Historic Loudon, Lakeway to the Smokies

Depending on who you ask, Loudon County is comprised of Loudon (City), Lenoir City, Tellico, Philadelphia, Greenback, Dixie Lee Junction, parts of Farragut, and Unitia. It was not until today that I even heard of Unitia; a small Quaker-established community near Friendsville that was rather lively from the 1790s until the Tennessee Valley Authority flooded…

Cove Lake State Park

Cove Lake State Park is one of Tennessee’s 12 State Parks and is located in Caryville, less than 30 miles north of Knoxville. The land may be ancient, but its man-made lake is the result of the Caryville Dam project back in the 1930s. Nearly 700 acres on Eastern side of Cumberland Mountains were acquired…

Weird Science in the Secret City

During the Manhattan Project, workers were sanctioned into communities. Each had its own town square where residents at respective plants could purchase their food…because of this, Oak Ridge lacks a central downtown area, but has many clusters of interesting places instead. 

The Lost Sea

Take an hour’s drive from Knoxville to Sweetwater, TN and you can find yourself at the The Lost Sea Adventure. The site is part of the historic Craighead Caverns and is America’s largest underground lake. My song for this entry is “Swing Tree” by Discovery because the chorus is about being at sea.   The…

Williamswood Castle

My day job comes with a lot of perks, and one of them was having the privilege of working remotely from a medieval Scottish castle. Except this castle is only half an hour from our office in Tennessee. Our crew had been working there for some time and we were so excited for the opportunity…

Victorian Gothic in Rugby

At the suggestion of several friends I visited Historic Rugby, Tennessee to find out what is so special about the tiny village. Rugby was dreamed up as a religious cooperative Utopia in 1880 for England’s wealthy, idle younger sons who pitifully did not inherit the fortunes of their elder brothers and were too proud to…

You Will Find Me If You Want Me (In the Garden)

UT Botanical Gardens was named official botanical garden of the state of Tennessee in 2013 and shares the glory with sister gardens in Crossville and Jackson. It was a tough choice between Einstürzende Neubauten’s “The Garden” or “Blume” (flowers, albeit a play on words) but here we are. Countless times, I’ve driven by taking mental…

Historic Clinton and the Antique Trail

Anderson County, Tennessee is home to the small towns and cities of Clinton, Norris, Oak Ridge, Rocky Top, and Oliver Springs. Many communities in this area were originally developed by the government as an experiment in urban planning and to support employees of ongoing confidential and/or industrial projects. Clinton is nationally famous for being a…

The Pliocene Era & Little Chicago

I decided on a whim to take a road trip to Johnson City, Tennessee. I’ve been several times but it was always arriving late for a show at the Hideaway that left little time to explore. Johnson City, as I recently learned, is called Little Chicago and there is a festival each year to back…