Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy New Year from Rose Hill

Hello Blog Readers,

Another year has passed by!
Oh me, oh my, how the time does fly!

There's lots of wonderful and fun local events planned for 2009, even way out here in beautiful "God's Country." Check it out on the Rose Hill website, click on Local Events, and then scroll on down. We've got events posted already for January 2009 through December 2009. I pretty much defined "local" for the Events page as Lee County and some neighbor counties: Scott County and Wise County, Virginia; Hancock County and Claiborne County, Tennessee; and Bell County and Harlan County, Kentucky.

It amazes me how many 2009 events in that overall geographic area are currently being promoted on the Internet. I didn't call any Chamber of Commerces or Visitor Centers or Tourism Organizations -- I simply did the research online.

Anyway, there's lots to do out here in 2009 in these beautiful hills of home.

HAPPY NEW YEAR from the little Rose Hill, Virginia!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

from western Lee County to the White House

Virginia Congressman Rick Boucher selected artist Sue Crockett to decorate the 9th District's ornament for the 2008 White House Christmas Tree. White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian.
There's a wonderful feature story on the front of the Metro section of Kingsport Times News today. The headline is "Lee artist designs Christmas ornament for White House tree."
The article explains that artist Sue Crockett, a resident of Caylor (in western Lee County), drew upon her surroundings for inspiration in the art for the ornament.
Sue Crockett reported in the article, "I have one of the most charming views in the world, and barns are the center of most activity around here. So a barn was natural to the situation."
Sue Crockett and her sister were also invited to the White House to see it on display, where they were pleased to discover that it had been placed in a prominent, eye-level position on the tree in the White House. This photo of the ornament, as well as photos of all 395 ornaments on that tree, one from every congressional district across the nation, is presented on the Internet.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Rose Hill Christmas Parade

Here's a few photos from today's Rose Hill Christmas Parade. You can see the tail end of the parade coming round the corner at the library, also a photo of Santa (he threw me a big handful of candy when he saw me taking his photo! yum - love those jolly ranchers and bubble gum), and I guess it's sort of a strange photo to take, but the big photo (yes, I was playing around with the photo size options) is after the parade is over, and the floats and all such are heading to the elementary school to disembark from their various floats. I like the photo cuz it shows what a cute little town this is... with the barn and the mountain in the background. Okay, next we're off to another Rose Hill Elementary basketball game today. The snow is letting up. I'll bet that game is still on for tonight.

Christmas in Rose Hill

I think half the town showed up last night for the Winterfest at Rose Hill Elementary. The event's main attraction was youngins on stage performing Christmas songs in the gym. Now THAT will pack the house in Rose Hill! Here's a photo of part of the crowd, one of a class waiting to go on stage, and then a photo from one of the preformances. This Christmas show is a wonderful tradition at Rose Hill Elementary School, an annual event. I'm certain, it's the biggest crowd gathered at one time in one place in Rose Hill than any other gathering during the year. It was alot of fun and we were certainly all well entertained.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Digital Photography workshop

This photo is copyright by Harold Jerrell. Back by popular demand, he will be teaching another Digital Photography workshop at Rose Hill Community Library computer center on Tuesday, December 16th from 6PM - 8PM. The workshop is free and open to the public.

Christmas Light Displays

There's Christmas light displays happening again this year at both Cumberland Bowl Park in Jonesville and Leeman Field in Pennington Gap. One year not too long ago, my kids toured the light display at Bristol Motor Speedway and the light display at Cumberland Bowl Park in Jonesville. They both liked the Cumberland Bowl Park display better than the one at the big race track in Bristol! We all enjoyed the refreshments at the senior center. Can't beat those cookies and warm cider in such a warm hometown friendly environment.

Here's a few details -

Lights in the Park Christmas display will open in Cumberland Bowl Park in Jonesville on December 4th at 6PM, and will coincide with the Jonesville Christmas Parade at 6PM. The display will continue through December 31st, opening 6-9PM Sundays through Thursdays, and 6-10PM Fridays and Saturdays. Refreshments (including hot chocolate, coffee, and warm apple cider) will be served each night in the Senior Citizens building.

The 10th Annual Leeman Christmas Fantasy light display in Pennington Gap includes more than 200 display groups. Gates open at 6PM each evening between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. Gates close at 9:30PM Sundays through Thursdays and at 10PM on Fridays and Saturdays. A brighter-than-ever ball will be dropped at the stroke of New Year in Leeman Field this year.

The Rose Hill Christmas lights are up. I like those snowflakes. If I can get a decent photo of them (I'm not too good at night-time photos), I'll post it on the blog. It's snowed more than once this year already. Been down to 19 degrees at night some already. The snowflakes are shining brightly downtown. In Rose Hill, it's beginning to look alot like Christmas.

Now on to Ewing, where they've got that Christmas tree farm running (you pick one and they cut it fresh for you). That's always a fun little adventure. Seems like the trees look little when they're out in the field, but as soon as you bring it through the front door, suddenly, it's a HUGE tree!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

More local December events

There's always lots to do around here, even way out here in "God's Country" during the cold month of December --

As I was looking on the Internet for 2009 events to list on the web page... I ran into several current happenings worthy of mention -

Happy Turkey Day!!

Date/Hours: Friday, November 28, 2008 and Saturday, November 29, 2008
Festival of the Mountain Masters

Over 60 artisans and craftsmen will gather in Harlan County, Kentucky to demonstrate their skills and showcase their handcrafts at the 23rd annual Festival of the Mountain Masters. The festival offers a unique celebration of Appalachian art and culture. The festival is held at the Village Center Mall in Harlan, Kentucky. Thousands of original, hand-crafted pieces will be offered for sale. Festivities include a photography contest, quilt show, live demonstrations, live music, cloggers, and storytelling.

Location: Village Center Mall, Harlan (Harlan County) KY
For more information visit www.festivalofthemountainmasters.net


Date/Hours: December 1, 2008 ~ 7:30PM
Christmas from Dublin starring the Three Irish Tenors

Pro-Art Association has been bringing quality fine arts programs from all over the world into the far southwest Virginia coalfields region continuously since 1976. Brought to you by Pro-Art Association, come celebrate the holidays with a genuine Irish Christmas! Filled with songs of the season such as “Little Drummer Boy”, “Silent Night”, “Saviour’s Day” and “O Holy Night”, “Christmas from Dublin” is full of warmth, charm, and music, direct from the Emerald Isle, that continues to enchant audiences throughout the world.

Location: Mountain Empire Community College - Goodloe Center, Big Stone Gap (Wise County) VA
For more information visit www.pro-art-va.org or call (276) 376-4520


Date/Hours: Tuesday, December 2, 2008 ~ 7:00PM – 8:30PM
Fall 2008 Humanities and Fine Arts Symposium

The Fall 2008 Humanities and Fine Arts Symposium will be held in the Arnold Auditorium at the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum on the campus of Lincoln Memorial University. Admission is free.

Location: Lincoln Memorial University campus – Arnold Auditorium, Harrogate (Claiborne County) TN
For more information visit www.lmunet.edu


Date/Hours: Thursday, December 4, 2008 ~ 7:30PM
Knoxville Symphony

Following the evening’s Lighting of the Tree ceremony on Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) campus, the Knoxville Symphony will present a Christmas Performance in LMU’s Duke Hall.

Location: Lincoln Memorial University campus – Duke Hall, Harrogate (Claiborne County) TN
For more information visit www.lmunet.edu


Date/Hours: Saturday, December 6, 2008 ~ 2:00PM
Rose Hill Christmas Parade

The Rose Hill Christmas Parade has been scheduled for Saturday, December 6, 2008 at 2:00PM. Sue Rosenbalm has been chosen to serve as Grand Marshal. This year's theme is "A White Christmas." First place will receive $100, second place $75, and third place $50 for floats featuring the White Christmas theme.

Location: Downtown Rose Hill, Rose Hill (Lee County) VA
For more information, call Wade Wilson, Secretary of the Thomas Walker Civic Club, at 445-4683.


Date/Hours: Sunday, December 7, 2008 ~ 7:30PM
LMU Concert Choir and the Tri-State Community Chorus in Concert

The Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) Concert Choir and the Tri-State Community Chorus concert music will include “Gloria” by John Rutter and the “Christmas Cantata” by Daniel Pinkham accompanied by brass and percussion. The concert will be presented in the Middlesboro Fine Arts Auditorium.

Location: Middlesboro Fine Arts Auditorium, Middlesboro (Bell County) KY
For more information visit www.lmunet.edu or call (423) 869-6449


Date/Hours: Saturday, December 20, 2008, 5-7PM
Christmastide at the Wilderness Road Blockhouse

This small living history event allows the visitor to see and participate in activities connected with Christmas on the frontier of Virginia in 1775. Captain Anderson, his good wife Rebecca, their friends and neighbors invite the public for sweetcakes and cider in a boisterous celebration. A prodigious bonfire will provide a grand illumination. Members of the Holston Militia fire their guns in a feu de joie. Period music and activities for children are also part of the entertainment. The famous Captain Daniel Boone and his good wife drop in to join in the jollification. Visitors should dress warmly. Other activities in the Natural Tunnel State Park are also available that evening. See the lighting of the tunnel, ride the lantern-lit chairlift, and enjoy carols, popcorn, and hot chocolate. Also drive through the park to enjoy the lighted displays.

Location: Natural Tunnel State Park, Duffield (Scott County) VA
For more information, go to www.danielboonetrail.com

Sunday, November 16, 2008

yep, snow on the mountain again

It is cold and overcast outside today, drizzling rain off and on. So, I didn't even step off my front porch to take today's "snow on the mountain again" photo.
Accordingly, there's a bunch of wires/cables in the forefront of the photo. Let's see, that's one for electricity, another for a phone, another for cable TV, and another for the fiberoptic Internet. Eventually, maybe it will down to just 1 for electricity and 1 for voice/TV/internet --- even in little Rose Hill, Virginia. They're working on that.

2009 Dulcimer Gathering

I learned last week that the date has been set for the annual Cumberland Gap Dulcimer Gathering, hosted by Terry and Pam Lewis at the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park campground (you know, where KY, TN, & VA meet). A weekend and more of music, fun and relaxing, it is the third annual gathering located in the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park Campground. Jamming, sharing tunes and mini workshops will occur throughout the weekend. Campfire jams happen each night. Workshops, concerts, and jams are FREE. For more information visit www.terrylewisdulcimer.com or call (276) 861-2925. There's lots of great photos from previous annual gatherings on that website - this is one of them.

The 2009 Cumberland Gap Dulcimer Gathering will be held on May 9-10, 2009. That's Mother's Day weekend - bring your Mom!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

winter fun!

It appears we're moving a bit away from Fall weather and it's about to feel like Wintertime. brrrrr. The forecast says it'll be down near 30 degrees tonight and down near 20 degrees by Tuesday night. It might even snow a bit tonight?? surely not.

Even though cold weather is setting in upon us here in the mountains, there's still places to go, sights to see, and things to do.

In particular, two nearby tourist destination places that I would like to visit, and haven't yet made time for, come to mind: The Southwest Virginia Museum in Big Stone Gap and Gap Cave (the old Cudjo's Cavern) located inside the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park (right down the road). Except for Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, both of these excellent attractions (the museum and the cave) are open through December 31.


The Southwest Virginia Museum is currently open Tuesday - Thursday from 10AM - 4pm; Fridays from 9AM - 4PM; Saturdays from 10AM - 5PM; and Sundays from 1-5PM. The museum will close December 31st for the season and re-open on March 1st.

From November 16th through December 31, view a winter wonderland at the museum's 13th annual Festival of Trees. Over 80 trees and other decorations will be on display throughout the museum. Every Saturday night from 7-9PM the museum offers Night Viewing. See the trees in the magical atmosphere of an evening.

The Southwest Virginia Museum is housed in a mansion built in the 1880s by Rufus Ayers, a Virginia attorney general. The museum was bequeathed to the commonwealth in 1946 by C. Bascom Slemp, private secretary to President Calvin Coolidge and a member of the U. S. Congress. The museum was officially dedicated by the state in 1948. It features a collection comprised of more than 20,000 pieces, about one third of which is on display at any given time. The museum chronicles the exploration and development of the region during the 1890s coal boom, as well as the pioneer period. It offers activities for kids, scout and school programs, workshops, an annual Festival of Trees program, a quilt show, a music festival and outdoor exhibits. The museum sells archival supplies and offers the opportunity to have pictures of collection pieces copied, as well as copies of reference files. Also offered is a unique gift shop and a Victorian Parlor Conference Room available for rent by calling the museum.

for more information, go to www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/sou.shtml
or visit the Friends of the Museum website at www.swvamuseum.org


Cumberland Gap National Historical Park hosts guided Gap Cave tours on weekdays at 10AM and on weekends at 10AM and 2PM, through December 31st. Between January 1st and March 31st, the guided Gap Cave tours will be held on weekends only at 10Am and 2PM.

for more information, go to www.nps.gov/cuga/planyourvisit/guidedtours.html


In addition, as long as it's not pouring the snow or some such weather, you can drive the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail road. I'm pretty sure it's about a 4-hour driving tour. You just guide yourself with this CD going in your car that tells you driving directions and interesting historical information along the way. It's sounds fun, educational, and interesting to me. I see those Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail signs all over the place around here.

for more information, go to www.danielboonetrail.com

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Digital Photography workshop Nov 20th

This photo is copyright by Harold Jerrell. He will be teaching a workshop on Digital Photography at Rose Hill Library on Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 6:00PM. The workshop is free and open to the public.

Rose Hill Christmas Parade

The Rose Hill Christmas Parade has been scheduled for Saturday, December 6, 2008 at 2:00PM. Sue Rosenbalm has been chosen to serve as Grand Marshal. This year's theme is "A White Christmas." First place will receive $100, second place $75, and third place $50 for floats featuring the White Christmas theme. For more information, call Wade Wilson, Secretary of the Thomas Walker Civic Club, at 445-4683.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

unofficial vote count

On Wednesday, November 5, 2008, the Powell Valley News printed the following "Unofficial Returns -- Lee County General Election -- November 4, 2008."

It appears to this reader that there are five voting districts in Lee County, and each of them have 3-5 "subdistricts." For example, District 1 has three "subdistricts": Elydale, Ewing, and Rose Hill. okay, now looking at my Voter Registration Card, the correct term for these "subdistricts" is precincts.

So, here's the unofficial vote counts for the Rose Hill precinct:

Obama - 272
McCain - 525
Baldwin - 2
Barr - 4
McKinney - 2
Nader - 6

U.S. Senator:
Warner - 455
Gilmore - 320
Parker - 11
Redpath - 0

U.S. Delegate:
Boucher - 632

Accordingly in the Rose Hill precinct, a total of 811 votes were cast for President; 786 votes were cast for Senator; and 632 votes were cast for Delegate.

It appears (assuming on my part that every person who voted, DID cast a ballot in the presidential election - which may not be the case) that over 77% of ALL the Rose Hill precinct folks (regardless of any political party affiliations)who showed up to vote at the elementary school on Tuesday, cast a vote of support for Congressman Rick C. Boucher.

While I was attending grad school in NC once upon a time, my political science professor reported in class that our Congressman Boucher was leading the nation in bringing telecommunications to rural America. I know he helped get broadband to Rose Hill and I am certainly tickled pink to have it here!! Makes a world of difference to me and many others around me.

Other unofficial vote counts -- Looking at the county as a whole, Warner beat Gilmore in every single precinct.

McCain beat Obama in 16 of the 19 precincts. The three precincts where Obama won were St. Charles, Stone Creek, and Keokee. Am I just imagining things (as a Lee County newcomer), or might those three precincts be considered as Lee County's "coalfield" precincts? Who can answer that question??

Are there coal mines located in the St. Charles, Stone Creek, and Keokee voting precincts - but NOT located in the remaining precincts? (That'd be Elydale, Ewing, Rose Hill, Blackwater, Flatwoods, N. Jonesville, S. Jonesville, Ben Hur, W. Pennington, Woodway, Stickleyville, Jasper, Seminary, Dryden, E. Pennington, and Robbins Chapel.)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Winning coaches in action

Here's the two coaches (Sheila Williams and Kristy Lee) who pulled us to a victory today. First year either of them has coached elementary basketball. Considering the same team won only one game all season last year (and that game had been won by only one point), these two coaches have sure gotten off to a great start beating JONESVILLE during the first game of the season!!

Rose Hill - the winner!!

Basketball season has begun for Rose Hill Elementary School. There's four teams, a big boys team, a big girls team, a little boys team, and a little girls team. So there' were four games running back to back today. We were playing against Jonesville, a formidable opponent, on their court.
I only saw one of the games (the one my son was playing in), but what an exciting game it was. Jonesville had scored first, but then we had caught up by the end of the first quarter - with the score tied at 4-4. We gained the lead early in the second quarter, as the score reached 6-5. We had risen to a score of 12-5 with one minute left in the 2nd quarter. By the end of the first half, we were still ahead at 12-8. The score was up to 18-14 by the end of the 3rd quarter. With only 2 minutes left in the game, we were up to 26-20, at which point our starting line-up returned to the court. Once we'd gained the lead in the 2nd quarter, we managed to maintain the lead for the rest of the game. The final score was 28-22. Rose Hill beat Jonesville! what a hoot!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

workshops: Quilting, Grant Writing & Melungeons


to Rose Hill Library workshops


Thursday, November 6, 2008 at 6:00PM
Quilting Demonstration
Instructor: Pat Houck

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 at 6:00PM
Learn to Write $ Grant $ Proposals
Instructor: Joan Minor

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 at 10:00AM
Do YOU have Melungeon Heritage?
Instructor: Joan Minor

Thursday, November 13, 2008 at 6:00PM
Dulcimer Demonstration
Instructors: Terry and Pam Lewis

More information below --


ROSE HILL ----- Free workshops at Rose Hill Community Library during the month of November will provide information and Internet resources about quilting, grant writing, and Melungeons.

A workshop on “Quilting Demonstration and Online Quilting Information” will be provided on Thursday, November 6, 2008 at 6:00PM at Rose Hill Community Library. This workshop presents a demonstration for small quilting projects and provides tips on quilting information available on the Internet. Rose Hill resident Pat Houck will teach the quilting workshop.

On Tuesday, November 11, 2008 at 6:00PM, a free workshop titled, “Learn to Write Grant Proposals” will be provided at Rose Hill Community Library. This workshop presents free information available on the Internet that teaches how to write grant proposals to foundations and government funding sources. Rose Hill resident Joan Minor will teach the grant writing workshop.

On Wednesday, November 12, 2008 at 10:00AM, Rose Hill resident Joan Minor will teach a workshop entitled, “Do YOU have Melungeon Heritage?” This workshop presents online information for tracing Melungeon genealogy and stories about the area’s Melungeon heritage.

The workshops are free and open to the public. No registration is required. Seating is limited to 12 computer stations. The workshops are for beginners, who have little or no computer or website design experience. The funding for this workshop has been provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Community Connect grant program for the LENOWISCO Connect Rose Hill project .

For more information, contact Joan Minor at 445-4600

fall colors on Election Day

Well, the colors are nicer in real life than I was able to capture in this photo, taken today. It's blue skies and 70 degrees today in Rose Hill. A great day for voters to get out and vote.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

snow on the mountain

Here's a photo taken yesterday from the parking lot at Grabeels IGA. There was snow up on the mountain yesterday morning and into the afternoon. There was a heavy frost down here in downtown Rose Hill last night. We'd had two light frosts in town last week.

e-commerce training

This photo was taken this month inside the computer center in the Rose Hill library during an e-commerce training workshop. The instructor is Mikki Barker of VECTEC's Abingdon office. She will be teaching another workshop at the Rose Hill Library, titled "Internet Marketing," on November 19, 2008 from 9AM - noon. The workshop is free, open to the public, and no registration is required.

Friday, October 10, 2008

broadband revolution in the Tri-Cities region

There's a great article in today's Kingsport Times News stating that, "GoTriCities has launched a multimedia Web site that aims to revolutionize the way Tri-Cities residents view local video content. The site, www.Kingsport.tv, is the region's first Internet video resource that aggregates news, entertainment, cultural and business videos in one place... the motto 'Video Anytime Anywhere' highlights the site's convenient model where a viewer can access content online at their leisure, for free, without a subscription or appointment. The site works with most modern browsers and works better with broadband Internet service than slower dial-up service."

Sounds pretty nifty to me! I'll be checking it out.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Here's part of a February post -

"Kyle's Ford TN is not too far away from Rose Hill, just over 30 miles. It's probably alot shorter distance "as the crow flies." My ancestors lived in the Kyle's Ford TN/ Blackwater VA vicinity, and I just love that whole area. It appears there's a real push for some eco-tourism development in Kyle's Ford. They're touting a retreat center, several cabin/cottage rental facilities, seasonal canoe rentals, a market, and a cafe. Check out the website at http://www.clinchriverecotourism.com/. The online menu for the cafe is pretty nifty. It appears that you can get a cheeseburger for only $1.69! Want some fries with that? French fries cost only 79 cents! I'll bet you get excellent service with a smile too. Sounds like the perfect destination for one of my scooter tours this Spring. Okay, who wants to go with me to get a cheeseburger and some fries in Kyles Ford? At those prices, I'll even buy your lunch!"

I did go to Kyle's Ford this Summer and saw the cool cottages and ate in the cafe and such. It was jolly great fun. I posted one photo of folks playing in the river. Here's a photo showing the bridge over the river.

The leaves are just barely beginning to turn a touch here and there. Pretty soon, and all the local backroads will be awash in Fall splendor. The evenings are getting shorter and the nights a bit cooler now.

Kyle's Ford

This photo was taken in the Summer when I was on a local Kyle's Ford eco-tourism scooter ride. We've two special rivers right around here, the Clinch River and the Powell River. Here's folks enjoying the river on a hot, sunny day.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"Rose Hill Train" song

THIS certainly deserves a blog entry. It's a song about Rose Hill!! My Dad recently purchased the 'Papa Joe' Smiddy CD titled "Hop Up Ladies." There's a song about ROSE HILL on this CD!
Seems like maybe I heard someone telling me a while back that 'Papa Joe' Smiddy married a Rose Hill gal sometime 'way back yonder when.'
Who can tell us the rest of that story?

Anyway, here's some information about the song and the CD.

Fans of the musical stylings of the College’s own Chancellor Emeritus “Papa Joe” Smiddy have a new CD to add to their collection. "Hop Up Ladies,” the latest recording by Smiddy and his Reedy Creek Band, is packed full of traditional favorites like “Wise County Jail,” “Uncle Joe” and “Shortnin' Bread.”

Smiddy, who came to the College in 1954 as the school’s first biology instructor and ultimately served as chancellor for 27 years, is also a first-rate musician and storyteller. Smiddy, 86, still performs at area venues like the world-renowned Carter Fold and his annual music festival at Natural Tunnel. And he still draws standing-room-only crowds.

While many of the tracks are well-known Smiddy tunes, one song was recently written to commemorate Smiddy’s service in World War II and to honor family members who kept the home fires burning in Lee County, Va. “Rose Hill Train” recounts the efforts of Ross Stickley, Grannie Stickley, Uncle Jim Rosenbaum and Uncle Fred Stickley, who was a prisoner of war. An Army sergeant, Smiddy was stationed in the Pacific during the war.

The CD features Papa Joe on the claw-hammer banjo, Jerry Keys on the five string, Sam Mallory on the mandolin, Susie Keys on the bass, Keith Williams on the fiddle and Smiddy’s son, Dr. Joe Frank Smiddy, on the guitar. Sam Mallory and Susie Keys join the Smiddys on vocals.

Perhaps the CD’s liner notes say it best: “We hope that this music will inspire you the listener to tap your toes, clog one, sing a hymn, or maybe even take up the banjo.”

"Hop Up Ladies” is available for $14 at the UVa-Wise Bookstore and at area Double Kwik Markets. All proceeds benefit the UVa-Wise Foundation. To order your copy, call the Campus Bookstore at (276) 328-0210.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Rose Hill industrial shell building

The IDA's new shell building in Constitutional Oaks is moving right along.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Oldest Lee County church

Today was the first time I'd seen Thompson Settlement Church. According to the nearby historic marker, this Baptist church is the oldest church in Lee County. It was organized in 1800. The original site was on Powell's River. The church was removed to the present site in 1822.

Butterfly Weed

The wild Butterfly Weed is blooming now - and yes, there were wild butterflies on them there purty weeds.

More scenery

Here's a scene from today's scooter ride. I had me some riding buddies today and spent over three hours out on these backroads, from here to Blackwater and Vardy and back. It was a wonderful way to enjoy today's great weather.

Local Lodging Available

While I'm on here touting local businesses, here's a good one you may not have heard about yet.


The Rowlett Place is a spacious, ranch-style vacation rental home located 5 miles west of Jonesville, Virginia off Highway 58 on Shannon Evans Road (SR 656). It has 2 bedrooms with king beds, 3 full baths, a queen sofa bed, and will sleep 6 comfortably. Linens, towels, and a fully equipped kitchen are provided. With its large carport and many decks, The Rowlett Place is an excellent place to host your next family reunion, reception, or corporate event.

Proprietors: Ken & Josephine Roddenberry
of Jonesville, VA telephone (276) 346-1396

BBQ season series

This blog entry is the first of a Summer Series of entries to celebrate BBQ season and a western Lee County product - Road Kill BBQ Sauce!

We'll be back with more blog entries focused on BBQ season and Road Kill BBQ Sauce, but in the meantime - check it out, folks!!


ARE available to online shoppers!!

Or you can purchase
"Road Kill BBQ Sauces"
& Julie B's Old Fashion Relishes
in these LOCAL STORES:

Rose Hill, VA: Grabeel's IGA Super Market in Rose Hill, VA
old Highway 58 (historic downtown section)

Ewing, VA: The Neighborhood Market in Ewing, VA
new Highway 58 (out on the four-lane)
Montgomery Grocery in Ewing, VA
rural route 2 (just off the four-lane)

Jonesville, VA: IGA Food Liner in Jonesville, VA
Highway 58 (west end of town)

Cumberland Gap, TN: Webb's Country Kitchen in Cumberland Gap, TN
downtown (historic Town of Cumberland Gap)

Harrogate, TN: Village Market IGA in Harrogate, TN
7026 Cumberland Gap Parkway

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Constitutional Oaks

The signs at the entrance to the industrial park may not be too exciting of a photo; however, those majestic mountains in the background show how beautiful the area surrounding the park is.

Rose Hill industrial shell building

I had posted photos earlier from the groundbreaking event for the new shell building to be constructed at Constitutional Oaks Industrial Park out along the four-lane in Rose Hill. There's quite a bit of construction activity underway now. Here's a scene from yesterday's action. With our broadband in place now, perhaps we can bring in some IT jobs.

the clear water

I was pleasantly surprised at how clear the Powell River water was yesterday. Probably has something to do with the fact that we need rain. You could see right through the water and watch the little minnows dancing around.

Powell River

Been out scootering again. Started out on the route to the Powell River bridge I posted earlier, but this time I turned right (instead of left) on Flatwoods Road. That road keeps on a going, straight into Hancock County TN - at which point the road name changes to Powell River Road. There's a great spot just beside the road where you can hang out by the river. It was beautiful!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Martins Creek and Balls Chapel

Here's the second photo posted for the person who commented on the Giles Hollow post. Both houses have been vacant for many years. I always wonder the history of the vacant old homes around here. Probably the next generation left the area in search of jobs. Both of my grandmothers' farm houses became vacant after they died (one here in Lee County, the other up in Montgomery County). Once upon a time, not so long ago, I owned a 120-year-old farmhouse. It had great character!! My current "younger" home (about half that age) is admittedly a bit easier to maintain. But I will always love them old farmhouses.

Martins Creek & Balls Chapel

There was a nice comment added on the Giles Hollow post, someone saying their grandma used to live at the corner of Martins Creek and Balls Chapel. There's two houses still there at that corner. I'm posting them in case that person visits the blog again. Here's the first one.

Powell River

Here's a photo taken from on the bridge. There were fishermen floating down the river (see 'em over ther on the left?). The Powell River is a special river, mostly cuz it's one of the few that weren't dammed up by TVA. So, it retained it's biological diversity.
Here's some information from The Nature Conservancy's Clinch Valley Bioreserve: The Virginia sections of the Clinch and Powell rivers are vital to the health of the Tennessee River system because the two rivers are the system's only undammed, unspoiled headwaters. The river valleys contain more than 400 species of rare plants and animals, 22 of which are listed under the federal Endangered Species Act. The diversity is unmatch in the mid-Atlantic and northeastern United States.
Anyway, I'm tickled that I learned how to get to the Powell River. It's not that far away. After heading over the Powell, I wandered my way to Beech Grove. Beech Grove is another beautiful area with a cozy feeling to it, nestled amongst lots of woods. Scootering is turning out to be an excellent way for me to learn my way around these backroads. That was my plan, so I'm tickled it's working out.

Scootering over the Powell

Got out on my scooter again on Sunday afternoon. Stayed out there for over two hours. Never once encountered a dog chasing me. I went all the way to the end of Old Nursery Road, took a left on Old Flatwoods Road, took the first right onto Longleaf Road, and hey!! lookee there! I had found the Powell River. Here's a photo of the bridge I went over.

Monday, May 26, 2008

a panoramic view

I'd need a different camera to even begin to capture some of the wide panoramic views around here. I'm getting more and more comfortable with riding alone, and I'm venturing out beyond my usual little route. Yesterday I headed out Old Nursery Road a ways and then veered off onto Wilson View Road. I came up over the hill, and WOW!! What a view! I don't know who the Wilsons are, but they've got SOME view! I can't wait to get back out on that road. Actually, the weather forecast is looking pretty good for awhile yet. okay, enough photo posts for today.

wild geraniums

I was surprised that the wild geraniums are STILL blooming. The wild columbine are about gone now for the season. Honeysuckle has burst forth. That sweet smell of honeysuckle is wonderfully intoxicating. Just driving down the road, it pops up and really catches you.

local agriculture traditions continue

Lots of farmers were either cutting hay or baling hay this week. Looks like tobacco in the front too. I know the whole tobacco industry has changed dramatically in the last few years, but there's still folks growing tobacco.

On Giles Hollow Road

Now we've circled around from Martins Creek Road and we're out on Giles Hollow Road. Instead of the cozy valley feeling, now there's rolling hills with the mountains visible off in the distance. Although this one ain't too little, I've seen lots of cute little calves, even a baby horse (is the correct term a foal?), and even baby sheep. Springtime is a time of celebrating life itself, a fresh renewal.

fishing, a family affair

Looks like a father-daughter team to me. Yep, fishing in Martins Creek. How did you guess?

fishing opportunities

This is posted along Martins Creek. I'd heard that they stock that creek and I've seen folks fishing there before. These posters have convinced me that they're catching fish there. I think I might take up fishing, just to have an excuse to sit out there on the bank for hours on end. Not sure what I'd do if I actually caught a fish though. I wouldn't know how to get it off the hook.

cozy valley tour

There's just something special about being nestled amongst the rocks and ferns when everything is so green and bursting forth with life.

Scooterin again

I've been out scooterin' again. The weather has been WONDERFUL for several days in a row. Here's a view from along Martins Creek Road. It's so luscious down in the valley along the creek, downright cozy feeling.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Rose Hill's new ball field

The new ball field is located on the grounds of Rose Hill Elementary school. The fence, the dugouts, the announcer's box, the lights, the concession stand -- all these things are pretty new. Folks, those little league baseball games can be quite fun and entertaining. Most of the fans know each other, and it turns into not only a sporting event (even little league is taken quite seriously at times), but also a wonderful social gathering. The local volunteers that run Western Lee Little League are very dedicated. I know it's been a great experience for my youngins.

View from the trail

Here's a photo taken from along the downtown Rose Hill trail. That's the library, the white building in the center of the photo. The woodsy portion of the trail feels cozy and secluded, and then viola! as soon as you emerge from the woods - there's one of those stunning views of those long, majestic mountains.

downtown Rose Hill trail

Rose Hill has a nifty trail running parallel to "Main Street" (old Highway 58). It runs all the way from the East end of town, starting at Martins Creek Road and continuing through town over to O'Dells Furniture. I am particularly fond of the trail because I walk to the end of my back yard, and viola! I'm on the trail. I know cities like Bristol and Kingsport are working to create or improve similar downtown trails, although I believe those trails tend to follow along beside a creek. I see an occasional pedestrian. More frequently you'll see someone using it to get their 4-wheeler across town. As I understand it, this trail was a road, once upon a time. I tend to view it as a hidden Rose Hill asset. Lately, I've used the trail for walking a friend's dog. My kids ride their various two-wheel toys and bikes on that trail. There's one section of the trail that crosses Lawson's Building Supply yard. I've recently learned that crossing through the Lawson's section during normal business hours means you may be dodging cement trucks, but it appears to quiet down perhaps during lunch hour. Great trivia for someone wanting to walk a skittish dog through that section. Cross at 11:30AM and you're likely dodging busy cement trucks. Wait until just 12 noon, and all is quiet. I know Lawson's is moving a significant portion of their business over to some land along the 4-lane. They must sell one heckuva buncha Kubotas, since there's a vast inventory on their property, which seems to be constantly turning over - certainly not old stuff with grass growing up around it. I see people looking at the various equipment purchase opportunities even in the evenings after closing time. It's kinda like how when you're driving through Kingsport past a car dealership and even though it's after hours, folks are still out there looking over various cars on the lot. Anyway, except for the section crossing Lawsons which can be quite congested during business hours, it's a beautiful, quiet little mostly woodsy trail. okay, so it was one of Rose Hill's best kept secrets, a wonderful asset, and now I've spilled the beans. See ya on the trail!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

a friendly deer

I had me a local scooter tour guide/ fellow scooterer along today, so I got to ride beyond my little usual familiar route. It's common to see deer when you're scootering on the local backroads. I wasn't surprised to see one while scootering today, but then I realized, hey, that deer is hanging out on somebody's front porch! Turns out, it thinks it's a dog. We stopped to stare at the deer. It came out to greet us in the road, walked around us a bit, and then it came right up to me and proceeded to sniff and smell me. I was hoping it wouldn't be like a goat and start munching on my clothes. I was too shocked to get a photo while we were face-to-face with about 12 inches between our noses, but I did manage to get a photo while it was walking away, just like a dog, going back to hang out on the front porch.

redbuds & dogwoods

I went scooter riding today. The redbuds and dogwoods are in bloom. So are the apple trees. Aaaaah - Springtime is the Appalachian Mountains! Saw wild columbine (two-tone orange), wild geraniums (pretty purple), and wild phlox (another purple) -- blooming in all their glory today. Saw one of those blue herons or river cranes (that really big graceful bird that likes water) today. That's always a special sight, peaceful.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

April 9th Community Meal

Morgan Memorial United Methodist Church (located across from the Dollar Store) is hosting a Community Meal on Wednesday, April 9th from 5:30PM - 7:00PM. The meal is free. The church invites the entire community to come break bread together.

Copyright by Science Progress, 2008

The Connect Rose Hill project was featured in a recent online article located at http://www.scienceprogress.org/. Click on the "Broadband Done Right" article, written by Nancy Scola.

About Science Progress... "Our objective at Science Progress is to improve the understanding of science among policymakers and other thought leaders and to develop exciting, progressive ideas about innovation in science and technology for the United States in the 21st Century. Science Progress is a project of the Center for American Progress, a non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)3 educational and research organization."

The article leads out with, "Virginia rolls out high-speed Internet programs to boost jobs, health care, education, and commerce. It’s a model that works."

Here's an excerpt from the article:

"A recent post on Joan Minor’s Rose Hill Blog also highlights Black Bear Blast, a gathering of scientists and locals in Cumberland Gap National Park. Another details Kite Day, a local tradition tracing its roots “way back yonder when,” says Minor. She’s delighted to promote these rural get-togethers, the better to help preserve the small town’s unique way of life. "

Click on "Broadband Done Right" at http://www.scienceprogress.org/ for the full article. If you read it, I'd sure enjoy hearing some commentary!

scenes from today's scooter ride

I was riding alone today, so I stayed on my usual little country route. It was so fun, I did it twice!

It's something like... out Martins Creek Road up Balls Chapel to Possum Holler and then back into town through Giles Holler or McLin Holler, then back across through the middle of town on Main Street, where I can pretty much keep up with the speed limit going East (mostly downhill).

It was fun, and the weather was beautiful. I already know which houses have dogs who will chase me. Long as I'm going downhill past their house, I can outrun 'em. haha!