Finding Davy Crockett’s family

By Mike Steely Most of us know about Davy Crockett, the Tennessean born in Limestone east of Greeneville, soldier in the Indian Wars, and volunteer in the battle for Texas independence. We know he died at the Alamo and there have been movies and television series about his real and fictional life. But most of […]

Ripley’s Aquarium is more than sharks and stingrays

By Mike Steely Did I tell you we collect cups? Yep, souvenir cups from hundreds of places my wife and I have visited around the country. Cups from state and national parks, cups from commercial attractions, and cups from places like the Coke Museum in Atlanta, Macy’s in New York City, and even from Walnut […]

Touring Historic Powell Valley

By Mike Steely Powell Valley is located just south of Cumberland Mountain stretching from Wise County, Va., all the way into Eastern Tennessee along the Powell River. The name “Powell” comes from long-hunter Ambrose Powell, a member of Dr. Thomas Walker’s exploration of our region. His name was found carved into a tree. The extension […]

Chuck Swan area worth a visit

By Mike Steely You may know it as Sharps Chapel or simply the peninsula, but that huge swatch of state forest just north of Maynardville is actually the Chuck Swan Wildlife Management Area. While it is mostly abandoned now, at one time many families lived, worshiped and died there. Evidence of that prior settlement dot […]

Closing chaos

By Joe Rector Knox County Schools opened the doors once again on Thursday, February 21. For three days, students and teachers received an unofficial vacation as custodial staffs slaved away in efforts to scrub away the flu that had afflicted scores of folks. Without a doubt, many parents were incensed that schools closed. They were […]

You can’t get there from here

  By Mike Steely We’re fortunate that our area has several original structures built by early settlers. We’ve got places like the Nicholas Gibbs homestead, Blount Mansion, the Swan Pond home of the Ramsey family,  and many more. Within the Knoxville area there are also some still standing or restored small cabins of settlers worth […]

The old Pan Am gas station

By Mike Steely Are you old enough to remember those gas stations that would not only come out and fill your car’s fuel tank but also wipe your windshield or check your tires? Things have changed but there are some of those “ghost” filling stations left. A day’s drive in our area can bring you […]

LMU’s Unusual Roots

By Mike Steely Most Knox County residents know that Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate operates the Duncan School of Law downtown, located in the former Knoxville City Council building. But you probably don’t know the history of LMU which grew out of a failed dream of an English speculator. The Duncan School of Law opened […]

Cosby is different

By Mike Steely Located between Gatlinburg and Newport and hugging the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains the community of Cosby is different from the tourist-crowded town to its east. The winter is a great time to get out and visit the smaller Smoky Mountain communities and Cosby has some interesting places and sites. Highway […]

Something is happening in Monroe County

By Mike Steely Our nearby neighbor to the southeast is preparing to celebrate its 200th birthday. The new county mayor there, Mitch Ingram, has named a Bicentennial Committee and they’re talking about having a county fair later this year to celebrate. To help promote its 200 years Monroe County is seeking an official slogan. There’s […]