While observing the annual Decoration Day at Fox Cemetery last year, Tommy McGaha noticed there was not an American flag on the grave of Christopher Fox.
On Oct. 14, 1938, a man known as Albert Ralph Hunter, 74, died at his farm about five miles north of Mountainair, N.M. He was a respectable farmer who, along with his faithful wife Mattie, raised their five children and worked from daylight to dusk. Perhaps no one in the mountain community knew of his checkered past.
Father's Day is a celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds and the influence of fathers in society. The annual holiday can prove challenging for anyone mourning the loss of their dad. Losing your father is devastating, especially if you were close to him. Every father has a legacy. My dad's life was made joyful by family ties, fortified by hard work and grounded in traditional Christian principles.
“He was a real good boy who thought a lot of his family,” said Gatlinburg Police Chief W. B. Ogle. “I never had to worry about him doing the right thing. I guess it was because he really loved being a policeman.”
Rock 'n' roll icon Chubby Checker notched his first hit single, "The Class," in 1959. He turned 18 that year.
Even before voting ended, Kelly Johnson sensed she had a winner.
In the late 1800s, trained physicians were scarce in Sevier County, particularly in the remote, rural areas. House calls often kept the few practicing doctors throughout the county away from their families overnight or, sometimes, for several days. They worked long, hard hours for little pay. But none of this prevented a young school teacher from pursuing his dream of becoming a healer of the sick.
At 6,643 feet, Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is the highest point in Tennessee, and the third highest mountain east of the Mississippi River. Only Mount Mitchell (6,684 feet) and Mount Craig (6,647 feet), both in Mount Mitchell Sate Park in western North Carolina, rise higher.
Del McCoury is a master of the G run. Or, more formally, the Lester Flatt G run.
In the winter of 1933, Blanche Moffett stepped off the bus into an icy roadway in Gatlinburg. Refusing the idea of retirement, she had left behind both shelter and security. At the age of 62, surrounded by friends and family and comparative ease, Moffett had decided to move and embark on a new venture. Relying on her own initiative and courage, the feisty widow wanted to build a career that was of her own volition.
In March, storied singer Brenda Lee announced that the Oak Ridge Boys will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. At a ceremony in the fall, the quartet will join Hank Williams, the Carter Family, Dolly Parton and other Hall of Fame luminaries.
Decoration Day has been an important ritual in Sevier County for generations. Today, Southerners live in less rural areas, and Decoration Day customs are being conflated into the nationwide observance of Memorial Day. The long Memorial Day weekend provides the best opportunity to remember deceased family members and veterans, since a Decoration Day observed apart from this weekend is disappearing except perhaps in parts of our southern Appalachian Mountains.
Where do songwriters find inspiration? Rachel Gibson and Jon Ives, the married couple otherwise known as the Pea Pickin' Hearts, found theirs in Townsend.
In September 2013, during a ribbon cutting ceremony for the gazebo and green space surrounding the public parking area on Bruce Street, an announcement was made that a tree grown from a cutting off of the majestic White House magnolia tree planted by President Andrew Jackson would be transplanted to the green space.
The first of a planned series of annual competitions for local high school students — Sevier County’s Got Talent — went off Thursday night without a hitch.
In 1974, Ray Blanton won a 12-person Democratic primary for governor. With just 23 percent of the vote, he defeated several well-financed opponents, including flamboyant banker Jake Butcher, former Sen. Ross Bass and Nashville news anchor Hudley Crockett. In the general election, Blanton defeated Lamar Alexander, 576,833 to 455,467.
Carrying the message "Happy Birthday America," a flatboat, the Smoky Mountain Queen, docked at Poydras Street Wharf in New Orleans on Saturday May 29, 1976, after a 1,600-mile trip along the rivers of mid-America.
I split my time growing up between Washington, D.C., and Louisville, Ky., with most summers spent here. I like to think my persona combines the best of all three places, and that the resulting combination – part big city, part medium-sized city, part
mountains – gives me a perspective that adapts to almost any conceivable environment.
Many visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park don't wander far from their cars.
In 1917, Dixie Canning Company built two factories in Sevier County. One was on Prince Street in Sevierville, and one was in Pigeon Forge. Farmers who signed contracts with the company were given seeds for beans, berries, pumpkins, apples and tomatoes.
“You can be a drama kid in high school,” Dani Bryant said, “but actually making a career of it is hard to do.”
Pictures don’t quite do it justice. To truly grasp its size, you’ll have to have a look for yourself at “Smaller Than Some, Larger Than Most, Maybe Not the World’s Largest Rag Rug.”
Dr. Robert F. Thomas came to Pittman Center in 1926 to serve in the dual role of minister and physician. Although he was an outsider, Dr. Thomas quickly earned the respect of the people whose bodies and souls he cared for. He labored long to build churches and improve the health facilities in the rugged mountains.
Caitlyn Marentette recalls her introduction to the world of competitive spelling. “It goes back to third grade,” she said.