Heritage Festival announces theme: Take A Country Road

While the pandemic has kept people at home, the Heritage Festival Committee has been busy planning the 16th Annual Union County Heritage Festival.
October 3, 2020, is the date to circle on the calendar.
This year's theme is “Take a Country Road” and promises to wind you through some of the best music ever offered in Union County. For all of the bluegrass followers, Flashback will headline the main stage at the Gazebo. Sharing the same stage will be Stoney Point Bluegrass Band and C. F. Bailey and Shadow Ridge. More music will be announced in July.
This summer, photographers, crafters and artists can ready their entries for the quilt show, student and adult art exhibit, pie baking contest and agricultural exhibits.
Also, businesses and individuals can prepare for the Hay Bale Decorating Contest that brings that autumn feel and color to the Maynardville street scene. Youngsters can practice their seed spitting with watermelon seeds to prepare for the pumpkin seed spitting portion of the Heritage Olympics.
Several adults should be ready to do the nail driving after completing all of those home projects during the pandemic. Model A owners can shine at the Cruise-In and there may even be another vintage car or two.
So, “Take A Country Road” and be entertained. Learn more at unioncountheritagefestival.com.



Fashion and Design Stitched into a 4-H Conference

Khilee Cochran at 4-H Fashion and Design Conference 2021

By Gracie Tindell

Hello, my name is Gracie Tindell, I am a 7th grader in Union County. I was able to attend the fashion and design conference at the UT campus n June with fellow Union County 4-Her Khilee Cochran. We spent the day with other
4-H'ers from surrounding counties. We had many projects to accomplish in our time at fashion and design. There were teachers attending who are experienced in the fashion and design industry. They were able to speak on many different topics and give us insights.

Godzilla and Mamaw Jo

When I was around thirteen years old, I decided I wanted my own pet lizard. So, my parents took me to a pet store where I picked out a cute little gecko. And as you can tell by the title, I named it Godzilla. I thought it was funny, but I didn’t realize how apt the name would become.

The Older I Get

There once was a man who said he was going to have his patience tested. (I was positive from his demeanor that he would test negative.) I have been told that I have the patience of Job, but it seems that this year in particular my patience has been pushed to its extreme outer limits on a few occasions. Perhaps this comes as a natural part of the aging process. Having never been in my upper 50s before, I have no frame of reference.

Hummingbird Hype

The hummingbird needs no introduction since everyone at one time or other has been mesmerized by its bright color, tiny size and amazing aerial abilities.

There are several hundred species of hummingbirds in the world, but only one is found in the eastern US, the Ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris). It is around 3 inches long and weighs only one-half ounce (hummingbirds are the smallest of the bird world). Both sexes have metallic green feathers and a long, straw-like bill. The male has a metallic red throat while the female has a white throat.


Union County Volunteers Spread Joy To Children Worldwide Through Year-Round Effort

Area Families Help Operation Christmas Child Change Lives with Simple Gifts

Maynardville, TN, July 2021— Union County families believe it is never too early to make a difference, which is why, whether it is July or December, they are transforming shoeboxes into gifts of joy. Operation Christmas Child, a project of international Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse, delivers the shoeboxes—filled with school supplies, hygiene items and fun toys—to children in need worldwide.

Sew ‘N Vac Run by Local Family, Treating Community Like Family, Since 1974

Sew ‘N Vac, Knoxville—a family-owned and operated business—offers:
• Husqvarna, Singer, and Viking sewing machines
• Dyson, Lindhaus, Miela, and Riccar vacuum cleaners
• Service of all makes and models of sewing and vacuum equipment
• Fabric and Supplies
• Classes: Learn to use your new equipment (offered for no additional cost) or learn a new skill for a small fee

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Sew ‘N Vac in Knoxville, TN with my mother-in-law, who had tinkered with her sewing machine and gotten the settings mixed up, so we took it in for service. The owner, Steve Osborne, remembered trading with her more than a decade ago. She traded her mother’s old quilter for a new sewing machine. Osborne looked it over and fixed the settings and replaced a missing foot and refused to take any money for the service. He was just taking care of a customer.

4-H Excels in Preparing Youth to Communicate

4-Her Natalie Graves with her Demonstration Exhibit

The Union County 4-H Demonstration and Interactive Exhibits Contests allows youth to highlight their exceptional presentation abilities in a supportive environment at our Annual Achievement Day. Youth will learn from professionals as well as their fellow 4-H members.

Mays Signs With Milligan

Caitlin Mays

2021 Union County High School graduate and four-year letter winner Caitlin Mays has received a softball scholarship and signed with Milligan University.
Mays finished her career with the UCHS girls’ softball team with an impressive batting average of .319.
“Caitlin is a hard worker and an overall great kid to coach,” said Coach Lance Lay. “Milligan is getting a special kind of student and player. I wish her the best.”

Chiropractic Basics Part III

Chiropractic colleges accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) offer Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree programs. (CCE is the agency certified by the U.S. Department of education to accredit chiropractic colleges in the United States.) Admission to a chiropractic college requires a minimum of 90 semester hour credits of undergraduate study, mostly in the sciences.

Peachy Time

I truly believed I was going to have a fun adventure to tell my friends when I got back home. Let’s just say things didn’t go as planned.
Let me back up a little here. It was the summer of 1980 and I was fifteen years old. Mom, Mamaw Jo, Papaw E.O., and I were spending the weekend in Fletcher, NC. In case you’ve never heard of it, Fletcher is a small town just a little east of Asheville. Papaw’s army buddy Porter lived there and he invited us over to spend the weekend with him and his family.


The Bible tells us that in the beginning, God gave the first man and woman only one commandment. They could eat of all the trees of the Garden of Eden except the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God had a very good reason for this. Before they ate the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve were innocent like children, not knowing that anything was wrong.

Abnormal Psych Instructor

At the beginning of my first class in college, the instructor drew two circles on the chalkboard; one huge one and a tiny circle above it. He explained that most of humanity fits in the large circle. College educated people were in the small circle. We were in the small one, he said. Ok, but there are some mighty strange ones on our circle. let me explain.

Kudzu Crud

Normally I am a plant lover kind of guy, but there is a group of foreigners that I love to hate. They are classed exotic invasive plants, and they are determined to take over the world an acre at a time, disrupting native plants and ecosystems as they go. Probably the most notorious and recognized invasive in the south is Kuzdu (Pueraria montana). You don’t have to drive far to find its vines carpeting the ground, trees, buildings, and anything else standing in the way.


2021 Grainger County Tomato Festival

The Grainger County Tomato Festival is back! After a one year hiatus because of the Coronavirus, Grainger County is hosting its 28th annual tomato festival on Friday, July 23rd and Saturday, July 24th at 7480 Rutledge Pike in Rutledge, TN. 1992 launched the first festival to, according to their website, “promote all Grainger County agricultural products, specifically the Grainger County Tomato, and to promote the many local artists, authors, talent, and craftsmen we have in our area”. This year’s schedule, however, will be a little different than in the past.

Maynardville Shop Brings Goods and Sundries to North Union County

Jacqueline Stallard, owner of Home Town Shack and Lil Bait Shack

I recently had the joy of meeting young entrepreneur Jacqueline Stallard when I visited her newest shop location, Home Town Shack, in Maynardville. Stallard opened this location—her latest venture—in March 2021 to bring a wide variety of items to the community. In a way, the offerings harken back to the days of the local mercantile, as there is a wide array of merchandise, from boutique items to fishing supplies and even fresh produce when in season. Stallard aims to meet the needs of the underserved northern end of Union County.

A BRIGHT Opportunity at Big Ridge

By Kelly Irick

The BRIGHT Afterschool program, ran through the UT Extension Union County Office, hosted an afterschool and summer camp program at Big Ridge Elementary to align with the extended Summer School program provided to the county. The program, a grant funded opportunity, offered after school hours Monday through Thursday and full day camps on Fridays throughout the month of June.

2021 4-H Academic Conference: An Unforgettable Event

Union County 4-Her, Meradeth Whiley concentrating on a project at Tennessee 4-H Academic Conference

By Meradeth Whitley

Cakes are delicious, but what would they be without the frosting?! That’s me without 4-H. You could say that 4-H is one of the most important things in my life. My name is Meradeth Whitley, I am entering high school this year, and I live in Union County. I love everything about where I live, and I am so proud to represent my county when I go to the many amazing 4-H events all over our region.

Thank You Mayor Bailey!

Mayor Bailey received grant monies during the Covid pandemic. Now the Luttrell Public Library has a sneeze guard around the service desk and 6 new computer chairs, which was made possible by County Mayor, Jason Bailey. Once again, thank you, Mayor Bailey!

Chiropractic basics Part II

Spinal adjustment/manipulation is a core treatment in chiropractic care, and it is synonymous with chiropractic treatment. Chiropractors commonly use other treatments in addition to spinal manipulation, and may combine the use of spinal adjustments and other manual therapies with several other treatments and approaches such as:

Shooting pool

In the past, there were movies about pool sharks. They all seemed to be dubious characters on the fringe of society. I haven't seen such a movie lately. Pool halls were a thing of the past, located on side streets in the poorer section of town. The men knew where they were.

Butterflies Versus Moths

One of the joys of summer is watching bright colored butterflies flutter from flower to flower feeding on nectar. Some moths are also beautiful to see, but most tend to be dull in color and only seen at night. Because of this you probably notice more butterflies than moths, even though there are four times as many moth species as butterflies.


Remembering Jim Houston

As published in the Historic Union County magazine in April of 2019, an article written by Shannon Carey stated Jim Houston had a real heart for helping others.
He made it his career, both paid and unpaid, to serve the people of Union County, often giving life-saving aid with his work in the Union County Rescue Squad.

Union County Rescue Squad kicks off 2021 Fund Drive

The Union County Rescue Squad is asking for an annual donation so that they can continue to provide the citizens and visitors of Union County the absolute best rescue service anywhere.
This year, with the help of your generous donations, they are raising funds to replace aging extrication gear at an estimated cost of $1,300 per person and a total of $26,000 for their members.
The Union County Rescue Squad was set up in 1963 with volunteers who donated their time and efforts to help others. The squad is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. All donations are tax-deductible.

Eddie Thompson recognized for service to veterans at commission meeting

Man giving a plaque to a veteran

Mayor Jason Bailey recognizes Eddie Thompson for his many years of outstanding service and dedication as the Union County Veterans Service Officer.

With the budget issues resolved, the regular Union County Commission meeting on June 28 covered a special recognition, a contract extension, and some 20 pages of FY 21 budget clean up to close out the fiscal year.
Mayor Jason Bailey awarded Carson “Eddie” Thompson a plaque for his years of dedicated service as the Veterans Service Officer.

Oakes Daylilies' Open Garden Days a success

The Oakes Daylilies Farm is a three generation family-owned farm.
In the 1960s, father and son Bill and Stewart Oakes had a hobby of growing daylilies, which has expanded into a nationwide mail order nursery.
In the 1970s, they began offering daylilies for sale.
In the 1980s, Stewart's son Ken began helping in the nursery by digging lilies for the customers.
In the 1990s, the first color catalog was published, allowing customers to see the varieties of colors available.

A glimpse of creativity captured by 4-H-ers

Grayson Schreieck, 4th grader's, 1st place photo in the Elementary Animals category

by Ashley Mike
Annually, Union County 4-H hosts a Countywide Photography Contest for students grades 4-12.
This year a dozen students participated in the contest, entering nearly 50 photos. In the contest there are seven categories including: Animals, Nature, Portraits, Light & Shadow, Health, 4-H, and a themed category that changes each year to spice up the contest, this year being “Growing up in a Pandemic.”
Photos are judged on their overall relation to 4-H overall as well as quality, lighting, creativity, focus, uniqueness, and story.

Chiropractic basics Part I

Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on the relationship between the body’s structure—mainly the spine—and its functioning. Although practitioners may use a variety of treatment approaches, they primarily perform adjustments (manipulations) to the spine or other parts of the body with the goal of correcting alignment problems, alleviating pain, improving function, and supporting the body’s natural ability to heal itself.

Plainview donates to Imagination Library

Picture of two males with a female in between.  The female is holding a check.  The males are the mayor and vice mayor of Plainview City.  Plainview made a donation to Imagination Library

Marilyn Toppins receives the City of Plainview's donation to Union County Imagination Library. Mayor Gary Chandler and Vice Mayor Richard Phillips are pictured with Toppins.

The City of Plainview donated $1,000 to Union County Imagination Library.
Mayor Gary Chandler commented that Plainview was glad to support early literacy for our children because learning to read is such an important skill.
The Imagination Library, an initiative of Dolly Parton, was started in Union County by Kathleen Graves. Leadership Union County established and expanded the program as a class project.

Heritage Festival call for artists

four paintings, one of flowers, one winter forest scene, one chuch scene, one of mountains with a religious cross

Examples of paintings from a past Union County Heritage Festival art show

Union County Heritage Festival Art Show and Contest will occur on Saturday, October 2, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Historic Snodderly House, 720 Main St., Maynardville.
Cash awards and ribbons will be given for Best Heritage, Best of Show, 1st, 2nd, 3rd place in two- and three-dimensional works and photography. Ribbons will be given to Honorable Mentions.

4-H Electric Camp is shockingly fun

Silas Whitley, Union County 4-H-er at Electric Camp

By Silas Whitley
My name is Silas Whitley, and I am 11 years old. This year I got to go to 4-H Electric Camp.
4-H Electric Camp is a fun-filled, rewarding adventure in electricity. At these regional camps, you learn what electricity is and how it works. You work with electrical specialists from across the state in learning centers.
Each learning center consists of hands-on activities so that you learn by doing. You also have the chance to meet other 4-H-ers from across Tennessee and explore careers in energy, electricity, and basic sciences.

Smaller is sometimes satisfactory, bigger is not always better

I remember this story from the fifth grade language book from which I was taught in school.
There was a Texan who bragged to a New Yorker that everything in Texas was, “Big, BIG, BIIGGG!!!!”
The New Yorker asked the Texan if he wanted to see something really big. The New Yorker took the Texan to Niagara Falls. Said the New Yorker, “I bet you don’t have anything that big in Texas!”
Replied the Texan, “No, but I know a plumber that can fix it for you.”

From one fisherman to another

I’ve been a fisherman all my life.
My first vivid memory is of pulling back some cattails to see a stringer full of fish, which my Dad had staked out on some waterway someplace. Needless to say, I love to fish!
Four of the 12 Apostles Jesus called were professional fishermen and at least three others liked to fish.
In John 21:2-8, that “disciple whom Jesus loved”* tells us of seven Apostles fishing together when Jesus appeared to them after his resurrection.


Snakes are an important part of our ecosystem

Snakes always draw interest from the park visitors here at Big Ridge State Park. Questions about snakes are common for park rangers.
I am not an expert on the subject, but I can share some answers to some common questions.
Snakes may draw a lot of interest, and that interest is not always from a loving viewpoint.
A common saying I have heard from older folks is “There is no such thing as a good snake except a dead snake.”
While snakes create some fear and hate among some people, they play an important role in nature.

I swannie

Personally, I like feathers, but I prefer to see them on birds. in the mid-1980s, though, they were all the rage for people to have in their living rooms. And being one who loves to be in style, my mom had to have some feathers too.
These feathers were not the pretty little ones you may find laying in your yard. Oh, no. These were as tall as some people and very colorful. Most of the time these feathers were in a basket or some kind of vase.

Independence History: An Appeal to Heaven

It intrigues me how trees are so often intertwined with our culture and history. The July celebration of our Independence is a good time for a history lesson. The Liberty Tree was an elm tree in Boston where protesters of English rule would congregate. It became a symbol of individual liberty and resistance to tyranny, and during the Revolutionary War several flags were designed with a tree that represented the Tree of Liberty. One flag in particular had an important message.


ATTENTION ALL SPORTS FANS: Sports Complex Coming to the Luttrell Industrial Park!

Sports Complex Long Range Plan

Union County Mayor Jason Bailey is excited to share the news that a grant has been awarded to Union County for construction of a multifield Sports Complex on the half of Luttrell Industrial Park that is still owned by the county. Bailey states that while running for office, he kept hearing that “our kids need something to do!” so he made fulfilling that need part of his initiative. While considering all possible sites, the Luttrell Industrial Park repeatedly checked all of the boxes.

Patients taking long-term opioids produce antibodies against the drugs

Scientists have discovered that a majority of back-pain patients they tested who were taking opioid painkillers produced anti-opioid antibodies. These antibodies may contribute to some of the negative side effects of long-term opioid use.


Admit it. You have a favorite adjective that you like to use to describe yourself. Besides writer and author, I love to call myself an old tomboy. Why not? I have been a tomboy my whole life. The word “old” is kinda recent though.
When I was a little girl, er tomboy, I absolutely loved to wrastle. By the way, that’s how we pronounce the word wrestle here in East Tennessee. Anyway, I would have rather done that than eat. In fact, I often tell people I learned how to wrastle before I could part my hair straight. No joke. The next time you see me, check out my part.

Push Ups, Slip Ups and Slip Outs

Sunday seems to be the day for travel curiosities in hero Union County, at least for me. A few Sundays ago on my way home from church I saw a man standing at the intersection of Ailor Gap Road and Maynardville Highway (aka Highway 33, State Route 33, Main Street, Maynardville Highway). This man was holding a sign, and as the light was green I didn’t get to read it well, but it did make reference to the Bible.

June Bugs of Summer

Anyone who has picked blackberries is familiar with June bugs, because they'll startle you when you reach in and pick one of them instead of a berry. As a youngster I was taught that June bugs are those large, green backed beetles an inch long that are common during the heat of summer. They can often be seen flying low over your lawn in a zigzag pattern. You will also find them feeding on their preferred foods which includes grapes, berries, apples, and ripening corn.


Introducing Staff Sergeant Donald “DJ” Taylor, our new Veterans Services Officer

Staff Sergeant Donald “DJ” Taylor

You may already know him as the School Resource Officer at Horace Maynard Middle School, now DJ Taylor has added to that role by accepting Mayor Bailey’s invitation to serve as Union County’s Veteran Services Officer (VSO). Taylor took on this role on June 1, 2021, and is eager to help connect our veterans with the various federal and state veterans’ benefits they have earned through their military service. Taylor has a list of all veterans residing in Union County and is seeking ways to inform them about the benefits available to service personnel and their spouses and caregivers.

Head, Heart, Hands, and Health

Union County 4-H representative on the bottom right photo'd with other All Star members from across the state

Hello! My name is Kaleb Hanna. I am Union County 4-H's Healthy Living Ambassador, Honor Club President, and All-Star Eagle Scout. This year I once again attended the Tennessee 4-H Eastern Region All-Star Conference! Woah, what a mouthful!


Heritage Festival

Saturday, October 2, 2021 - 10:00
Union County Heritage Festival

The 16th/17th Annual Union County HERITAGE FESTIVAL SAT., October 2nd 10:00am - 4:00pm In Historic Downtown Maynardville The Cradle of Country Music
Festival locations are WILSON PARK, UNION COUNTY MUSEUM, and HISTORIC SNODDERLY HOUSE. Like us on facebook Union County Heritage Festival Visit https://UnionCountyHeritageFestival.com for more information.

Call for Artists
(2 D, 3D, and photography)
Call for Quilters
(various categories)
Forms and Information on the website


Hershel Bowen

Hershel Bowen – age 80 of New Tazewell born on November 29, 1940, went to be with the Lord Saturday, July 31, 2021. He professed his faith in Christ at an early age. Hershel was a prominent businessman in Claiborne County for many years. He was the founder of Oakwood Furniture Mfg., Inc., in New Tazewell and was very involved with the Claiborne County Manufacturers Association and a leader in bringing industry into the county. In his leisure time Hershel enjoyed farming and watching sports. He loved the Vols!

Kenneth L. Wilson

Mr. Kenneth L. Wilson, age 88 of Maynardville, formerly of LaFollette, passed away Friday, July 30, 2021. He was a Christian and of the Baptist Faith. Preceded in death by First Wife, Nina Wilson, Son, Michael Wilson, Parents, Delmas and Meice Ayers Wilson, Brothers, J.R. and Ernest Wilson.

Survivors: Wife, Ina Tharp Wilson; Daughter, Dorothy Anipen; 3 Step-Children; several Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren; Brothers, Ray, Ronnie, and Jimmy Wilson; Sisters, Lois Raines and Sandra Kitts. Several Nieces, Nephews, other relatives and friends.

Tammy Lynn (Roark) Carter

Tammy Lynn (Roark) Carter-age 59 of Sharps Chapel passed away Friday, July 30, 2021 at Claiborne Medical Center. Tammy was saved at Leatherwood Baptist Church and attended Capps Creek Missionary Baptist Church. She was preceded in death by her parents, Sewell and Bernice (Bowman) Roark; father-in-law, Charles Carter; mother-in-law, Ann Lindsey and husband, Paul; sisters and brothers-in-law, Mary Bickford, Debbie Bolden, Faye (Thee) Widner; brothers, Russell (Deloris) Roark, Carson Roark; brother-in-law, Rudy Love.

Houston Duane Grimm

Houston Duane Grimm, precious infant son of Joe and Mindy, was born and died at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center in Knoxville Tennessee at 1:30 A.M. Wednesday, July 28, 2021.

He is survived by loving parents Joseph and Melinda (Rouse) Grimm. Grandparents Madonna (Daniel) Foy, Rob (Denise) Grimm, and Clifford and Kathy (Walker) Rouse. Houston is also survived by a host of Great Grandparents, Uncles, Aunts, and cousins.

Ethan Chase Blevins

Ethan Chase Blevins – age 26 of Knoxville, born July 24, 1995. God called home a young life on Wednesday, July 27, 2021. He was a loving father to his 18-month-old son, Enzo Collin Blevins of Knoxville. His smile will be missed, but his memory will be held dear to us. We ask for your prayers in this time of sadness.

Gary Thomas Brantley

Gary Thomas Brantley-age 67 of New Tazewell passed away Tuesday, July 27, 2021 at Parkwest Medical Center. He was a loving husband, step-father and grandfather who loved people and loved life. Preceded in death by parents, Onis, Sr. (Tony) and Wanda (Van) Brantley; brothers, Lowell Brantley, Freddie Brantley; step-son, Larry Braden, II; grandmother, Virgie Braden.

Lacie Marie Allen

Lacie Marie Allen-age 17 hours, 4 minutes of Thorn Hill, born Sunday, July 25, 2021 passed away Sunday, July 25, 2021 at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. She was preceded in death by great-grandfathers, Thomas (Bo) Thornsbury; John Wesley Wolford; great-grandmother, Francis Marie Wolf.

Peter W. Green

Peter W. Green passed peacefully in his sleep on Sunday morning July 25, 2021 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.
This loving husband, father of 4, grandfather (Umpy) to 10 and great grandfather to 2 was a man of faith, love, strength, wit and wisdom.
Pete loved to compliment workers, admired a strong handshake, had a great smile and the absolute best sense of humor.

Norman J. Brantley

Norman J. Brantley-age 72 of Sharps Chapel passed away Friday evening, July 23, 2021 at Select Specialty Hospital at Tennova North surrounded by loved ones. Norman was born March 26. 1949 in Sharps Chapel to Roy and Willie (White) Brantley. Norman proudly served his country in the Viet Nam War and was a U. S. Army Veteran. Norman was strong, kind, loving and supportive father and husband. His Knowledge and guidance were the foundation of his family and he was also a member of Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church.

Bill Loy

Bill Loy – age 90 of Maynardville, beloved husband and father, went home to be with the Lord on Thursday, July 22, 2021. He was saved as a young man and was a member of Alder Springs Baptist Church. Bill graduated Horace Maynard High School then joined the Army but was honorably discharged due to a medical condition. He worked for his father-in-law, Kermit Maples at Maples Chevrolet in Harriman for several years. He then worked for JFG Coffee Co. and retired from Roddy Mfg. Co. (Coca-Cola) after 27 years of service.

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