Coffee & Spirits of Tennessee’s Campbell & Scott Counties

Campbell County, Tennessee is located in Appalachia between its Ridge-and-Valley Range and the Cumberland Mountains. Its northern border is the Kentucky State Line and it extends down to Rocky Top, Tennessee, just north of Knoxville.

Jacksboro is the county seat, and Caryville, LaFollette, and Jellico make up the rest of the county. It was formed in 1806 and has less than 500 square miles.

Residents have a long-standing history of serving in and sympathizing with the Union army, rejecting ordinances of secession and becoming the first county in Tennessee to form a Union Army for the Civil War.

You will know you have found the right interstate exit when you see this massive Green Dragon by the fireworks store.


My favourite place in Caryville is the Cove Lake State Park, which I return to frequently.

Cove Lake is one of Tennessee’s 12 State Parks. The land may be ancient, but the man-made lake is the result of the New Deal Caryville Dam Project that began back in the 1930s.


Caryville is home to several natural destinations like Triple Falls (Little Egypt), Cumberland Trail / Bruce Gap Trailhead, the North Cumberland WMA, and the Devil’s Racetrack Overlook.


Royal Blue is an Off-Road adventure and camping resort in Caryville/Jacksboro, specifically in a community called Pioneer. It is even more popular, and draws more tourists than, Cove Lake State Park.



Red Ashe Cemetery
The Turley mining community along Old Hwy 63 is also known as Red Ashe, a name that has become more common over the years. Likewise, Turley’s cemetery more often called Red Ashe Cemetery.

It is a small but active cemetery where families still visit to mourn and pay respects to their lost loved ones. Some have only passed in the last decade or two.

Remote and quiet, you can only reach it by a long dusty road that winds its way across multiple one-way bridges along Cove Creek. The only buildings we saw were a church and a few coal mining structures in shambles.

Red Ashe3

I love visiting old cemeteries, enjoying the peace, observing the more unique epitaphs and markers, and the gardens that often accompany them. Even better, when a place has an unusual history that distinguishes it from any other old graveyard.

The writer/anthropologist/historian in me always wants to share every detail of the places I visit and sacred sites I find myself in, but there is a certain amount of ethics one has to maintain when the integrity of a place is at risk.

Turley/Red Ashe is a creepy place in its own right, but paranormal investigators have really embellished its reputation. Over the past ten years that Red Ashe Cemetery has become the topic of more and more explorations and ghost-hunting shows, it has attracted the worst of the worst.

Red Ashe4

Vandals and arsonists, meth-makers, bored and destructive teenagers, “Satanists” who have apparently never even glanced at the Satanic Tenets but repeatedly sacrifice domesticated animals and draw pentagrams on buildings, people with no respect for the sanctity of nature and veneration of the dead; they have all been drawn here.

Families who lost newborns or other loved ones arrive to find graffiti tagged all over headstones, defacing of names, heads and wings busted off monuments and stolen. I can only imagine how they feel.

Red Ashe2

Before I was even aware of how prevalent this is at Red Ashe, and how people in the community are constantly battling these issues, we went for a visit. We quickly scanned Google for fun things to do in Campbell County and “Haunted Red Ashe” was one of the top recommendations on every related website.

My brother likes to play around with an EMF and a few other gadgets sometimes, so he brought his gear along. I will say that the thing was going nuts. Ghost hunting is not really my jam but I have had a great time on various outings in the past, and it can be so thrilling in the moment.

We definitely picked up some intense dark energy, but I always make an effort to greet any present Spirits, state that we are just visiting, picking up litter or tidying up, maybe doing some research, but never coming to cause harm or disrespect.

I tell myself that is why I have not experienced any kind of attacks or noticeable attachments and the like.

Red Ashe1

Legends range from seeing the Spirit of a 14-year old girl named Judy Tidwell that was found face down in the creek there in 1980, the likeness of a man who jumped to his death from an old tower, and figures of other suicides/murders during Turley’s active mining days, to a half man/half goat figure that chases people, a massive and unexplained blue light shifting up and  down the mountain, a woman crying over one particular grave and charging anyone she sees, and people being pummeled with rocks but seeing no one else.

I think in many cases, people experience what they want to experience when they visit haunted places.

Cemeteries are usually the least active among haunted sites in the Spirit world, as most restless Spirits want to go back home or where they died rather than stick around some place they were interred later. It still happens, though.

Red Ashe

Scotty’s Hamburger
Scotty’s is a longtime community favourite for burgers, fries, and simple casual fare. There are other restaurants like Kazoku and the Local, but I feel like Scotty’s is a must for your first visit to Campbell County.


From Caryville, drive north through Campbell County into Jacksboro.

Be sure to stop by The Beanery. It is located inside a convenience store called Bo’s Place Citgo, but has its own drive through window.


The coffee was really good. I drink mine black or with some cream, so nothing fancy to show, but they also have hot breakfast items like paninis. Not bad at all for gas station drive-through food.


Continue north through LaFollette for another coffee stop at Common Grounds.


We had been in here before, and we enjoy the small but cozy atmosphere. They usually have several fresh baked sweets and pastries available.


LaFollette is another small town, with a little over 6,000 people.



Residents have been sprucing it up, commissioning murals and historical markers, giving old buildings new life and opening businesses that attract younger crowds.



Many of the buildings look the same outside, complete with murals and advertisements from the old days, and it adds to the charm.


Famous Jazz & Blues musician, Howard “Louie Bluie” Armstrong, grew up in LaFollete. He most often played the fiddle and sang, and he sang in several languages much like Grace Moore.

He is celebrated each year with the annual Louie Bluie Festival at Cove Lake State Park, and a memorial park in LaFollette.


My favourite sign / storefront in LaFollette is “Prof. Neewollah Books, Gifts, Antiques, Magik, Curiosities”  on the main drag.

I can not figure out when this store is actually open, but everything about it is a mothlight to me.


From LaFollette, it was a beautiful drive through Habersham and Morley into Jellico, and the whole route was right alongside Clear Fork.



Be sure to check out Chapman Hill Winery while you are in the area as well.


It may seem overwhelming  to visit several towns in one morning, but the route from Knoxville to LaFollette and then Jellico was only one hour.


In Jellico we stopped at Solid Grounds Coffee Lounge. They currently do not have any social media presence or website except Instagram, and they are not listed on Google or Apple Maps, but you will find them on the corner of Main Street & Beever Street.

Solid Grounds3

The coffee is fantastic, they have free open wi-fi (great because cell signal in Jellico is poor), and it is super clean inside.

Solid Grounds2

Veteran’s Park across the street stands in honour of Jellico’s fallen soldiers through various wars.


There is also an old red train caboose, one of my favourite things about small towns.


From Main Street near the Little Deuce Scoop Diner, walk  past the caboose and look right. This is also not found on maps, but there is a mural wall that depicts Jellico’s history.


Like many towns in the South, this area has a rich history in the mining industry.


A plaque and one large panel honours the “Tennessee Nightingale” Grace Moore; Jellico’s beloved Metropolitan Opera singer and Academy award-nominated actress of the early 1900s. She was not born in  Jellico, but spent her younger and formative years there.

She was known for being feisty and strong-willed, defying strict religious upbringing and social norms, then working her way into various colleges for vocal training and music. Eventually it paid off and fame swept her away to more interesting locations around the globe.

She died in a plane crash in 1947 and is buried in Chattanooga, TN.


The Jellico Family Museum is a small but dense collection of Jellico history.


You have to enter through Buck’s Hardware next door, but there is no admission fee.


This old barber shop on Main Street first opened over a century ago. A hand-painted sign out front says it is Jellico’s oldest, but it did not appear to be in business still.


I really have no idea what is going on here. One minute we were looking at a barber shop; the next we had found these skeletons and other figurines in an abandoned/locked up building.


We kept hearing people talk about the Pizza Spot. so we went for lunch.

I had the grilled chicken buffalo-ranch salad and my brother got a burger. Leave it to us to not order pizza at a pizza place, but we were both happy with our choices.

Pizza Spot

Indian Mountain State Park
We went out to Indian Mountain State Park for a post-meal walk, but unfortunately everything was flooded due to heavy rains. The park has more than 200 acres that overlook Elk Valley, a serious contender against Cataloochee Valley as the best elk-viewing spot in the region.

We had a nice drive through the park, but I look forward to returning again soon on a drier day.


The whole South and its Bible Belt region is the land of crosses and ominous threats to give your soul to the lord, but they really lay it on thick in Scott County, Tennessee.

Huntsville is the county seat, but Oneida is the largest city in Scott County, which shares many of its attractions with its neighbour Campbell County.


From Jellico, we drove through Newcomb, Elk Valley, Pioneer and Huntsville communities to reach Oneida. Our primary goal was to visit the Black Cat, which also houses the Museum of Oneida & Scott County.


Black Cat is an oddities and antique shop, with a flair for natural history objects and collectibles.


They also have an awesome spooky theme with classic horror film memorabilia, tarot decks, candles, incense, crystals, posters, kooky décor, skulls, dolls, and assorted kitsch.


I am quite thrilled to see this place thriving among all the “YOU ARE GOING TO HELL!” signs.


Staff at the Black Cat are huge supporters of, and possibly behind, the annual Oneida Zombie Fest & 5K marathon.


Historic Scott County Jail & Museum
A trip to Scott County would not be complete without a visit to the Historic Scott County Jail & Museum in Huntsville.


The jail first began operating in 1904 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

It has been closed for many years, but now functions as a museum where they host bike nights, paranormal tours, an escape room experience, and other events.


Celly is the cutest little jail cat.


She lives on site and greets/guides visitors through the jail as they follow the audio tour or real life guides.


Drunk Tank bathrooms were often painted Pepto pink after a few different studies proved the calming and “de-escalating” qualities of the colour.


Learn about the area’s crime history and specific cases, connections to developments in the forensic and justice fields, and themed exhibits during the tour.

The photo below is part of an exhibit on crimes of passion and criminal lovebirds.


A lot of the original furniture, handcuffs, kitchen supplies, and other items are on display or used for practical purposes.


The two women that run the place are badasses. One of them operates Soul Sisters Paranormal and the other has an alter ego named Ghost Biker. She rides around on her motorcycle and investigates paranormal activity in some of the country’s most haunted locations.

They also have a video podcast called The Jailhouse Informant about crimes and paranormal activity that goes on in the jail and property.


Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area is another awesome place to visit in the area, but we are going to go back on a nicer day soon to take photos.

In the area for a while? Follow me to the Victorian Gothic village of historic Rugby in Scott County.

© Copyright Fernwehtun, 2015- Current. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Fernwehtun and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s