History of Hickory Star

Hickory Star Marina 1947

Hickory Star Resort and Marina will be celebrating its 75th anniversary in a few years. The history of the marina goes back to 1947 and possibly further, but no one associated with the marina today can recall. Justin Noah is the current manager.

“I have a photo dated 1947,” said Noah. “The marina may date back before that but I can’t find any records or older photos.”

This history was told to me by people who were not there at the beginning, but who have gained their knowledge from stories passed down. If it differs from what our readers know, I apologize.

According to these folks, the history of the marina begins with a plot of land covered with hickory trees and next to a hunt club. When Norris Dam was formed much of the plot was submerged. My sources tell me that Walt Marshall owned the land and decided a marina could work in the area. So let’s start with how the name came to be.

Marshall had been cutting down trees all day when one of his sons arrived and asked what kind of trees they were. Marshall replied that they were hickory trees. While the son and father talked, the son looked out at the water and told his dad the cove looked like a star shape. Marshall agreed. A short time later, when Marshall was pushed to name the marina, he recalled the conversation with his son and decided on Hickory Star.

The amenities at the original marina consisted of a boat ramp, fishing and not much else.

“You could put your boat in and you could fish or swim in the lake. That was all there was to do,” said Denise Helms, a marina employee since 1986.

Two names that came up in conversations are Charlie Proffitt and Raymond Dukes. It appears Proffitt was a bit stingy. He would make a daily trip to the dock by “coasting” his truck down from his house above the marina. Rather than buy gas for his boat at the marina, he would carry a small jar of the fuel with him. He would spend all day, every day, roaming the dock store and fishing.

Dukes spent his days there as well, but was a land angler. He would often spend hours fishing in a squat position. He tried to catch fish with a net, but was caught and told he still needed a license, even though he wasn’t fishing in the normal sense.

The marina has been through numerous owners and renovators such as Bill Bradshaw, Reeder Equity, Bill Geary and others until the latest purchase in 2011. Timeshares were offered for a short period, but didn’t sell well.

Snacks and drinks were made available at the dock and eventually a restaurant was added close to the dock, but that eatery burned. Even with the dam, flooding would occur on occasion, bringing water onto the upper parking lot and into the dry storage shed that still stands.

Neither flood, nor fire, nor the blizzard of 1993 has been able to keep Hickory Star down for long. The marina has bounced back from every disaster. Linda Ball worked as secretary at the marina in the early 1980s. She recalls the blizzard of 1993.

“The storm was so bad boats were sunk and the dock was destroyed under the weight of the snow. That’s when we got the new dock.”

The building of the Olympic size pool was during Geary’s ownership. Many say the public pool is what turned the marina around and helped make it a popular vacation destination. Ball left the marina in 1999 without having ever taken a swim in the pool.

“I was always afraid the end of the pool would burst and carry us out to the lake,” she said. Fortunately, the pool has withstood the elements so far.

When the original restaurant burned, a new building soon went up on the hill above the dock, housing a larger restaurant and marina offices. An amazing chef and a few managers gave the food establishment a good run for a few years. Friday night catfish was a draw but even locals and vacationers couldn’t sustain the restaurant’s life. It soon closed and that section of the building is now rented out as an event venue.

The old town of Loyston, rumored as a ghost town, is submerged under a mile-wide section of Norris Lake just off the banks and past the marina.

“When the water is down far enough, which it hardly ever is, you can still see the foundations of Old Loyston,” said Helms.

Some say there was bootlegging in the area for a time, possibly run out of the restaurant. There are also tales of ghosts and haunting. These consisted of unusual noises, whispers, footsteps and loud banging, but no sightings. Well, there is a flooded town close by, so who knows? By the way, everyone agrees the rumors of sharks in Norris Lake were and are false.

These days, pool privileges are for guests only but there is still much to draw the public since Norris Lake is considered one of the best lakes in Tennessee for fishing and boating. There are campsites lakeside cabins and a nine-room inn. Water skiing is a popular sport on the lake and food is prepared in the dock store from Thursday through Sunday. Bait is available in the store along with other amenities. The marina boasts boat slips, buoy lines and houseboat slips, about 350 in all. Pontoon boats are available to rent.

The Parton brothers, David and Johnny, along with Dean Knuckles, purchased the marina in 2011 and renamed the facility Hickory Star Resort and Marina. The resort is now an upscale, year-round, family-friendly destination.

Hours and other information available at: https://www.hickorystar.com or by calling 865-992-5241.




The Balanced Budget

The Balanced Budget

Historians will record 2018 as the second year in a row of a balanced budget for Union County; likely the most significant legislative accomplishment of the County Commission in a generation. Union County’s budget is one of the most important pieces of public policy the Commission enacts every year.

A New Family Addition

Leyton Taylor Campbell

“God’s most beautiful gifts bloom into children.”

Jordan and Allison Campbell recently received a new blessing to their family. Their son, Leyton Taylor Campbell, was welcomed into the world on Saturday, July 7, 2018 at 12:42 pm at UT Medical Center.

Keepin' the Old Ways

Macedonia Methodist Church at Andersonville

In order to appreciate how it is or how it might be, our youth need a lesson in the “Old Ways.” Understanding what our ancestors endured will instill a greater respect for their survival and how they prospered.

Pounding Down the Well

Pounding Down the Well

My husband's widowed mother married her former brother-in-law in our living room. Uncle Charlie had hurt his leg putting down our well on the property of what was to be our new home, closer to my husband's work. The minister said it wasn't written anywhere that you had to stand to be married. We were all seated.

Back to the well. The water table was high at the new place. We didn't need to drill a well, Uncle Charlie said. He would help us pound down a well. It was cheaper to do than drilling a well. The three of us could do it.

Fearless Running

Fearless Running

Some spices I am privileged to experience from the side line.

That spring evening, my daughter Sara’s softball team was playing the number one, undefeated team in their league. The other team were all 12 years old whereas Sara’s teammates were barely 10. We went in with no illusions of victory. If we were lucky, we may get one run.

At the top of the third inning, Sara went up to bat. At this point, none of ours girls had made it to first base, which was no surprise. At least they looked cute in their red, white, and blue outfits.

The pitcher threw. Sara swung.

Chicken Biscuit Stew

Chicken Biscuit Stew

I remember when I worked full time in a sewing factory. My mind would wander while sewing. After you do the same stitching over and over, it doesn't take all your attention to do the job. My mind would wander to wondering what I would fix for supper that evening. My kids were in the lower grades in school and came home about the same time I did. They had a long bus ride.

Snake Bit


When you run across a snake, their normal reaction is to get away. But if they feel threatened enough all snakes will bite defensibly. If you are bitten, here are some recommended first aide treatments.

Try to determine if it’s venomous or not. If you’re confident it’s not you can treat the bite like you would a puncture wound. Check with your doctor to see if you might need a tetanus shot booster.



Music Jam

Music Jam ~Featuring Dixie Nicely & Wendal Sturgill Saturday, July 21, 6:30 -10:00 p.m.

Narrow Ridge invites our friends and neighbors to join us for our open music jam on Saturday, July 21 at our outdoor stage just up the road from our Mac Smith Resource Center at 1936 Liberty Hill Rd. We are happy to announce that local artists, Dixie Nicely and Wendal Sturgill, will kick off the festivities from 6:30 to 7:00 pm. 7:00 will begin the open mic/jam portion of the evening when we invite guests to share their talents in a forum that provides equal time to all who wish to participate.

Area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders

Area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders

"We invite all area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders to come together on the last Thursday of each month at Hardee's at 7:30 am. This is to be a time of fellowship, prayer, and discussion about how we as a community of Faith can work together to have a positive impact on our county. All are welcome!" Margaret Chesney

Union County Board Of Education


The next regular workshop and meeting of the Union County Board of Education will be held on Thursday, July 26, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. at Union County High School. The workshop will begin at 6:00 p.m. with the meeting immediately to follow.



1. Discuss School Trips

· None at Time of Publication

2. Budget Amendments and Transfers/Director’s Monthly Report—Ann Dyer

Community Worship & Revival

On February 22, 2018, A Call To Prayer was made in the Luttrell Community. Several community pastor agreed to go back to their respective churches and call on their members to pray for the Lord to guide in an effort to unite our churches with a common goal of a Community Worship & Revival leading folks to Jesus the only begotten son of God.


Benjamin "Benny" Reece King

Benny went to sit on the lap of his LORD and SAVIOR Saturday July 14, 2018 at children's hospital.

Benny our sweet angel is the son of April King. Grandson to Sherri and Matt Bridges. Benny was also a brother to Kyle King and Jesse Perry. Great Grandchild of Barbara Brown along with Ronnie and Tina Bridges. Benny was the nephew of Alley King, Jacob King, Ethan Muehliesen, Leah Bridges, Isaiah Bridges, Faith Bridges and Noah Bridges.

Proceeded in death by great grandfather W.L. Carmon Our love for our sweet Benny will forever be. Always our sweet Angel!!

Donald H. Norris

Donald H. Norris-age 64 of Maynardville passed away Monday morning, July 16, 2018 at his home. He was a member of Cedar Grove Baptist Church. Preceded in death by parents, Roy and Maude E. Norris; brother, David Norris.

Barbara Kay "Momma" Burkhert

Barbara Kay “Momma” Burkhert, age 72, went to be with the Lord on July 15, 2018. She had 3 kids, John J. Viglasky, Liesa Canupp, and Greg Viglasky. She also had 3 grandkids Ashley Taylor, Stacey Canupp, Taylor Viglasky, as well as, 4 great-grandkids. Family will receive friends 5:00-7:00pm Thursday July 19, 2018 at Mynatt Funeral Home Halls Chapel with service to follow. Family and friends will meet 10:45am Friday July 20, 2018 at Fort Sumter Cemetery for and 11:00am interment. Please leave online condolences at www.mynattfh.com

LaVerne McLain Cummings

LaVerne McLain Cummings, of Knoxville, suddenly went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Wednesday, July 11th, 2018 at Parkwest Hospital. Preceded in death by parents Ed and Mildred McLain, grandson Chad Breeden, and sister Sandra Leach. Survived by loving husband Harlan J. Cummings, daughter Angelia (Bob) Love, son Brent Cox, grandson whom she raised Matthew (Amber) Cox, granddaughters Amanda Dykes and Brittney Russell, sisters Faye (Roger) Neff and Burlene Tolman, as well as 6 great grandkids. She was looking forward to seeing her great grandson Grantley expected in August.

Michael Ernest Smith

Michael Ernest Smith – age 53 of Maynardville, passed away suddenly Saturday, July 8, 2018.

Michael is preceded in death by his parents, Ernest and Mary Smith; and sister, Barbara Smith. He is survived by his son, Daniel; sister, Debra (Stacy) Lynn; special niece, Emily; special nephews, Derrick and Aaron Lynn; several aunts, uncles and other nieces and nephews.

Barbara Carol Spradlen

Barbara Carol Spradlen, age 68, of Powell, passed away on July 8, 2018. She was preceded in death by father, Andrew M. Vanover and mother, Betty Ann Galloway; special great aunt, Bessie L. Galloway Johnson and her husband, Harrison "Hat" Johnson Jr., and their daughter Helen Jean Johnson York.

Jackie Owen Carpenter

Jackie Owen Carpenter, age 83, passed away at home on July 9, 2018. Jack was born October 28, 1934 in Claiborne County and graduated from Claiborne County High School in 1952. He served in the U.S. Army from 1957-1960. He earned his BA from University of California, Northridge in 1972. Jack accepted Christ at an early age and was a member of Salem Baptist Church, where he taught Sunday School for many years. He retired in 1998 from Harrison-Chihowee Baptist Academy (The Kings Academy) after 22 years of working as Business Manager.

Carolyn Lee England Underwood

Carolyn Lee Underwood-age 52 of Maynardville went to be with the Lord, Monday, July 9, 2018 at her home. She was a member of Grace Full Gospel Baptist Church. Preceded in death by husband, Richard Williams; grandson, Richard Dylangaddy.

Survivors: daughters, Alicia Williams, Chassitty Williams; son, Cory Underwood; husband, Randy Underwood; sisters, Charlene Gouldie, Sandra Bryant, parents, Alice and Robert England; two granddaughters, Mackenzie Mixon and Alyssa Gaddy; many nieces, nephews and a host of friends.

Steven James See

Steven James See, age 35 of Knoxville, went to be with the Lord July 6, 2018. He was a member of Bethlehem Baptist Church. Steven was always a friendly, outgoing young man and always had a smile on his face. He loved going to church and enjoyed fishing with his friends. He was a great uncle to his niece and nephews, as well as, a wonderful step-dad to Courtney and Austin. Preceded in death by father Steve See; grandmother, Bobbie Franklin; uncle Jack McClain.

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