Sour Cream Pear Pie

Sour Cream Pear Pie

There are pears and there are pears. By that I mean some are more desirable than others. There are winter pears, Kieffer is the one that comes to mind. They are small and hard as a rock. They are called winter pears for a reason. You must wait until after New Years to eat them.. only then will they be softened, but they are still small. By the time you peel them, there is not much left. I never could understand why anyone would want to grow winter pears. I guess there was a time in the dead of winter, when fresh fruit would be a luxury.

Remembering Pearl Harbor

The other day I was reminded that perhaps I’d better write my memories of Pearl Harbor while I still can. My daddy, Dempsey Heiskell, had bought a Philco battery radio so we could hear the War news. Our house had by now been wired for electricity, and there was great excitement in anticipating the lights coming on with the flip of a switch instead of a match. This had not happened yet, so the battery that looked like a ten-pound mold of butter enabled my family to keep up with what was happening in Europe.

Thunder Road Author Rally

The 5th annual Thunder Road Author Rally on September 9th at Maynardville Public Library was a success. With 36 authors in attendance, some even from out of state, you can imagine the atmosphere that arose at having so many amazing story tellers of so many different genres under the same roof. The authors signed books, took pictures, shook hands, and had a good time getting to know some of the people that make up the heart and soul of Union County.

Eddie Perry Finds Pride in Union County Heritage

Eddie Perry of Realty Executives of Maynardville

Eddie Perry was born and raised in Union County, has lived here his whole life, learned two trades here, and raised a family here.

So, it might surprise you to learn that there was a time when Perry was ashamed of being a Union Countian, a feeling that, with maturity, he's left far behind him.

Jesus is the Answer

I may not understand everything concerning what the future holds, and I'm not making a prediction of the end time or how it will happen, but I can tell you how to escape the destruction that is coming. Even if the end of time does not happen in our lifetime, you can rest assured we are all leaving this world. For it is appointed to every man once to die and after that the judgment.

UCBPA Seeks Nominees for Man & Woman 2017

UCBPA Seeks Nominees for Man & Woman 2017

Nominations are now open for Union County Business & Professional Association Man & Woman of 2017. Anyone in Union County may make a nomination. Nominees shall be residents of Union County or gainfully employed in Union County or a current member of UCBPA. Nominees may perform service as a result of their job or as volunteers and demonstrate good citizenship for others to emulate.

Heritage Festival Call to Artists

Last year Shirley Keaton's painting "Peaches" received "Best of Show" in the Fine Arts Exhibition for Union County Heritage Festival. Your entry may be the 2017 winner.

The Union County Heritage Festival's Art Show is a juried mixed-media exhibition open to artists 18 years of age and above. (There will be a Student Art Show for those under 18 years of age). The exhibition is intended to showcase art work produced throughout our area.

Miz Bertha's Raisin Squares

Oak Grove is located at the intersection of David and Brantley Roads in Sharps Chapel.

I hope most of you already have on your calendar Open House on September 30 from 2:30 to 4:30 at Historic Oak Grove School. Just in case, I'm including an invitation just for you!
In researching and preparing for the restoration, as well as, the open house, I discovered that Bertha Cox was the school cook, and she was a good one. Students loved her Raisin Squares, and if you come to Open House you should get to sample some of these cookies. Just in case you want to try a batch, here is Bertha's recipe:

Bertha Cox Raisin Squares

Interim Chamber President Finds Home in Union County

Interim Chamber of Commerce president Thomas Skibinski stands in front of the Chamber's office, currently housed in the historic Maynardville State Bank building.

You might say that Thomas Skibinski has experienced both ends of the spectrum. Born in Queens, New York, to parents who immigrated to the U.S. from Poland, Skibinski moved to Maynardville in adulthood seeking elbow room and a little peace and quiet.

Now, he’s serving as interim president of the Union County Chamber of Commerce, and the Chamber’s nominating board has just given him the nod to drop the “interim” from his title. The Chamber’s board of directors will vote on making it formal Sept. 19.

Union County Heritage Festival Keeps on Growing

It's almost that time of year again, time for folks to get together in Maynardville for good food, good company, good music and plenty of old-time pass-times at the Union County Heritage Festival, to be held Saturday, Oct. 7.

This is the festival's 13th year, and festival president Marilyn Toppins has been involved in some capacity, from stage management to parking, for 12 of those years. This is her third year as president, and she remembers how the festival got its start.

Photograph Saved From a Cracker Barrel Wall

These wonderful 16 x 20-inch (framed 20 x 24-inch) photographs were purchased some years ago at Doris’ Auctions on Rutledge Pike. According to the owner, the auctioneer identified them only as a Union County couple. A lovely lady who lives at Corryton made the purchase. It appears from the size and quality of the pictures and frames that the family was well to do. The carved frames with curved glass are unique. It also appears that the lady’s picture is hand-colored. Hand-coloring was the only way to achieve color until colored film came on the market.


August is zucchini time, whether you are ready or not. It gets worse in September. There is a limit to how many one family can use. Friends' eyes glaze over when they see you coming with a bag of something. I know. There was a time years ago when I had too much zucchini. I was in a quandary as to how to use them. I wasn't on the farm anymore. There were no hogs to feed. They would have loved zucchini, but we hadn't even heard of zucchini in those days. I certainly wouldn't have known how to spell such a foreign word - "zucchini."

Signs of The Times

Scientists think the world is billions of years old. This theory only brings me to further embrace the awesomeness and greatness of God. According to the scripture, with God one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. The Scripture emphasizes that in the last days knowledge will be increased. This leads me to the conclusion that the signs of the times are being manifested in our presence. The Scripture talks about people encountering a time that never was before or that ever will be. We should take notice. The Word of God is true.

Heritage Festival Pie Baking Contest

Heritage Festival Pie Baking Contest

The smell of pumpkin pie warm from the oven always turns my thoughts to fall. The aroma of an apple pie cooling on the kitchen counter tells me color season will soon be here. As September heads toward October, the thought of pecan pie with vanilla ice cream fills my head. If you like pie, then you will want to visit the 4H Booth at the Union County Heritage Festival on October 7, in Wilson Park. Steve Thompson of Beverage Solutions Group and Union County UT Extension will again team up to host the Heritage Festival Pie Baking Contest and provide the pies for the 4H Booth.

McKenzie Sharp For Homecoming Queen

Hello! My name is McKenzie Sharp and I am running for homecoming queen for FFA (Future Farmers of America.) I am President in the Horace Maynard Chapter. I would like to help show Union County and the rest of the world that FFA is still here. It seems we are drifting from farming and going in another direction. Did you and your family eat today? That food came from a farm. No farms, no food. FFA has shaped me to who I am today, and it has helped me get through the tough times in my life.

Thunder in the Park was a Great Success

Thunder in the Park was a Great Success

Even though the threat of rain could have put a damper on the Thunder in the Park celebration at Wilson Park, located in Union County, TN, it was a great success. The smiling faces of our vendors, the smiles and the joy expressed on the faces of local folks and visitors from other counties as they viewed the antique cars, listened to the live band, mingled through the crowd and visited with friends and neighbors is what made it such a great success.

Catholic Church Breaks Ground in Maynardville

Bishop Richard Stika, Fr. Steve Pawelk and Union County Mayor Mike Williams break ground for the new St. Teresa of Kolkata Catholic Church in Maynardville.

It’s been a long road, but with a lot of faith and community support St. Teresa of Kolkata Catholic Church will move into a permanent church home sometime around the middle of 2018.

The church broke ground for the new building during a special ceremony at the church carnival held Sept. 2, on the church’s 24-acre property, located behind Kay’s Market on Maynardville Highway. Pastor Fr. Steve Pawelk said earthmoving will happen soon, and once that is complete, construction should begin soon after.


Roselady--book cover

Union County roots, that stretch all the way to Wisconsin and Utah, provide the setting for a true story of the life of Van Buren Butcher’s granddaughter, Carla Jane Butcher Morgan. There’s probably not too many of us around who remember “Uncle Buren;” but he is also the grandfather of the well-known country singer, Lois Johnson, of Nashville fame. Lois is the daughter of Fred and Iretta Butcher Johnson. Carla Jane, “C. J.,” is the daughter of Iretta’s brother, Carl Butcher. You will remember C. J. who performed with Lois Johnson at last year’s Union County Heritage Festival.

Corn Dogs

Corn Dog Recipe

It's Fair time. I take my appetite to the Fair. There are many exotic foods to sample that aren't available other times of the year. Corn dogs with a squiggly line of mustard are my favorite. I can fix them at home, but Fair time is Corn Dog time in my mind. Elephant ears are good, too. The list goes on and on, but my Corn Dog recipe is where I'm heading today.

Collectible Print Coming Home

Collectible Print Coming Home

The Union County Heritage Festival announces its 2017 collectible print "Coming Home". Keeping with this year's Festival theme, "Come Here Come Home", Artist Betty Bullen has delivered an emotional picture of a veteran returning home from service to Union County. Betty says she gathered inspiration for the painting from numerous sources, including an episode of Bill Landry's Heartland Series where Landry interviews a Sharps Chapel Farm boy who returned home to Union County from service in WW II.

Abby Pursiful For Homecoming Queen

Abby Pursiful For Homecoming Queen

Hi, my name is Abby Pursiful. I am a senior at Union County High School and I am running for homecoming queen. The homecoming fundraiser runs approximately six weeks. This allows each club the opportunity to raise funds. I am representing the Skills USA Cosmetology division, of which I am the president. Ninety percent of the proceeds raised will be donated to Skills USA Cosmetology and ten percent of the proceeds will be going to the athletics department.

Thunder in the Park Keeps 'Rolling' Sept. 2

Are you ready for fun, festivities and fireworks?

Saturday, Sept. 2, Wilson Park will once again host Union County's signature Thunder in the Park festival, a free event that will light up the night with a professional fireworks show. The gates open at 5 p.m.

This is Thunder in the Park's second year. The brainchild of former Union County Chamber of Commerce president Leslie Corum, it was a partnership between the Chamber and Union County government. This year, Union County government is taking the lead to bring the thunder once again.

Rescue Dog is Inspiration for Children's Book

There's a lot of love at the core of Luttrell Library director Kim Todd's new project: love for books, love for kids, love for family, and love for a sassy canine named Lil Bit.

Todd is set this winter to publish the first in a series of illustrated children's books featuring Lil Bit, her rescued terrier and Chihuahua mix. The book, called "Finding Home," is inspired by Lil Bit's real-life rescue story, which Todd is reluctant to reveal because it would spoil the story. Teddy, the boy who becomes Lil Bit's owner, is inspired by Todd's husband and fellow writer Ted.

Chow Chow

Chow Chow is delicious. I wondered where that name came from. Taking a jar in hand, I looked at it straight on. Why is it called Chow Chow? Curiosity got the best of me. I checked it out online. I am now more confused than ever. Consider these possibilities:
1. There are "Northern" and "Southern" varieties. Mine is Southern.
2. Some say it came South with the Acadian expulsion from Nova Scotia.
3. Others cite a connection with the Chinese rail workers in the 1800's.
4. A chutney from India is made from chayote, hence "chow chow".

Heritage Festival Quilt Show at Union County Museum

The Union County Historical Society will host the 13th Annual Heritage Festival Quilt Show at the Union County Museum. The Historical Society extends a special invitation to bring your quilts to the museum on Thursday, October 5th between 1:30 and 6:00 pm.

More Memories from Civil War Times

Asa Napoleon McClain

Asa Napoleon McClain’s home place was what we know as the Bruce and Pearl Rutherford home and farm on old Highway 33 at Maynardville. Asa was a carpenter and built the two-story weatherboard home. The house is gone, but the spring house is still there. Asa McClain enlisted in the Union Army at Williamsburg, KY on April 11, 1862 and served under Col. Ausmus. He died May 20, 1864, probably of pneumonia; he was buried in College Hill Cemetery at Nashville. He married Elizabeth Rooks, and they are my great grandparents.
(See also Our Union County Families, p. 111.)


Opal's Sweetened Iced Tea

Opal's Sweetened Iced Tea

I have never heard anyone say, "Tea is tea." Green tea, black tea and exotic tea blends line the shelves at Food City. Why am I talking about tea? First of all, it's hot outside and I want a tall glass of iced tea. Then, too, my taste in tea has changed over the years. My favorite now is sweet tea. You can buy it in a gallon jug. Even the fast food places brew their own sweetened iced tea.

There was a time when green tea was king in our house. Mother would buy a one pound bag of green tea siftings. It wouldn't last long. Mother knew how to brew good tea. She would scald the tea pot with hot water, add the right amount of loose tea leaves and fill with scalding hot water. After it steeped a few minutes, Mother poured out a cup for Dad, first of all, and then for my two brothers and me. Finally she poured a cup for herself. That was the order for everything served at our table. I will talk about that another time.

Boyd Campaign Comes To Union County

Randy Boyd is running for Tennessee Governor. Literally. Boyd, a self-described "serial entrepreneur" and former Tennessee commissioner of economic development, has committed to run 537 miles and visit all 95 counties in Tennessee. And on August 16, his run brought him to Union County for a lunch with Union Countians at the Winery at Seven Springs Farm.