TN, a large green sign has been put up pointing the way. To get there, you have to follow Mt. Carmel Rd. West out of Camden, as you pass a residential neighborhood, an industrial area, and then finally make it into the rural woods. After a couple of miles down this drive, another sign points the way; it's a turn down a short gravel drive.

From there, it's pretty simple - a small wooden entrance marks the start of a gravel trail down to the bottom of the small ravine. About half of the way there is a small booth with photocopies of the newspaper stories recounting the tragic event. As the gravel path goes a bit further, there are two more things to see at the end of the walk.

Patsy Cline Plane Crash Site Inscription

I don't know how long this area has been open to the public, but there's a large stone etched simply with the date, the names, the event and a few music notes, as if to remind us that this was another day the music died. This stone was placed in June of 1996.

While the gravel stops at the stone, something else is hiding behind the trees. While you can see it in my picture, it might be different on the day you chhose to go. A group of rocks have been formed into a pile to serve as a cairn for Mrs. Cline. Different momentos have been left by the adoring fans as the complete their journey, and when you go, there's likely to be different items that what can be seen on this day. Haning from a cross (which I didn't see in older pictures) are some prayer beads, a bandana and a belt and all of it's covered in flowers.

Patsy Cline Plane Crash Site Cairn

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