A Day Away: The Tragedy at Coyatee

By Mike Steely Taking a drive to Tellico Village on an outing puts you in a section of Loudon County where many fine houses, boat docks, golf courses and clubhouses now exist. But more than 200 years ago something else went on there. The tragedy of Coyatee is little known but note-worthy. A small band […]

Remembering the Jellico Troop Train Wreck

  By Mike Steely You’ve probably driven Interstate 75 north across the mountains into Kentucky. It’s a beautiful drive but busy with trucks and cars. There’s another way to cross the state line along Highway 25W from Caryville to Jellico and on into the Blue Grass State. You’ve seen the Cumberland and Pine Mountain ridges […]

On turning 75

On turning 75

By Mike Steely Senior Writer steelym@knoxfocus.com I was born the day after Christmas in 1946, seventy-five years ago. I’m one of the first Baby Boomers and find myself now as a husband, father and grandfather. I met my wife in high school and she and I have moved here and there around the nation as […]

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 […]

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