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

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.