Mar. 26, 2015 @ 03:23 PM

With 'Putnam County,' Walters State Sevier County presents its stage debut

Can you spell milestone? Walters State Community College passes one this weekend as the Sevier County campus stages its first full-length theatrical production, "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee."

Mar. 21, 2015 @ 04:31 PM

Upland Chronicles: Fred Rawlings launched Sevier County Public Library

On June 21, 1889, a reporter for the Sevier County Republican wrote an article titled "Things Sevierville Needs." The third thing on the list read as follows: "Sevierville needs a public reading room or library, if the young men are to be kept out of idleness and mischief, and if they are to be prepared for useful, honorable lives in the future." However, it wasn't until 1920 that a Sevierville library became a reality.

Mar. 14, 2015 @ 04:39 PM

Upland Chronicles: Early history of Forks-of-the-River Cemetery sketchy

Near the end of 1785, Rev. Richard Wood moved to the forks of the Little Pigeon River, where he established the Forks-of-the-Little-Pigeon Baptist Church in 1789. It was the first church in community that was later named Sevierville. Wood was born in Virginia, served as a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and first settled in the Providence community.

Mar. 07, 2015 @ 05:24 PM

New book tells history of Great Smoky Mountains' Elkmont area

Daniel L. Paulin researched his new book, "Images of America: Lost Elkmont," for years. In fact, he researched it before he knew it was going to be a book.

Mar. 07, 2015 @ 01:07 PM

Upland Chronicles: Peregrine falcons returned home to Duck Hawk Peaks

Near the Alum Cave Bluff on the south side of majestic Mount LeConte is the thin leaning ridge with jagged points known as Duck Hawk Peaks. There's Little Duck Hawk Ridge paralleled by Big Duck Hawk Ridge. Peregrine Peak is the old name for the large mountain where the Alum Cave and Duck Hawk areas are located. Early settlers began calling the area by these names after observing the fast-flying birds nesting there.

Mar. 03, 2015 @ 11:00 AM

Upland Chronicles: Gov. John Sevier was a controversial figure

Gov. John Sevier, the man for whom Sevier County and Sevierville were named, died 200 years ago this year. His demise came suddenly on Sept. 24, 1815, in the Alabama territory, where he was on a congressional mission conducting a survey of lands in the Creek Indian country. He was 70.

Feb. 26, 2015 @ 04:20 PM

Rose Glen Literary Festival guest to discuss bookstore success

How did Wendy Welch and her husband establish, against difficult odds, a successful used bookstore in Big Stone Gap, Va., population 5,643?

Feb. 14, 2015 @ 06:27 PM

Sevier County's community reading program kicks off with Amy Greene’s ‘Long Man’

Last summer, the public library in Golden, Colo., organized a community read of “Long Man,” the 2014 novel by Amy Greene, who lives in Russellville, Tenn., near Morristown.

Feb. 14, 2015 @ 11:49 AM

Upland Chronicles: Wonderland Hotel served Smoky Mountains visitors

On Nov. 15, 1992, the Wonderland Hotel at Elkmont closed its doors for the last time. Although the storied old hostelry had seen better days, the closing of the white clapboard building with a sagging wraparound porch marked the end of era, a time when men in summer suits smoked cigars on the veranda, ladies in long cotton dresses fanned themselves in rocking chairs, and children raced to the nearby swimming holes.

Feb. 07, 2015 @ 12:40 PM

Upland Chronicles: Ketner Grocery Co. was a neighborhood hangout

Ketner Grocery Store was located in an area of Sevierville known as Thomas Addition. It was situated at a unique intersection, with Belle Avenue on the right side of the store, which faced the split where Newport Highway (now East Gate Road) branched off New Road (now Park Road).

Feb. 09, 2015 @ 11:11 AM

‘Walk, Don’t Ride’ depicts crucial events of the civil rights era

This month, Knoxville theater companies the WordPlayers and the Carpetbag Theatre will stage their production of “Walk, Don’t Ride” more than 20 times, at various East Tennessee venues.

Jan. 30, 2015 @ 06:14 PM

Upland Chronicles: Hosiery mill building has rich history

A hosiery mill located on Bruce Street in Sevierville provided employment for many Sevier County residents for almost 40 years. The building has changed ownership numerous times. The renovated 95-year-old structure that housed the mill is now Mill Corner Place, a posh office building, one of the finest examples of historic preservation in Sevier County.

Jan. 29, 2015 @ 06:19 PM

Wildlife Week session focuses on Elkmont

It was a remote mountain community. A thriving railroad settlement. A resort destination.

Jan. 24, 2015 @ 05:19 PM

Upland Chronicles: Creswell, Maples and Cotter hiked every trail in National Park

On Sunday, Oct. 26, 2009, seasoned hiking buddies Stanley Creswell and Frank Maples began a two-day hike. They started their trek on the Appalachian Trail at Newfound Gap and headed for Snakes Den Ridge, above Cosby Campground. After spending the night at Peck's Corner Shelter, they stopped at Tricorner Knob Shelter to eat lunch. As they came around the corner of the shelter, a guinea fowl came strutting around the opposite corner of the structure.

Jan. 22, 2015 @ 06:14 PM

Letter: Reader calls for full adult privileges for military

I have a very difficult time trying to figure out why our national government has not granted the basic privileges of all adult citizens to all who are accepted and serve in our nation’s military. In particular, the right to consume alcohol and any other privilege enjoyed by current American adults who are qualified to serve in the military. It appears that age 21 is the current overall most realistic target for full privilege.

Jan. 17, 2015 @ 12:02 PM

Upland Chronicles: Sevier County's African-American churches and schools recalled

Although small in number, by the early 1900s the African-American population in Sevier County had established communities including Chandler's Gap, Payne's Temple, Cynthiana and Union Hill.

Jan. 10, 2015 @ 01:10 PM

Upland Chronicles: Sevier County Electric System has served residents 75 years

In 1939, Sevier County Electric System was established as a city-owned public utility. The following year, the fledgling organization purchased from Tennessee Valley Authority the nearly county-wide distribution system, which included Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Catlettsburg and all points in between.

Jan. 08, 2015 @ 03:29 PM

Carl Mays: Be sure to drink the water

Jean came home from a doctor's office a while back and told me how shocked she was when a woman sitting next to her in the waiting room said there was no way she could drink eight ounces of water at one time. This statement arose after the woman told Jean the doctor wanted her to drink the water with a dose of Metamucil laxative. The woman said, "I doubt if I drink that much water in a day!"

Jan. 03, 2015 @ 03:45 PM

Upland Chronicles: Uncle Jackie Russell was known as the Poet Preacher

In 1838, John Jackson Russell preached his first sermon at Providence Baptist Church. On June 18, 1845, he was ordained by the Hopewell Primitive Baptist Church to the full work of the ministry, accepting the pastoral care of the church. Affectionately called Uncle Jackie, over the ensuing decades he became widely known as the poet preacher. He delivered his last sermon when he was 86.

Dec. 26, 2014 @ 07:59 PM

Smoky Mountain Gourmet: Champagne is great for toasts – and in desserts

I don’t need much of an excuse to drink Champagne. Gas prices dropped three cents today? Break out the Bollinger! My cat almost caught a mouse? Time for some Taittinger! There’s no moderately pleasant occasion that isn’t made more pleasant by a glass or two of bubbly.

Dec. 26, 2014 @ 07:55 PM

Upland Chronicles: Cousins Hendricks and Green were captured in Texas

After lingering and suffering several days, Aaron McMahan died Aug. 22, 1896, as a result of gunshot wounds sustained in an ambush as he and his son and son-in-law were returning from a visit to the Pigeon Forge Mill to his home in Wear’s Valley. However, McMahan lived long enough to identify his assailants as Newt Green and Wes Hendricks.

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.