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January 10, 2014

(Bonny Oaks 1960-1967)
(Bonny Oaks 1962-1968)

Pete and Daisy met at
Kirkland Washington

Wish we could have all been there! 



(Please see "STATUE FUND" page for Statue Donation Updates)



  Front & Back Views



The statue was superimposed onto the Circle in front of the Superintendent's house to give us an idea of how it could look, it is not there yet.

Now that the 2011 Reunion is over, we want to raise funds to purchase this bronze statue of children that will last

for hundreds of years and erect it on the Bonny Oaks Circle.

It would be our legacy to the children who lived on the Bonny Oaks grounds almost 100 years.

Please join us
today and see children playing on the Bonny Oaks grounds again!

The letter below was sent out to Alumni who gave us their address at the reunion.


From: The Bonny Oaks 2011 Reunion Committee
Date: August 3, 2011
To: All that Registered in Reunion Book & Website
Subject: Reunion Package and Bronze Statue of Children Playing in a Tree

The Reunion Committee would like to thank everyone that attended the reunion and trust that all got home safe and sound! It was a wonderful reunion and seeing all the Alumni and their families made it even more so. Although slated to be the "last" reunion in the media, let’s not close that connection door just yet! Our website, www.bonnyoaks.com, remains our focal point plus we expect to have a lot of mini-reunions when out of town Alumni visit Chattanooga, home of the beautiful Bonny Oaks School! The Reunion Committee worked really hard to get the news out and to make reunion day eventful for everyone. Each committee member, listed below, brought their own talent, craftsmanship, skills and heart to make it a special day and this Reunion Package acknowledges and thanks them sincerely! We hope you had a great time, will pass the word about the website and most of all to keep in touch!

As beautiful as the Bonny Oaks Circle has remained it is obvious something is missing there….and that’s the activity and sounds of children. We could feel it on reunion day and know you did too! We all want to see children play again on the Bonny Oaks grounds and ask you to participate in the fundraiser the website has initiated to purchase a "bronze statue of children playing in a tree", pictures enclosed. This 8 foot, 650 lb. bronze statue will last for hundreds of years and will be erected on the Bonny Oaks Circle (now called the Bonny Oaks Arboretum and Adamson Circle). Permission for erecting the bronze statue has already been received from Hamilton County, Tennessee. If you lived at Bonny Oaks, you know why the bronze statue of children playing in a tree was selected….who can count the number of days and times we transformed our reality into a playland when climbing the Bonny Oaks trees? Everyone holds their personal memories, good and bad, of living in a children’s home….but our motto, "Mighty Oaks from Little Acorns Grow", seemed to give us the strength of character that one day we would stand on our own and be mighty like the Bonny Oaks trees.

We are earnestly seeking donations to purchase the bronze children’s statue and plaque as soon as possible and ask you to please send your donation today. Please do not wait, send it to Alumni, Dr. Harry R. Jackson, treasurer for our website. Harry’s contact information is in the list of committee members below. Many are under the impression that our website and the Bonny Oaks Foundation are connected somehow. They are not. Any function by or for the Alumni does not receive any funds, support or participation from the Bonny Oaks Foundation. The Foundation was established for educational scholarship purposes only and does not vary from their state-required bylaws. Harry agreed to become the website treasurer almost eight years before Mr. Adamson and the Board appointed him to take Mr. Adamson’s position over the Foundation’s scholarships. The website has non profit status but does not pay the enormous state fees required to be classified as a 501c3 organization like the big guys, therefore, it is unable to send tax deductible receipts allowed under a 501c3 classification. The website stands alone for the Alumni, there is no charge to join and it only accepts donations toward projects of its Bonny Oaks Alumni.

It would be befitting if we, the "Bonny Oaks kids", could totally raise the funds for the bronze statue and not rely upon others to do it for us. We are no longer "little Acorns" we are now "Mighty Oaks"! Let us honor our motto and erect a statue that will stand for hundreds of years on the grounds that, by God’s grace, took us in as children. From the Alumni still living to the voices that can no longer speak, let’s say it for all there from 1896-1985, almost 100 years, and get the bronze statue and plaque erected!

"Bonny Oaks" is gone but its children will not let it be forgotten!



The Bonny Oaks School 2011 Reunion
was Great!  A good time was had by all.
Here's your Reunion Committee Members:


Your 2011 Reunion Committee Members


Christine Haven - Organize and Coordinate Reunion and Webmaster

Christine Haven


Dr. Harry R. Jackson - Master of Morning Ceremonies and Treasurer

A great Master of Ceremonies from directing the raising of the flag over Bonny Oaks to Chapel opening ceremonies. Harry is collecting donations for the bronze statue of children playing in a tree.

Send Bronze Statue Donations to

Dr. Harry R. Jackson

1778 Chadwick Court

Hixson, TN


Or Paypal to

Bonnyoaksschool.com account


George & Connie Hatch - Bonny Oaks T-Shirts and Hats

Overseeing the delivery of shirts/caps to Chattanooga and donating his costs of printing the tshirts and caps to the reunion and bronze statue!  Amazing George!


Clarence Sumner drove 18 wheeler that picked up shirts/caps in Arkansas from George

George Hatch


Clarence “CL” Sumner



Pam Presley - Food Catering & All Supplies / Bottled Water & Coca Cola’s / Banners /

Superior, tireless work from Pam from getting coffee and drinks at the Dent House to Food and ticket sales and cleanup at the afternoon festivities at the Pavilion!

Pam Presley


Pauline Presley - Name Badges and Registration of Alumni and taking lots of phone calls from the Committee.

Registration Book handmade by Mary Ann Neighbors Poe

Pauline & Jesse Presley



Mary Chambers Ellis & Jenni Lively - The “big hit!” Bonny Oaks Cakes


Talent and skills of Mary and Jenni, with help from Jenni’s husband Bill to bake and decorate the morning cake/cupcakes and the afternoon hit which as The cakes with pictures of the Bonny Oaks Buildings on them.  No one wanted to cut them and they were auctioned off to raise monies for the bronze statue, raising over $400 on the cakes alone!  Wow!

Mary Chambers Ellis

Jenni Ellis Lively and Bill Lively



James Ellis - For countless support in time, money and advice, for searching and finding the best deal on the watermelons and all the gas he used running around Chattanooga and Georgia!

James Ellis



Bobby Smith and Mary Ann Neighbors Poe - Band / Audio Equipment

Great Entertainment and Masters of Ceremonies at afternoon reunion!  Bobby and Mary Ann did fantastic job and we’re Bonny Oaks Proud of their singing talents!

Robert "Bobby" Smith and Mary Ann Neighbors Poe




Mary Ann

Mark & Ben Cabeen - Bonny Oaks Memorial made from flag pole and oak tree on campus.  They also cut the limbs into small pieces for the “little piece of Bonny Oaks” wood handed out at the reunion.



Dedicated on Reunion Day


Superior Craftshmanship from Mark and Ben!  Mark agreed to provide his skills for him and his son to make the Memorial in honor of his wife, Alumni Betty Chambers Cabeen!

Mark Cabeen and Ben Cabeen

working on the Memorial





Harold Evitt – Cut the flag pole and large oak limbs into pieces for transporting to James Ellis’ home for Mark & Ben to start the Memorial.



Harold Evitt and sister Norma cheered him on!



  Morning Reunion Collage

Cover to Reunion Package - Back in the day!


“Mighty Oaks from Little Acorns Grow”

The Reunion was Saturday, July 16, 2011
from 8:00 am to 12 Noon
(Morning) The Dent (Superintendent's) House and
Bonny Oaks Chapel
and continuing for

Afternoon activities and food
 (Afternoon)  The Chester Frost Park's Large Pavilion
2318 N. Gold Point Circle, Hixson TN
from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm.





7/18/2011 Email from BOS Jimmy Evett:

On Jul 18, 2011, at 6:11 PM, MOECURLY67@epbfi.com wrote:

Wish to extend my sincere "Thank You" to all those that put the reunion together. It took a lot of work and we appreciate everyone of you. It was great to see those that came. It was even more gratifying to hear the testimonies from those that lived at Bonny Oaks. I can speak for a lot of us that didn't speak that the words reflected what we all felt. We are truly thankful for Bonny Oaks and those that raised us while we were there.  A special "Thank You" Mr, & Mrs. Adamson for their years of service. We are forever grateful for all that you have done for us. The sacrifices you have made for us.

I want to personally thank Mr. A. J. Bozza, Mr. Boyd, Mr Hale that worked us on the farm and taught us the value of hard work. Mr. (Nick) Nichols who worked all hours to make sure we were warm and kept the maintenance of the buildings and grounds operating smoothly. Mrs. Jean Costello (house parent and Librarian) who listened to us, helped us with our home work and were there whenever we needed her. Miss Billie Costello (Nurse) who took care of us when we had the chicken pox or flu. House parents like Mrs. Costello and Uyless & Hazell Crawley who disciplined us when we needed it. To Jesse and Pauline Presley who gave up their time to allow us to have fun during the summer months as Activity Directors and chaperones on trips. To all the cooks who prepared and made our meals.

I also want to thank the families of those that I didn't mention and those I did for the sacrifices of leaving their families to take care of us because it was far beyond anything we realized at that time. As children of Bonny Oaks we know that your examples have had an impact on future generations.   

6/26/2011 If you live out of town and "Heaven Forbid" are not coming to the reunion, please send me your address and I'll send you the Reunion Program. It has lots of pictures from Bonny Oaks days and information we want you to know about.  Send to texasbonny@yahoo.com  Thanks, Christine Haven
6/20/2011 Radio Appearance by Dr. Harry R. Jackson "LISTEN UP!"  Literally!  Our own Harry Jackson has been asked by Tom Sneed, Radio Station WDYN - 980 AM, to come on and talk about the Vet Center in Chattanooga where he works and serves as a Counselor to our U.S. Veteran's!  Harry will also talk about the Bonny Oaks Reunion!  So, tune in, and hear Harry on Monday, June 20, 2011 at 8:00 a.m. and pray he will reach our Veterans that need help and pray that he can reach many of the Bonny Oaks alumni that haven't heard about the 7/16/2011 reunion.

6/20/2011 - I hope you all got to hear Harry Jackson on WDYN 980 AM this morning. He did an amazing job getting the information out about the Chattanooga Vet Center and he spoke at length about Bonny Oaks, his days there and the history, and the 7/16/2011 Reunion. Thank you, Harry! It was the fastest 45 minutes I've been through, great program and great speaker!!!

Bonny Oaks Memorial Dedication Bonny Oaks Update: Just talked to Mark and Betty Chambers Cabeen and the reunion day Memorial is coming along beautifully! We are grateful to our Alumni, Betty, her husband, Mark, and their son, Ben Cabeen, for volunteering their time and craftsmanship skills to build the Bonny Oaks Children's Memorial. The Memorial will be erected in the "Circle" (Bonny Oaks Arboretum) in time for Dedication on Reunion Day 7/16/2011.
Cable TV Appearance
Let us know if you want a DVD of the program

Bonny Oaks Update 6/11/2011 - Cassidy Neighbors (Bonny Oaks 1949-1955) and Christine Haven (Bonny Oaks 1959-1966) will be on cable's UCTV "Sound Off" program, hosted by Mr. Earl Freudenberg, on Tuesday, June 14th at 11:00 a.m.  Earl has been generous to offer us a spot on the cable program to help us get the word out about the July 16th Bonny Oaks reunion!  We're not sure if it will be for 15 minutes or the whole hour but tune in if you can.  We need your prayers to ask God to help us reach as many of the Bonny Oaks kids as we can for the Reunion.

News Article on Reunion ‎6-10-2011 Bonny Oaks Update: Chattanooga's Online Newspaper, chattanoogan.com, printed an article on the Bonny Oaks Reunion and Memorial today. Thank you, Mr. John Wilson, for helping us get the word out about the reunion through your online publications. Here's the link:
Bonny Oaks Memorial - Dedication on Reunion Day Mr. Paul Parker, Manager, Hamilton County Real Property helped us tremendously by obtaining permission for a Memorial to the Children of Bonny Oaks to be erected in the Circle (Bonny Oaks Arboretum).  Come and see the Memorial on Reunion Day.  It is being made from the fallen flag pole and wood from a Post Oak tree, still standing, at Bonny Oaks.  Mark Cabeen and Ben Cabeen are the expert craftsmen and they have a special connection to Bonny Oaks.  Alumni, Betty Chambers Cabeen is wife to Mark and mother to Ben.
Oak wood for the Memorial and Reunion Day.  Come and get your little piece of Bonny Oaks at the reunion!

  Mark Cabeen and his helper, Nick, pick up the flag pole and oak wood for the Memorial.

Reunion Day Registration Book   Handmade by Alumni, Mary Ann Neighbors-Poe
MOON PIES? Yes, we just received notice that 300 Moon Pies have been donated to the reunion.  Yep, the chocolate ones!  Thank you Tory Johnston and James Hixson at moonpie.com

T-Shirts and Caps

david_yell_orig_tshirt_bear.jpg (23336 bytes)
David Yell and the
teddy bear that has worn
the original Bonny Oaks t-shirt
all these years.  Thank you, David,
for letting us borrow the t-shirt for duplication


Mr. and Mrs. Adamson

Bonny Oaks T-Shirts and Caps
bot_pauline_presley.jpg (20187 bytes)
Pauline Presley       Caps

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Ken Clay and Chris Haven


We're hearing from folks!

(1) Just rec'd from Bonny Oaks' Helen Bolt: It is so nice to hear from you again. My sister, Mary, and I are certainly going to be there. We've already been saving our $$ for the trip!! We want to try to stay at least 4 days in Chattanooga... I also passed this on to Jimmy Ireland (he was in Bonny Oaks in 1959) and he will pass it on to a couple ...of the boys that he's still in contact with. Let's make it a HUGE event. Helen Bolt Veneziale

Thank you, Helen Bolt...to be a great reunion we have to get the word out....in addition to Facebook, the website and emails, let's all do our part and pass the information on like Helen just did, word of mouth....any and everyone you know that was at Bonny Oaks...let's reach out and call them home!

(2) And, we're hearing from children of the Bonny Oaks children, here's Alumnus Daisy Hawk's daughter:

Cambria Silva de Jesus Even though I never attended Bonny Oaks, it is my history, just as much as anyone's!!  All I ever hear is Bonny Oaks this and that... So I better go with mom to see the legendary BONNY OAKS!! Road trip here we come!!  Thank you Bonny Oaks for taking such good care of my mama!! And we wouldn't miss it for the world!!

(3) Email from Geneva Ellen (Mason) Curtis, Bonny Oaks 1939-1941
Searching for Earl Page or Louise Page or someone that remembers me.
Message:  "Hello to all Bonny Oaks Alumni.....I hope everyone is well and happy these days.  It has been a long time, about 70 years, since I have been to Bonny Oaks and I do have fond memories.  I hope I will be able to come to the reunion of 2011 and I pray that you can be there also.  I hope that someone will remember me.  Sincerely, Geneva Ellen (Mason) Curtis"
Email:  hootbaby@comcast.net
Living today in Athens, Tennessee

(4) Email from Nancy Sue Durham, Bonny Oaks 1980
Living today in Athens, Tennessee
"I still remember the time I spent at Bonny Oaks as one of the few positive times I had in my childhood. I was 13 when I was there and I ran away. I wish I had stayed there because the world I ran to would have consumed me without the strength I gained spiritually at Bonny Oaks. Now I just wanted to say thank you."
Email:  sweetnan66@aol.com

(5) Donation from Mrs. Turner's grandson, Dean, with this note: "Dr. Jackson, My Grandmother, Mrs. G.M. (Sallie) Turner, Sr., was a housemother at Bonny Oaks for some years.  I visited several times as a child & retain pleasant memories (except for an ornery goat!)  I send this in memory of my grandmother who always remembered Bonny Oaks kids with fondness.  Sincerely, Dean M. Turner"

  Registration Book for the Reunion.  Made by Mary Ann Neighbors-Poe.  Hope to see you there!

Lordy Lordy it's been 40
(years that is) since
Bonny Oaks 1946 - 1953
has been back to his
Bonny Oaks'  "home"


Joe lives in Michigan and came back to  Chattanooga
to visit with his Bonny Oaks friends.
If you weren't there, you missed lots of good food, good friends,
and the most AMAZING STORIES!

It was great to see Joe and he promises to not let 40 years go by before coming back again!

  Ryan's Steakhouse in Hixson Tennessee
l-r Mary Ann Neighbors-Poe, Cassidy Neighbors, Mary Ann Camp-Meyer and Joe Hampton

  Mary Ann Neighbors-Poe, Mary Ann Camp-Meyer, and Joe Hampton

  Joe Hampton and Harold Stewart

  Mary Ann N., Joe, Mary Ann N.

  Mary Ann Camp-Meyer, Christine Haven and Joe Hampton

  Joe and Harold

Click on picture to see other pictures of everyone.

Thank you, Jim & Connie Evett, for a great get-together.




October 21, 2007

Charley Camp sent these pictures and a letter to the website for
the Reunions page.  He describes their trip so well
that excerpts from his letter 
were included by the pictures for you to enjoy too.

(Please click on the picture thumbnails to get a larger view)

Sedona-Arizona.jpg (62955 bytes)

"We met in beautiful Sedona, Arizona, October 21, --- locals, Mickey and Donna --- then us travelers from "way down South", as they say --- Charley, Marie and Marie's sister, Carolyn Wilson."


Mickey-at-Kenny-Walker-Head.jpg (46248 bytes) Mickey Walker by Kenny's Headstone  Charley-at-Kenny-Walker-Hea.jpg (47511 bytes)  Charley Camp by Kenny's Headstone

"Donna took Marie and Carolyn on to Phoenix, AZ while Mickey drove me to
Skull Valley, AZ to visit Kenny's gravesite."

Kenny-Walker-Headstone.jpg (60067 bytes)

Kenneth A. Walker
Loving Dad & Papa
Aug. 2, 1944
Jan. 25, 1999

"After a bone-chilling and windy stop at the Skull Valley Cemetery, we proceeded on to Wickenburg, AZ to meet Kenny's daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren." 

Mickey-and-Daughters-family.jpg (27417 bytes)
Mickey Walker (left) with Kenny's daughter, Susie, 
and her husband, John, and
son, Trey

 "These are wonderful people (Susie & John S. and 14 year old Holley Jo 
and 7 year old Trey) --- down-home type folks:  inviting, open, agreeable, and pleased to share home, conversation and goodies with us Bonny Oaks Alumni.  And needless to say, the family was already well-versed on Bonny Oaks!"


Mickey-Walker-home.jpg (43945 bytes)
Mickey and Donna's Home
in Phoenix Arizona

"Before dark, Mickey and Yours Truly arrived in Phoenix to meet "the girls" for dinner.  The Walker duo asked that we stay overnight, which we did --- too tired at this point to do otherwise!"

Mickey-wife-goodbyes.jpg (46360 bytes)
Time to say "Goodbyes"

"It was up the next morning for an early breakfast, then back on the road for continuation of a long, long automobile site-seeing journey."

the-travelers.jpg (42179 bytes)

Charley, Marie & Carolyn
On the road again and gorgeous background too!

Charley-Camp-canyon.jpg (44676 bytes)

Charley Camp

"Dear Ones,
Mickey said it best in a recent email --- 'For Chris' and Bonny Oaks website,
we should have gotten someone to take a picture or two of us together'.
And isn't that the way it is when old friends get together for a hurried reunion?
Just too much excitement to even think straight!
Looking back in a spirit of thanksgiving,
I must say that seeing Mickey and Donna, visiting Kenny's grave,
and meeting Kenny's kin, was a huge highlight for me.
It's comforting to know that Bonny Oaks lives on in the grateful hearts
of many assigned there during childhood.
Thank the good Lord for all who provided tender loving care during
days of darkness and uncertainty.



A Chattanooga Mini-Reunion
November 2007

Visiting with Mr. and Mrs. Adamson
Everyone had such a good visit.
Mr. Adamson's surrounded by the pretty women, Mary Ann Neighbors Poe (left), Mrs. Adamson (right) 
and Barbara Durham (sitting on floor)
The guys standing left to right:  Cassidy Neighbors, Ronnie Yarbrough, Jerry Presley and Jesse Presley

mary--barbara.jpg (50606 bytes)
Mary Ann and Barbara in Pigeon Forge
Mary Ann said "had a lot of fun with Barbara (BOB), she calls me "SAM",
those were our nicknames when we were at Bonny Oaks.
They "shopped til they dropped!" and had a great time


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Mr. Adamson and Barbara Durham

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Barbara Durham, Mrs. Adamson, Mary Ann Neighbors Poe

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Lunch at the Olive Garden in Pigeon Forge
Eva (left), Barbara and Mary Ann

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Breakfast at Hardee's
Mary Ann, Barbara and Eva

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Mr. Adamson listening to the "kids"


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Mr. & Mrs. Adamson
He's just been out of the hospital for a few days

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Shirley Chambers (Hutcheson)

Please send your pictures and comments in to the website so
others can enjoy too!



Hatch Mini-Reunion in Houston, Texas
July 2007

Lee, George, Christine, Marshall and Connie
(Marshall and Lee's daughter, Debbie, took this picture)

Brothers, George (left) and Marshall (right) Hatch were both at Bonny Oaks.
Today Marshall lives in Houston Texas and George lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.
When George and his wife, Connie, came to visit
Marshall and his wife, Lee, I was invited to have Sunday dinner with them.

Please click here to read about our visit - we had such a good time.

Lynda (Dianne Williams) Donley's Mini-Reunion with the Adamson's
April 2007

Dianne Williams flew 3000 miles from San Diego, California to
Tennessee to see Mr. & Mrs. Adamson.   She took them to dinner
at Red Lobster and they loved visiting the past with her.

Please read about Mr. Adamson's "2007" Birthday honors
on the
Bulletin Board


and "THEY CAME".....TO THE "2006" DINNER!

By all accounts, the birthday dinner for Mr. Adamson and get-together was a BIG SUCCESS!

As Mr. Adamson said, "IT WAS A KNOCK-OUT!!!"

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Mr. Adamson's birthday is Tuesday, July 25, 2006
He will be 85 years old

Mr. & Mrs. Malcolm M. Adamson
(Mrs. Adamson, so sweet and beautiful!)

Here are the first pictures in from Harry Jackson and James Ellis.
Please send pictures and video that you took too so we can all enjoy!

Click on Pictures to Enlarge

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Mary Chambers Ellis and granddaughter, Emily Lively
Mary baked the beautiful birthday cake!
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Cassidy Neighbors
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Mr. and Mrs. Adamson and the Frazers
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Jeff Ellis catching the conversation at the table - Send in the video Jeff!  Mr. & Mrs. Adamson and Mr. & Mrs. Oliver Shelton
Clarence.jpg (41482 bytes)
Clarence Sumner - Dreaming about Bonny Oaks days?
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George Frazer
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Birthday Cake time!
Harold.jpg (28011 bytes)
Larry Cate
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Larry Cate, Norma Evett and Norma's granddaughter
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George Frazer and Jerry Presley
LaWanda Jackson behind Jerry
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James Ellis and Jesse Presley
Jimmy.jpg (45336 bytes)
Wendell Cate
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LaWanda Jackson volunteering to keep up with monies, thanks LaWanda!  Mary Ann Neighbors Poe ready to start the evening.
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The "Mary Ann's"
 (Mary Ann Neighbors, left, and Mary Ann Camp, right)
Tuckers.jpg (46269 bytes)
Micky  & Kay Tucker (left) and
Jim & Pat Tucker (right)
Yarbroughs.jpg (41770 bytes)
The Yarbrough's
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Mr. Adamson looking for more kids!
Cassidy Neighbors and Mary Ann Neighbors standing
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Sarah and her daughter.
Mary Chambers Ellis and daughter Jenni sitting at the table behind Sarah
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Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm M. Adamson -  Happy 85th Mr. Adamson!
Sitting in background, the Eugene Hills and Leroy Partain (white shirt) and Leroy's talking to Clarence Sumner
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Bobby Yarbrough
Mr-Adamson-report-card.jpg (24736 bytes)
I recognize this look!
He's looking at a REPORT CARD!!!
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Jesse & Pauline Presley and Grandsons
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Harry Jackson overlooking cutting of the cake
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Mr. & Mrs. Adamson and Harry
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The kids still get a hug
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Filling up those plates
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Gene Hill and family (left) and Betty Chambers Cabeen (right)
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LaWanda , Oliver Shelton, Mrs. Adamson
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Leroy Partain and Clarence Sumner
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Mary Ann Camp and Jerry Presley
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Ronnie and Bobby Yarbrough
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The Tucker's Table
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LaWanda Jackson and the Adamson's Chuckle
Room for plenty more pictures Please send in your pictures Please send in your videos

Our SPECIAL THANKS to Harry & LaWanda Jackson for making all the arrangements,
keeping up with attendees
and taking care of the monies for the wonderful evening.
Thank you, Mary Ann Neighbors Poe, for leading the entertainment!
Thank you, Mary Chambers Ellis, for baking the BEAUTIFUL birthday cake!
Last but not least, thank you "EVERYONE" for coming to the dinner and/or sending
cards and emails to Mr. Adamson wishing him a Happy 85th Birthday!

Hope to see everyone at a reunion hopefully next year.

Posting for the dinner:
It's been four years since our 2002 Reunion which most of us feel is way too long since seeing each other.  And, Mr. Adamson's birthday is July 25th, he'll turn 85 years old.  .This email is to let you know we want to combine the two and have a Get-Together/Birthday-Dinner!!!  When Mr. Adamson was asked if he was up to a birthday dinner, he sent the email at the bottom of the page.  You can see by the email he typed that he would love nothing better than to see his Bonny Oaks kids again.  Mrs. Adamson thinks it will be good for him to be in the middle of the "kids" again too.   Please try your best, it's short notice, but if at all possible, please come to see Mr. Adamson and have a great time visiting with your Bonny Oaks brothers and sisters over a wonderful dinner and singing entertainment from some of our own, to be announced.  Harry Jackson has agreed to head up the planning and details of the arrangements with the steakhouse


Mr. Adamson's email confirming he felt well enough for a
birthday dinner:

"Malcolm Adamson" <malgeo@webtv.net>
Date: Sun, 9 Jul 2006 08:28:23 -0400
To: texasbonny@yahoo.com
Subject: Re: Happy Birthday!

Harry Jackson and Charley Camp
February 2006 - Mini Reunion

camp_jackson_mini_reunion_f.jpg (61769 bytes)
Click on picture to enlarge

Charley Camp came by my office and we went out and had 
lunch.  It was such a wonderful visit.  I just wish that others could 
have joined us.  Maybe next time!

:) Harry

PS:  Attached is a picture of us.

If you are going to be in Chattanooga on a trip or if you already live there
and want to get together with Bonny Oaks kids from any era,
 why not post your plans on our website's Bulletin Board.
It could be a lot of fun and you can hear some interesting
stories about other's experiences at Bonny Oaks.
The board is there for you!

Paul & Joyce (Stover) Rowell

visit Mr. & Mrs. Adamson

June 26, 2005

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Joyce and Paul with the Adamsons
You all look GREAT!  Thanks for sending in the pictures for the website!

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Mr. & Mrs. Adamson  

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Mr. & Mrs. Adamson

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Joyce (2nd from left) at her Tyner 2005 Reunion

Our "1700 Mile Odyssey (Vacation)"
Click here to read about our trip
Christine Haven  and  Dianne Williams

April 2005



"A good reunion from the1930s - 
Two brothers, George and Marshall Hatch, and a good day on the river".

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June 2004

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Click on picture to enlarge.

Connie and I left home the 1st week in June and drove to
Chattanooga for three days  and then drove up to Coring New York .  We spent two
weeks with son, Ron, Mary and the kids. Had a ball!  We drove home by way of
Columbus, Ohio, and had dinner with Art and Mary Prichard and a long visit with
them. They are both well and look great!  Here is a picture of
our get together.

Meet for Dinner in Houston, Texas
February 2004

George, Christine & Connie

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Joan Booth (White Blouse)

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Ron Hatch - Connie & Christine

George, his wife, Connie, and their son, Ron, came through Houston last weekend, 2/21/04, to visit their longtime friend, Joan Booth and her daughter.
We met at Joan's home, went out to dinner and enjoyed hours of great conversation.
George and Connie are avid supporters and believers in the website and it was fantastic to see them again.  
Thank you, Joan, for your wonderful hospitality for our mini-reunion!

Comes to Houston, Texas
for a mini-reunion with Christine Haven
March  2003
September 2003

Dianne Williams and Christine Haven first met in 1957 when they were both at the ripe ole age of 6 years old.  It was the year Christine and her siblings were sent to Vine Street Childrens Home in Chattanooga.  Dianne had been at Vine Street since she was just a toddler.  Within a year of each other, they were at Bonny Oaks and remained friends until losing contact after 1966.  Today they are back in touch because of the website.  Dianne, who lives in California, has been happily  married to Tom Donley for over 20 years, has two beautiful daughters and two beautiful granddaughters.  She flew to Houston for their happy mini-reunion which lasted from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon. 

Click here to read and see pictures of Dianne and Christine's March 2003 Mini-Reunion

True to our words, we met again.  This time we had 10 days to talk!

Click here to read and see pictures of Dianne and Christine's September 2003 Mini-Reunion


Mary Ann frequently posted inquiries on the Bulletin Board in an effort
to find her longtime childhood friend, Barbara Durham, who was also
a Bonny Oaks student.
They found each other through the website and had their mini-reunion
in Chattanooga.

Click here to see pictures of
Mary Ann and Barbara's Reunion


Bonny Oaks Reunion 2002
was held at the Dent House
(Formerly the Superintendents' House)
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Saturday, July 27, 2002

If you weren't able to come to Reunion 2002
we sure hope to see you at the next one!

Thank you, Mr. Morty Lloyd
and the
Chattanooga Church

All of the Bonny Oaks Alumni, Staff and Friends join together to thank you
for the use of the Dent House and Chapel, free of charge, for the
Bonny Oaks 2002 Reunion.

We are grateful that you, your staff, and the Chattanooga Church, recognized
the deep bond we Alumni continue to have for our home, Bonny Oaks.

 Thank you again for making it possible for us to bring our
Collection of Memories back to the place
where the memories were made.

The Alumni

Thank you, Susan Pierce, Staff Writer for
The Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Ms. Pierce attended the reunion and
interviewed each person mentioned in the 7/28/02 article.
She wrote a beautiful, heartfelt article about
the Bonny Oaks Alumni at Reunion 2002

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Click on the pictures above to read the article about Reunion 2002.
Dated July 28, 2002

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Click on the pictures above to read the article about the upcoming
Reunion 2002 - Dated July 13, 2002

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Click to see larger picture

This beautiful cake with the Bonny Oaks motto,
"Mighty Oaks from Little Acorns Grow",
was made for the 2002 Reunion by
Mary Chambers Ellis, Alumnus 1950's/1960's


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Click to see larger picture

The above picture was sent in by Joyce Stover Rowell and Paul Rowell.
Taken at the Hampton Inn the night of the Reunion 7/27/02.

Click on the name below to see the reunion pictures submitted by that person.  Enjoy!

Joyce Stover Rowell

Barbara Pierce Burhans

Art Prichard

Charles Camp

Daisy Hawk

Jesse and Pauline Presley

Billy Fry

George Hatch

The Smith Sisters

Mickey Walker

Various Items

Click here to see the scanned booklet

The Bonny Oaks School - Golden Anniversary 1894-1944
This original booklet commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Bonny Oaks
was hand-carried to Reunion 2000 by
Ms. Clara Woody, 1920's Alumnus

Thank you, Ms. Woody, from all of the Alumni, their families and Historians

Words cannot express my surprise and gratitude for the acknowledgement I received from the Bonny Oaks Alumni during the Reunion Program.

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I sincerely appreciate and will always treasure the beautiful plaque!
Christine Haven


Bonny Oaks Scrapbooks - Personally brought to the reunion by Mrs. Mary Helms, Head of the Local History & Genealogy Department of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Bicentennial Library - Downtown

The PowerPoint Presentation of the Scrapbooks - Thank you to John Goodbrad and his office staff for providing the presentation on two computers and to Rita Hale (John's Assistant) for providing the scanning of pictures brought to the Reunion!

Susan Pierce, Staff Writer for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, walked throughout the reunion grounds interviewing for her article in the Sunday, 7/28/02, newspaper.  A copy will be on here soon.  Susan wrote a beautiful piece on the reunion!

Bill Motley, Poly Graphics, for his quality reproductions of the original Bonny Oaks t-shirts and caps that George Hatch has been in charge of ordering and getting to us.

Soda's and Bottled Water - Bill Bice, Coca-Cola Company
Watermelon - Ken Clay and the Roden family
Beautiful Cake made by Alumnus, Mary Chambers Ellis - "Mighty Oaks from Little Acorns Grow"
Mr. Adamson's Birthday Cake - Harry Jackson
Little Debbie - A family member of the Little Debbie Company donated Oatmeal Creme Pies
Little Debbie - Mrs. Artman obtained Moon Pie donations
Catering by "Rib Out Barbecue"

In following Harry Jackson's lead when he asked people to stand at the end of the Reunion Day's Program to share their thoughts on Bonny Oaks, I would like to share the following emails received by the Website about the Reunion:


Malcolm and George Adamson

As I sat in the chapel on Reunion Day and listened to Bonny Oaks Alumni speak, I felt an immense sense of pride and gratitude. Proud to be a part of the Bonny Oaks School Legacy and truly grateful for the chance Bonny Oaks gave me and my brothers, Jerry and Joe.
My life would have been much different without Bonny Oaks School. Hailed as one of man's grandest experiences, Bonny Oaks School 's mission  of helping children for almost 100 years is most noble and even sacred.
Getting to see many of my Bonny Oaks  brothers and sisters  stirred my spirit and warmed my heart and I sincerely felt that Bonny Oaks School had been elevated to an extraordinary place in history and touched by the hand of God.
I shed a tear or two, but they were the happy ones.

Jesse Presley


Have really benefited from the January and today's article in the newspaper. You have done a marvelous job on the website and providing a focal point for former students. Own 1/2 of a building just across the street on Preservation Drive and heard about the school first when buying out building lot in 10/90. Have always heard good things about the students and although I never was faced with lack of family or finances, I can see all the wonderful good that resulted from the school. May you continue to provide these meaningful reunion get-togethers for a long time to come.  Best to you and all of the BonnyOaks guys and gals.

Hal Brown

I hope you are as pleased as I am about the outcome of the Reunion.  What a
wonderful day ... I really feel bad that I was crippled and couldn't be with
you folks most of the day ... including Saturday evening.  I feel that I
missed out so much because of it   :(  :(   :(

Was a great day financially as well.

Thank you Christine .... yet, once again .... for founding the Website and
bringing us all together this year!  It was so good to see you after so many

Harry Jackson

I enjoyed the reunion very much.  You Bonny Oaks grads are interesting, fun,
and nice.  Yesterday a Bonny Oaks alum came to our department to get copies
of news articles about his basketball games while there.  He had seen some
clippings in the scrapbooks at the reunion and wanted to show them to his

What do you think the attendance was?

Thank you again for letting me and the Library be a part of the reunion.

Mary Helms


Thank you for your warm reception towards my brother and I. You made us feel
so welcome. We had an awesome time. Seeing pictures of my Mom and hearing
stories about my Mom has made a difference in my life. thanks again.

Dorothy Clay
(Alumnus, Maxine Imogene Duncan-Lively's daughter)



I hope that your reunion was wonderful. I am sure that you were overwhelmed with all of the festivities and meeting all of the people. Thank you so very much for all that you have done for Bonny Oaks. A piece of all of us is there and we all have a bond whether we knew each other or not.
Just a note to let you know that my mother did, indeed, arrive home safely. She had a doctor's appointment today. I have not heard how that went yet. I was not aware that she had had a minor stroke before she left to go to the reunion. But she said that she still has double vision in her right eye, so she did not rent a car while she was back there. She wished it could have lasted longer. She said that it was really wonderful, but much too short.  She thought you were just about the most wonderful person, and kept referring to  the Hawks girl who lives here as a real "cracker". She said that everyone was so sweet and really looked after her. Thanks so much for looking after her. And she said that you were going to send some pictures for her and for me to be sure and copy them.  Glad you made it home safe and sound.

God bless you and yours. Hugs to you.
Carol Smith Crowley
(Barton B. Smith's daughter, speaking of her mother, Betty Smith, who attended the reunion in honor of her husband, Barton, Alumnus 1940's)

Hey Christine, hope you had a safe trip home. My flight was suppose to fly out at 2:10 at Chatt on Sunday but I didn't leave until 5:00 got into Cinncinati around 6:00 and left at 8:45pm was suppose to arrive in Seattle at 6:30 but got there 10:35pm, gee it was a long day for me . I am missing everyone already, I had such a wonderful time. Did you see the Chatt Sunday Press article, it turned out nice with the interviews, since I had such long layovers I read all of George Hatch's autobiography, it was very good. As soon as I get the film developed which will be this week I will send you pics. Talk to you later, xoxoxox

Yours very truly,
Daisy Hawk


IT HAPPENED  Hope you made it home safely. We had a good trip home. Have a good nervous break down. LOL. 

George Hatch

Tue 30 Jul 2002

Along with many others, Mary and I are grateful for your efforts in building our Bonny Oaks home page, and bringing so many of us together again, in spirit if not in person. But now comes bringing us together in person, and that's a whole new ball game!

Saturday began with the 6:00 a.m. continental breakfast at the hotel, which I attended to cheer George Hatch on his way to get some work done on the Cap and Shirt booth, then my wandering around the Dent House and the Chapel, visualizing where all the old buildings used to be, and followed at 9:00am by welcome services in the Chapel.

Now there was an event to be remembered! In our younger days, to get one of us to cry. . . to actually shed tears publicly . . . you'd need a bull whip and a pretty good sized man to use it! . . . but when Harry Jackson asked for volunteers to say what might have been their fate
had there been no Bonny Oaks to take them in . . .well, the dam sort of broke loose!

Mr. Adamson's Invocation set the tone of remembrance of our early years at Bonny Oaks and our later lives, armed with the self respect and determination gained there. In dozens of  conversations throughout the day, those topics and values were equally present along-side the "Do you remember" anecdotes heard on all sides! 

And then, when Harry tried to give credit to the members of the Reunion Committee, almost every single one of them was off taking care of things needed for the day's planned events, like sign-up sheets, name tags, icing down the water melon, getting the cold drinks and food service stands into position, and dozens of other such things.

George Hatch said he felt guilty being present and not off working, but don't forget, George, you were up for that 6:00 o'clock breakfast and an early start!)

And speaking of "Do you remember" types of anecdotes, a few which were heard repeatedly were:

The Fire:  The time the hay-barn burned down, and our breeding Bull, Centaur, went berserk, and scared all of us pretty badly, except for a neighboring farmer, (Mr. Ross, I believe) who came over in his pickup truck and tried to use it to herd old Centaur into a quiet corner, upon which the bull picked the front of the truck up on his horns and marched forward, pushing the truck, wheels vainly spinning and smoking, backward into a ditch about twenty yards away.

I was watching when it happened, but had not remembered, as he reminded me, that Ed Parker was in the passenger's seat of the pickup at the time!

The Old Chapel:  A number of us remembered the Old Chapel, especially its having been one of the few places where boys and girls were ever present together; where school events were held; where Christmas parties and present distribution took place. And finally, where many of us  worked to remodel the chapel and make it into a skating rink.

My particular task in the early part of that project was one which is rarely heard of now a days: Straightening nails for reuse!

Building the new hay barn:  Under the direction of Mr. Truman E. Moore the new hay barn was built.  Both George Hatch and I worked on that project.

Later in the day of the reunion, I saw some pictures in the scrap books showing that event in progress.

As the 3:00 o'clock closing hour for our reunion approached it became "good-bye" and "let's- keep-in-touch!" time, the saddest part of the day!

Thank you, Christine, members of the reunion committee and their helpers, and all attendees for making our reunion of 2002 happen!

God Bless us every one


Art and Mary Prichard


I read the article that was in the newspaper and they said there were about
300  people attending. THAT'S AWESOME!!

Sorry I didn't get a chance to stop by, there was a problem at the chapel
with the air conditioning that my husband and I had to take care of.

I read that you were given an award ( because all that planning was a major
job that you handled so well! )   Congratulations !!!!!!

That is all for now, hope to stay in touch
 God bless you and your family

Sherrie Greenwood
Secretary, Chattanooga Church


  Just wanted to say I did enjoy the reunion very much. It was so good to see the girls I grew up with at Bonny Oaks. I sure wish there had been more to show up from the early fifties. And to anyone of them who reads this message I would like to tell them  what they missed. Not only was it fun to see everyone but it was so good to talk about old times.  The committee did a fantastic job. Mr. and Mrs. Adamson was our foster parents for the time we were there and I would say they did a good job raising us, I think they can be proud of the way most of us turned out.  I would say they have a 99% success rate.

MaryAnn (Neighbors) Poe


Hi Christine, I'm sorry I'm so late in thanking you and your reunion crew for the wonderful reunion you worked so very hard on for all of us.  My computer had been giving me so much trouble and after many trips to the PC doctor, it finally died.  I have now purchased a new one that I can use and I wanted so much to thank you for all the work you did for accomplishing such a great event..  I am so very, very proud of you.  I know there is lots of work out there for you to do for the website and I look forward to lots and lots of reunion topics in the future. 


Johnnie (Holloway) Hashburger


Please convey our appreciation to all those alumni and perhaps spouses and family who were so dedicated to put all this together. We saw all the emails on the website. 

Paul and Joyce (Stover) Rowell

I want to thank you and the Reunion Committee again so much for the special reunion we had at Bonny Oaks with all our dear friends.  It was such a special day, and so wonderful to see everyone again.
My daughter, Susan, and grandsons, Matthew & Christopher, enjoyed the time spent with everyone there and now know why all the Bonny Oaks "girls and boys" are just like sisters and brothers to me, and are so close to my heart.  I have prayed for all of them all these years and know God has taken good care of all of us all this time.  We all have so much to be thankful for, and I am especially thankful we all got such a good start at Bonny Oaks.

Thank you again and may God bless you!

With Love,
Barbara Pierce Burhans

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David Yell and the
teddy bear that has worn
the original Bonny Oaks t-shirt
all these years.  Thank you, David,
for letting us borrow the t-shirt for duplication


Mr. and Mrs. Adamson

Bonny Oaks T-Shirts and Caps
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Pauline Presley

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Ken Clay and Chris Haven

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