The H&T chronicles the end of war

The front page of the Nov. 14, 1918 Herald and Tribune detailed the end of World War I.


Associate Editor

“PRUSSIAN WORLD DOMINATION PROVES TO BE ‘ONLY A DREAM’” chronicled the Jonesborough Herald & Tribune’s edition of Thursday, November 14, 1918.  History records the date the fighting ended in World War I at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11.

     Under the capitalized banner was a two-line full-column headline that announced: “Unconditional Surrender of Freedom’s Last Armed Foe Brings Tidings of Peace to War Cursed Earth and Joy to Souls of Men.”  Under the headlines, the text provided: “Armistice terms were signed by German representatives at midnight Sunday night, October 10th, and the world war came to an end Monday morning at 6 o’clock.

     “The terms of the armistice are of such a nature that Germany, having accepted them, will be absolutely powerless to renew hostilities even tho she desired to do so.  It means unconditional surrender and the victorious termination of the mighty struggle that has drenched the world with human blood.”

     Under the one column headline that read “JONESBORO CELEBRATES,” local reaction to the armistice stated: Monday, Nov. 11, will never be forgotten by the people of Jonesboro and surrounding country.  When news that Germany had signed the armistice terms, reached the quiet old town, the whole populace became astir.  Church bells ‘rang out the glad tidings, whistles blew, guns were fired, boys yelled, strong men wept and loyal women shouted.”

     The article went out to describe the gathering of people downtown in Tennessee’s oldest town.  They began shaking hands and a band arrived directed by J. T. Whitlock playing the national anthem.   Merchants closed their shops and at one o’clock in the afternoon a convoy of 115 automobiles decorated with American flags and bunting gathered in downtown.

    As the H&T article continued its description:  the automobiles “…formed a line headed with W. P. Shipley’s hardware truck carrying the Jonesboro band.  The procession marched thru Johnson City and back to the National Soldiers’ Home where 1200 veterans of bygone days with a unit of the American Red Cross and Boy Scouts marched to the music of the Soldiers’ Home band.

     “Far into the night the bells chimed on and the celebrations continued, until at last, the weary crowds dispersed to slumber sweetly and to dream of peace.”


    Under the headline “KAISER BILL ABDICATES” the article announced, “Saturday morning Emperor William, with trembling fingers, signed a letter of abdication, saying as he did so, ‘It may be for the good of Germany.’

     “Crown Prince Frederick also signed his renunciation shortly afterward.

     “The Kaiser and crown prince took leave of their troops Saturday and in company with Von Hindenburg, immediately set out for Holland where they arrived Sunday to take up their abode…”

     The Herald & Tribune’s Armistice edition was preceded by the paper’s Thursday, October 31, 1918 edition with headlines stating: GERMANY WAITS FOR TERMS OF ARMISTICE, AUSTRIA IS READY TO LAY DOWN HER ARMS, OVER TWO MILLION SENT OVERSEAS and HOW YOU CAN HELP SAVE A SOLDIER’S LIFE.”

     The article with “TERMS OF ARMISTICE” stated, “A brief reply of the German government to President Wilson’s last note says that exceedingly vital changes to the German constitution make the military powers subject to the people’s government and that it is awaiting terms of an armistice.”

    The article about Austria read, “In her reply to President’s note of Oct. 19, Austria accepts all his peace points and says she is willing without further preliminaries to negotiate peace and is ready for an armistice on all the Austro-Hungarian fronts.”

    The American military presence noted, “In a statement given out last week, Secretary Baker disclosed the fact that 2,008,931 men had been sent overseas to participate in the war against Germany.  Nearly one million of these have either embarked or landed in France since July 1st.”

     Sad news awaited the readers of the paper in the Herald & Tribune’s edition of Thursday, November 28, 1918.  Four separate stories listed the names of soldiers killed in World War I and another estimated war casualties.

     Under the headline of “JONESBORO BOYS KILLED IN FRANCE” were listed the names of Serg. Bernia Daniels and Serg. Virgil C. Moore.  Stating that the son of Jno. Daniels had been killed in action on Oct. 14, the story read in part: “Serg. Daniels was a member of Co. K, 6th Infantry.  He volunteered in May 1917, took training at Ft. Oglethorpe, Ga., and went across in January of this year. He was 28 years of age…”

     Stating that Geo. C. Mottern received a telegram Nov. 21 telling of his son’s death on Oct. 19, part of the text read, “Sergt. Mottern belonged to the Field Signal Battalion of the famed 20th Division which fought so furiously during the last days of the war.  While holding a splendid position as an operator for the Southern Railway, he was called to service on Sept. 19, 1917.  He went into training at Camp Gordon, was transferred to Camp Sevier and went overseas in May, 1918.

     “He was 28 years of age…”

     Only a brief paragraph under the headline  “HARMONY BOY FALLS IN ACTION” read “Mr. and Mrs. Charles Holmes residing near Harmony in the 13th district have been officially notified of the death of their son William, who was killed in action in  France a short time ago.”

     “BLACKLEY CREEK BOY DIES IN CAMP” stated a front page article that announced, “Wm. Arlie Brookshire, a son of Mr. and Mrs. T. R. Brookshire, of Blackley Creek, died Nov. 20 of pneumonia at Camp Union, N. J. The body arrived here Tuesday morning and was taken to Pleasant Grove where interment was made.”

     The newspaper under the headline of “WASHINGTON COUNTY BOYS MAKE SUPREME SACRIFICE” provided: “Recent casualty lists contain the names of the following Washington County boys killed in action in France. – Serg. Virgil Mottern, Jonesboro; Serg. Bernie Daniels, Jonesboro; Corp. Roby Hendrix, Johnson City; Pvt. Wm. Holmes, Jonesboro; Wesley Furchess, Embreeville, died of disease; Emmet Cole, Johnson City and Serg. Hobart B. Jones, Johnson City.”

     A final article read:  “ESTIMATED CASUALTIES OF WORLD WAR.”  The first paragraph stated, “The New York Sun in a recent issue estimates the aggregate casualties during the four years of war at 27,875,000 of which the dead alone numbered as many as 10,000, 000.

     “By nations, the casualties are estimated below [figures are not exact]: Russia – 7,000,000; France, 4,000,000; Great Britain, 2,000,000; Italy, 1,000,000; Belgium, 350,000; Germany, 6,900,000; Austria-Hungary, 4,500,000 and other nations, 1,225,000.”

Chuckey Depot: Railroad remnants recall yesteryear

Red and green lanterns pointed the way for early trains.


Associate Editor

Air horns, flags, lanterns, lights and whistles fill up three cases in an exhibit titled “Train Talk” at the Chuckey Depot Museum located at 110 S. 2nd Avenue in Jonesborough.  The exhibit allows exploration in how railroad technicians communicated during the day, at night, across distances and during challenging weather conditions prior to modern electronic communication methods.

Anne G’Fellers Mason, one of seven members of a Chuckey Depot sub-committee that designed the display said, “The group needed a good topic for our first temporary exhibit. We decided how crew members communicated with each other before radios would attract a wide audience. 

“I learned so much about trains” said Mason, who is the special projects coordinator at the Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. “I am excited when I learn something new, for example, I was fascinated by the placement of ‘torpedoes’ on the tracks.”

This sign would have hung below a crossing flasher to warn oncoming motorists.

The railway detonator, called a torpedo in North America, is a coin-sized device that is used as a loud warning signal to train drivers – usually as a signal for them to stop.  Placed on top of the rails and usually secured with two straps, it emits a loud bland when the wheels of a train passes over. The device was invented in 1841.

Mason, along with committee member Rachel Conger, Jonesborough’s Parks & Recreation director, took a trip to Fannon’s Train Museum in Duffield, Virginia to inspect many of the items that are included in the exhibit. Kenny Fannon and his grandson, Ruston Fannon, are preserving the history of railroading in Southwest Virginia.  Their depot and museum was used as a prop in the movie “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” a 1980 biographical musical film about the life of Loretta Lynn.

The Fannons, who frequently  provide railroad programs at Natural Tunnel State Park and the Southwest Virginia Museum, graciously loaned the Chuckey Museum artifacts for the temporary display which will run through the end of December.

An opening reception for the exhibit was held on June 28th.  The crowd who attended “were happy and excited,” Mason said.  She added, “This is the type of display we want to use to keep people coming back to the museum.”

Included in the exhibit is a headlight from the front of an engine and a large sign that tells motorists at a railroad crossing to “Stop On Red.” Assisting in putting together the exhibit have been members of the Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society.  The group has partnered with the Alliance and the Town of Jonesborough in recognizing the town’s railroad legacy.  Other members of the Depot sub-committee are Jacob Simpson, Susu Floyd, Jean Smith, Rick Chinouth and Jason Davis. 

Docent staffing at the museum is provided by the WVHS while the Alliance provides training for their volunteer work. “There is a partnership with the Alliance,  town, and railroad historical society that makes the museum the best it can be,” Mason said.  “Our exhibits meet museum standards and all staff members and volunteers follow best practices in doing the research, building displays and in providing educational programs relating to the displays.”

An interesting feature of the museum is the “Virtualrailfan” live camera.  The program utilizes an east and west live webcam to broadcast the action of trains passing through Tennessee’s Oldest Town. The Virtual Railfan Cameras were installed in May of this year. The webcams are monitored by thousands of people around the world.  To access the video, go to  the If you go to “You Tube” just type in Jonesborough and the Cams will come up. A viewer  can stroll the red bar at the bottom of the page and see trains and people going in and out of the depot back four hours. Virtual Railfan currently has 33 cams from three countries.

The Chuckey Depot and Museum is opened from Wednesday through Friday from 1 pm until 5 pm; on Saturday from 11 am until 5 pm and on Sunday from 1 pm until 5 pm.  For more information concerning  Depot programs and use of the depot for events, telephone (423) 791-3869.

Exhibit spotlights women

An advertisement for the new Superba Ball Bearing Washing Machine promises to make life easier.


Associate Editor

Some of the larger artifacts in the archives of the Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia are featured in “Home: A Factory Managed By Women” on display at the Jonesborough / Washington County History Museum. 

The museum is located in the Historic Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street.

Heritage Alliance Executive Director Deborah Montanti said the exhibit  “allows us to showcase artifacts that are not usually on display” like a cream separator and a wooden washing machine. 

Montanti explained that the “Factory” part of the title is intended to show how the mechanization of household work in the late 1800s both helped and hindered women of the era. The machines saved time but they also added more complexity to a woman’s plate.

In addition to running the household, increased productivity lead to paying jobs for many women in sewing, washing, butter production and more.

A McCormick Deering cream separator is on display in the museum.

“Women could sell butter and eggs,” Montanti said.   The exhibit includes butter molds that “could have given them a better selling price.”

The director thinks the washing machine may have been hand-made in the late 19th century. 

There is a sewing machine in the collection whose origin remains a mystery.   The very basic looking machine was manufactured by A. P. Sharp & Co. Of Baltimore, Maryland, but research by the Alliance staff has failed to locate any additional information on the machine or the manufacturer. 

A second machine on display was manufactured by the Davis Sewing Machine Company and sold by Sears, Roebuck and Co. under the moniker “Minnesota.”

According to International Sewing Machine Collectors Company, “1899 saw the introduction of a vibrating shuttle sewing machine made by The Davis Sewing Machine Company of Dayton, Ohio. With a few exceptions, Davis would become the sole supplier of sewing machines to Sears until about 1912.”

A treadle sewing machine promised separated cream and new clothes right from home.

“We have four or five sewing machines in our collection.  Sears and Montgomery Ward brought manufactures’ appliances to rural folks,” Montanti said. “They were delivered by railroad to towns across the nation as shown by material at the Chuckey Depot Museum.” 

The Visitors Center exhibit contains an early catalog washing machine advertisement. 

Sears, Roebuck and Company, colloquially known as Sears, is an American chain of department stores founded by Richard Warren Sears and Alvah Curtis Roebuck in 1892. The corporation was reincorporated in 1906. Formerly based at the Sears Tower in Chicago and currently headquartered in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, the operation began as a mail ordering catalog company. The company started opening retail locations in 1925. Sears was the largest retailer in the United States until October 1989, when Walmart surpassed it.

Montgomery Ward Inc. is the name of two historically distinct American retail enterprises. It can refer either to the defunct mail order and department store retailer, which operated between 1872 and 2001 or to the current catalog and online retailer also known as Wards.

“Women have played a vital role in the health and success of the family throughout history.  They may not have gone off to work but their work at home contributed a vast amount to the family. Women have contributed both ways (as care givers and financial providers) in bringing home the ‘bread,’” Montanti said.

Located in the center of the museum, the “Home: A Factory Managed By Women” was a joint effort of the Heritage Alliance staff.  Jacob Simpson played a leading role in putting together the display that has been on exhibit for nearly a month.  It will continue through the end of the year.   

Early each year the Alliance staff meets to plan an exhibition schedule.  “We are very fortunate to have the talent level on our staff.  I would not trade my staff for any other group in the world – they are top notch,” said Montanti. “People do not realize the time it takes to put together an exhibit.  It is a thoughtful and time-consuming process.”

For that reason and the demand for docents and tour guides, Montanti said the Alliance is always looking for volunteers.  Those individuals who volunteer will receive training in order to successfully undertake a variety of duties available in the non-profit organization.

Founded in 1982, the Jonesborough / Washington County History Museum and Archives collects artifacts, documents, and photographs to help tell the stories of the land and people who constituted “the mother of Tennessee.”

The Alliance collection focuses on the social, cultural and economic history of Jonesborough and Washington County.  The museum’s photographic collection spans the period from 1850 through the 1980s.  It includes a number of photographs from early Jonesborough photographers L. W. Keen and O. L. Hensley.

Exhibits on display feature information on early life in Washington County, the clock that kept time in the 1847 Courthouse, and Jonesborough’s very first firefighting equipment from the late 1800s      Hours of operation at the History Museum are from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.  There is no admission charge to visit the museum but donations are welcomed.

The Fantasticks comes to the JRT Stage

Shawn Hale (left) and Mike Musick (right) are ready to share the slaphappy production, The Fantasticks. (Photo by Karen Elb)


The Jonesborough Repertory Theatre is honored to bring the longest running musical ever — The Fantasticks — to its stage. This show is bound to touch your heart and soul in such a way as to brighten your outlook on family, relationships, and life in general.

“The Fantasticks is a love story but so much more,” director Karen Elb said. “Through our narrator, we meet the characters and discover that two neighbors have built a wall between their gardens, apparently to keep their children apart, but these fathers have a secret plan to use reverse psychology to make their children fall in love. As the story unfolds, we go on a bittersweet journey of romance, challenge, heartache, and growth.”

Jonesborough resident Tom Flagg had the privilege of being in the cast of The Fantasticks in New York City’s Off-Broadway production. He loves the show and encourages everyone to attend. “The essential story about ‘a boy, a girl, two fathers, and a wall’ can be traced back centuries to plays like Pyramus and Thisbe, or Romeo and Juliet. But, unlike its predecessors, The Fantasticks is a coming of age story—a musical drama with lighter moments, rather than a tragedy littered with the bodies of fallen lovers, family, and friends.

“If there is a byword for The Fantasticks,” Tom continued, “I guess it would be ‘simplicity.’ The original set was a simple platform for a stage, a few lights, and a large theatrical trunk from which the entire show emanates. The Narrator, who becomes the protagonist of the story, delivers all the exposition for the audience. Nearly everything he mentions (costumes, props, a smaller trunk, and even two actors) comes out of that large trunk. The idea being that, at the end of the show, everything goes back into the box to be carted off to a different town, and a different theater, to tell the story all over again.”

The JRT is thrilled to present such an iconic show and such a special gift to the community. And audiences will be delighted by the sweet, poignant and familiar tunes such as “Try to Remember” and “Soon It’s Gonna Rain.”

“This show is the longest running show in history,” said Shawn Hale, who plays one of the fathers. “When you see it you will know why. It is funny, eccentric, touching and imaginative.”

Joe Gumina, who portrays El Gallo, the Narrator, agreed. “One of the reasons for The Fantasticks‘ longevity and broad appeal is that it offers insight for every age group. Its observations about adolescence, love, parenting, heartbreak, and so on, are timeless and universal and, I think, would be relatable to all our patrons.”

“The Fantasticks is a play that truly has it all,” Karen emphasized. “If you love a story with beautiful music, comedy, drama, romance, a bit of action, and a dash of self-referential humor, this is the show for you.”

The book and lyrics of The Fantasticks are by Tom Jones, and the music is by Harvey Schmidt. The show is directed by Karen Elb and music directed by Jennifer Ross. It is sponsored by Gary & Sandee Degner, Ignaci Fonberg, and Sonia King/Mary B. Martin.

Rounding out the cast are Dave Bernhardt, Lindy Ley, Mike Musick, Lucas Schmidt, Garry Smith, and Catherine Squibb.

Show times are Thursdays through Sundays at 7:30pm, and Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00pm. Tickets are $16 general admission, $14 for students and seniors. The theatre is located at 125.5 West Main Street, Jonesborough, TN. To purchase tickets, call the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 423.753.1010 or go online to

Constitution Bell Ringing set for Sunday

Those in uniform honor the bell ringing.


The United States Constitution Bell Ringing is set for 1:30 p.m. at the Oak Hill School in Jonesborough located at 212 East Sabin Drive.  The State of Franklin Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution is sponsoring its fifth annual Bell Ringing event.

The Town of Jonesborough, Heritage Alliance and the Jonesborough Genealogical Society, along with the  Northeast Chapters  of the DAR and Sons of the American Revolutio, are partners in the event. Reenactors provide a visual reminder of those who helped protect our freedoms.

The tradition of celebrating the Constitution was started by the Daughters of the American Revolution. In 1955, the DAR petitioned Congress to set aside Sept. 17-23 annually to be dedicated for the observance of Constitution Week.

The resolution was adopted by Congress and signed into law on Aug. 2, 1956, by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Along with honoring soldiers of the Revolutionary War, this year’s ceremony will place special emphasis on the nineteen soldiers from Jonesborough killed in World War I. The war ended on the 11th hour of the 11th month 100 years ago in 1918.

Featured speaker at the ceremony will be Historian Allen Jackson, United States Air Force, retired.

The soldiers to be honored are:  Leeroy Carl Bacon, Private, US ARMY, died, 15 OCT 1918;  Hubert Barron, Private, US ARMY, died, 9 OCT 1918;  William Nelson Chinouth, Seaman 2nd Class, US NAVY, died, 4 OCT 1918;  Joseph C. Fulkerson, Private, US ARMY, died, 10 OCT 1918;  Paul Daniel Kelly, Private, US ARMY, died, 6 JAN 1918;  Marvin Herbert Lee, Private, US ARMY, died, 2 JAN 1919;  Hobert M. Leonard, Private, US ARMY, Buried at Sea, 25 JUL 1918;  Ralph Blain Matherly, Private, US ARMY, died, 8 NOV 1917;  James Miller, Private/Wagoner, US ARMY, died, 5 OCT 1918;  Walter Reens Million, Private, US ARMY, died, 7 OCT 1918;  John Edmund Phillips, Sergeant, US ARMY, died, 1 JAN 1918; William Phillips, Private, US ARMY, died, 11 OCT 1918;   John  Williams Armstrong, Corporal, US ARMY, killed, 18 JUL 1918;  Emmett Cole, Private 1st Class, US ARMY, killed, 4 OCT 1918;  Bernie Daniels, Mess Sergeant, US ARMY, killed, 14 OCT 1918;  Charles Albert Helton, Private, US ARMY, killed, 29 SEP 1918;  Walter E. McNeese, Corporal, US ARMY, killed, 6 OCT 1918 and Virgil Christian Mottern, Sergeant 1st Class, US ARMY, missing, 19 OCT 1918 awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for Bravery.

The last name remembered is Rufus A. Potter, Private, US ARMY, killed, 11 NOV 1918, on the last day of the war, actually in the last few minutes of World War I.

Also featured will be the Choral Department of David Crockett High School, under the direction of Kelly Davenport. Students from The Children of The American Revolution and Washington County Schools have been invited to the event and will participate.  County Historian John Kiener will give a short account of the role of female nurses in the war.

The ceremony will end with the first stanza of America, “My Country ’tis of Thee” and the ringing of bells, from the historical Oak Hill School bell to all types of bells chiming in from the attendees.

The event will be held outdoors and those attending are asked to bring lawn chairs.

Jonesborough docents give inside look of history

Jacob Simpson stands watch in front of the Christopher Taylor House in Jonesborough.


Associate Editor

“We have really extended the reach of the museum,” said Joe Spiker, Head Docent at the Chester Inn Museum as he discussed the impact of the Heritage Alliance’s History Happy Hour. As he talked, Anne G’Fellers-Mason, Special Projects Coordinator, was setting up a presentation for a talk and slide show on Jonesborough native Rhea Wells. 

Anne Mason poses in front of the Chester Inn.

Anne’s mother, Dr. Brenda G’Fellers along with Kristin Pearson, both employees of the Bristol Library, were giving the program. Spiker and Jacob Simpson, Exhibits Coordinator, were telling what it is like to be a docent in Tennessee’s oldest town when Gordon Edwards, a volunteer docent and President of the Heritage Alliance, arrived for the Wells Happy Hour.  

“We have been lucky so far in our programming,” Spiker said of the Happy Hour. “I’ve handled a lot of the scheduling for the program, and Deborah Montanti (Executive Director of the Alliance) came up with the name. They take up 35 to 40 minutes followed by questions. This year we have scheduled nine or 10 presentations.”

The History Happy Hour is only one of the duties that Spiker, Simpson and G’Fellers undertake in keeping the community’s heritage in the forefront for both residents and visitors.  Running a museum requires a variety of skills, including those of a docent. The following definition gives the essence of the position and its history.

Docent is used at some (mainly German) universities generically for a person who has the right to teach. The term is derived from the Latin word docēns, which is the present active participle of docēre (to teach, to lecture). In the United States it is usually a person who acts as a guide in a museum, art gallery, or zoo.

Research on available artifacts in the Alliance Archives, designing and installing exhibits, research, writing, talking to visitors, both in the museum and on the streets of Jonesborough, and designing educational programs are all part of the duties Spiker and Simpson undertake each month.

Joe Spiker can be found at the Chester Inn in Jonesborough.

In addition, docents help research and staff the Christopher Taylor house on Main Street. Gordon Edwards, a long-time volunteer for the Heritage Alliance mostly known for his cemetery work, is the projects director of the house. “It is a cool artifact on Main Street. We are trying to have more activities there,” he said. Mason adds, “We can now have people in the house. We are opening it on weekends.”

Simpson helped initiate one new program at the cabin for 2018. From May through September the House is the venue for an Old-Time and Bluegrass Jam Session. Held on the first Thursday of the month, the “Jam” is open to musicians and spectators. Audience members are asked to bring a chair or picnic and listen to the musicians on the lawn in front of the house. Attendance this summer has usually included 25 to 30 persons. No admission is charged for the jam session. The music lasts from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m. “While no admission is charged, donations will be accepted for the Christopher Taylor House Restoration,” Edwards said.

Docents also help by conducting town tours of Jonesborough along with a staff of volunteer tour guides. The tours are available at 1 pm on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday and at 7 pm on Thursday. Town tour guides are dressed in various period costumes from the tri-corner hats of the early republic to a 1905 Jonesboro baseball team costume. Docents offer a regular schedule of historic walking tours of downtown Jonesborough. These tours depart from the Chester Inn. There are some seasonal changes in the schedule, so people interested in taking a tour are asked to please call ahead at (423)753-9580 or (423)753-4580 to confirm the tour schedule. The guides discuss the history of the town, its people and the lives they built. Tickets are $5 per person and can be purchased at the Museum.

This year the Alliance also offers tours of the Old Jonesborough Cemetery at 2:30 p.m. on the first and third Saturday of the month, going through mid-October. Tickets for the cemetery tour are $3 per person. In addition to town and cemetery tours, there is a “Myth Busting Tour” and “Railroad Tours.” A special combination ticket for two tours is available at $7 per person.

Gordon Edwards is a volunteer docent and President of the Heritage Alliance.

All the docents said they enjoy leading town tours. Some tours involve only a few people while groups have been as large as 25 people in the past. Weather does not usually halt the tours aside from possibly the cemetery tour. “I like to ask people where they are from,” said Spiker. “I had members from as far away as California. Most are interested in the fact that this area was once part of North Carolina.”

Docents Spiker and Simpson explained that the Chester Inn Museum, located downtown, chronicles the history of Jonesborough from its inception in 1779 to the present. The museum is located on the street level of the oldest commercial building in town. The Inn is a state owned historic site operated by the Heritage Alliance.

Exhibits include information on the State of Franklin, a diorama of Jonesborough in the 1850s and the history of the Chester Inn. Many of the exhibits feature Jonesborough’s extensive collection of photographs. The upstairs parlor, dining, and lodging rooms of the Inn, restored to the Victorian era style of the late 1800s, are also open for viewing.

Kids’ activities include a museum scavenger hunt, a coloring book that features some of Jonesborough’s historic buildings and a primary source activity with the cholera epidemic of 1873. “The first activity children are interested in are pushing buttons in the diorama,” said Spiker. “If I can catch their attention in that activity, then we go to other items in the museum including toys. With children, the more visuals you use, the better the presentation.”

Another Alliance program involves the Oak Hill School, built in 1886 to serve the community of Knob Creek. The building served local residents as a school and as a center for community events until the school was closed in the 1950s.

Memorial set for town’s first modern fire chief

Guy E. Sabin was a leader for the Jonesborough Fire Department.


Staff Writer

Next Wednesday, Sept. 5, will be an important day for the Jonesborough Fire Department. That day will mark the 130th anniversary of the death of JFD’s first fire chief, Guy Sabin. Responsible for heralding the JFD into the “modern age,” he died Wednesday, Sept. 5, 1888, as a result of falling from the roof of a building he was trying to save.

Chason Freeman, JFD’s Operations Lieutenant, has spent time researching Sabin and wanted to hold a ceremony to celebrate the man.

Nannie and Guy Sabin

“I’ve done research into the history of the fire department and (Sabin) actually formed the Fire Department in 1887. They called him a ‘captain’; what we would now refer to as a ‘chief’ position now.

“So I’d like to do a small memorial service and I’ve got some of the family members of the Sabin family that will be attending.”

The memorial will be held at the Rocky Hill Cemetery (Old Jonesborough Cemetery) behind First Baptist Church on Sept. 5 at 10:00 a.m.

Freeman’s research led to the obituary of Sabin, which described the incident which took his life.

“On Wednesday morning, September 5th, 1888, Jonesboro was aroused by the alarm of fire. Soon the amateur fire company, organized last winter, was in motion, but their captain, Guy Ellis Sabin, reached the scene of the fire before them. The burning building was found to be the residence of William Shaw, and the fire had gotten such headway that it was impossible to check it. Mr. Sabin, thinking that the residence of Mrs. Caleb Babb, near the burning house, was in danger, quickly mounted it and was with others engaged in pouring water on the roof when he fell headlong to the ground, dislocating his neck and dying instantly. The announcement to the already excited citizens that Mr. Sabin was dead, struck them dumb. But oh! How terrible the news to his family from whom he had just gone out with the cherry word, ‘Don’t be anxious about me, I’ll be back directly.’”

According to Freeman, Sabin had a rule that nobody climbed up on the roof of any burning building.

The museum of the Jonesborough Visitors Center contains some equipment that Mr. Sabin would have procured in his modernization of the Fire Department, as well as other exhibits about him.

Dynamo teller to perform in Jonesborough

Storyteller Dolores Hudock merges history and personal stories to create a package of vibrant tales that both uplift and entertain. She will be in Jonesborough through Sept. 1.


Dolores Hydock will soon bring her signature blend of vibrant historical works and personal stories to the International Storytelling Center for a weeklong residency in Jonesborough.

The Birmingham, Alabama transplant (Hydock hails from Pennsylvania) is the latest performer in ISC’s widely acclaimed Storytelling Live! series, which will import new talent to its Main Street stage every week through the end of October.

Hydock credits her time in the South, and the people of Alabama in particular, with sparking her interest in storytelling years ago. “If I’d landed in Connecticut or upstate New York or something, that never would have happened,” she said. “They helped me find my life.” She frequently collaborates with the Birmingham Museum of Art, for instance, which often commissions her to craft original stories to complement their exhibitions.

Historical stories have long held a certain fascination for Hydock, who loves to fish for connections from centuries past and the modern day. “The truth is, we’re all living in extraordinary times,” she said. “We always are. We’re just unaware.”

In addition to original material, Hydock will perform a selection of folk and fairy tales, another genre that she has always found absorbing and relevant to contemporary listeners. “To me, folk tales are the self-help books that people had 200 years ago,” she said. “They were the way that people shared what they knew about how to get along instead of reading a book about how to be successful or organized. We’re all looking for the magic bullet to a better life.”

In Jonesborough, Hydock will perform daily in ISC’s intimate theater. Concerts are Tuesday to Saturday, Aug. 28 – Sept. 1, beginning each day at 2 p.m. Advance reservations are recommended, with tickets available on a first-come first-served basis.

Tickets for all matinee shows are $12 for adults, and $11 for seniors, students, and anyone under 18. All ticketholders can present their ticket stubs for a 10 percent discount on same-day dining at Main Street Café (lunch only); Medley Vegan Vegetarian; Olde Towne Pancake House; and The Corner Cup. Boone Street Market is offering 10 percent off prepared meals and five percent off any other purchase.

The 2018 Storytelling Live! series will a few weeks after the National Storytelling Festival, with a smattering of encores extending through the end of the year, for the holiday season.

Information about all performers, as well as a detailed schedule (including after-dark concerts and one-time workshops) for the 2018 season, is available at

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, 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.

The International Storytelling Center is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. For more information about Storytelling Live! or to make a group reservation, call (800) 952-8392 ext. 222 or (423) 913-1276.

The Old Mill: a piece of history shared with our North Carolina neighbors

Old Mill Cabin, now located in Banner Elk, North Carolina, once called Jonesborough home.

(Editor’s Note: The following article is used with permission from Carolina Mountain Life and copyrighted in 2018. The story about the log structure originally built near Jonesborough appeared in the Spring 2018 Edition of CML. The magazine is published four times a year and is available by subscription at a yearly rate of $35. The address of the magazine is Carolina Mountain Life, P. O. Box 976, Linville, NC 28646; by email —; on the web – or by telephone at 828-737-0771.)


Special to the H&T

These days, we tend to forget how thin the line is between North Carolina and Tennessee, especially here in the Appalachian Mountains. Our Common Core textbooks have compartmentalized and homogenized too many details of our collective past which occurred on both sides of that arbitrary border, integrally intertwined and effortlessly crossing back and forth along this historic corridor.

Understanding that the “big picture” of Appalachian culture does not fit well within the confines of any single-state or municipality makes the opportunity to touch the collective history of our mountains within the walls of an existing structure a rare and inviting treat.

I recently discovered one such unique bit of the history-not just of North Carolina, nor just of Tennessee, but of Appalachia, and it is located right in our backyard on Beech Mountain in North Carolina.

Old Mill Cabin 2018 Inside Cabin.

Currently known as “The Old Log Mill,” the original log structure of this dwelling was constructed near Jonesborough (Tennessee’s oldest town) in 1797 by the Rubbles family. Jonesborough, the county seat of Washington County, was established in 1777, and at that time was still part of North Carolina. Its origins are rooted in the Watauga settlements, established in the early1770s in the vicinity of what is now Elizabethton.

In 1799, a daughter of the Rubbles married a Dr. Hill and for generations, their descendants lived in this log home. When this house was constructed, it was the largest structure in the valley, consisting of four floors of 750 square feet each.

Following North Carolina’s cession of western lands in June 1784, settlers west of the Appalachians found themselves without government. They remedied the situation by organizing the State of Franklin at Jonesborough. In August 1784, John Sevier became the governor of this “Lost State,” which continued until 1788. The constitutional convention and the first legislative sessions of the “State of Franklin” were held in Jonesborough until 1785.   

From the beginning, Jonesborough was a planned community. No ramshackle cabins were permitted; the owner of each lot had to build “one brick, stone, or well-framed house, 20 feet long and 16 feet wide, at least 10 feet in the pitch, with a brick or stone chimney.” Failure to comply with this provision brought forfeiture of the land title. In May 1788, commissioners reported in favor of Jonesborough as the best and most convenient location for the Washington County courthouse, prison and stocks. It is known that at one time, magistrate business including court hearings were conducted in this, the home that eventually was to become “The Old Log Mill.”

In the early 1900s, ownership of “The Old Log Mill” was conveyed to the Hicks family, and new additions were added to make a total of 11 rooms. The Hicks occupied the home for 45 years.

At the time, heat for the structure came from a 12-foot-wide fireplace that burned logs so large they had to be dragged in by oxen. According to historical accounts, Indians were fired upon from gun ports that were built into the dwelling, one of which is preserved on the second floor of the structure in its current location.

In 1980, Dr. Ed Calvin (one of the original developers of the northridge of Beech Mountain) purchased the building and had the structure dismantled, match-marked and shipped by truck from Jonesborough to Beech Mountain. Dr. Calvin was a survivalist, and he reconstructed the structure like a bunker in its new location.

The basement now contains walls and ceilings of concrete and steel that are three feet thick. The dwelling was fed at the time by an artesian well, which required no source of electricity (and which still exists on the site). During Calvin’s painstaking restoration of the log home between 1982 and1987, other modifications were made to the dwelling, including resizing the fireplace and enlarging the windows.

New wood elements were incorporated into the reconstruction and included a fireplace mantel, a bar, walls and flooring, some of which were sourced from trees felled on the Beech Mountain construction site. Waterfalls emanating from Buckeye Creek feed three ponds that were created on the property and stocked with rainbow trout. Calvin demonstrated a remarkable and unique vision in his creation of this tranquil and serene mountain compound. Among the most interesting modifications to the structure, he added a fully functional steel waterwheel by the Fitz Waterwheel Company that he acquired at a cost of $8,000 from a grist mill in Mountain City. His intention was to grind flour on premise but he never fulfilled that dream.

Dr. Calvin’s wife, Jan Calvin, was one of the Beech Mountain Club’s most beloved recreation directors. She especially enjoyed entertaining at the old mill and hosted programs that she developed for all ages and interests, including pig roasts, wine tastings, craft classes, wildflower walks and ladies’ luncheons.

In 1999, ownership of this historic structure transitioned once again, this time to the Biondo family. Upon acquisition of the home, the Biondos completely gutted the basement bunker and converted it into an office and playroom.

Ten years later, they added a 2,700 square- foot addition, being careful to keep the integrity of “The Old Log Mill.” Today the home is over 5,000 square feet, with five bedrooms and four and one-half baths.

The 700 square-foot covered rear deck is built adjacent to Buckeye Creek and faces a 10-foot streaming waterfall.   

“The Old Log Mill” property, located mere minutes from the heart of Beech Mountain Town Center, feels completely off the grid with sweeping long-range views. The simple notion that history was most likely created by legendary figures such as Sevier and Tipton within the walls of this structure merits a look inside. It isn’t every day one encounters this caliber of rustic mountain luxury steeped in so much of the culture and history of Appalachia.

“The Old Log Mill” is located at 130 Spruce Hollow Road on Beech Mountain and is currently available for viewing by contacting Premier Sotheby’s International Realty in Banner Elk, North Carolina.

In 1918, votes bring about big changes

Downtown Jonesborough, in the 1900s.  


Associate Editor

EDITOR’S NOTE: Readers who find this article interesting are asked to provide the Herald and Tribune with any accounts, letters or photographs they may have of events during 1918.  Please reply to the author of this article at the email listed below or by postal mail at P. O. Box, 277, Jonesborough, TN. 37659.

The election of 1918 resulted in a number of cultural changes in the United States, not the least of which was the pursuit of the right to vote for women, as shown in the image below. A world war and a flu epidemic were also on voters minds as they headed to the polls.

A country engaged in a world war, a flu epidemic, a crusade against alcohol and the women’s suffrage movement occupied voters going to the polls in Washington County in 1918.  The Monday, Aug. 1 election would see a sweep of county offices by the Republican Party and new members chosen for the County Court. Candidates for state and federal officers in both the Democratic and Republican primaries were also determined.

Results of the August balloting were published in the Herald and Tribune on Thursday, Aug. 8, 1918 under the major headline:  “OFFICIAL COUNT MADE; SELLS DEFEATS HARMON.” A smaller headline read: “Democrats Nominate Roberts for Governor and Shields for U.S. Senate.  Gus Broderick Elected Sheriff.” John K. Shields  won the United States Senate primary election statewide but lost in the Washington County voting.

The story provided: “The official canvass of the ballots cast in the election on August 1 was made Monday.  In the regular election the following Republican candidates were declared elected without opposition.

“Chancellor, Hal H. Haynes, re-elected; Circuit Judge, D.A. Vines; Attorney General, O. B. Lovette; Trustee, J.W. Weeks, re-elected; County Court Clerk, W. C. Leab, re-elected; Circuit Court Clerk, W. H. Jones; Register, C. S. Maden, re-elected.

“In the race for sheriff, Gus Broderick, Democrat, defeated Lola Remine, the present incumbent by a majority of 163.  The official count is tabulated below.”

The tabulation involved the votes in 18 Districts.  For example, in the race for sheriff, Broderick received 2,008 votes while Remine had 1,875. Officials who ran in uncontested races each received approximately 2,500 votes.

“In the Democratic primary, the ballot in Washington County gave the following results: For U.S. Senate – Rye 822; Shields 710 – Rye’s majority 112; For Governor – Roberts 891; Peay 688; Shropshire 11—Roberts majority over Peay 131; For committeemen – Caldwell 1,175; Susong 1,186.”

“In the Republican primary, the ballot for the county resulted as follows: For Congressman – Sells 1,574; Harmon 890 – Sells’ majority 745; For State Senator – May 1,064; Collins 650; Roberts 599 – May’s majority over Collins 411; For the Senate District Collins was nominated by (a majority) of 44 votes.’ Sells (Congressman S. R Sells) defeated Harmon by over 2,000 (votes in the 1st Congressional District).”

“For Representative – Martin 1482; Royston 823 – Royston’s majority – 659.  For Committeemen – Thompson 1,457; Howard 1,270; Myers 728; Idol 560.   W. S. Tucker was nominated for floater without opposition.”

Unlike today, in 1918 there were 39 candidates elected to the County Court. The text of the Herald and Tribune article after a headline that read “21 NEW MEMBERS IN COUNTY COURT” read, “Of the 39 magistrates composing the county court, 18 of the old members were re-elected to office, while 21 successful aspirants replaced the others.  Politically, the complexion of the county court is Republicans 31, Democrats seven and the politics of one member unknown.”

In a subsequent edition, the names and address of the members of the county court were published as follows under the headline: “Who Belongs to the County Court – For the convenience of those who desire a complete list of the members of the present County Court, we give same below – W. C. Leab, Clerk, Jonesboro

1st District – M. M. Mauk, Chuckey, Rt. 4; Wm. S. Walter, Chuckey, Rt. 4.

2nd District – J. G. Dillow, Jonesboro, Rt. 1; S. W. Bovell, Limestone, Rt. 2.

3rd District – N. T. Bowman, Washington College, Rt. 1; T. G. Moore, Limestone, Rt. 2.

4th District – W. F. Reed, Telford, Rt. 1; J. M. Guinn, Jonesboro, Rt. 2.

5th District – D. A. Markwood, Jonesboro, Rt. 1; J. A. Hartman, Telford.

6th District – A. J. Willis, Embreville; J. W. Jones, Jonesboro, Rt. 1.

7th District – E. E. Hall, Fall Branch; A. R. Moulton, Fall Branch.

8th District – A. C. Benfield, Jonesboro, Rt. 3; Samuel J. Huffine, Johnson City, Rt. 1.

9th District – L. Armbrust, Johnson City; Thos. E. Matson, Johnson City; A. D. Hughes, Johnson City.

10th District – J. A. Swadley, Johnson City, Rt. 4; W. P. Leach, Johnson City, Rt. 4.

11th District – W. F. Carter, Jonesboro, Rt. 4; J. L. Clark, Jonesboro, Rt. 4.

12th District – C. E. Dove, Jonesboro, Rt. 10; J. M. Hale, Jonesboro, Rt. 11.

13th District – G. C. Horne, Jonesboro, Rt. 7 (Chairman); J. E. Duncan, Jonesboro, Rt. 13.

14th District – J. S. Hunt, Jonesboro, Rt. 7; L. M. Payne, Jonesboro, Rt. 6.

15th District – J. L. Hilbert, Jonesboro; Jas. H. Epps, Jonesboro; J. I Hawkins, Jonesboro; J. P. McNeil, Johnson City, Rt. 3.

16th District – J. W. Smith, Jonesboro, Rt. 7; J. Horace Smith, Jonesboro, Rt. 7.

17th District – W. S. Miller, Limestone, Rt. 1; R.  A. N. Walker, Jonesboro. Rt. 7.

18th District – J. H. Hardin, Washington College, Rt. 1; E.B. Mitchell, Limestone, Rt. 2.

Women were seeking the vote in 1918.  The suffrages (as the advocates of votes for women were called) had emerged in the South as an offshoot of the abolition of alcohol movement with the Women Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) playing a central role.  The Tennessee Equal Suffrage Association (TESA) and National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) lobbied the General Assembly for the right to vote in municipal and presidential elections.

In April 1918, their efforts were successful and both houses of the Tennessee Legislature passed a woman’s voting rights bill.  A lawsuit was immediately filed challenging its constitutionality but the Tennessee Supreme Court upheld the law.  In 1920 Tennessee would play a critical role in the federal constitutional provision on woman’s suffrage.

The most serious outbreak of influenza  ( flu) in Tennessee history was also taking place.  There would be  7,721 recorded deaths from the disease in the influenza pandemic of 1918-19. What happened the state was part of a worldwide epidemic, multiplied in its effect by the dislocation and home-front demands of World War I.

November would bring another election and the end of World War I.  A second newspaper article will detail the events of this critical month in history.

Murder mystery dinner to offer clues

This family dinner is about to get a little heated. You don’t want to miss it.


You thought your family was bad? Add a dash of sibling rivalry, a touch of crazy, a house filled with secrets that are ready to explode, and you have a recipe for a murderous family reunion; and no one stirs the pot quite like the Crawfords!

Join Mae, Mable, Delmar, Isaac, Jessica, and Mona as they come together to celebrate Horace’s 90th birthday by getting the Crawford clan together under one roof at the Historic Eureka Inn. As tensions run high the secrets start to flow and someone turns up dead! Help the family put together clues and figure out what exactly is going on at this party!

Guests will be served dinner promptly at 7 p.m. and then escorted into the Eureka’s parlor to enjoy “The Family Reunion.”

The menu is as follows: House Salad with choice of Dressing, Delmar’s Smoked Meatloaf (a Vegetarian option is available), Southern Style Green Beans, Mable’s Baked Mac & Cheese, Mashed Taters with Brown Gravy, and Banana Pudding or Horace’s Birthday Cake. There will be an intermission where dessert will be served and the Clue Hunt will commence. Prizes will be awarded at the end of the show to the guests who can discover “whodunit” and why. This show will leave your tummy full and have you wishing you were part of the Crawford clan! Nobody puts the FUN in dysfunctional quite like the Crawfords

Join us in the beautiful and historic downtown Jonesborough at the Historic Eureka Inn for “The Family Reunion.” The Eureka Inn has partnered with Derek Smithpeters of DSP Creations Unlimited, to bring you the second of three Mystery Dinners in Jonesborough.This hilariously dangerous mystery dinner will take place at the Historic Eureka Inn, 127 W. Main St. The show begins at 7 p.m. and dates still available include July 27, 28 and August 3, 4, 10, 11. “The Family Reunion” was written by local artist and playwright, Derek Smithpeters. This show is produced by Eureka’s proprietors Katelyn and Blake Yarbrough.

Tickets for “The Family Reunion” may be purchased $45 plus tax at the Historic Eureka Inn, by calling (423) 913-6100, or by visiting .

You can turn your show into an escape and book one of the inn’s guest rooms, enjoy a delicious Southern Brunch, and receive a discount! All Eureka guests will receive a $10 discount on their Mystery Tickets. Doors open at 6:45 pm and dinner is served promptly at 7. Parking is free, located down 1st Avenue and on Main St. For more information about the Historic Eureka Inn or their Mystery Dinners, please find them on Facebook, Instagram, or visit their website

Local Civitan dates back to 1947; still serving area communities

The Jonesborough Civitan has been making a difference in the community since its inception in 1947.


Associate Editor

Most residents and visitors pass by the gazebo at Mill Spring Park or the shelter at Wetlands Water Park assuming they were built and paid for by the Town of Jonesborough. The two facilities are but a couple of the projects completed by the Jonesborough Civitan Club.

On the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month, the group of approximately 20 members meets at the Blackthorn Club near Jonesborough for fellowship and discussion of projects that will benefit the community.

Current projects include support for the Civinettes at David Crockett High

School, wheelchairs for those in need, funding for five Free Little Libraries in conjunction with the Jonesborough Community Chest and flags for Veterans Park. The group also sponsors Little League baseball and soccer teams in the community.

The Civinettes are an all-female club. Their new advisors are Lauren Murr and Julie Rastall.

The local community service organization was chartered on Aug. 15, 1947. The charter was issued by Civitan International, based in Birmingham, Alabama and founded in 1917 “to build good citizenship by providing a volunteer organization of clubs dedicated to serving individual and community needs with an emphasis on helping people with developmental disabilities.”

The organization broke off from a service club when members in Birmingham, Alabama felt it was “focused too much on increasing the business of club members.” The club was led by Courtney Shropshire and named “Civitan,” derived from the Latin word for citizenship.

“I was not in a civic club,” said Jimmy Rhein, who joined the group in 1985. “I was working in Kingsport and could not go to a noon meeting. I joined because the membership met at night.”

Now, the club does hold its meetings at noon. Rhein said he discovered that “It was a good way to make connections with others and to help the community.”

Member Steve Alexander joined the club in 1987. He also was working outside of Jonesborough. He said, “Dad (Wayne Alexander) had been a club member, so I joined.”

Alexander said the gazebo project was undertaken when he was president. “We were looking for a large project,” he said. “The town owned the land and the club spent between $12,000 and $15,000 to built the gazebo,” now the site of numerous events including weddings and ghost stories during the annual Storytelling Festival.

The Storytelling Festival is one of the groups’ fund raising projects where members assist with traffic and parking during the annual event in early October. Other fund- raisers are a chili supper in February and a golf tournament usually held in late March or early April.

Traditionally, the club has also sold fruit cakes during November and December. The sales by what is now a 40,000 member international organization began in 1951 when Civitan Earl Carver stopped by a small bakery in Claxton, Georgia and purchased a fruit cake. It was so good he purchased cakes to take home to Florida and then suggested his club sell the cakes to raise money — which they did. Since then, Civitan and Claxton Fruit Cakes have become synonymous with the holiday season. One of the most successful fundraising projects beginning in 1976 has been the Civitan Candy Box Project. The program has raised $50 million through the placement of boxes of mints at businesses in members’ communities.

Alexander said the shelter at Wetlands Water Park originally was moved to accommodate the park. “It was our project from start to finish.” Adding to the structure are restrooms close to the shelter that were built by the Town of Jonesborough.

The Civitans organized and sponsored the “Miss Historic Jonesborough Scholarship Pageant” in 1985. Several years later the group was offered the “Miss Johnson City” franchise. Thereafter it was run as a combined pageant crowning both “Miss Historic Jonesborough” and “Miss Johnson City.”

Then, several years ago, the pageant split from the Civitans and is operated as a separate organization.

Rhein and Alexander both said, “We are always looking for the next project.” Alexander added, “We are now working with the Town of Jonesborough on weather resistant musical chimes that people can ring by striking.” Civitan has joined with the local Kiwanis Club in some projects such as the annual golf tournament.

A major project of the club in the past was a joint venture with the Jonesborough Riding Club. It was the Jonesborough Horse Show usually held on the July 4th weekend and took place in the 1950s and 1960s. It was held on the 11E Bypass where Mark Ferguson’s Car Wash and Storage business is now located. In the early ‘50s the group also sponsored a Minstrel Show at the old Jonesborough High School, now known as Academy Hill.

The organization is proud of the fact it was the first major, all-male service club to accept women as members. An informal ladies’ auxiliary had been part of Civitan since the late 1920s but women had never been Club members. Membership was first opened to women in 1974.

Current officers of the club are: Jimmy Rhein, President; Mike Dixon, Vice-President; Jeff Orr, Secretary and Taylor Fleenor, Treasurer. Dues for members are $70.00 per quarter.

“We have been sponsoring activities in the community for over 50 years,” said Rhein. Members of the group have included former Mayor Kelly Wolfe, Steve’s father and well-known funeral director Wayne Alexander, Sam Mitchell, Sr., Sam May and Harry and Wilbur Weems.

A couple of outstanding Civitans from the past are Jack Leonard and W.C. Rowe. Leonard’s daughter was Miss Tennessee. Rowe was a Washington County Commissioner for many years. Former Washington County School Director Ron Dyke’s father, J.C., and his grandfather were Civitans. Members of other Civitan clubs throughout the nation have included Thomas Edison, Presidents Calvin Coolidge, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Harry Truman. Others have included United State Supreme Justices Hugo Black and Ed Sanford; Cornelius Vanderbilt, IV, Richard Petty, and Bo Jackson.

The organization has adopted a special emphasis on helping people with developmental disabilities. It has been a major sponsor of Special Olympics and operates the UAB Civitan International Research Center in Birmingham. This world-class research facility is a center for research into disorders such as autism, Down syndrome, brain tumors and epilepsy.

Tennessee has played a major role in Civitan’s history. For example, the group’s second annual convention attended by 115 clubs was held at Chattanooga in 1922. The Knoxville Civitans raised $100,000 to build a three-story hospital for indigent tuberculosis patents in 1923.

If you are interested in Civitan Club membership or would like to know more about the organization, contact Jimmy Rhein at telephone number 423-753-4522 or email: “

Storyteller to bring the humor

Andy Offutt Irwin will bring all of his talents and stories — including ones about food — to Jonesborough from Saturday, July 17 through Saturday, July 21.


Triple threat Andy Offutt Irwin — storyteller, humorist and musician — will be the next artist in line for Storytelling Live! in downtown Jonesborough. As a guest of the International Storytelling Center, the popular performer will offer a series of live concerts.

Throughout Irwin’s residency, Tuesday to Saturday, July 17 – 21, he’ll share an array of stories and songs, including fan favorites and new material.

“If I don’t tell Marguerite stories, there will be unrest,” he said, referring to his most beloved character, an 85-year-old physician named Marguerite Van Camp. Despite the ridiculous trappings of her life that mark her as a character, not a person, Marguerite is so beloved by Irwin’s fans that most of them think of her as real.

In addition to his afternoon performances, on Thursday, July 19, Irwin will offer a special evening concert, “A Football Made of Cheese,” which is in part a story about his sister’s strangely specific phobia of yellow cheese. The nighttime performance will begin at 7:30 p.m., with tickets priced at just $15. Tickets for all matinee shows are $12 for adults, and $11 for seniors, students, and anyone under 18.

Irwin’s Thursday-night concert is one of many special events scheduled throughout the Storytelling Live! season, including other after-dark shows, Saturday-morning story hours for children, and story-related workshops.

All matinee concerts begin at 2 p.m. in the Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall. All ticketholders can present their ticket stubs for a 10 percent discount on same-day dining at Main Street Café (lunch only); Medley Vegan Vegetarian; Olde Towne Pancake House; and The Corner Cup. Boone Street Market is offering 10 percent off prepared meals and 5 percent off any other purchase.

Throughout the week, Irwin will intersperse stories from his own childhood into his sets of original stories about Marguerite. A relatively new area of interest for him is food, a subject about which he’s nostalgic, if not romantic. “A lot of storytellers talk about food and what they grew up eating,” Irwin said. “Kathryn Tucker Windham used to tell a story about not having sugar in the cornbread, but I grew up on Captain Crunch. I’ve got the dental work to prove it.”

Information about all performers, as well as a detailed schedule for the 2018 season, is available at 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, 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.

The International Storytelling Center is open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. For more information about Storytelling Live! or to make a group reservation, call (800) 952-8392 ext. 222 or (423) 913-1276.

Sounds of Boones Creek grand opening celebrated

From left to right, Ed Bowman, Lilly Hensley, Brenda Whitson, and Vicki Shell help kick off the ribbon cutting at the Sounds of Boones Creek Museum.


Associate Editor

An overflow crowd of nearly 200 persons celebrated the Grand Opening of the Sounds of Boones Creek on Tuesday, June 26 at 525 W. Oakland Avenue in Johnson City. The museum is a walk through of 260 years of county history.

The Boones Creek Historical Trust Museum & Opry displays a look back in time with artifacts collected by the 32-year old organization pledged to preserving the history of the Boones Creek community.

After a welcoming by Boones Creek Historical Trust President Lilly Hensley, members of the group explained the museum’s timeline that features photographs of the famous tree noting Daniel Boone had killed a bear in 1760 and Bean Fort, where William Bean established residency in 1769 as the first European settler in what would become Tennessee. Other exhibits detail local doctors Hezekiah Hankal, for whom the Washington County Health Department Building is named, and Joseph L. Clark, a pioneer physician. An expert shooter who went to Hollywood to create western movie scenes, Joe Bowman is featured in one panel of the museum as is Mayne Keefauver, the first woman to run for public office in Washington County.

There are also scenes containing information about agriculture, the Burley Bowl, small industry, schools and churches. Museum visitors are told that Boones Creek was home to country music pioneer and songwriter Fiddlin’ Charlie Bowman and an audio presentation features his song “9 Pound Hammer.”

During the ceremony, BCHT Historian and Treasurer Edward Bowman, commented, “People visit museums, but they need a reason to return again and again. So every Saturday night at 6 p.m. we have an Opry on this little stage. It’s part history lesson and part music.”

Bowman, a graduate of both Boones Creek High School and East Tennessee State University, continued in explaining that the museum is a “‘people’s opry’ – local talent taking the stage. The response has been amazing. There is no question this small space isn’t going to hold us long. The demand is already evident.”

The space at Oakland Avenue was donated to the Historical Trust by Dr. Carroll and Jimmie Ann Hyder. It is a temporary one-quarter scale model of a museum venue that is planned for the future at a location in Boones Creek. A possible site for the museum is a barn on the Keefauver Farm, owned by the City of Johnson City and planned for future recreational development.

The BCHT consists of 250 members. “The Sounds of Boones Creek can very easily become one of the largest draws in our area,” Trust member Stephen Sebastian said. “We are the keepers of remarkable frontier stories and artifacts…what you see here only scratches the surface of our collection.”

Commenting on the creation of the Museum & Opry, Trust member Vicki Shell said, “We have put this place together in four months on a shoestring to illustrate our dream. We are going to honor our benefactors in a permanent way in the museum but for now let me say ‘thank-you’ to those of you who have already opened your wallets and said you wanted to be part of this…We need your support.”

The BCHT will join with East Tennessee State University in musical programing under the direction of Ron Roach, chairman of ETSU Appalachian Studies. In the future, after school workshops and music day camps for people of all ages are planned.

Assisting Historian Bowman and President Hensley in the Ribbon cutting Tuesday was Brenda Whitson, Director of the Chamber of Commerce’s Convention & Visitors bureau. The organization was credited with its support of the Museum & Opry’s establishment. Also present in the audience were a number of local government officials. Immediately following the ribbon cutting, the audience listened to a playing of the song, “Will The Circle Be Unbroken.”  Refreshments were provided to visitors at a tent in front of the museum after the ceremony.

The museum is now open to visitors from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Musical programs with a featured band followed by people who want to join in the evening’s entertainment take place each Saturday night For more information, visit or telephone numbers (423)467-0151 and (423)329-3784

Johnny Cash show offered more than music

A 1973 edition of the Herald & Tribune contained this photo of Johnny Cash in Jonesborough as he looked over a book on Landon Carter.


Staff Writer

In July of 1973, Richard Nixon was the President, Stevie Wonder was on the radio and right here in Jonesborough, Johnny Cash was preparing to celebrate the Fourth of July in Tennessee’s oldest town.

The Herald & Tribune announced the show as one of Cash’s largest to date.

Johnny Cash performed on Friday, July 6, 1973 in Jonesborough for what was the first annual Jonesborough Days Festival. The show was hosted at the Jonesborough Middle School football field, and included Carl Perkins, the Tennessee Three, and, of course, his wife June Carter Cash. Now, this year’s Jonesborough Days Festival will feature a Johnny Cash look alike contest and a tribute show dubbed the “Johnny Cash NOW concert”.

The show that sparked the man in black-themed events this year at the festival might have been over 40 years ago, but for former Jonesborough Mayor Kelly Wolfe — who was 3 years old at the time of the show — Johnny Cash made created an unforgettable memory in the Jonesborough native’s mind.

“During the show, I remember there was film of two trains colliding with each other. That stuck out in my mind,” Wolfe recalled. “It also stuck out in my mind that he and his wife were singing together and how good they were together. And to this day I’m still a huge Johnny Cash fan.”

As an adult, Wolfe said he finally got to thank the man in black in 1999 when Cash played at the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, Virginia.

“I told him that I remembered seeing him at the very first Jonesborough Days,” Wolfe said. “I wanted him to know what kind of impression it made on me. I remember he said he remembered playing it and that it was a great crowd.”

But Cash didn’t wind up in Jonesborough by chance; thanks to a group of dedicated community leaders, Cash agreed to play the show to kick off the Jonesborough Days Festival after the group made a trip to Hendersonville, where Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash lived.

Mark Hicks — whose mother, Lois Hicks, was part of the group that made the trip to persuade Cash to come to Jonesborough — said his mother shared with him her memory of the meeting.

“Momma told me that when they got to his house, Johnny Cash came downstairs in a big black robe and black house shoes and (the group) sat there and talked for a good little while,” Mark Hicks said. “I know they talked about Jonesborough and he agreed to do the show.”

An unidentified newspaper clipping and an autographed show program from the 1973 festivities are pictured. (Courtesy of the East Tennessee State University Archives of Appalachia)

The show didn’t only help celebrate Jonesborough Days; Washington County Commissioner Pat Wolfe said that during the time, Cash’s agreement to come to town also boosted the restoration and preservation movement in Jonesborough, which was taking place during the time of the show.

“Jonesborough was just in its infancy of getting the historical restoration movement going,” Pat Wolfe said. “There were a lot of naysayers in the community, a lot of naysayers out in the county saying, ‘That’s not going to work. That’s not going to happen.’ About the same time, storytelling was beginning too and the same naysayers said the same things about storytelling.

“But the way that the first Jonesborough Days developed, it quieted a lot of naysayers and showed them that yeah, it’s really going to happen. Of course, that went right along hand-in-hand with all the restoration that was starting downtown. It was an emphasis point to kick off that we were going to do this.”

In addition to taking place at the time of the town’s restoration, Mark Hicks said Cash’s show also raised money to help start up a museum in Jonesborough.

“The idea came up that Jonesborough needed a museum,” Mark Hicks said. “They didn’t have a museum and with everything going in and being done, they wanted to have that.

“My mother and the group collected all the money and that money ultimately went and started the museum that Jonesborough has now. That stuff has evolved in the last 50 years, but whatever they put in during the mid ‘70s was where that money went.”

But did Cash know he was potentially playing a part in Jonesborough’s restoration movement? If his love for history and the area from which June Carter Cash was from proved to be any indication, Pat Wolfe said he believes Cash had multiple reasons to do the show in Jonesborough.

“Johnny got excited about what was going on,” Pat Wolfe said. “He was sort of a history buff of Arkansas and he of course also got excited about up where June came from in Southwest Virginia, Hiltons and Maces Springs and up in that area.”

As for Kelly Wolfe, it was the country music legend’s willingness to do the show, in addition to one of the most memorable concerts he’s ever seen, that solidifies the impact that Jonesborough Days kick-off show had on the little town of Jonesborough.

“He was just kind enough to do it,” Kelly Wolfe said. “And I think when you start off with Johnny Cash, you can’t go wrong. Jonesborough Days, to this day, continues as a strong festival thanks to his involvement.”

JRT features Broadway-experienced actor

Tom Flagg, above, poses with fellow JRT performer, Sierra Ford.


Staff Writer

A recent arrival to the Jonesborough area has a talent that is already proving useful to the Jonesborough Repertory Theater.

Tom Flagg

Tom Flagg, along with his wife Jane, recently moved to the area from the New York/New Jersey Metro area and has quite the experience in the performing arts.

He has performed under the bright lights of Broadway and has also traveled all over the country refining his craft.  And, beginning June 29, he will play the part of John Adams in the local production of  “1776.”

“I now find myself on the stage of JRT, performing one of my favorite roles in musical theatre,” Flagg said.

Born in Ohio, Flagg still remembers his first stage performance, “a school Christmas pageant when I was 5 years old.”

He gained experience in community theaters of North-Eastern Ohio, a time he remembers well. “It was a great training ground. I fondly remember those theaters, the people I worked with and one director in particular who encouraged me to be a professional actor. I guess I was destined to be an actor.”

While in high school, Flagg spent two summers at his “dream job” with the Kenley Players in Ohio. 

The Players “produced ‘star package’ shows for 14 weeks every summer, and I got to work with stars I’d been seeing in movies and TV my whole life. Ethel Merman, Chester Morris, Artie Johnson, Jane Powell and many others,” Flagg said. “I was star-struck.”

At 19 years old, Flagg moved to New York City and attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, a two-year program that included classes on acting, stagecraft, performance techniques, fencing, mime and dance.

After completing his studies there, he began to audition for professional jobs, which led Flagg to meet his wife.

“On June 30th of that year, I arrived at the theater and soon met the young lady who would become my wife and sometime acting partner, and our theatrical life was off and running,” he said.

The two were married and spent time at theaters in North Carolina, New York and Pennsylvania. As their careers progressed, he spent much of his time traveling across the country. “I eventually traveled to 36 states and performed in over 125 different American cities,” Flagg said. “After each show ended, I returned to the fold to audition for another one. That is the nature of show business.”

One of those early auditions led to his first taste of Broadway. Flagg had a small role in a play called “LEGEND” and staged the fist fights and gun fights required for the Western style play, which closed three days after opening.

His path to the much brighter lights began at the Wolf Trap Theater in Virginia on a musical called “Shenandoah.” He was contacted and called to join the Broadway company of the same play. More Broadway shows followed and he also landed his own showcase.

“The Will Rogers Follies” ran for two and a half years at the Palace Theater.

While with the show for its entire run, Flagg “was at home to have dinner with my family before leaving for my show at night. I was able to drive my kids to school in the morning, and to be around to do Dad stuff during the day. It was a great time.”

He also appeared in the Broadway revival of “How to Succeed in Business” which starred Mathew Broderick.

When the Flaggs decided to retire, Tennessee’s tax rules drew them to the area, and they met the Jonesborough Repertory Theater’s Shawn Hale on a “scouting trip”, who then sold them on Jonesborough.

After moving to the area, the couple met former Mayor Kelly Wolfe, who convinced them of the soundness of their choice.

Flagg received a call from JRT artistic director Jennifer Ross a few days later, and after a few conversations, he was tapped to perform the role of John Adams.

Flagg said that his next door neighbor told him “If you make eye contact with someone and they don’t smile and say hello, then they aren’t from around here.”

Storyteller to celebrate July 4th in Jonesborough

Tim Lowry will share tales from the South next week.


Acclaimed performer Tim Lowry, whose storytelling roots are deep in his home state of Kentucky and his adopted home of South Carolina, will soon perform as part of the International Storytelling Center’s Teller-in-Residence series.

Part of Storytelling Live!, the series invites a new resident to Jonesborough each week through the end of October for daily concerts and local storytelling activities.

To help celebrate July 4, Lowry, long a true connoisseur of Americana — his website says he’s “telling stories of the people, by the people and for the people” — will include a selection of his most popular frontier stories and historical pieces throughout the week.

“I always loved the performing arts, and storytelling was something that was indigenous to the area,” he said. “Storytelling was a part of everyday life, a readily accessible form of entertainment.”

Lowry’s inventive stories come from a long tradition of small-town folks who made their own fun. “When I was a teenager, my town finally got a bowling alley,” he said. “Before that it was a two-and-a-half hour drive to bowl. It was a two-hour drive to go to McDonald’s. There was one movie theater, where (to quote my mother) the movies weren’t dirty, but the floors sure were. People made their own entertainment.”

During Lowry’s weeklong residency, Tuesday through Saturday, July 3 – 7, his daily concerts will begin at 2 p.m. in the Mary B. Martin Storytelling Hall.

He will also host a special morning concert aimed at children ages 6 through 10 on Saturday, July 7, at 10:30 a.m. Tickets are just $5 for all ages. All ticket holders will receive coupons for 15 percent off at The Lollipop Shop, a popular Main Street store that sells old-fashioned sweets and toys.

Tickets for Lowry’s matinees are just $12 for adults, and $11 for seniors, students, and anyone under 18. Advance purchase is recommended for all performances.

Storytelling Live! runs from May through the end of October, with daily matinees Tuesday through Saturday and special programming like evening concerts and workshops scheduled throughout the season.

Information about all performers, as well as a detailed schedule for 2018, is available at 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, 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.

The International Storytelling Center is open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. For more information about Storytelling Live! or to make a group reservation, call (800) 952-8392 ext. 222 or (423) 913-1276.

Musical offers way to celebrate freedom

Left to right, Shawn Hale as Benjamin Franklin and Lucas Schmidt as Thomas Jefferson help bring “1776” to life.


For our upcoming Independence Day celebration, the Jonesborough Repertory Theatre is thrilled to present the patriotic musical 1776, June 29 through July 15. Join the cast for this fun and engaging look at the events leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence, with well-known songs including “The Egg,” “Molasses to Rum,” and “But, Mr. Adams.”

“The story is of the writing of the Declaration of Independence,” said co-director Lindy Ley. “And the story specifically within that of John Adams. He’s the one really pushing and pushing for independence.”

In fact, the show opens with the song “Sit Down, John” because everyone is so tired of hearing him talk about independence. But during the course of the show, he does get through to them, because the final scene is the actual signing of the document.

“It’s a powerful scene,” said the other co-director, Lucas Schmidt, who also portrays Thomas Jefferson. “The final picture is the name of each delegate and state being called as he makes his way up and signs, and then they take their spot as another delegate comes up. And there are chimes in the background . . .  ching, ching, ching.”

What a poignant ending to what is a humorous, often chaotic, and lighthearted look into American history.

“There are very funny things in the show,” said Shawn Hale, who plays Benjamin Franklin, “but the story helps us remember where we started. How we became the country we are today.

“It’s such a reminder of the struggle they had,” said Catherine Squibb, who portrays John Adam’s wife, Abigail. “And that we’re here today is a huge testament to their belief that they could create a better union.”

And, the cast agrees, this particular show takes you further into the story than you would typically read in history books.

“This is really a wonderful look into the actual humans behind the writing of the Declaration of Independence,” said Ley.  “It’s telling history in a way that makes these people very real people. So you relate to them. So you connect to history in a new and interesting way.”

“They go into areas that you don’t usually think about when you’re watching anything historical on television,” said Schmidt. “You don’t consider how miserably hot it was because they had no air conditioning. And they had to wear wool or heavy cotton because they didn’t have athletic, sweat-wicking sportswear. Or that John Hancock carried a fly swatter with him because there was no pest control.”

“It allows the audience to look at them as people,” added Tom Flagg, a former Broadway actor, who portrays John Adams. “Like Ben Franklin says, ‘What will they think we were, demigods? We were men, pure and simple.’ And that’s the essence of it. We treat them like people, not like these austere figures that should walk around with halos and wings.”

Of course, one of the big questions audiences may have is if this is an accurate historical account. And, for the most part, they say, it is.

Music and Lyrics for 1776 are by Sherman Edwards, and the book is by Peter Stone. The show is directed by Lindy Ley and Lucas Schmidt, and sponsored by Henry & Flora Joy, Tennessee Hills Distillery, Denny Dentistry, and Sonia King/Mary B. Martin.

Rounding out the cast are Tim Barto, Steve Bashor, Guthrie Butler, Andy Cobble, Mike Elder, Paul Fagan, Sierra Ford, Joe Gumina, Donald Harvill, Gray Harvill, Karl Kapoor, Charlie Landry, Kyle Mason, Daniel Matthews, Paul McQuaid, Cody Shivers, Sylvann Thorne, Corey Tickles, Kari Tuthill, Alex Vanburen, Austin Wingate, and Kelly Wolfe.

Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00pm; and Monday and Tuesday, July 2 and 3, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $16 general admission, $14 for students and seniors. The theatre is located at 125.5 West Main Street.

To purchase tickets, call the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at (423) 753-1010 or go online to (Mr. Flagg is appearing through the courtesy of Actors Equity Association.)

New restaurant promises better-for-you dining

Vegan Medley Vegetarian is one of the newest restaurants in Jonesborough.


Staff Writer

Anyone with a gluten allergy or just a craving for a healthy vegan or vegetarian meal now has an option right on Courthouse Square.

Opened in mid-September of 2017, Vegan Medley Vegetarian restaurant offers a variety of vegan and vegetarian options such as smoothies, soups and sandwiches.

According to owner Sam Nathan, every item on the menu, except the Panini and the yogurt smoothie, is vegan, while those two items are vegetarian.

“We are geared towards health foods and we have gluten free options available,” Nathan said. “It’s all from fresh ingredients. Nothing comes from canned food. We make to order. Everything is made to order. It has not been made in a factory where it sits in a bottle or something.”

While every menu item is either vegan or vegetarian, there is a stark contrast between the two, according to the restaurant owner.

“Vegan means pure, plant-based, including plant-based oil, no egg or milk. No animal product of any kind. Vegetarian will include milk, yogurt or cheese.”

Nathan says that his most popular dish is the pesto hummus sandwich. “The pesto and hummus both are made in-house not bought from stores.”

He adds that almost half of his business is from take-out orders.

Vegan Medley Vegetarian is located at 105 Courthouse Square and is closed on Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays.

Business hours from Wednesday through Friday are 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. and Saturday from 12:30 until 6 p.m.

Nathan adds that in the next two to three weeks, the restaurant will undergo some minor modifications and that the business hours may expand as well. Vegan Medley Vegetarian may be reached at (423) 900-0254 or online at

To the market: Manager gets ready for growth

Left to right, Jonesborough Locally Grown’s Kari Simmons, Cameron Hege, Ashley Cavender and Kyra Tedford get ready to go.



Things are happening at Jonesborough’s Boone Street Market and new manager Cameron Hege is more than happy to be in a front row seat.

Fresh tomatoes are just a few of the local offerings.

“People have really lost their relationship with food; there’s no intimacy,” Hege explained. “We lost about 30 years where we’re really having to retrain ourselves to look at food that we eat as sustenance, but also that it provides  for more than just yourself, considering the farmers and the local economy.”

At Jonesborough’s locally-grown market, he has found the perfect place to spread that message.

A Tennessee native — Hege grew up in Knoxville — he had spent most of his career in retail management, as well as kitchen management. But when life in Philadelphia became more than a little hectic, he and his wife looked to move back home.

“I was working crazy hours, she was working crazy hours and we wanted to move back and have a more comfortable way of life,” Hege said.

The opening for a market manager at Boone Street a little more than six months ago seemed tailor-made for him.

“I have a good background in food and a good background in retail,” he said. Plus, there was the chance to learn so much more. 

“Being in a kitchen, I mean you learn to identify products and quality, but the amount I’ve learned about local groceries and how the local economies are affected by local farming. . . I mean I’ve learned so, so, so much while I’ve been here.”

Besides getting the chance to clearly grasp the value of the flavors of locally produced ingredients, Hege is excited to be a part of the market’s new role both in expanding its products but also its importance.

While the market is still committed to its 100-mile-rule for much of its stock, they are broadening the search for other harder-to-find products.

“Our produce and meat, that’s never gonna change. That’ll always be within a hundred miles,” Hege said. “But we did expand our radius several weeks ago to products sourced within a 100 miles, then to sourced within Tennessee and then, if absolutely necessary, to sourced within central Appalachia.” This way, he explained, the local link and quality remains, but the variety of items can expand.

Hege is also pleased about the new emphasis on the market as a source of fellowship as well as food.

“We want to make the market an actual event environment, like a venue,” Hege explained. The popularity of the monthly 100-mile dinners have already proven a need.

He cites the Thursday Night Markets as a new example.

“We have vendors, we have a live band, we have get an event permit so people can sit outside and enjoy beer if they want  to,” he said. “We have menu items out of our kitchen.” The next Thursday night market will be held June 21 from 5 to 8 p.m.

And that’s just the beginning, there is a ongoing food story, Hege believes, that needs to be shared. And his continuing goal is going to be to get spread the word.

Visit for more information.