Mountain Life

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. 27, 2014 @ 11:49 AM

Carl Mays: 'Praise God from whom all blessings flow…'

Simply known to millions of churchgoers through the years as the Doxology, the lyrics are, "Praise God from whom all blessings flow: Praise Him all creatures here below; Praise Him above ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost." I've always appreciated the strong, rhythmic beat that accompanies these words of worship. And I've appreciated the hymn's closing "Amen" that echoes a strong, affirmative "so be it!" Attributed to Thomas Ken in 1674, the hymn serves well as a great anthem for the year-round meaning of Thanksgiving.

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. 22, 2014 @ 01:11 PM

Jake Old: How long before a rock song is classic rock?

I was driving to Pigeon Forge the other day and listening to a classic rock radio station. A peculiar song began to play.

Nov. 20, 2014 @ 05:58 PM

Carl Mays: Make service a priority

There are more and more choices available to us when it comes to purchasing things, obtaining services, eating, or seeking intellectual, physical, mental, financial and spiritual help – or acquiring anything else we may need or want.

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. 15, 2014 @ 06:43 PM

What's for dinner?: When the polar vortex looms, stock the pantry

Before last year, I'd never heard the term "polar vortex." Before yesterday, I'd never heard the term "omega block." Oh boy! A new term for incredibly brutal, cold weather! OK, fine. Let the meteorologists quibble over what this phenomenon should or should not be called. All I know is that it's warmer in much of Alaska than it is here right now, and my sense of justice is deeply offended.

Nov. 15, 2014 @ 01:01 PM

Jeff Farrell: Success of comet probe is amazing – and sobering

It was a little bittersweet to see the celebration of the Philae spacecraft touching down on a distant comet this week and relaying data back to Earth.

Nov. 14, 2014 @ 01:46 PM

Adriana Zoder: For the love of books – and pizza

Coming back from Knoxville one day, just before we took our beloved Exit 407, my son noticed the sign for the Great Smokies Flea Market. He asked what they sell there. We said: "fleas."

Nov. 13, 2014 @ 01:33 PM

Carl Mays: Do the little things right

What do you want to change? How do you want to make things different? What do you want to accomplish as an individual and as a team member? Whatever your answers might be, remember these words from retired Adm. William McRaven: "If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. If you can't do the little things right, you will never do the big things right."

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. 07, 2014 @ 06:25 PM

Carl Mays: 'God is near, do not fear...'

As Veterans Day approaches, I am reminded of the often-circulated story of how the military’s taps melody came into being. It is a beautiful story of how, one dark night during the American Civil War, a Union Army captain rescued a soldier whom he eventually discovered to be dead – and to be his son, a member of the Confederate army. Supposedly in his musician son’s pocket the captain found the original written melody and then gained permission to allow a solo bugler to play it at his son’s funeral.

Nov. 07, 2014 @ 03:07 PM

Kenneth Burns: I've had just about enough of books

I never thought I'd say this. I'm sick of books.

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. 31, 2014 @ 03:49 PM

Jake Old: One year in, I’m glad I work here

Last week officially marked one year since I started at The Mountain Press. And since people still ask me this everywhere I go: Yes, I do enjoy the area and my job.

Oct. 31, 2014 @ 03:02 PM

Adriana Zoder: Book club opens up literary vistas

For the past few months, I have attended meetings of the Anna Porter Public Library Book Group. My life has been enriched through this experience. If your life could benefit from literary enrichment, please read on.

Oct. 30, 2014 @ 07:28 PM

Carl Mays: Halloween, a time of scary fun – and Christian reflection

The jack-o'-lanterns glow, witches sway in the wind, ghosts, goblins and other assorted spooks and creatures scamper around to celebrate and enjoy Halloween, the scariest night of the year.

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. 25, 2014 @ 12:36 PM

Jeff Farrell: Siezed dogs weren't the least bit aggressive

The main thing that I'll remember about Tuesday's raid on an alleged breeding operation for fighting dogs was how well the dogs behaved.

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. 23, 2014 @ 11:52 AM

Carl Mays: Treat people with respect – just ask Mary Kay

Driving down I-40 last week, I met a tractor-trailer transporting a dozen new cars. The pink SRX Crossover Cadillac sparkling in the bright sun caught my eye. There was no doubt in my mind that some Mary Kay Cosmetics superstar would soon be beaming just as brilliantly as she drove away in one of the most easily recognized sales incentives in the world. The scene brought back memories from 1986, when Mary Kay Ash, Jean and I shared a banquet table – and stories.

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. 18, 2014 @ 03:32 PM

Adriana Zoder: The Track is a great place to bring little ones

We visit the Track in Pigeon Forge about once a year. When our children were babies, we did not think the day would come for us to join the crowd hovering around Light #3, waiting for their rides. But what do you know? We were wrong. That day came faster than we thought. As soon as our kids could sit in the little train and take a ride, we made our first Track visit.