Crossville, Tennessee – Golf Capital of Tennessee

Picture above is the Crossville Depot it was built in 1900.

Crossville is in Cumberland County.  A community developed at the intersection of the Great Stage Road which connected Knoxville to Nashville, and the Kentucky Stock Road a cattle drovers’ path connecting Middle Tennessee with Kentucky.  Around 1800, a settler named Samuel Lambeth opened a store at this junction, and the small community that developed around it became known as Lambeth’s Crossroads.  By the time a post office was established in the 1830s, the community had taken the name of Crossville.

Crossville says they are the Golf Capital of Tennessee with 10 championship golf courses for golfers.  The town also has antique stores and the Crossville outlet mall.

Crossville Depot – 169 N. Main St.  Unique gifts, coffee, tea and candy samples.  One of the adorable otters is at the front entry

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Chestnut Hill Winery – 78 Chestnut Hill Rd. – The winery is one of the largest in Tennessee.  They have sweet and dry wines.  The gift shop has mostly Tennessee-made items. 

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CHESTNUT HILL WINERY

Stonehaus Winery – 2444 Genesis Rd. – They have dry and fruity sweet wines.  They have a free guided tour of the winemaking process.  The gift shop has gourmet foods, wine themed décor and fudge.

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STONEHAUS WINERY

Military Memorial Museum has photographs, uniforms and other artifacts from the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korean, Vietnam, Desert Storm and Iraq wars. They also have items from Camp Crossville, the German prisoner of war camp in operation during World War II.  No picture since I did not tour the museum.  20 S. Main St.

 

Homestead Tower Museum – 96 Hwy 68 – This landmark structure was built in 1937 to house the administrative offices of the Cumberland Homesteads, a project of FDR’s New Deal.   The octagonal stone tower houses a 50,000 gallon water tank and a winding stairway that leads to a lookout platform at the top.  The short film and museum is interesting,  check out the tower it has a good view from the top.

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HOMESTEAD TOWER MUSEUM
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CUMBERLAND HOMESTEADERS

Cumberland Mountain State Park began as part of the Cumberland Homesteads Project.  The park is 1,720-acres it was acquired in 1938 to provide a recreational area for 250 families selected to homestead on the Cumberland Plateau.  The park has a manmade lake called Byrd Lake.  The campground has 140 campsites and cabins.  The golf course was designed by Jack Nicklaus.

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BRIDGE AND DAM

Spencer, Tennessee – Fall Creek Falls State Park

The above picture is of Cane Creek Falls in Fall Creek Falls State Park

Fall Creek Falls State Park

The park is 26,000 acres located in Bledsoe and Van Buren counties.  It is 11 miles east of Spencer and 18 miles west of Pikeville across the eastern top of the rugged Cumberland Plateau.

The park is beautiful, I saw several deer grazing on the grass.  The view from the fisherman cabins of the lake was wonderful and very peaceful. 

In 1937, the federal government began purchasing the badly eroded land around Fall Creek Falls. The following year, the Works Project Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps began restoring the forest and constructing park facilities. A few years later in 1944, the National Park Service transferred ownership of the park to the State of Tennessee.

Fall Creek Falls features an inn with 145 hotel rooms and restaurant. There are also 30 cabins and 222 camp sites.

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FISHERMAN CABINS – CAN FISH FROM THE BACK DECK

Activities include:  34 miles of trails for hiking, a 18-hole golf course, horse stable with guided trail rides and Olympic sized pool.  Planned activities include:  arts and crafts, movies, campfires, organized games and live musical entertainment.

Zipstream Zip Line – has 75 wobbly bridges, rope swings, cargo nets, balance beams and zip lines of varying difficulty.

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Fall Creek Falls, at 256 feet, is one of the highest waterfalls in the eastern United States.  Take the Gorge Scenic Drive Motor Nature Trail, it is a loop with a view of the falls, with overlooks and the buzzard roost, where several buzzards were riding the air currents.

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FALL CREEK FALLS

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BUZZARD ROOST

 

Cane Creek Falls and Cascades (picture below) behind nature center

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CANE CREEK FALLS

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FALL CREEK FALLS GENERAL STORE
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FALL CREEK FALLS OUTDOOR SHOP – SOUVENIRS & GIFTS

Historical marker in park it reads:   Just south of here was the studio of Gilbert Gaul, one of the best painters of American Civil War scenes. After being elected the youngest member of the National Academy of design in 1882, his “Holding the Line at all Hazards” won an Academey Gold Medal. Gaul moved here from New York in 1881 after inheriting a tract of land. His most prolific work was accomplished here, engaging local folk as models.

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LOOKS LIKE A FOOT?

Pikeville, Tennessee – Charming Small Town

Pikeville was established in 1816 on lands donated by Charles Love. The town is in Bledsoe County.  The origin of the town’s name is unknown, although some have suggested that it was named for explorer General Zebulon Pike.  The town was incorporated in 1830.

Pikeville is charming with its tree-lined and brick accent streets.  The town is several blocks long and has a grocery store, a few restaurants and shops. Fall Creek State Park and Bledsoe State Forest is within 20 miles from Pikeville.  Pikeville is the county seat.

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Rock Island, Tennesee – So Many Waterfalls

The above picture is of the Great Falls in Rock Island State Park

Spencer to Rock Island 16 miles west.   McMinnville to Rock Island 14 miles north

Rock Island is in Warren County.  The town is named after an island on the Caney Fork River.   Rock Island is home to Rock Island State Park and Great Falls Dam.

The Rock Island community is small with a few charming stores and a couple of restaurants.  There is a metal arch over the road with the name “Rock Island” , this road takes you to Rock Island State Park.

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Rock Island Depot Antiques and More
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The Rustic Touch
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The Lazy Daisy – Antiques, Collectibles, Furniture & More

Rock Island State Park is an 883-acre park located on the headwaters of Center Hill Lake at the confluence of the Caney Fork, Collins and Rocky Rivers.  The park has 60 campsites and 10 cabins.  The Caney Fork River Gorge contains scenic overlooks, waterfalls and limestone paths.    The waterfalls are beautiful.  The visitor center has a store and maps of the park.

Upon entering the park is the old cotton mill 1892 – 1902, there is a marker there with the history of the mill.

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Across the road from the mill is the Spring Castle, with a medieval looking turret. The Spring Castle is an elaborate spring house built when the mill was in operation.  There is a reservoir behind the wall that has a natural spring.

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Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your long hair

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Park in the lot next to the mill to view the waterfalls.  The waterfalls behind the mill have a rugged beauty flowing over the rocks in several places.

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A closer look at Great Falls can be viewed from Power House Rd.  park in the lot and take the stairs down to the falls.

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On Hwy 136/Rock Island Road is a historic marker it reads:  This tavern on the Kentucky – Alabama Road was established by John D. Rodger, veteran of the War of 1812 and of Jackson’s Florida Campaign. He also operated Rodger’s Ferry, 0.4 miles northeast, opposite the island which gave this town its name.

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Lenoir, Tennessee – Lake Capital of the South and Greenback, Tennessee

Lenoir City is nationally known as the “Lake Capital of the South” from the fact the City is surrounded by 3 lakes which have recreational outlets.

The Cherokee called the Lenoir City area Wa’ginsi, and believed it to be the home of a large serpent that brought bad luck to anyone who saw it.  By the early 19th century, Judge David Campbell, had laid claim to part of what is now Lenoir City, where he had built a log cabin and a gristmill.  Also in the early 19th century a 5,000 acre of land was deeded to General William Lenoir as payment for his services in the Revolutionary War. Campbell filed a case against Lenoir in court, arguing he had already laid claim to parts of the Lenoir tract. The case was settled in favor of Lenoir in 1809.

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The Lenoir City Museum documents Lenoir City’s past from its earliest settlement by Major William B. Lenoir in the early 1800’s, to the arrival of the railroad at Lenoir’s Station (as it was known until the 1900’s), through the Civil War, and into Lenoir City’s emergence as a city in 1907.  The building is on the National Register of Historic Places. (picture below)

Loudon County Visitors Bureau – 1075 Highway 321 North (picture below)

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The distance between Loudon and Lenoir City is 8 miles.  Both towns have several antique stores in the towns and on Lee Hwy/Tn 11. Check out the Loudon post.

Allen’s Antiques & Used Furniture – 103 E. Broadway, Antiques West 113 E Broadway, Bettie’s Antiques & More 100 E. Broadway, Buttermilk Road Antiques & Auction 144 Antique Lane, Goodwin’s Antiques 9900 White Wing Rd., Southern Moose Antiques Marketplace 119 E. Broadway, Victoria’s Antique & Craft Mall – 1200 W. Broadway

Fort Loudoun Dam

The dam is a hydroelectric dam on the Tennessee River in Loudon County. Fort Loudoun Dam is named for Fort Loudoun, a British colonial fort built during the French and Indian War. The fort was named for John Campbell, 4th Earl of Loudoun, commander of British forces during this period.  Fort Loudoun Dam is 122 feet high and stretches 4,190 feet across the Tennessee River. The dam is equipped with a 60-by-360-foot lock that raises and lowers boats about 70 feet between Fort Loudoun Lake and Watts Bar Lake.

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Greenback, Tennessee

Greenback is in Loudon County, the town is 14 miles from Lenoir City.

In 1876, Lorenzo Thompson established Thompson’s Stand, a general store located a few miles east of modern Greenback. In 1882, Thompson applied  for federal post office. He wanted to use the name “Thompson’s Station,” but the name was already in use.  After several other names were rejected, Thompson settled on “Greenback,” a name inspired by a local Greenback Party. In the 1880s the Southern railroad began building a rail line connecting Knoxville to Blue Ridge, Georgia. Developers bought up the land surrounding the railroad’s intersection and had plans to develop a town, initially known as “Allegheny” after the resort hotel to the south. Lots were sold, and a depot was constructed in 1891. Thompson moved his post office, still known as “Greenback,” to the Swanay Brothers Store in the new town. The name “Greenback” gradually came to be favored over “Allegheny,” and the railroad changed the name of the station to “Greenback” in 1897. Greenback was incorporated in 1957.

Greenback Museum – The museum houses a collection of artifacts and memorabilia donated or loaned by local families, businesses and institutions. These include documents, books, pictures, farm tools, household items, telephones, antique radios and business equipment from the 1800s and early 1900s

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Greenback Depot – Built in 1914 by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, the depot served passengers and freight traveling in and out of the Greenback area until 1954. The depot was renovated in 2010.

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Loudon, Tn – Part of the Antique Trail

The picture above is the Loudon County Courthouse

The distance between Loudon and Lenoir City is 8 miles.  Both towns have several antique stores in the towns and on Hwy 11/Lee Hwy between the towns.   Check the Lenoir City post for more antique stores.

The town of Loudon began as a ferry and later steamboat stop known as Blair’s Ferry, established by James Blair and his brother-in-law, John Hudson Carmichael, in the 1810s. The town changed its name to “Loudon” during the early 1850s, when it expanded following the arrival of the railroad.

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The Lyric is a small theater dating from circa 1922.  The theater is still in operation – 320 Grove St.

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Annabell’s Emporium Antiques, Gift Shop and Café – 304 Wharf St. – the food in the café is good (picture below)

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The General Store Antiques – 411 Mulberry St.

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Besides Annabelle’s and the General Store Antiques there is also: Sisters Antiques 810 Mulberry St. &  Village Exchange 302 Mialaquo Place

Red Door Galleries – pottery and art – 322 Grove St.

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Southern Railroad Depot – now the home of the Chamber of Commerce

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Historical side of the Carmichael Inn

The Carmichael Inn was built in circa 1821 and is a two-story rectangular log building which served as a residence as well as a stagecoach and railroad inn. Since early inns offered little privacy to the traveler, guests would have eaten with the Carmichael family, and slept upstairs in one large room wherever there was a vacant spot in any bed. Travelers often shared a bed with a complete stranger. When you enter the period room, you will note the massive fireplace which was used both for heating and cooking.  417 Hwy 321 North

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Tennessee Valley Winery – they have won 800 medals for their wine and it is the oldest family owned winery in Tennessee – 15606 Hotchkiss Rd.

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Question: According to legend, which famous character from a book set at the time of the Civil War is based on real-life Loudon County resident R.T. Wilson? Answer: Rhett Butler from Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind

 

 

Sweetwater, Tn – The Lost Sea is America’s Largest Underground Lake

Knoxville to Sweetwater is 47 miles South – Off Interstate take exit 388A

Sweetwater is in Monroe County.  A legend states that the town’s name originated from settler’s descriptions of area springs.  Sweetwater was established in the 1850s on a series of lots sold by Isaac Lenoir (1807–1875), a local politician and son of the founder of Lenoir City (located a few miles to the northeast). Sweetwater was officially incorporated in 1875.

The town has several blocks of historical buildings.  Lee Hwy/ Hwy 11 runs through town.  Most of the historic buildings face the railroad and the gazebo.  There are several stores that sell antiques, collectibles and home décor.

Below – Cooney’s Corner Antiques,  Cones Cupboard Antiques, Mike Todd Antiques

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Below  – Lily Pad Boutique

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Hunter’s Cafe on the corner, Only the Best, The Robin’s Nest

The passenger train was one of Sweetwater’s favorite attractions in the early 1900’s. There is a standard joke of the train conductor who, when asked by a passenger how many people lived in Sweetwater, replied, “Just raise your window and count them! They all gather at the station to see if any strangers come to town or if anyone leaves town when the train arrives!”

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Passenger Train Car, Veterans Memorial in Front

Sweetwater Heritage Museum

The museum gallery contains artifacts, pictures, and information pertaining to the history of Sweetwater County, from the prehistoric era through recent history. From a dinosaur footprint to a full size coal car

Lost Sea

Features of national significance include the world’s largest underground lake and the rare anthodite formation (cave flowers). The cave also contains numerous other forms of stalactites and stalagmites. The bones and footprints of a giant Pleistocene jaguar have been found; the animal measured approximately 8 feet long and weighed 500 pounds – 140 Lost Sea Road

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General Store at Lost Sea Adventure
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Lost Sea Historical Marker at entry

Biggs Home – oldest home in Sweetwater circa 1820 (picture below) – Main Street & Biggs Street

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(picture below) TMI Academy historic marker reads: (on Hwy 11 north  of town) Founded in 1874 on College Street as Sweetwater Militay College by Dr. J. Lynn Bachman, the name was changed to Tennessee Military Institute in 1902 and T M I ACADEMY in 1975. It was relocated to this site in 1909 as a preparatory school. Presidents Dr. Bachman, 1874-1902; Col. O. C. Hulvey, 1902-1918; Col. C. R. Endsley, 1918-1956; Col. C. R. Endsley, Jr., 1956 – 1972; and C. W. Price, vice-president, 1920-1966, provided continuity of purpose. Its many graduates are prominent world wide in military, medicine, science, commerce, and government

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Vonore, Tn – Lake and River Scenic Overlooks

Vonore is a town in Monroe and Blount counties.  In 1890, the Atlanta, Knoxville and Northern Railroad laid tracks and built a stopover known as Upton Station. Three years later, Doctor Walter Kennedy applied for a post office for Upton Station. When the postal service informed him that Upton Station had been taken, Kennedy chose the name “Vonore”, a combination of the German word von (meaning “of”) and the English word “ore”, as Kennedy believed the town would become a mining town.  The town was incorporated June 21, 1965.

The oldest part of Vonore is on Church Street, the new Vonore is along Hwy 411/33.  The town is really pretty when you get off of Hwy 411 and on side roads toward Lake Tellico and the Tennessee River.  Hwy 360 is very scenic with a view of the lake to Fort Loudoun and Sequoyah Birthplace Museum.

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Bank built 1890 – Church St

 

Vonore Heritage Museum

Artifacts used by the people of Vonore from the late 1800s through the 1950s are on display. Artifacts include Civil War pieces; WWI and WWII uniforms; trophies; plaques; and pictures from the now-closed Vonore High School.  619 Church St.

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Fort Loudoun

Fort Loudoun State Historic Park is 1,200-acres and is one of the earliest British fortifications on the western frontier, built in 1756. The fort was reconstructed during the Great Depression.

In the course of the fort’s four-year existence, relations between South Carolina and the Cherokee Nation broke down. In August 1760, the Cherokee captured Fort Loudoun and its garrison. After the surrender in 1760, Fort Loudoun was never used again for any military purpose. It is thought the Cherokees destroyed the fort sometime shortly after the English marched away.

The fort is a short walking distance behind the visitor center/museum.  The museum is small but explains the history of the fort.  The fort is a self-guided and the buildings have beds, tables, etc. in them.

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Visitor Center and Museum

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Historic marker reads: (picture below) One-mile east is a replica of this fort, built 1756 – 57 by South Carolina provincial troops to check the French and strengthen the English influence in the Mississippi Valley. It was besieged by the Cherokee and surrendered August 7, 1760.  – 338 Ft Loudon Rd.  Off TN Hwy 360

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Sequoyah Birthplace Museum

Sequoyah was born circa 1776 at the village of Tuskeegee, which was very near where the Museum is today. His father was Nathaniel Gist, a Virginia fur trader. His mother was Wut-teh, daughter of a Cherokee Chief.  In 1821 he completed his independent creation of a Cherokee syllabary making reading and writing in Cherokee possible.  – 576 Hwy 360

The museum and land is owned by the Eastern Cherokee Indians.  The museum is thorough in explaining the history of the Cherokee people.

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Tellico Blockhouse – 1794-1807

An early American outpost located along the Little Tennessee River. Completed in 1794, the blockhouse operated until 1807 with the purpose of keeping the peace between nearby Overhill Cherokee towns and early Euro-American settlers in the area.  Blockhouse Road 0ff Hwy 411

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Jefferson City and White Pine, TN

Knoxville to Jefferson City 20 miles – Sevierville to Jefferson City 27 miles

Jefferson City was originally named Mossy Creek.  The first explorers to the area chose the name because of the vivid green moss growing in the creek bed.  In 1901 the name was changed to honor Thomas Jefferson.

Jefferson City is the largest city in Jefferson County.  It is a College Town.  The chain stores & restaurants are on Broadway Blvd., the town has grown around Broadway Blvd/Hwy 11.

The Downtown is very sad.  It is truly unfortunate that they have allowed the buildings to get in such bad shape.  There is one business, The Creek Cafe that had cars parked in front, the building looked good but the building next door what a mess.

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I believe it is our obligation to preserve the history and buildings for future generations, so I hope they find a person who is passionate about the downtown, because it will not be easy to revitalize the area.

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John Roper Branner built the imposing Branner-Jarnigan mansion, (Glenmore Mansion 1867-69) on the eastern edge of their city.  He did not live to see it completed.  His heirs sold it to Milton P. Jarnigan who moved there in 1882. Open May-October, Sat & Sun 1-5

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In 1880, the University was named Carson College for James Carson, who left $15,000 to the school, Carson College existed alongside Newman College, a separate facility for the education of women named for William Newman, who donated money to the women’s college. In 1889, the two colleges united as one of the first coeducational schools in the South. The school operated as Carson–Newman College until 2012 when the board of trustees voted to change the name to Carson–Newman University.

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Rowena’s Gift Shop – 162 W. Broadway – nice shop

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I had to take a picture of this building – it makes me smile

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 White Pine

Knoxville to White Pine 40 miles – Interstate 81 is north of White Pine within 1-mile.  There are a few stores in White Pine, Smoky Mountain Mercantile, a flower shop and furniture store.

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European settlers first arrived in what is now White Pine in the 1780s. The community, originally known as “Dandridge Crossing,” did not become a town until after the Civil War, when a railroad route was constructed in the area. According to tradition, the town was named after a large pine tree that once stood along Main Street.  In August 2015 the town had its 100 year celebration.

Walters State Great Smoky Mountains Expo Center – 1615 Pavilion Dr. – The facility has livestock events such as horse shows, horse/cattle sales, boat shows, sportsman shows, concerts, rodeos and motor cross.

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The Glade of Gatlinburg – The Arts and Crafts Community

Around 1937 the craftsman decided to move from downtown Gatlinburg to the Glade to be nearer their homes, tools and supplies.  Opening workshops, galleries and studios alongside their homes or even inside them.  Now there is over 120 craftsmen on a 8-mile loop.

In Gatlinburg turn at light #3 onto East Parkway/Hwy 321, the 2nd light on the right hand side starts the artisan shops.  Turn on the Glades Road for the rest of the shops.

Pick up a map at one of the shops or the visitor center, it will list each shop, if they give demonstrations and what they make and sell. Or check out the website www.gatlinburgcrafts.com

I visited at least half of the 120 shops, below I have listed a few that had buildings I liked.  There are very talented craftsmen in the Glade Arts & Crafts Community

Lorelei Candles – watch candles being handcrafted, established 1979.  Next door is Bearfoot Art Gallery – demonstrations of painting waterfalls and mountains.

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Alewine Pottery – established over 30 years ago, this is a family business.

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ALEWINE POTTERY

Jim Gray Gallery – in a 100 year- old church. The gallery has watercolor, oil, pencil and sculpture of renowned American artist Jim Gray, the gallery also has his signed limited edition giclee and lithograph prints and reproductions.

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JIM GRAY GALLERY

Paul Murray Gallery – In paint and pencil he records the lives of Southern Appalachian people.  One of his pieces hangs on the back of his barn that faces the road.

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PAUL MURRAY GALLERY

Webb Gallery – he creates beautiful watercolor scenes. His daughter also has her artwork displayed in the gallery. The gallery is in a restored 1910 homestead.

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WEBB GALLERY

Highland Craft Gallery in Hemlock Village – Traditional and contemporary crafts of metal, fiber, glass, clay, wood and leather, handmade by regional artisans.

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HIGHLAND CRAFT  GALLERY IN HEMLOCK VILLAGE

 

Turtle Hollow Gallery – bronze and stone sculptures made by Ross Markley.  The gallery has jewelry, wind chimes, ceramics and wood.

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Turtle Hollow Gallery

Brandywine Pottery – Brandy has been in pottery for 23 years.  The forests of the Smokies is her inspiration.

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Cliff Dwellers Gallery – artists working daily – fine crafts, art, baskets, hand weaving, jewelry and pottery. Building 1933

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CLIFF DWELLERS GALLERY