On Nov. 20 Oak Ridge will dedicate and name a future park after its oldest living founder, Robert LaRue, now 105 years old.  The future park is located inside the subdivision of Oak Valley, bounded by Zagota Crossing, State Highway 34, and Abner Road.

Part of the property that is now Oak Valley was bought by Mr. Larue in 1943 where he grew cotton during WWII. He and his family lived in a home on what is now Zagota Crossing, but was then the driveway to their home.  After an extremely heavy spring rain, the bridge over the creek was washed away, and the house was moved down to Highway 34.  He eventually sold all the property except 14 acres where he built a new home in 1969.  The property and home have been passed down to his granddaughter and her family where they currently live.

In 1968, Mr. LaRue and a few other residents along Highway 34 got wind of plans to open a wrecking yard nearby. Mr. LaRue along with the other residents went to the county with their own plans to incorporate a specified strip of land on either side of the highway to be called the City of Oak Ridge. Their plans would prohibit this type of business as well as liquor stores. This request was honored by the county judge and the City of Oak Ridge was established in 1969.

Mr. LaRue will be honored by the City of Oak Ridge and the builders of Oak Valley (Riverside Homes) on Nov. 20 at the site where the future park will be named The Robert LaRue Memorial Park. The park dedication will be at 11 a.m. and refreshments will be served. To reach the site, travel south from Terrell on State Highway 34 to Abner Road (just east of the Oak Ridge City Hall) and follow the signs to the area.  Parking will be on Abner Road as directed.

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