Apple Pie Contest

Everybody loves the all American Apple Pie! Last fall 2017 Etowah added a new feature to their annual Fall Festival, an Apple Pie Baking Contest. Pies came in from McMinn & several surrounding counties. All ages of bakers entries from high school students to grandmothers. The judges were Tennessee State Representative John Fogerty, McMinn County Mayor, John Gentry & Polk County Chamber President Adriane Lambert. The pies were judged on presentation, taste and texture. It was so much fun and received by everyone so successfully that the Festival will have the contest again this year.

Get out your cookbooks, pie tins & aprons! Brush up on your favorite recipe because it is almost time to bake more pies! The 2018 Etowah Chamber Fall Arts & Crafts Festival (Oct 6 & 7) is featuring its second Apple Pie Baking Contest. Bring your homemade apple pie to the Etowah L&N Depot Saturday morning, October 6th between 8:00 & 9:30am. Judging starts at 10:00am. 1st prize $100, 2nd prize $75 & 3rd prize $25.

The 2017 Apple Pie winners were:

1st Place was Englewood’s own Frances Power featuring her “Paper Bag Apple Pie.” Frances is known in her community for her good southern cookin’. She is retired from her Postmaster’s job in Niota. She is most proud of her family, church & local fundraising. Frances is a member of the Englewood 1st Church of God. She also headed the restoration of the Niota Depot and sits on the Board of the Tennessee Overhill.

2nd Place winner was Denise Graff of Madisonville. Since moving from Florida in 2009 and retiring from Hiwassee College two years ago, Denise has become a leader in the community. Besides being an avid baker, Denise is an officer of Keep Monroe County Beautiful, a Diplomat of the Monroe County Chamber & she volunteers for the Tennessee Overhill & Hiwassee Rail Adventure.

3nd Place winner was Sandra Tullock Etowah.

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In the last decades of the 19th century, massive paintings, 360-degree renderings of war toured America. Originally intended as tribute to the Union Victory in the Civil War, the popular cycloramas were about making money just like most films of today. Each tour stop lasted about a year or two before moving to another round building to bring in new crowds. The paintings were not created to last long and eventually were privately purchased or discarded.

The July 22,1864 Battle of Atlanta was painted to cyclorama by the American Panorama Company, debuting in 1886 to the public at a Minneapolis cyclorama. The unique fact to this particular painting was not promoted until 1892 when the tour ended in Atlanta. After a few adjustments to the painting, it was promoted as the “Only Confederate Victory ever Painted.” The adjustment of frightened rebel prisoners repainted to fleeing Union soldiers worked, it was a great success.

That success lead to a permanent placement for the Battle of Atlanta cyclorama in 1921 at Grant Park. A 3-D effect was achieved in the 1930s with replica cannons, railroad tracks and plaster soldiers built between the painting and viewing platform. At the 1939 premiere of “Gone with the Wind,” Clark Gable visited Grant Park, after which a Rhett Butler figurine was added to the diorama, it was rumored to be at his request.

After 97 years at Grant Park, the aging building and needed expansion for the Atlanta Zoo brought the Battle of Atlanta cyclorama to a February 2018 moving day. The preparation for this immense move began in 2016 with conservators going inch by inch over the 42 foot, 359 in circumference foot painting. Twin 45 foot mechanical scrolls were assembled so the painting could be rolled, taking four days to completely roll and secure for move. Two holes were opened on the Grant Park building roof, followed by large cranes lifting and placing the scrolls onto flatbed trucks. The two trucks with the covered scrolls traveled by night on an undisclosed route to the Atlanta History Center.

With the 12 mile journey from Grant Park to the Atlanta History Center complete, the Battle of Atlanta has found a permanent, custom built 23,000 sq.ft home in the Lloyd and Mary Ann Whitaker Cyclorama Building. The custom design allowed for the restoration of nearly 8 feet of sky, 6 feet of a battle scene and other deleted pieces of artwork. The exhibits presented include context about the battles for Atlanta, the Civil War and history of cycloramas. Multiple perspectives interpret the painting as a single battle and a national battle with a country divided by war, including the impacts on American history. Patrons view from 15 feet above ground on a platform to see the entire painting at once. In addition, new exhibits and “behind the scenes” tours are available for better understanding and enjoyment of this history. The experience is enhanced with the placement of the restored 1856 Texas locomotive at the museum entrance.

The Texas, a famed locomotive that played a pivotal role in the 1862s Great Locomotive Chase has been on display with the Battle of Atlanta cyclorama since 1927. It also required a move and restoration, which was managed by the North Carolina Transportation Museum. The Texas is one of only two surviving Western & Atlantic locomotives, originally built in 1856 with continual upgrades throughout its life of service. The restoration date chosen was 1886, the same year of the Battle of Atlanta cyclorama being painted. It can be viewed in a glass-enclosed exhibit at the front of the museum building, visible at all hours. It the winter of 2018, the Texas, will open to the public with exhibition tours highlighting the nearly 51 years of service on the Western & Atlantic Railroad in Georgia, running between Atlanta and Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Preservation of history is important as growth and development change the landscapes of life. Originally produced to make money, the Battle of Atlanta made its way to the very place it depicts with a story behind the artwork that larger in life, an historical treasure reminding us that significant events happen. With amazing engineering and care, history was moved making it easier to view, understand and enjoy.

The Atlanta History Center is located in the Buckhead area of Atlanta. The 33-acre experience features award-winning exhibitions, historic houses, enchanting gardens, interactive activities and year-round programs for every age. The Atlanta History Museum is located at 130 West Paces Ferry Road, NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30305. Visit or call 404-814-4000 for more information.

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Bill Lee Wins Republican Nomination For Governor

Bill Lee stepped onto the stage, “I love ya’ll, the first words from the winner of the Republican Primary for Governor. “Wow, I love ya’ll, thank you;” said Lee, who at times appeared overwhelmed and speechless. Fifteen months earlier, Bill and wife, Maria boarded a 13 year old motorhome to visit 95 counties in 95 days. The Lee campaign was considered a long shot against a heavy field of qualified and popular opponents. On August 2, 2018, in a room packed with family and friends, the results appeared on the state television screen.

A victory speech equaled in humility as every town hall audience experience throughout the grassroots campaign. He is a man of common sense, prayerful consideration, and service.

The true heart of a servant is the only befitting description for businessman, Bill Lee complimented by the unmatched heart for others expressed in his wife, Maria.

In the last two days of this campaign, that motorhome, now 14 years old, was feeling the weight of all the miles, but despite the failed air conditioning and hectic schedule, the Lee’s rallied home to Franklin to await election results. It was a non-stop journey, but none along the path saw the exhaustion, stress or felt hurried in conversation. It was the opposite as they met each Tennessean with genuine sincerity, they listened, they hugged and they shared the vision for Tennessee.

Psalm 71:14; As for me, I will always have hope,” displayed on that RV, the foundation for Bill and Maria Lee, a hope for making the State of Tennessee greatest in America. The results are in…Tennesseans have spoken, placing their hope in Bill Lee for Governor.

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A Beautiful Fall Table

The Southern Autumn season rolls in a welcomed reprieve from the summer heat and our mind begins to set on the gathering of family and friends. It’s the festival season in Tennessee, and yes, it’s also football time, both bring out the savory recipes and decor for welcoming a crowd. Our design partners shared their creations to inspire a beautiful table for this autumn season.

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Wooly Worm Festival

If you’re looking for a family-friendly festival that’s maybe not warm but certainly offers lots of fuzzy, look no further than the Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk! The festival originated from regional folklore about woolly worms – those fuzzy little caterpillars – being used to forecast the weather and a need to help drive local tourism to the area. The concept? An annual festival where they would pit woolly worm against woolly worm in a race to see which one could be trusted the most to predict the weather.

The first year was very cold, so the worms didn’t go very fast, and there were only three or four vendors. The event has since grown over 40+ years to now having 160 vendors and hundreds of people who come out each year. The event costs $6 for adults, $4 for children (ages 6-12) and children 5 and under are free. All proceeds go back to the community.

For more information, visit

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