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 […]

Visiting the old Tellico Blockhouse

Visiting the old Tellico Blockhouse

By Mike Steely You probably know about the mass Cherokee removal known as the “Trail of Tears” but I’ll bet you have no idea of the many treaties drawn up with that tribe that moved them out of East Tennessee. Those treaties led eventually to the U. S. Military setting up removal camps and forts […]

Visiting Jefferson County

  By Mike Steely Now that we’re into the colder months of our East Tennessee year a car trip around our area can get a family out and about from being isolated in our homes. A day’s venture into the counties that surround us can be interesting and informative. Our neighbor to the east, Jefferson […]

Land of Arches at Pickett State Park

By Mike Steely One of the most rustic and wondrous areas within a couple of hours drive from Knoxville can be found at Pickett CCC Memorial State Park. The CCC stands for the Civilian Conservation Corps which worked to create the park, as the Depression Era federal work project did for many of our parks. […]

A Day Away in the Smokies

  By Mike Steely Sometimes you just have to get away for a day or two. My wife and I did that recently after both of us were stressed out and neither of us in good health. We hooked up our little pop-up camper, reserved a camping spot on the Little Pigeon River, and drove […]

Alcatraz East has more than you expect

By Mike Steely “So much fun it’s a crime” is the motto of Alcatraz East, an unusual attraction in Pigeon Forge. It looks very much like a prison on the outside and inside are several floors with displays on just about every crime and major criminal and victim you can imagine. If you are into […]