Features

Oct. 27, 2014 @ 11:58 AM

Upland Chronicles: Stained glass windows offer view of history

As the Methodist movement spread throughout England, John Wesley wanted the revival fires to burn over the colonies in America as well. In 1771, he sent Francis Asbury to preach in America. Faced with this huge task, Asbury asked, “What shall I tell them?” Wesley responded, “Offer them Christ.”


Oct. 24, 2014 @ 01:22 PM

'Elf on the Shelf' coauthor based the concept on family lore

If you're a parent with young kids, you probably already have it. If you're not, you likely noticed when it took over your Facebook feed last December, and the December before that.


Oct. 18, 2014 @ 04:03 PM

Upland Chronicles: Fergusons' pottery helped mold Pigeon Forge

In the 1940s, Pigeon Forge was a sedate farming community – little more than a thoroughfare for tourists traveling to Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains. On May 15, 1946, Douglas and Ruth Ferguson opened the Pigeon Forge Pottery and unwittingly became a catalyst in the town's transformation from a pastoral village into a popular vacation destination.


Oct. 11, 2014 @ 11:39 AM

Upland Chronicles: Sevier County student competed in 1955 National Spelling Bee

Representing Pleasant View School in Sevierville, sixth grade student Robert Earl McMahan won the Southern Appalachian Spelling Bee sponsored by the Knoxville News Sentinel and went on to compete in the National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.


Oct. 10, 2014 @ 04:37 PM

Meet the artisans of the Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair

If you seek handmade pottery and jewelry, the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair is the place for you. Also if you seek handmade dolls, knives, leather goods, quilts, baskets, clothes, rugs, and glassware. Among other things.


Oct. 06, 2014 @ 04:18 PM

Upland Chronicles: McMahan Century Farm has a rich history

On Nov. 29, 1838, David Crockett McMahan received a 4,000-acre land grant located nine miles southeast of Sevierville. A section of the property included in the grant was called Richardson's Cove, the farm originally deeded to William Richardson. Descendants of David McMahan still own parts of the land grant. In 2009, 322 acres of the original farm, now owned by brothers Jack D. McMahan and Thomas W. "Tommy" McMahan were designated a Tennessee Century Farm.


Sep. 20, 2014 @ 06:31 PM

Sevier County’s Locust Ridge nominated for a Dove Award

Sevier County group Locust Ridge has been nominated for a GMA Dove Award, a top honor in Christian music. In the nomination, singer and guitarist Russell Allen sees an opening.


Sep. 20, 2014 @ 12:34 PM

Upland Chronicles: Ol' Shaky was first bridge across French Broad in Sevier County

In 1799, a group of about 75 Sevier County citizens residing on the north side of the French Broad River petitioned the Tennessee General Assembly to allow the section of Sevier County to join Jefferson County.


Sep. 13, 2014 @ 11:41 AM

Upland Chronicles: Eckel was newspaper editor 40 years

Although blind the last 19 years as editor and publisher of the Sevier County Record-Republican, Herbert O. Eckel saturated himself so thoroughly with current events through personal contacts, telephone conversations, a hired reader and Knoxville radio, that he was more aware of world and local events than journalists with good eyesight.


Sep. 12, 2014 @ 05:59 PM

Three days of music at Dumplin Valley Bluegrass Festival

How does Sammy Shelor characterize the sound of his bluegrass group, Lonesome River Band? “I’ve always described it as traditional bluegrass music with a rock ’n’ roll downbeat,” said the Southwest Virginia-based banjo player.


Sep. 11, 2014 @ 05:30 PM

In a new book, a classics professor describes her 'Pilgrimage to Dollywood'

Perhaps not many theme park fans muse on their visits this way: “Often the formative journeys that we take require a sense of what the ancient Greeks called kairos, which means the right time, the opportune moment which must be taken advantage of for something special to happen.”


Sep. 06, 2014 @ 04:25 PM

Upland Chronicles: Photographer Jim Thompson captured Smoky Mountains

In 1924, the Great Smoky Mountains Conservation Association tried and failed to get the Southern Appalachian Park Committee, a group studying the possibility of establishing a national park, to meet in Knoxville. The committee finally agreed to listen to the Knoxville contingent if they would meet with them in Asheville, N.C., their headquarters while exploring the Grandfather Mountain area.


Aug. 30, 2014 @ 06:00 PM

New book tells story of Sevier County centenarian

Is Martha Whaley, 104, Sevier County’s most senior citizen?


Aug. 29, 2014 @ 05:53 PM

Upland Chronicles: Labor balladeer had Sevier County roots

On Sept. 14, 1929, Ella Mae Wiggins and other labor supporters drove to a union meeting in Gastonia, N.C. When they arrived, they were met by an armed mob and turned back. After driving about five miles they were stopped by a car, and armed men jumped out and began shooting. Wiggins, a single mother of five, was shot in the chest and killed.


Aug. 22, 2014 @ 09:12 PM

Upland Chronicles: Dr. Cope led Pigeon Forge flock for 28 years

Dr. William Wayne "W.W." Cope served as pastor of Pigeon Forge First Baptist Church for 28 years. He is the longest serving pastor in its 100-year history. Dr. Cope began his long tenure at the church June 4, 1964.


Aug. 22, 2014 @ 03:55 PM

Smoky Mountain banjo pioneer Carroll Best featured on new CD

Some banjo innovators are world-famous. Carroll Best just liked to play. The music of the Haywood County, N.C., farmer and factory worker is featured on “Carroll Best and the White Oak String Band,” a new CD released by Gatlinburg’s Great Smoky Mountains Association.


Aug. 16, 2014 @ 10:29 PM

Upland Chronicles: W.L. Mills was a driving force in Gatlinburg’s growth

Peppered throughout Gatlinburg are reminders of Mayor William L. Mills. Known as a selfless and honest man of unquestionable integrity, he was a well respected Gatlinburg leader for three decades. The W.L. Mills Conference Center and Mills Park are among the testaments to the appreciation the citizens of Gatlinburg had for him.


Aug. 14, 2014 @ 04:27 PM

Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival celebrates the tunesmith’s art

Now in its third year, the Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival is introducing something new: a major headlining act. Legendary country star Bill Anderson will perform Saturday, Aug. 23, in the Quality Inn Creekside’s conference center.


Aug. 08, 2014 @ 11:47 PM

Country star Barbara Fairchild visits ‘The Smoky Mountain Gospel Jubilee’

Barbara Fairchild’s smash 1973 hit “The Teddy Bear Song” is a gem of a country tune – gentle, funny, sad and, when you think about, kind of unsettling.


Aug. 07, 2014 @ 07:47 PM

Upland Chronicles: Rev. Melvin Lonas has touched many lives

The first time Melvin Lonas lived in Sevierville, he was a student at the Church of God Bible Training School. Before he graduated, the school swapped campuses with the Church of God Home for Children, which was then located in Cleveland, Tenn. He continued his studies at the Bible institute in Cleveland on the campus of what is now Lee University.


Aug. 07, 2014 @ 06:11 PM

Men learn backwoods survival techniques on 'Fat Guys in the Woods'

As the premiere episode of “Fat Guys in the Woods” begins, a camera swoops over a rugged, wooded landscape.


Aug. 02, 2014 @ 11:04 PM

Upland Chronicles: Walker Mize recognized as reliable businessman

On June 7, 1911, the Montgomery Vindicator reported, “A big shakeup among business firms of Sevierville is scheduled to take place in the near future. Walker Mize, who has been the efficient deputy trustee under John F. Ingle during two administrations, takes the place of W.S. Murphy as cashier of Sevier County Bank.”


Aug. 01, 2014 @ 07:52 PM

Sugarlands Distilling Co. books an ambitious schedule of touring Americana acts

In Sevier County’s robust entertainment scene, there is no shortage of live revues featuring singing and dancing, comedy, even animal acts.


Jul. 25, 2014 @ 05:56 PM

Local author Ron Rader’s memoir is honored with publishing award

“I was just stunned,” said local author Ron Rader, of learning that his book had been honored in the Independent Publisher Book Awards.


Jul. 25, 2014 @ 11:34 AM

Upland Chronicles: A school called Cornbread remembered

Recently, members of a construction crew were excavating behind French Broad Valley Baptist Church when they discovered a large, rusty object buried in the ground. After some careful digging, the workers uncovered a large bell. Longtime church members identified the bell as the one that once rang at Douglas Schoolhouse, which was located on the same spot.