Taking the Dandridge Loop

Taking the Dandridge Loop

By Mike Steely If you’ve ever been to our state’s oldest city, Jonesborough, you may be delighted to learn that our “second earliest city” is nearby and just as historic and interesting. Dandridge is east of Knoxville and not far off Interstate 40. A day’s drive to Dandridge and back by the way of Sevierville […]

The Pruden legacy in upper East Tennessee

By Mike Steely What in the world does the Kroger store on North Broadway in Fountain City have to do with an old coal town on the Tennessee-Kentucky state line? The connection goes back to what was on the lot where Kroger now stands. Originally there was a mansion there built by Col. J.C. Woodward. […]

Camp Blanding and Penney Farms

By Mike Steely Next time you’re in Northern Florida, whether it’s for a UT game in Gainesville, or if you’re passing through on the way to Disney, there’s a Day Away side trip that’s free and interesting. If you’re into military history or the ministry, there are two places just east of Gainesville that are […]

A Day Away: Martin’s Station celebration this weekend

By Mike Steely Just a few miles east of Cumberland Gap and only about an hour or so from Knoxville is an event you may want to attend this weekend, especially if you’re interested in early regional history. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Martin’s Station will feature the reconstructed frontier fort, re-enactments, tour of a […]

Some of my favorite places

By Mike Steely   After some 50 years of wandering around the Southeast I’ve visited many, many places that interested me or my wife. We’ve been in every Tennessee State Park except one, in many parks in the region’s states and many National Parks. Sometimes the things you remember the most are not in parks […]

Want to visit Tennessee’s newest state park?

A DAY AWAY By Mike Steely steelym@knoxfocus.com There’s a large new park in the Tennessee State Park systems and it is in East Tennessee in rural Unicoi County. As I’ve written before, my wife and I have visited every state park in Tennessee except this one and we’re planning a summer trip there. “You can’t […]

Indian Mountain State Park, Jellico worth a visit

  By Mike Steely The unique location of Indian Mountain State Park in Jellico, Tn., not only makes it the “First Tennessee State Park” for southbound travelers on Interstate 75 but also gives the park the recognition of being the only state park built on a strip mine. If you’re headed north into Kentucky or […]

Those unusual highway attractions

  By Mike Steely You’re driving down the highway and something catches your eye. Maybe your spouse or kids see it first. “Look at that, wow!” come the remarks, followed by, “Can we stop there, please?!” Yep, the idea of attracting travelers worked and you get off the highway or interstate and find a way […]

Your One Vote Counts

By Mike Steely It’s only local government, right? Your vote won’t make a difference so why bother, right? Wrong. November 7’s city council election might be close in several of the five races. As a city resident you can vote for all five of the contests. District residents decided the top two candidates in the […]

Visiting Historic Bulls Gap

By Mike Steely Want a visit to the past? Interested in ghost towns or almost ghost towns? Probably no place in our region is more typical of small, 1880s era towns than Bulls Gap in southern Hawkins County. Located between Morristown and Greeneville the little town began before the railroad but bloomed during the heyday […]