Features

Dec. 19, 2014 @ 07:34 PM

Teacher remembered Dolly Parton’s first day at school

Archie Ray Dennis McMahan lived a long, productive life.

Born April 27, 1915, she was the youngest of eight children of John D. and Tina McMahan Dennis.


Dec. 12, 2014 @ 12:01 PM

Upland Chronicles: Battle of Boyd’s Creek was pivotal to early settlers

On Dec. 16, 1780, two months after the Battle of Kings Mountain, the Battle of Boyd’s Creek took place. The battle was fought, not against the British, but their sometime-ally, the Cherokee. A number of East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia’s leaders had been calling for an expedition against the Cherokee for some time. British agents led by John McDonald had allegedly been encouraging the Indians to attack white settlements.


Dec. 05, 2014 @ 06:36 PM

Upland Chronicles: Mountain View was Gatlinburg’s first hotel

In 1916, Andy Huff built the Mountain View Hotel, a 10 unit, two-story building with one bathroom on each floor. He built the hostelry to provide lodging for the lumbermen coming to Gatlinburg to purchase timber. Returning home, these lumbermen told others of the beauty of the surrounding mountains. Soon residents of Knoxville began coming to the hotel for vacations.


Dec. 04, 2014 @ 07:32 PM

Brothers film Great Smoky Mountains as part of series about national parks

Autumn color bursts from the hillsides. A mountain stream gently flows. Animals roam. Visitors explore.


Nov. 28, 2014 @ 05:34 PM

Upland Chronicles: Seaton Springs evokes memories of unique bygone era

Summertime in Tennessee has always been hot. Before the days of air conditioning and the development of ways to combat mosquitoes, hot weather could pose a danger to health. Epidemics of cholera, malaria and yellow fever were sometimes serious public-health threats to urban dwellers in the 19th and early 20th centuries.


Nov. 22, 2014 @ 06:15 PM

Upland Chronicles: Old cemeteries tell stories of past generations

At least 350 graveyards are located in Sevier County. In addition to numerous cemeteries maintained by churches and those operated by perpetual care associations, there are literally hundreds of small cemeteries scattered throughout the county. Early settlers claimed land on which to live and raise their families, and when they died, they were often buried on the same property. Some cemeteries never had more than a few graves, while others grew to contain a large number of interments over several generations.


Nov. 20, 2014 @ 04:18 PM

Smoky Mountain storytellers spin colorful yarns at ‘Tellabration!’

Storytelling has been around “for as long as there have been people,” Janice Brooks-Headrick said.


Nov. 15, 2014 @ 07:21 PM

Upland Chronicles: Buckingham House is a historic treasure

Located at the end of a long drive on the south bank of the French Broad River, the Buckingham House is reputedly the oldest brick structure in Sevier County and the third oldest in Tennessee. Framed by two large oak trees, the picturesque brick building was completed by Thomas Buckingham and his brother Ephraim in 1795. A brick on the front façade reads, "T. & E. B.," verifying the builders and the construction date.


Nov. 08, 2014 @ 03:12 PM

Upland Chronicles: Smoky Mountain Historical Society preserves the past

For half a century, the Smoky Mountain Historical Society has been dedicated to preserving the past, weaving accounts of former times into those of the present with the records of history. The organization is devoted to the Smoky Mountain region, its pioneers and its posterity, and covers the three counties located on the Tennessee side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park—Sevier, Cocke, and Blount. Its mission always has been to "perpetuate culture and genealogical studies and histories…and to promote a sense of pride through our heritage and connections associated with the Great Smoky Mountains."


Nov. 01, 2014 @ 03:53 PM

Hilton honors Park Vista's George Jenkins for his commitment to service

Why does George Jenkins like to be of service? "Because that's who I am," said Jenkins, who is bell captain at the Park Vista a DoubleTree by Hilton.


Nov. 01, 2014 @ 03:43 PM

Upland Chronicles

The First Presbyterian Church of Sevierville was established Nov. 7, 1914. The organizational meeting was held in the First Baptist Church with 75 inquirers present. The First Presbyterian Church traces its beginning to May 14, 1911, when the Rev. John H. Wright, a Sunday School missionary with the National Board of Missions of the Presbyterian Church, met with prospective members in the home of M.C. and Jane Hatcher Carr, four miles south of Sevierville on Ridge Road.


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.