Historic visit celebrated: French historian stopped in Sandy Bridge in 1831

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HOLLOW ROCK — Several people remarked Wednesday morning on the unusually frigid weather that coincidentally mirrored the day of a historic visit to a tiny West Tennessee city nearly two centuries ago.

About 25 people, bundled in coats as freezing rain briefly descended, gathered on U.S. 70 in Hollow Rock, where French aristocrats Alexis de Tocqueville and Gustave de Beaumont spent four days at a former log cabin inn. The ceremony included the unveiling of a state marker detailing their historic 1831 visit to the rural town, then known as Sandy Bridge.

The duo's visit took place in subzero temperatures. Their trip to the United States was chronicled in Tocqueville's classic book "Democracy in America."

Suenette Meeks, a descendant of the Sandy Bridge inn's owners Zephaniah and Martha Harris, said she doesn't see how they survived the wind chills below zero....

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