Town seeks Christmas Parade entries

The 2019 Jonesborough nighttime Christmas Parade will take place Dec. 14.


Christmas is fast-approaching and the Town of Jonesborough is gearing up for another festive season. What better opportunity to spend time with family and friends than to grab a cup of hot chocolate, throw on mittens and hats and gather on Main Street in downtown Jonesborough to watch the annual lighted nighttime Christmas Parade.

The Town of Jonesborough will host the  2019 Jonesborough Christmas Parade, on Saturday, Dec. 14, beginning at 6 p.m. The parade will begin on Boone street, progress to Main Street and Historic Downtown then end at the intersection at Washington Avenue. 

The Special Event Committee is requesting floats and entries be decorated with a Christmas holiday theme. Entries are now being accepted for the parade and special interest lies in entries that contain:  live Christmas music, floats lit with Christmas lights, horses (only those that are well-controlled in large crowd situations) and antique cars.

Additional information about the parade as well as registration information can be found at  For more information, contact Rachel Conger at [email protected] or call (423) 791-3869.

Come enjoy the beautiful floats and entries in this unique nighttime parade among  whimsical lights and all the decorations of the season. Also be sure to stick around after the parade for Christmas In Olde Jonesborough when the shops in Historic Downtown Jonesborough stay open for extended holiday hours to help you enjoy the holidays in a relaxed, hometown atmosphere. Children are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped gift to be delivered to disadvantaged children in Washington County.

Storytellers Guild’s Tellebration to benefit The Crumley House


Each year, on or about the third Saturday in November, guilds and storytelling enthusiasts all around the globe gather to share their talents, celebrating the fine art of storytelling. This annual event is called Tellabration!

Presented by the Jonesborough Storytellers Guild, this year’s regional event will take place Saturday, Nov. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the McKinney Center, 103 Franklin Ave., Jonesborough.

While the event promises to deliver the finest in our region’s storytelling, Tellabration! also contributes to a worthwhile cause. This year, The Crumley House Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center has been named the recipient of the event’s proceeds.

“Storytelling in our region and throughout the world is such a rich tradition. We are honored to be part of the event and gracious to be named as the recipient of this year’s Tellabration!proceeds,” said Guynn Edwards, Crumley House Executive Director.

“It is through valued community partners and individuals who provide this type of support that we are able to succeed in the complex operation of one of our nation’s leading traumatic brain injury rehabilitation facilities.

“We are blessed to be a part of this community,” added Edwards.

Tellabration! 2019 includes storytellers Rebecca Alexander, Wallace Shealy, Mary Lawrence and featured teller, Geraldine Buckley.

Tickets for the event ($10) may be purchased in advance by visiting, or by calling (423) 753-1010. Admission on the day of event is also $10, but cash only will be accepted. For additional event information, please contact the Jonesborough StoryTellers Guild at (423) 788-4722.

Located in the serene Appalachian foothills of Limestone, Tennessee, The Crumley House Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center is a non-profit organization providing Residential Services, Rehabilitation Services and an Adult Day Care Program specifically geared to serve the individual needs of those who have experienced a traumatic brain injury.

Local locksmith picks new spot

David Sell has changed the name of his store and moved it to a new location.


H&T Correspondent

The shop has moved, but the quality assurance has stayed the same. At 101 West Jackson Blvd. in Jonesborough, you’ll now find the new home of Old Towne Lock and Key.

This shop, which has been in business for many years, offers services such as rekeying, assistance with car lockouts and refilling propane tanks. Owner David Sell’s extensive experience in the field can be seen through the products he provides.

“We’ve actually been doing it for about 15 years,” Sell said. “We do automotive locksmith work, commercial and residential.”

The business was originally linked with Sell’s hardware store. Because of heavy competition from big box hardware stores and the evolution of internet shopping, he decided to concentrate on what he saw was working; his locksmith business. Eventually this led to his decision to relocate.

David Sell is ready to answer any question about locks and keys.

“The internet and big box competition caused it to change quite a bit. The only thing we were seeing grow was the locksmith work,” Sell said. “About a year ago I decided to phase out the hardware side and try to do this more. We bought this building and migrated our locksmith business to this building.”

Initially Sell began his locksmith work as a way to generate extra income. As he started exploring the automotive and commercial side, he discovered there was a competitive market out there, but he potentially increase his sales.

“It was just a way to make a little extra money,” Sell said. “As time went on, I became more intrigued about other aspects of it. It went from a simple re-keying of a lock to actually doing high security automotive and high security commercial type things.”

Although Sell’s shop doesn’t get as many walk-in customers as he did at his old location, his specialty services and items being sold make up for the lower foot traffic.

“It’s still in the growing stages,” Sell said. “We don’t get as much traffic flow. The foot count is a lot lower here than it was up there, but the dollar amount per transaction is more.”

Now that he can concentrate solely on the locksmith side of things, Sell says his favorite part about the relocation is being able to do what he loves full-time.

“You learn something every day,” Sell said. “That’s the good part of it. You never know it all.”

With big changes happening right now, Sell hopes to eventually take his passion and business out of state with other locations.

“Down the road we might try to have another location,” Sell said. “We might try to expand to somewhere like Southwest Virginia or Western North Carolina.”

Despite his relocation, Sell has felt the support from his loyal patrons during this time of transition. 

“We’ve had a good following from our previous location,” Sell said. “I’ve still got the support from all our regular customers.”

As the shop continues to value high quality customer service and products, Sell believes Old Towne Lock and Key is sure to meet any lock related needs. 

“For anything lock and key related or security related, we’re the place to be,” Sell said.

David Crockett team wins in California

David Crockett FCCLA members can out winners after recent conference.


Eleven David Crockett FCCLA members ventured to Anaheim, California from June 27-July 5 to attend the National Leadership Conference for the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA).  The students competed at the National Level in five different STAR Events (Students Taking Action with Recognition). The students were awarded with the following medals:

• Mackenzie Robinette and Micayla Lane in Chapter Service Project Portfolio:  Gold and first place in the Southern Region

• Gracie Robinette, Ali Keplinger, and Anthony Ricker in Hospitality, Tourism, & Recreation: Gold and first place in the Southern Region

• Jessie Stuart, Emmalyn Casey, and Kobe Wilcox in Life Event Planning:  Gold

• Joey Hopkins in Career Investigation:  Gold

• Izabella Strapp and Maddie Beavers in Sports Nutrition:  Gold and first place in the Southern Region

Aside from competing, students attending the seven-day conference were immersed in skill-based workshops, Red Talks (similar to TED Talks) from expo participants, and skits by their peers. They watched keynote and guest speakers such as cardboard enthusiast Kyle Scheele, the Dude Be Nice campaign, and various culinary demonstrations.

The student-led conference allows members across The United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands to learn important skills for life, compete in community service based events, and meet other FCCLA members from across the country. Over 8,700 students were in attendance, the largest conference yet!

Family, Career and Community Leaders of America is a nonprofit national career and technical student organization for young men and women in Family and Consumer Sciences education in public and private schools through Grade 12. Everyone is part of a family, and FCCLA is the only national Career and Technical student organization with the family as its central focus. Today over 175,000 members in more than 5,300 chapters are active in a network of associations in 49 states, in addition to the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Involvement in FCCLA offers members the opportunity to expand their leadership potential and develop skills for life — planning, goal setting, problem-solving, decision making, and interpersonal communication — that are necessary in the home and workplace.

The David Crockett High School FCCLA had an amazing time at the conference and exploring California.  The students are looking forward to bringing back new ideas to their chapter this fall.

Jonesborough Locally Grown announces 100 Mile fundraiser

The 100 Mile Dinner will include a menu inspired by locally grown foods as displayed at the Jonesborough Farmers Market throughout the season.


Jonesborough Locally Grown is excited to announce the final 100 Mile Dinner of the Decade, which will take place on Sunday, Nov. 17,  at 6:30 p.m. at The Blackthorn Club at the Ridges. Over the last several years, 100 Mile Dinners have been wonderful opportunities to work with both local farmers and chefs to curate a menu that features the beautiful bounty of the region.

One of the area’s most well-known chefs, Executive Chef James Allen, will cook the Fall 100 Mile Dinner, and the exquisite five-course menu will feature more than 20 local farmers’ and producers’ products. The menu is as follows:

1st Course – Elote Bites – Roasted Corn, Peppers, Queso Fresco and Cornmeal with Chipotle-Lime Crema

2nd Course – Trout Amandine – Almond encrusted Sunburst Trout, Benton Bacon, Vidalia Onion, Sweet Potato Hash, Spinach Velouté, Creole Mustard Crème Fraiche

3rd Course – Southern Dolmas – Seasoned Ground Beef and Rice stuffed Collard Greens, Smoked Tomato Coulis, Rosemary Focaccia Croutons

4th Course – Autumn Ravioli – Slow Cooked Brisket and Roasted Pumpkin Ravioli with Toasted Walnuts and Sage Oil

5th Course – Fancy Apple Pie – Warm Cinnamon and Apple Crostada with Bourbon Pecan Ice Cream

This dinner is generously sponsored by Rocky Field Farm, who raises cattle in Greene County and produces high quality local beef that will be enjoyed as part of this meal in a couple of different dishes.

Shelley Crowe, executive director of Jonesborough Locally Grown said, “Our 100 Mile Dinners have always served as special evenings to put our local farmers in the spotlight, and this one will be no different.”

She added, “In addition to featuring local food, these dinners serve as fundraisers that help us continue our work of supporting local farmers and producers as they grow and create food and products that keep you and our local food economy healthy.”

The Fall 100 Mile Dinner costs $90 a person, and is BYOB. All proceeds from this dinner go directly to support Jonesborough Locally Grown.

Jonesborough Locally Grown is a not-for-profit organization that operates the Jonesborough Farmers Market and Boone Street Market. For more information about the organization, please visit

Mockingbird house decks out for Halloween


Patrick Moreland has made sure his home is spookiest on the block this year. (Photos by Caroline Hughart)


H&T Correspondent

Looking for an exciting trick-or-treating destination this Halloween? Patrick Moreland wants you to consider taking your family and friends to come enjoy his Halloween display on Mockingbird Place located in Jonesborough.

Determined to make his house a spooky and entertaining spot for all Halloween lovers, Moreland has been creating intricate and eye-pleasing displays in his yard for years.

Ghosts and ghouls await.

After noticing how many trick-or-treaters were coming to his house, he decided to take his passion for Halloween full throttle and began putting the displays together annually.

  “Halloween has always been my favorite holiday by far since I was a little kid,” Moreland said. “The first year I didn’t put anything up because there didn’t seem to be really be any kids in the neighborhood. Then we got around 30 trick-or-treaters. I got kind of excited and decided the next year to start doing something,”

The creative displays have evolved over the years, with new additions and new ideas always being added to the mix. Moreland hopes that his efforts and passion for the holiday will attract more families to come out and enjoy his display. 

“Hopefully people will see it and we’ll get more trick or treaters,” Moreland said. “Every year we have bigger plans. We’ve gradually built it up each year and added more to it. The last couple years we’ve gotten a little over 100 trick-or-treaters.”

Moreland enjoys going above and beyond when decorating. Using animated figures, such as ones that move, make noise or talk, are some of his favorite pieces to entertain people with.

“Some of the stuff is animated,” Moreland said. “When some of the kids come up, they’re just amazed and point at everything. We’ve even had adults out here filming our display.”

Although Moreland himself has always loved the holiday, seeing other people enjoy the fruits of his labor makes everything even more gratifying.

“I really enjoy being here Halloween night and seeing all the kids reactions,” Moreland said. “It’s a pretty good display.”

Creating and displaying his spooky set up is something that Moreland does for fun. However, looking forward he has considered turning his dedication to the holiday into something more professional.   

“Based on how it does and if we really start to increase the number of people, that’s something to think about,” Moreland said. “I would love to do this as a business.”

Old or young, Moreland believes all Halloween lovers will enjoy his thrilling décor and wants to share his love for ghosts and ghouls with all. 

Senior crafters get ready for Saturday bazaar

Seniors have been working for months in preparation.


The Jonesborough Senior Center’s Creative Crafty Seniors will be selling their creations on Saturday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the center. The public is invited!

This year’s Fall and Holiday Extravaganza will host a variety of vendors who are members of the Jonesborough Center. Beautiful handcrafted items will be available for purchase.  For your shopping needs you can choose from the following items:  wood-turned items, stained glass, quilted items, greeting cards, jewelry, scarfs, embroidered fabric gift items, fabric purses and tote bags, felted items, home décor, pottery, crocheted and knitted items, quilted purses and table runners, floral arrangements, Swedish weave towels, artwork, recycled bottle lamps , painted rocks, painted signs and sawblades, wreaths, frames, Christmas decorations, tree skirts, stockings, jewelry boxes, quilts, handmade soaps, and salt scrub, rugs, and candles. 

These artists enjoy their individual crafts and look forward to the opportunity to showcase their work.  A refreshment stand sponsored by the Jonesborough Senior Center Advisory Board will also be available, along with homemade baked goods at the bake sale.

There are more than 30 venders in this year’s Fall and Holiday Extravaganza. For more information, contact Mary Regen at the Jonesborough Senior Center for more information at (423) 753-4781.

At the market: Opossum Farms to bring lettuce

Chris Theis from Opossum Bottom Farms.


The Jonesborough Farmers Market is open this Saturday, Oct. 12, in Courthouse Square in downtown Jonesborough from 8 a.m. to noon.

The market this week will have a variety of seasonal produce, including an abundance of peppers, corn, greens, mushrooms, root vegetables, onions and herbs. If you’re wondering what to do with all this fresh produce, you can pick up a copy of the new cookbook “Grow and Cook” at the information booth. Market shoppers will also find flowers, locally produced meat,

 cheese, baked goods, plants, dog treats and a unique selection of art and craft specialties. To find out more about the vendors and products at the market, explore the market map at

Music at the Market this week is Katie Richardson playing harp music. Music starts at 9 a.m. and a cafe space next to the music tent makes a great spot to relax and enjoy the music and the market activity.

This weeks’ featured farm is Opossum Bottom Farm, owned by Chris Theis. Opossum Bottom Farm sells predominantly head lettuces (over 35 varieties), salad mix, arugula and spinach, along with root crops such as salad turnips, radishes and baby carrots. Chris grows the farms bounty using organic growing practices and does not use herbicides, chemical fertilizers or any other type of chemical agents. Instead, he uses a lot of compost from local sources supplemented by organic fertilizers. Chris enjoys meeting customers at the market and helping them understand what they are getting and how it’s grown, saying “When we bring our products to market our customers know its been harvested in most cases only hours before it arrives and it’s as fresh as is possible.” What’s the best way to enjoy Opossum Bottom Farm lettuce? Chris suggests one of his personal favorites: wilted/killed lettuce served with soup beans, cornbread and fried potatoes.

Town plans ‘spooktacular’ Third Thursday

Look for food, fun and some fire-breathing antics at Third Thursday this month.


The excitement of Halloween and fall is expected to take over Tennessee’s oldest town during a special Third Thursday set for Thursday, Oct.17, from 5 to 6 p.m.

Discover unique treat stops and drink stops as well as activities inside merchant shops. Enjoy a vaudeville act from Jalopy Junction complete with fire breathing, a straitjacket escape performance and other mesmerizing acts.

In addition to the Halloween treats, drinks and activities, the festivities include History Happy Hour at the Chester Inn Museum from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Boone Street Market’s Thursday Burger Night, live music, and extended hours until 8 p.m. for both shopping and dining. Take advantage of extended shopping hours and grab dinner or a tasty treat from one of the eateries or confectioneries.

For more information, please call (423) 753-1010 or visit Main Street Jonesborough on Facebook.

JRT to present ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’

Lucas Schmidt as Ichabod Crane, Madelyn Goward as Katrina Van Tassel, and Lucas Wilcox as Brom Bones star in “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”


Special to the H&T

Coming to the Jonesborough Repertory Theatre in time for Halloween is the mysterious tale of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” set to take the stage Oct. 17 through Nov. 3.

It’s the perfect time of year to see this favorite classic played out on the JRT stage and in their newly renovated theatre.

“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” follows the story of Ichabod Crane (Lucas Schmidt), a schoolmaster who is new to the village of Sleepy Hollow. The lovely Katrina Van Tassel (Madelyn Goward) — the daughter of a wealthy farmer (Shawn Hale) — catches Ichabod’s eye, while his romantic rival, Brom Bones (Lucas Wilcox), claims Katrina as his own. The tension grows throughout the show and will leave you wondering just how far Brom Bones will go to win his lady love. And with the backdrop of scary stories and legends, audiences are in for a frightful good time.

“This show incorporates ghost stories — like the Headless Horseman — which are popular this time of the year,” Schmidt said. “It’s an American story associated with Halloween. So it’s seasonal, and people love seasonal things. And they like to get scared, but not too scared.”

“This show is perfect for families,” director Janette Gaines said. “It has just the right amount of suspense and scariness without overdoing it.”

Not only is the time of year appropriate, but historic Jonesborough is the perfect location to get in the mood to enjoy this spooky tale.

“Seeing this show is the best way to bring in the fall,” said Melissa Nipper, who portrays Dame Van Tassel. “Especially here in Jonesborough. We’re in Tennessee’s oldest town that was established in colonial days. And this story is from that time period.”

Madelyn Goward agreed. “The town makes the show special because they put so much into the fall decorations. And everything feels historic. You get the feel of it just walking down the street. And when you walk out of the theatre, you could almost be in Sleepy Hollow.”

Washington Irving’s story of Sleepy Hollow was published in 1820 and has been a favorite for almost 200 years. Though it can be considered an atypical story, with no real protagonist or antagonist, Irving creates a multi-dimensional experience that leaves audiences wondering just who is the good guy or bad guy. And for two centuries, the “fill in the blank” conclusion still has people speculating.

“There are interesting characters and a lot of humor in this story,” Gaines remarked, “but the kicker that I believe keeps people coming back is that you don’t really know the ending.”

“There’s not really a solid ending,” Goward echoed. “The author leaves the audience to decide what happens. So much is left up to their interpretation and imagination.”

So, take a break from the busy holiday season and go see this classic. Leave with your own thoughts and ideas about what truly happened to Ichabod Crane.

“If people like ghost stories and want to get into the Halloween spirit,” Wilcox said, “come check out this show. And if they haven’t seen it before, they definitely need to come see it.”

This production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is written by Mary and Andrew Arnault, directed by Janette Gaines, and music directed by Shawn Hale. The JRT appreciates the show sponsors: Joe Grandy and Sonia King/Mary B. Martin.

Rounding out the cast are Tim Barto, Annika Beatty, Larry Bunton, Dana Kehs, Charles Landry, Richard Lura, Nathan Marooney, Sarah Nipper, Carter Pattison, Ella Pattison, Kellie Reeves, Brooklynn Shelton, Sharon Squibb, and Kari Tuthill.

Performances run Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $17 general admission, $15 for students and seniors. There is also a special group rate for parties of 15 or more. (An interpreter will be provided for the deaf on Saturday, Nov 2, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for these select seats must be purchased by Oct 12.) To purchase tickets, call the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at (423) 753-1010 or go online to

Local church to welcome teller for Sunday service

Rebecca Alexander will be at the Jackson Park Church of the Brethren on Sunday.


Storyteller Rebecca Alexander will be the special guest speaker at Jackson Park Church of the Brethren’s 11 a.m. service, this Sunday, Oct. 6.

The church is located at 100 Oak Grove Ave. in Jonesborough.

According to Jackson Park Pastor Jeremy Dykes, Alexander is the perfect way for the church to take part in Jonesborough’s National Storytelling Festival weekend.

“I would find it to be such a neat thing when the Baptist Church would host Donald Davis, or the methodists would have another storyteller at their worship on Sunday,” Dykes said. “This year, I decided to invite Rebecca Alexander to share during Jackson Park’s Sunday Service.”

Alexander has been delighting audiences of all ages with stories since 1994. Growing up in a Christian home on a dairy farm in East Tennessee has given her the background necessary to write and tell stories that will make audiences both laugh and cry. She has said that what she desires most is to share Jesus Christ through her stories.

Her personal stories, sacred stories, Biblical characterizations, and straight scripture tellings promise to capture the heart and lift the spirit.

Like Alexanders, Dykes’ love affair with storytelling is a long-standing one.

“It began in the early ‘80s when I would accompany my daddy to the little country store,” Dykes recalled. “Men would gather around an old pot-bellied stove and spin all kinds of yarn.”

Later, he would end up with a job at the country store, savoring even more tales.

And then, of course, there was the storytelling festival, itself.

“I remember being a youngster and going to the ghost stories up on the hill of East Main,” Dykes recalled. “This was during the festival. I recall being so attentive to Jackie Torrence and just when I leaned in, she would scream at the top of her lungs, scaring all that had gathered.”

Years later, Dykes decided to devote his life to “telling the story about the greatest storyteller that ever lived.”

Dykes said he has talked with Alexander and is excited about the message she will share.

“She has some amazing things on her heart that will come through as she tells the stories,” Dykes said. “If you don’t have a church home or you’re an out-of-town guest in for the festival, come worship with us and listen to Rebecca tell the story.”

Iconic teller to share childhood tales

Donald Davis is set to return.


Donald Davis has been telling stories in Jonesborough since the early years of the National Storytelling Festival. One of the most recognizable entertainers in the world, Davis offers funny, poignant meditations on his childhood in a deep Southern accent that’s almost as distinctive as his signature bowties.

Davis is one of the storytellers who is credited with the form’s shift towards personal narratives, an influential move that helped spawn organizations like the Moth and StoryCorps.

Appearing soon in the lineup of the International Storytelling Center’s Storytelling Live! series, Davis will give fans the rare opportunity to see him perform in an intimate setting.

The special appearance will run Sept. 30 through Oct. 3, Monday through Thursday. All daytime concerts are located in the International Storytelling Center’s intimate state-of-the-art theater, located on Main Street.

His performance schedule will be brisk, since shows usually sell out, with shows on Monday at 2 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and Thursday at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m..

In addition to his afternoon performances, for one night only, Davis will host “Women Who Raised Me, Chapter One,” an exclusive evening concert that will take place on the grounds of the National Storytelling Festival. Davis will share memories of two of the women who helped his mother raise him.

Scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 2, at 7:30 p.m., the concert is the first of two special events leading up to the 47th annual National Storytelling Festival. The second, a concert featuring the popular humorist Jeanne Robertson, is scheduled for Thursday night.

Both Davis’s and Robertson’s evening events will take place in the Festival’s Library Tent. Tickets are just $20 for all ages, and are available at the entrance while supplies last. Advance reservations are highly recommended.

The National Storytelling Festival, where Davis will perform for much larger audiences numbering in the thousands, is Oct. 4 – 6.

Storytelling Live! tickets, like all events sponsored by the International Storytelling Center, can be purchased in advance on ISC’s website, in person, or over the phone. Walk-in seating is available the day of the show, while supplies last. Tickets for all daytime concerts are $12 for adults, and $11 for seniors, students, and anyone under 18.

Exclusive discounts are available to ticketholders for the evening concert and matinee shows. Ticket stubs will earn a 10 percent discount on same-day dining at Main Street Café (lunch only), Olde Towne Pancake House, Texas Burritos & More, Krazy Krepes, Jonesborough Barrel House, the Icing on the Cake (lunch only), and the Corner Cup. Additionally, Boone Street Market is offering 10 percent off prepared meals and 5 percent off any other purchase.

The premier sponsor of Storytelling Live! is Ballad Health. Additional program funding comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission, the Niswonger Foundation, Eastman Credit Union, the Mooneyhan Family Foundation, and Food City. Media sponsors include News 5-WCYB, FOX Tri-Cities, Tri-Cities CW, Johnson City Press, Kingsport Times-News, Herald & Tribune, and Cumulus Media.

Storytelling Live! will conclude its 2019 season in October. A few encore performances, including several holiday shows, will be held at ISC through the year’s end.

Cars return to depot

Jonesborough’s Classic Car Cruise-In at the Chuckey Depot Museum is set to take place again on Saturday, Sept. 21


Jonesborough’s Classic Car Cruise-In at the Chuckey Depot Museum is set to take place again on Saturday, Sept. 21, from 5 to 8 p.m. and will continue until the third Saturday of October. Don’t miss this great opportunity to view some of the rarest, vintage cars within the Northeast Tennessee region. Jump back in time by listening to ’60’s, ’70s and ’80s music while enjoying great food from a local vendor. It’s also a good chance to tour the Chuckey Depot Museum, which is currently featuring a new “Clinchfield Railroad” exhibit.

If you are the proud owner of a classic or unique car and would like to show it off, please arrive at the museum at 4:30 p.m. for check-in. It is encouraged to bring a chair or blanket, as seating for the event is limited. This is a family-friendly event that is open-to-the-public but donations are kindly accepted in order to support the Chuckey Depot Museum at Jonesborough.

The Chuckey Depot Museum at Jonesborough is located at 110 Second Avenue, Jonesborough. For more information, please call the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at (423) 753-1010.

Fall Branch welcomes students with new trees

Logan Stevenson, fourth grade, takes advantage of a handy shovel and wheel barrow to help with the planting.

Logan Stevenson, fourth grade, takes advantage of a handy shovel and wheel barrow to help with the planting.


Staff Writer

[email protected]

There’s one towering pine tree standing next to Fall Branch School, but in a few years, two more will grow roots and stand tall alongside it.

The same could be said for the 25 students who transferred to Fall Branch School this year after West Pines Elementary in Greene County closed. In honor of those new Fall Branch students, the school planted two pine trees during a ceremony on Friday.

“We had the opportunity this year to welcome about 25 students from West Pines in Greene County,” Fall Branch Principal Mark Merriman said. “We’re a community school and we’re sad to hear that West Pines had to close, but it’s our pleasure to welcome 25 students.

“Since the beginning of the school year, we’ve made opportunities for our teachers to get to know them and for other students to welcome them. It’s been a wonderful blending of different school communities.”

To help acclimate the new students, who each took turns shoveling dirt into the holes for the new trees, Merriman said he met the new families and visited West Pines before its closure. That’s when the idea for the tree planting ceremony was born.

“One of the things I recognized when I drove out to West Pines about two months ago when I heard the unfortunate news is out front of West Pines is a whole grove of pine trees,” Merriman said. “I thought it would be really special for our students to drive by Fall Branch in 20 to 30 years and see some pine trees that they planted and remember Fall Branch fondly as a time that, even though their school closed, they started a new journey with us in Cardinal country.”

Fall Branch students gather in anticipation of the tree planting ceremony to welcome former Greene County students.

Each former West Pines student shared what they missed most from their old school with the crowd. Mentions of old friends and teachers were quietly shared into the microphone as the two trees were planted on the Fall Branch campus.

“My biggest hope is that the students understand that even though one journey ends at one school, a new one has begun and they will always have a place at Fall Branch,” Merriman said. “Like all community schools, we’re all in this together. That’s what we wanted to do with planting the pine trees today.”

Small schools such as Fall Branch share that fear of closure, but Merriman said he felt the small but mighty school at the corner of Washington County had enough support from the community and the county to keep its doors open for years to come.

“I’m very fortunate and blessed to be in a school community where we don’t really worry about closure,” Merriman said. “The Washington County Commission invested $90,000 in our beautiful new parking lot a few years ago and we’ve have a $15,000 security update. I welcomed three new teachers to the staff this year due to the influx. I don’t see any future in us closing any time soon.”

Whether a student is born and raised in Washington County or from any of the neighboring counties that are just a short drive from the school, Merriman said the school welcomes any students into the small but supportive Fall Branch community.

“One of the things the parents tell us at Fall Branch is that we’re one of the best kept secrets in Washington County,” Merriman said. “It’s a public school that feels like a private school in that most of our classes are kept at really low student to teacher ratios. We’re also in a beautiful 80-year-old building that’s been well-maintained. And we’ve had 150 years in this community, so we’re one of the most established schools in this area.”

Yarn Exchange Radio Show to serve up secret recipes


This month, the Yarn Exchange Radio Show has cooked up lots of hilarious stories about secrets — some about cooking and most about life.

On Monday, Sept. 23, beginning at 7 p.m. at the International Storytelling Center, the monthly radio show will present local stories that have been collected by local cooks, barbecue masters, chefs, grandmothers, church potlucks and neighborhood socials.

While the phrase “Cooking is Love” is a well-known adage, in this region, cooking is a competitive sport, and all means of protective charms and defenses have been put in place through the generations in order to hold onto the secret family recipes.

For this show, however, some light has been shed on these long-held secrets of community members. Hear all about the “tart of the town,” take a guess of exactly what kind of meat was used in the winning entry for the church chili cook-off, and discover why Charlotte could never quite replicate that recipe that aunt Gertrude wrote down for her.

Joining the cast this month is special musical guest Nate Harris of Boone, North Carolina. This singer-songwriter brings his original folk and country music to the stage with a sound that is grown from his home in western North Carolina.

Tickets are available by calling (423) 753-1010 or online at This StoryTown production is sponsored in part by a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Johnson City Police Department to offer safety awareness training


As a service to our citizens, the Johnson City Police Department will offer free safety awareness training 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at Memorial Park Community Center dining room, 510 Bert St., Johnson City.

This two-hour training will enhance awareness on how individuals should prepare, prevent, and react during a shooting or mass attack in business settings or other environments. JCPD officers who have received specialized training on providing instructions to civilians, business owners and their employees, and religious organizations will conduct this training.

“We are proactively partnering with the community to raise awareness on safety options in a worst case scenario. These incidents can happen anywhere and adversely impact the quality of life. We want our community to know how to react and how law enforcement would respond should an incident occur,” Chief Karl Turner said.

Topics covered will include: the history of these events, civilian response options, information about the body’s physiological response to stressful situations, what to expect from law enforcement when they respond, and what officials need from the public in order to control the situation as safe and quickly as possible.

Participants must be at least 18 to attend. Seating is limited and preregistration is required. Please register by contacting Planning and Research Manager Heather Brack at (423)434-6105 or [email protected]

Remembering 9/11: Looking back in the Herald & Tribune


Eighteen years ago, staff at the Herald & Tribune scrambled to cover a story they could not have even imagined. Terrorists had attacked New York’s Twin Towers, and then the Pentagon.

Far from its usual fare of community board meetings and school events, the paper’s in-process front page article that week would instead reflect the nation. But General Manager Lynn Richardson and Managing Editor Bryan Stevens knew, even at that moment, that the Sept. 11 events they were watching unfold were going to impact every small community across America. And they knew they had to report it.

“It always happened somewhere else,” Richardson wrote in an editorial in the H&T, published on Sept. 12, 2001. “We’ve watched newscasts, read articles for years, shaking our heads. Poor souls in other countries, dealing with terrorists in their backyards, attack after attack.

“But somehow it never seemed quite real.”

Now, as reported on the front page that day, this time it was real.

“At press time,” the Page 1A article stated,” the United States had suffered two horrendous terrorist attacks. Apparently, each tower in the 110-story World Trade Center was struck by planes, possibly piloted by suicide bombers.

“Just as reports on the World Trade Center began to circulate, new reports also revealed that a plane had crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.”

Richardson dubbed the attacks as the start of a “frightening new era.”

“Today terrorism came to our front door,” she wrote. “It came to our nation’s largest city. It came to our nation’s capitol. Horrified, we gathered around a small television set in the office. We stood in disbelief as we watched billowing black towers of smoke rise, slowly unveiling unspeakable destruction.”

As of that day, she said, America’s children had a new kind of fear, that at any time and any place, something like this could occur.

But they would also come to witness a type of heroism that had not been seen before as well.

Today, on Sept. 11, 2019, the Herald & Tribune remembers. And says thank you.

Recreating a theatre: Construction continues on Jackson Theatre project



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The opening of a new Jackson Theatre for downtown Jonesborough showed signs of picking up steam last week when new construction projects resulted in detoured traffic for part of Main Street.

“They have the roof completely off of the Jackson,” Town Operations Manager Craig Ford said Thursday. “They were working on getting those big bridge trusses out and setting the metal across the front wall at the same time.”

The use of the crane on Main Street was reason for the road closing in downtown last week.

The large crane on Main Street, necessary to complete the task, was the reason for the detoured traffic.

This theatre project in Jonesborough, a longtime dream of town officials and residents alike, includes the restoration and renovation of the Jackson Theatre on Main Street, as well as its expansion to include the Jonesborough Repertory Theatre and Stage Door – all to create a brand-new, state-of-the-art, Jonesborough theater complex expected to transform downtown.

And while things may not be moving at lightning speed at this stage, Town Administrator Bob Browning remains excited about the plans.

“We have a contract with GRC contracting out of Kingsport, and we’re feeling very fortunate to have them,” said Browning. The town itself is acting as the project’s main contractor, with GRC overseeing much of the structural repairs.

“GRC are a great contractor and they communicate with us really well,” Browning added.  “They have been very sensitive about having to go in and put a new structural system against the walls and begin to tie that in without knocking the walls down.”

Browning paused and grinned.

“They’re response to getting that first phase in was: ‘It went great. We didn’t knock any walls out.’”

The town is still shooting for a late 2020 opening date for the Jackson Theatre.

John M. Reed welcomes new memory care wing

John M. Reed Center Chief Executive Officer Jim McComas cuts the ribbon for the center’s new Memory Care unit.


Special to the H&T

The John M. Reed Center welcomed the community to an open house for its new Memory Care unit on Thursday, Aug. 22. Director Brittany Boles estimated that about 100 people attended the open house, which included a ribbon cutting, buffet style dinner with live piano music and tours of the facility.

The Memory Care unit is a secured unit that provides appropriate care for each level of dementia using the GEMS designation, a sequence of precious gems such as pearl, diamond and emerald, to create a standard of care designed for the particular needs of patients at each stage.

Freewill Baptist Ministries bought the center three years ago following the shut down of the at-that-time nursing home under previous management and reopened it nearly two years ago as an assisted living facility. There are currently 20 residents in the assisted living wings and 7 in the Memory Care wing.

Chief Executive Officer Jim McComas cut the ribbon for the new unit in front of the large stone fireplace in the Memory Care living room, flanked by Director of Assisted Living Johnnie Lyons, Director of Nursing Cassie Starnes, Chief Operating Officer Jim Robinette and Director Brittany Boles.

“I think it’s appropriate as we cut this that these two ladies are holding this

ribbon because it is due to their great work and the great staff here that this day is possible,” McComas said of Lyons and Boles. “This is a great day.”

McComas offered a prayer of dedication, giving thanks and asking a blessing on the staff and`that the facility would be a place of happiness and peace for residents and their families.

“We’re super excited to be having this event today and for the turnout we’ve had from the community” said Boles. “We’re overwhelmed with gratitude for the community support and the support of our vendors. We’re excited to offer these memory care services along with our assisted living. This is something that’s a real need in our area. We’ve seen that as we’ve talked with families.”

“The Freewill Baptist Ministries has been a part of my life since I was a little girl,” she added. “Being able to have such a large part in opening this new community within John M. Reed, it means the world to me. We’re here to help people.”

The original construction, which consisted of one wing of the present facility, opened in the early 1950s. Additions enlarged the facility during the 1970s and 1990s. Completion of a hallway in the Memory Care unit this fall will complete the total renovation of the building.

There are 13 apartments in new memory care wing. Residents can join assisted living residents in the atrium for fine dining and events and they have access to the secured and enclosed courtyard, where they are always accompanied by staff. The Memory Care dining room serves as an activity center. Sensory stations are set up around the room to stimulate residents’ memories and help engage them in conversation.

The Memory Care wing is staffed separately from assisted living, with a nurse and two aids round the clock. Assisted Living is also staffed with a nurse and two aids.

Freewill Baptist Family Ministries Director of Assisted Living Johnnie Lyons described the renovated center as a fulfillment of the mission of its namesake, John M. Reed, whom she described as a caring and dedicated man.

“John Reed gave the land and it was built by the Brethren (Church), Lyons said. “His mission was — and these are his words, not mine — that the old people of this community would have a home to go to.”

She added, “We’re trying to make it very homey and very special.”

Morgan Wallen comes home

Morgan Wallen is returning to East Tennessee to savor home and share his music.


Staff Writer

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Country star Morgan Wallen will soon have 200 shows behind him on the year. The next two years of his life are booked with shows opening for the likes of Luke Combs and Florida Georgia Line. But for Wallen, it’s never hard to fit an East Tennessee show in a busy tour schedule when it always feels like coming home.

“Sometimes we’ll have five shows a week,” Wallen told the Herald & Tribune. “This week we’ve got like nine shows in 11 days. It’s a lot but I’m enjoying it. It’s cool to see everybody across the country knowing and loving the music we put out. Anytime I get a chance to come back to home it’s special for me. Especially if I’m doing my job while I’m there. I love Tennessee. I don’t think I’ll every leave. I love to come back.”

This year, Wallen, who recently gained his second No. 1 with “Whiskey Glasses” after his first hit featuring Florida Georgia Line titled “Up Down”, will get his chance to come home to East Tennessee on Wednesday, Aug. 21, at the Appalachian Fair in Gray.

For the Sneedville native, it’s not only a Tennessee mountain silhouette that will welcome him home — it’ll also be memories of growing up going to the fair with a lit up ferris wheel in the distance.

“I enjoy it. I grew up going to the fair so it’s cool for me to be in that atmosphere,” Wallen said. “I think it’s a little bit more family oriented too. I remember growing up being with my family. Those are memories that they get to have forever and I get to be a small part of that. I take it just as seriously and enjoy it just as much as any other show. Any time I get to play my music and hopefully touch somebody with it is special for me.”

Playing music is something he’s done quite a bit in his career opening for artists such as Jake Owen and Luke Bryan. In October he’ll also join Luke Combs on the fall leg of his sold-out “Beer Never Broke My Heart Tour”.

“I’m looking forward to that,” Wallen said. “I’ve never actually played a show with Luke before. He’s obviously on fire. He’s the biggest thing in country music right now so I’m super pumped to be a part of that tour. Other than that, I’ve been writing songs a little bit, I’ve been fishing a little bit if I get a chance. But that’s about all I’ve got time for.”

Wallen’s music contains hooks that are heard through radio speakers and sung at live shows across the country, but for the 26-year old singer, who sports a mullet and a routine sleeveless flannel shirt, most of the songs from his debut album, “If I Know Me,” started with thoughts of home.

“Pretty much every song has some sort of small town memory of East Tennessee in it. It’s a huge part of who I am,” Wallen said. “My family is still there. I think about that often when I’m writing songs. I try to go back to those memories growing up. It’s very important. I notice that people really do relate to that. It’s honest and it comes from my heart and I think that’s what’s most important.”

Wallen has also written songs recorded by artists such as Dustin Lynch, Kane Brown and Jason Aldean who just celebrated his most recent No. 1, “You Make It Easy”, which was co-written by Wallen and Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley from Florida Georgia Line.

“I’ll have my version and it’s awesome to hear someone else put their spin on it, especially someone like Jason Aldean,” Wallen said. “I grew up listening to Jason Aldean. I never thought I would write a song for Jason Aldean. It’s cool that he loved it that much and decided to do it. At radio it’s been really successful. It’s been really cool to see that be one of his biggest songs of his career. I’m just happy to say I had a small hand in it.”

When Wallen makes his Appalachian Fair debut, he won’t be the only hit songwriter to take the stage; the county artist will be joined by HARDY (Michael Hardy), the singer/songwriter who has penned No. 1 songs like “God’s County” by Blake Shelton, “Talk You Out Of It” by Florida Georgia Line, “I Don’t Know About You” by Chris Lane and Wallen’s first hit, “Up Down”.

“HARDY is one of my best friends and not just in music but in life,” Wallen said. “Pretty much since the day we met, we knew we were pretty kindred spirits. He inspires me everyday and I hope I do the same. There’s no one more talented than him in my opinion. Right now, I’d have a hard time saying there’s a better songwriter than him in Nashville. I’m just glad life put us together. That’s something that I felt like I needed. I’m thankful for it.”

Writing songs and putting out songs like his latest single, “Chasing You”, is a big thing to Wallen. But for the East Tennessee country singer, the crowd staring back at him while on stage is a nightly reminder of why he does what he does and its importance.

“I give (shows) everything I’ve got every night. I just want people to have a good time,” Wallen said. “I want people to leave and feel like they experienced something they couldn’t have experienced anywhere else. I just try to go out there and be myself and give it hell. I just want people to know that I appreciate them being there and also I know that I’m there to entertain them. I feel like it’s a huge responsibility. They spent their hard earned money to be there to spend that night with me. It’s a big thing for me. I take it seriously.”