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.
As the premiere episode of “Fat Guys in the Woods” begins, a camera swoops over a rugged, wooded landscape.
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.”
In Sevier County’s robust entertainment scene, there is no shortage of live revues featuring singing and dancing, comedy, even animal acts.
“I was just stunned,” said local author Ron Rader, of learning that his book had been honored in the Independent Publisher Book Awards.
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.
The visits aren’t announced. “We just walk in and say, ‘May we speak to the manager?’” said Carolyn Wells, president of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 104. “A lot of them are surprised.”
Like most of the able-bodied males of East Tennessee, hundreds of Sevier County volunteers enlisted in the Union Army during the Civil War. Most of them journeyed to Kentucky to sign up, or found a recruiting officer who wasn’t too scared of retribution, in order to join the Union cause locally.
An oft-repeated legend about the vote on the question of secession in Sevier County suggests only one solitary man voted to secede from the Union when the issue was put to a vote. Although not far from the truth, the account has been somewhat exaggerated over the past century and a half. In fact, the issue was put before the voters on two occasions.
Some of the best singers in the area turned out for the Tuesday opening Seven Islands State Birding Park, and, though they were talented too, it wasn't the musicians tasked with entertaining the crowd.
Some people have a special gift. Al Gliniecki’s relates to cherry stems.
When Raymond Patterson was in the fourth grade, his teacher told his father that there was no use in sending the boy to school, since he didn’t do anything but sit in the classroom and draw all day. So Raymond quit school. Although he had no formal training, by the time he was grown, Raymond used his artistic talent to earn a living.
Last summer, at a lively event in a Dollywood theater, Dolly Parton for the first time described the resort planned to open in 2015 at her thriving entertainment complex.
In 1931, Sanders Atchley returned home following a family vacation to discover that he had been elected mayor of Sevierville by a write-in vote. Although Atchley had served as an alderman for six years, he had campaigned for the position.
What does Sevier County High School student Paul Trentham have in common with singers Norah Jones, Josh Groban, Rufus Wainwright and Jessye Norman?
Age and overcrowding of the Sevier County courthouse became a hot issue in the 1960s, with some voicing a desire to tear it down and build a new, modern building. County Historian Joe Sharp spearheaded the effort to preserve the current structure and won by a narrow vote of 13-11.
"When we first heard it, we thought it was a hit song," said Oak Ridge Boys bass singer Richard Sterban of "Elvira," the group's signature hit. "But I don't think we realized how big it was going to be."
As a prelude to a centennial celebration planned for October, members of Pigeon Forge First Baptist Church have been collecting and sharing stories about ministers and laymen who have contributed to the growth of the church and community.
On Wednesday morning, Sevierville Middle School teachers and administrative staffers fanned out to pick up litter.
Photographer Jim Yett and pilot Jack Roberts boarded a two-person Cessna 150 at the Sevier-Gatlinburg Airport around 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2, 1973. Yett, 30, a photographer for W.M. Cline Company, had hired Roberts, president of Smoky Mountain Aviation based at the airport, to transport him to the Cobbly Knob area near Highway 321. The purpose of the trip was for Yett to take aerial photographs of Cobbly Knob.
The heyday of singing cowboys ended decades ago, but you still can trace Western influences in contemporary country music.
In the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, McMahan’s Store on Pittman Center Road was a popular meeting place for residents of the Richardson’s Cove and Caton’s Chapel communities. Located across the road from Bird’s Creek, the business was owned by Cleo and Exa McMahan.
The morning following the annual Sevierville Chamber of Commerce Banquet in 2008, chamber CEO Brenda McCroskey received a phone call from Jimmie Temple. After telling McCroskey how much he and his wife Marie enjoyed the festivities, Temple suggested a program about the history of Sevierville for the next banquet.
Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts is steeped in tradition. It also is rooted in the here and now.
Wanda Howard married Emert Hayes Fisher when she was very young. She soon found out that one of her husband’s favorite pastimes was fishing. After a few months accompanying him on his fishing trips, she mustered up the nerve to tell him she was tired of “going up and down the river banks fishing.” He replied, “Well, you need to find you a hobby.”