Forgotten Forts in our region

By Mike Steely Our region has seen a multitude of military forts built here and there, from early settlement through the Civil War. Some have been restored, like Fort Southwest Point in Kingston and Fort Loudoun near Vonore, but some have been all but forgotten. Within an easy drive from Knoxville you can see the […]

President Andrew Johnson in the news again

By Mike Steely The name of Andrew Johnson has popped up in local and national news recently. Locally it’s the historic Andrew Johnson Building which was recently sold to BNA Associates for $6 million. That controversial sale finally concluded after years of negotiation and now leads to the Knox County School Administration offices being moved […]

Ever visit a waterfall inside a city?

By Mike Steely Ever visit a beautiful waterfall located inside a city? Noccalula Falls Park is in Gadsden, Alabama, just a few minutes off Interstate 59 and about an hour and a half south of Chattanooga. The city park’s 250 acres features a 90-foot waterfall, an aboriginal fort, an abandoned dam, a pioneer homestead, carvings […]

Readers respond to ‘What do you collect?’

By Mike Steely In a recent story in The Focus I mentioned that my wife and I collect political and promotional buttons and cups from places we’ve visited, and other things like postcards and business cards. The article drew some response when it appeared. Kathy Turpin wrote, “I read your column in The Focus. Related […]

Surprises await at David Crockett Birthplace State Park

Surprises await at David Crockett Birthplace State Park

By Mike Steely Sometimes when you visit a place you’ve been before you can still find some real surprises. When my wife and I decided to take a day away from our home in Knoxville and make a safe drive to David Crockett Birthplace State Park, just east of Greeneville, we knew the place must […]

Traveling historic Norris Freeway

By Mike Steely The highway runs from Rocky Top (Lake City) to Halls Crossroads and, among other landmarks, crosses TVA’s Norris Dam, the agency’s first hydro-electric producer. But Norris Freeway is more than just a road that did not exist before the 1930s and much more than just an access way to the dam. Bet […]

What do you collect?

By Mike Steely For more than 50 years my wife and I have been collecting things. As a reporter and an advertising representative we’ve moved around a lot, visited every state except Alaska, and we’ve collected mementos of places such as cups, photos, postcards and buttons. Not sewing buttons but buttons from places, events, slogans […]

Have you seen that thingamajig?

By Mike Steely We’ve been doing a lot of home repairing and upgrading while cocooning during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve ventured out to get groceries and to buy items like paint, tile, etc. During these days some hardware stores have shown a big profit from fixer-uppers like us. While shopping for home items recently I […]

Local Wreaths Across America needs your donations

By Mike Steely We’re fortunate in Knox County to have three veteran cemeteries. On Saturday, December 19, all three hallowed burial grounds should be totally decorated with wreaths from the local “Wreaths Across America” but there’s a problem. Donations to purchase the wreaths is lagging behind. Chris Albrecht, Wreath Program Ambassador, is urgently asking for […]