Located six miles northeast of Tazewell on Cave Springs Road, the Echoes Acres Farm became a Century Farm in 2001. In 1865, Joseph Southern and Jenetter Brooks Southern established the property with 243 acres reserved for the production of corn, hay, vegetables, fruit, cattle, horses and hogs.
The founders had two children and their son, Jeremiah Southern, became the next owner of the farm. Jeremiah continued to raise the same crops and livestock that his father had with the addition of tobacco. Jeremiah and his wife had one daughter, Laura Belle Southern, who became the third generation to own the farm.
Laura and her husband Harvey Whitaker had four children and cultivated the same crops and livestock with the addition of wheat. In addition to managing the farm, Harvey and Laura operated a blacksmith shop on the farm where they made and repaired farm tools for several years. Their son, Paul Whitaker was the next owner of the farm land.
In 1975, Garnieta Whitaker McNew, the daughter of Paul and great great granddaughter of the founder acquired the farm. Garnieta and her husband Joe McNew, grew many of the same vegetables and products that the previous owners had done. Using the abundant timber from the farm land, Joe and Garnieta cut the timber and built a brick ranch house in 1984.
In 1985, Joe McNew started a hobby of collecting and grafting old apple trees onto semi-dwarf rootApple Orchard stock. These apples are not grown for the market, instead they are grown to preserve the old varieties of apples.
Today, the farm continues to produce many agricultural products and has many structures on the land such as two large barns, a tool shed, a brick ranch house, and a cabin.
More than 60 artists represent the best of traditional and contemporary Appalachian handcrafts at the gathering place, teaching center, gallery, classroom facility, and studio. Preserves and promotes Appalachian artistry through education and sales.
Roosevelt's "New Deal" with Appalachia, served multiple purposes. First, it resulted in the formation of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in order to power the Philadelphia Project at ORNL and create the Atomic Bomb that swiftly ended WWII. Secondly, the New Deal brought power and new educational opportunities to a region enduring persistent economic hardship. The Civilian Conservation Corps arrived to build TVA's system of hydro-electric dams, but also to teach sustainable farming techniques and combat soil erosion.Today, the TVA continues to take a prominent role in the success and conservation of the region. During the Victorian era, the railroad brought opportunities for tourism at Oliver Springs, along with jobs from coal-mining but since WWII, Anderson County has been best known as the location of the "Secret City" of Oak Ridge, home to Oak Ridge National Laboratory, scientists and other workers, and their families. Today, ORNL maintains an important role in the advancement of cutting-edge technology in the Tennessee Valley Technology Corridor. Top attractions in Anderson County include the American Museum of Science & Energy, the Museum of Appalachia, the Appalachian Arts & Crafts Center, Norris Dam State Park, and the Coal Miner's Museum among others. The well-stocked tailwaters of the Clinch River at Norris Dam & Reservoir are one of East Tennessee's most popular fishing locations.
Once home to Grand Ole Opry's own Roy Acuff, Union County celebrates his memory at the Roy Acuff Museum in Maynardville. Don't miss a chance to explore Big Ridge State Park on the south bank of Norris Lake. It's a family adventure just waiting to happen! Enjoy the less traveled route on the peninsula devoted to the Chuck Swan Wildlife Management Area where you can experience the forests, wildlife, and pristine waters of Norris Lake in peaceful seclusion. Here you'll find century-old grist mills, recreation and picnic areas, campgrounds, rental cabins, hiking trails and more. Visit one of TVA's many wildlife areas or spend the day at Chuck Swan Wildlife Management Area with miles of unpaved road for easy viewing of wildlife by vehicle. If an on-foot adventure is what you seek, hike the remote area of Big Ridge Park for a naturally undisturbed experience. Union County is noted for its musical heritage; four of its sons are now known throughout the world--Roy Acuff, Chet Atkins, Carl Smith, and Kenny Chesney. Lois Johnson, Hilda Kitts Harrill, and Melba Kitts Greene are among its best known women entertainers.--Excerpts: Tennessee Encyclopedia
Discover 310 square miles of world-famous Grainger County tomato country nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, the mostly rural community is bordered on the north by Norris Lake, on the south by Cherokee Lake, and bisected by Clinch Mountain. Discover the long and colorful history of this area as you travel this section of the Appalachian Quilt Trail. Visit local mountain artists, stop at a countryside winery, and unearth the secrets that this land between the hills holds holds as you explore the Crossings of Wilderness Road, sit high atop the mountain overlook, or visit a historic civil war battlefield. Named for Mary Grainger Blount, wife of William Blount and "first lady" of the Southwest Territory, which later became Tennessee.
Stop at the Bryan House to shop and purchase goods made by artisans along the AQT. Located in the historic Bryan House you can learn more about the Appalachian Quilt Trail. Visit the AQT Studio next door (when open) to view new quilt squares in progress or those ready and waiting to be sponsored. You can also visit the Doc Bryan Hall of Honor to learn more about the historic home built in 1869 and about the amazing life of L.C. Bryan a prominent physician and community leader who lived in the house until his death at 102 years of age.
The Bryan House is home to the Clinch-Powell Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc., a 501C3 not for profit organization. The AQT is sponsored by the Clinch-Powell RC&D.