Taking the Old Washington Loop

By Mike Steely It’s a great time to get out in the cool weather and take the family for a ride. There are a lot of interesting places to see within a few miles of Knoxville. Old Washington in Rhea County was a small community that was the county seat. Judge David Campbell, a relative […]

Taking the Louisville-Friendsville loop

By Mike Steely You don’t often think of those small outlying communities but several played an important part in our Civil War era. Before railroads and the creation of the TVA lakes, our area was a much different place. If you’d like to take a nearby trip and drive through history then Highway 333 is […]

Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum reopens in Harrogate

  By Mike Steely Most people know that Kentucky and Illinois are “Lincoln states,” both honoring the Civil War president with his birthplace, family home locations, and Lincoln’s grave, office and last home site in Springfield. Did you know that East Tennessee also honors Lincoln? Earlier this month, Harrogate was the site of the grand […]

Finding the King of Rockabilly

By Mike Steely Unless you’re older than 60 you probably don’t know who Carl Perkins was. The early country-rock artist died in 1998 and was an inspiration to many people including Elvis Presley, The Beatles, The Everly Brothers and many, many rock and roll artists. You probably know of Elvis’ “Blue Suede Shoes” but you […]

Visiting Bald River Falls

By Mike Steely When my wife and I heard the bridge at Bald River Falls would be replaced later this year we decided to take the drive to Tellico Plains and visit the roadside cascade. We’ve been there a couple of other times and know the area pretty well. We set out on a Saturday […]

Visiting History at Martin’s Station

By Mike Steely Re-enactors can add so much to a historic place and Martin’s Station Fort, within southwest Virginia’s Wilderness Road State Park, is no exception. My wife and I drove from Knoxville recently. I’d wanted to visit the fort for some time, having read about the history of Joseph Martin and the burning of […]

The largest bean can in the world?

The largest bean can in the world?

By Mike Steely Water towers around our nation can be unusual, either in shape or how they are painted. In Collinsville, Illinois, there’s a water tower in the shape of a ketchup bottle. Happy faces smile from water towers in several states and at least two states have tea pot water towers. Rochester, Minnesota, has […]

Taking a covered bridge tour

Taking a covered bridge tour

By Mike Steely Senior Writer steelym@knoxfocus.com Years ago, before the automobile, many bridges in our area were covered to protect them from the elements. Few of those continue to exist but there are some here and there that are still in use. It’s interesting to visit a covered bridge to see how our forefathers constructed […]

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