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.

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.