Chamber News: What does Chamber do for Hartsville?


What is the Chamber of Commerce?

I have been asked this question several times over the past week, and there are many facets to what the Chamber provides for the community.

I feel this to be a great time and venue to address a few of the Chamber’s roles, as we continue to focus on the visibility and rebranding of the Chamber of Commerce in the community.

Membership: The Chamber offers membership to businesses and individuals of the local area which it serves. Benefits include utilization of the Chamber’s resources such as: event promotion through the Chamber website, (hartsvilletrousdale.com) social media, and discounts from local businesses who are also members.

Community events: The Chamber of Commerce also sponsors several local events to promote community involvement and local business. The Chamber hosts a monthly meeting with guest speakers from the community. These meetings are open to the public and also include a door prize.

Networking: The Chamber of Commerce is an excellent source for networking. Through its membership base and community involvement there is great potential to make and build meaningful and profitable business relationships.

Welcoming of new residents: The Chamber of Commerce serves as a resource center for residents who are new to the area. Because of the close relationship with the local businesses via its membership base, the Chamber serves as an excellent referral source for people in the process of assimilating into the community.

These are some of the most common areas in which the Chamber of Commerce services the community. It is our chief goal to help build and maintain a community in which our residents and local businesses can be proud to live.

Please support your local Chamber of Commerce. Visit our website at hartsvilletrousdale.com, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to keep up with what’s going on locally.

Historic Granville plans first outdoor play


Historic Granville will presents its first outdoor play, “Journey to the Promised Land,” from April 30-May 2 at the Pioneer Village at Sutton Homestead.

The play, which will be both a musical and a dinner play, was recently written by Granville native Ogeal Halfacre Webster and is a three-act play which tells the story

of early settlers’ journey to Tennessee from North Carolina.

The musical part of the play will be performed by the Cookeville Community Folk Orchestra, which is made up of over 30 professional musicians.

A great pioneer dinner will be served by great cooks and will be served in a historical fashion in the Pioneer Village.

Each night’s performance begins with dinner served from 5:30-6:45 p.m., with the play performed at 7 p.m.

The cast of the play features John Mertz as Noah Roberts, Lisa Swann as Stella Roberts, Allison Lane as Susan Roberts, Wyatt Curtis as Sam Roberts, J.R. Smith as Thomas Smith, Michael Hesson as Joel, Courtney Reed as Anna, Bill Hoover as John, Nancy Woods as Rosie, Dr. Op Walker as Ben, Kay Walker as Mary, Tom Woods as Brother Scott and Militiaman. The play is being directed by Historic Granville Manager Brenda Curtis and Randall Clemons.

Reservations can be made by calling 931-653-4151.

The play is part of the year-long Roaring 20’s Celebration, which will also feature a Cornbread & Moonshine Bash on May 2. For more information, visit granvilletn.com.

Look Back: Modern culture owes much to Scots-Irish


The early settlers to Middle Tennessee were largely of Scots-Irish descent and we have been looking at their influence on our culture. Their contributions to our music and dance traditions are considerable.

Why did so many people of Scots-Irish ancestry move here?

In the 1600s, the people of lowland Scotland were unruly, poor and lived in “clans” or family groups. The king of England was constantly fighting with them and he found a solution to his problem by offering the poor Scots cheap land in Ireland.

Thousands of the lowland Scots moved to Ireland, mainly the area around present-day Ulster.

But they weren’t the only ones.

There were many English Quakers and Puritans who were unhappy with the king’s Anglican faith, and who found the idea of getting away from the king to their liking.

A large number of French Huguenots joined in. In fact, David Crockett’s ancestors were from France and moved to Ireland before moving to the colonies!

This mixed group of settlers was forbidden by the English king to marry any Irishman or to marry a Catholic, both of whom the king disliked.

But the cheap land didn’t stay cheap. Not allowed to own their own land but to pay rent, the settlers were hit with increased rents … double or triple what they had been paying.

And the English kings forbid any government official from belonging to any faith other than the King’s own Anglican faith. He even forbade the Presbyterian priests from marrying people. Only Anglican priests could perform the marriage ritual. 

Enough was enough and in the early 1700s the settlers (whom we now call Scots-Irish) began to flee Ireland and immigrate to the colonies.

The new world wasn’t very accommodating to the newcomers and the Scots-Irish were forced to settle on the edges of the English colonies, into parts of Pennsylvania, the Appalachians and the hills of North Carolina.

The poor Scots-Irish had moved around so much that they began to refer to themselves as “the 13th tribe of the Bible”!

It was the descendants of those North Carolina Scots-Irish that settled in Middle Tennessee!

We owe a lot of our present-day culture to our Scots-Irish ancestry!

When we celebrate Halloween, many of our traditions date back to Scotland and Ireland.

Our tradition of patchwork quilts goes back to the old country.

Even the floor plan of our homes goes back to the simple stone cabins of the Scots-Irish. They built homes with a central hallway and one room to each side of the hallway, each with its own chimney. Our early “dog-trot” cabins had the same design.

Black cats are bad luck, any Scots-Irish settler could tell you that.

We still have vestiges of Scots-Irish speech in our day-to-day language:

When we use the word “done” as if it is the verb “have” that is Scots-Irish usage … as in, “We done finished the plowing, Pa!”

If you add an “s” to a verb because the subject is plural … as in “The beans needs to be snapped and cooked.”

To refer to low land around a creek or river as “bottom land.”

Every time we say “poke” instead of “bag.”

If we tell someone to “quit” instead of “stop.”

Or to use the word “bucket” instead of “pail.”

When we say that we “used to could” do something.

And when we travel a “piece” instead of a short distance.

To say someone is “ill” meaning they have a bad temper.

If we overuse the word “done” as in “I have done spilled the milk.”

Our tendency to add “all” to our vocabulary, as in “You all need to come inside now!” or “Where all have you been?” or “Why all the fuss?” or “That’s all the far I can walk!”

As you can see, when we play the fiddle, do a little buck dancing, or say, “That’s all for now,” we are just living out our Scots-Irish ancestry!       

Election Commission reappoints Paxton as Administrator of Elections


The Trousdale County Election Commission voted unanimously last week during its monthly meeting to reappoint Steven Paxton to a four-year term as Administrator of Elections.

Paxton was appointed to position in 2010 when he replaced Linda Potts.

“I am honored that the Election Commission has reappointed me as the Administrator of Elections,” Paxton said. “Ensuring that the elections in Trousdale County are fair and honest is a great responsibility I do not take lightly. The Election Commission and I will strive to make sure every registered voter in Trousdale County has the opportunity to equally participate in national, state and local elections.”

The Election Commission also voted to reappoint Sherry Baxley as chairman and named Craig Moreland as secretary.

The Commission added a new member in Tammy Dixon, who will serve as one of two Democrats in the five-member group. Dixon replaces longtime member Lucy Oldham, who chose to retire after 23 years of service on the Election Commission.

Reach Managing Editor Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or [email protected].

Whip Crackin’ Rodeo comes to Lebanon


The sixth annual Whip Crackin’ Rodeo returns April 24-25 to the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon.

The rodeo will begin each night at 7 p.m.  The Special Needs Rodeo for Exceptional Children will kick off the rodeo April 24 from 9 a.m. until noon.

The rodeo will feature bareback bronco riding, saddle bronco riding, calf roping, cowgirl’s breakaway roping, steer wrestling, team roping, cowgirl’s barrel racing and bull riding. A gold rush – where children look for prizes in a pile of hay – will also be featured, as well as a best-dressed cowboy and cowgirl contest for children 10 and younger.

“You won’t want to miss the chuck wagon race in the arena,” said Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead. “You will experience the wagons speeding around the tight corners, wheels have been broken and drivers have been thrown, along with roll overs. This is not your grandma’s saddle club gathering. This is the wild west right here in Lebanon.”

Craighead said last year’s rodeo raised more than $41,300, which was a record-breaking year, for more than two dozen local charitable organizations.

“I’m very grateful for the support from our platinum and gold Sponsors, along with all involved, to help put together this annual event,” Craighead said. “The entire event supports many of our local charities, contributes to our local businesses, and creates a fun-filled weekend for the entire family.”

Advance tickets can be purchased at Bates Ford, Boot Barn, the Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce office, Lebanon City Hall, Lebanon Senior Center, Manheim Auto Auction, Permobil, Rose Tire and Service, John Greer’s State Farm Insurance office, THW Insurance Services and Wilson Bank and Trust’s Lebanon office.

Advance tickets for adults are $10 and $8 for children 4-12 years old. Tickets may also be purchased at the gate the night of the rodeo for $15 for adults and $10 for children. Children under 4 are free.

On the morning of April 24, the Special Needs Rodeo will be featured. Special events will include stick horse barrel racing, face painting, trick roping and more. Horse rides are provided courtesy of Southern Special Therapeutic And Recreational Riding Students with a partnership with Empower Me Day Camp.

This year, Jessica Blair and her team of quarter horses, Moose and Goose, will execute their daredevil stunts, including jumping through a hoop of fire. Seven-year-old Oralee Madison will entertain with her trick riding talents. Rodeo clown Mike Wentworth is expected to keep the audience entertained with clean family fun.

Chris Russell will protect the cowboys when they are thrown from the backs of the fierce animals. Matt McGee will return for his fourth year announcing the Whip Crackin’ Rodeo.

For more information on the Whip Crackin’ Rodeo, visit whipcrackinrodeo.com.

Local students attend state 4-H Congress


On a recent trip to Nashville, four local 4-H students were given the opportunity to learn more about how government works on a state level.

Kassie Copas, Michaela Hodge, Michaela Kelly, and Tyler McGowan, along with others from across the state, attended Tennessee’s 4-H Congress from March 22-25. During that time, they attended many events that went along with this year’s theme: “Building Foundations for the Future.”

While visiting the State Capitol, the students were able to participate in a mock General Assembly in order to see how laws within our state are passed, as well as a mock election in which this year’s 4-H Congress officers were elected. They also learned valuable citizenship and leadership skills in which will be able to be used for years to come.

Aside from these events, the 4-Hers got the opportunity to explore downtown Nashville and take a ride on the General Jackson showboat. They ended the three-day trip by attending the Citizenship Banquet and a dance.

Regarding the trip, Tyler McGowan said, “It was an eye-opening experience,” while Michaela Kelly stated, “This experience made me want to be even more involved in 4-H.” They were also able to meet many other students. Michaela Hodge said, “All this came with the benefit of meeting so many new and friendly people that love 4-H just as much as me.”

These four teens walked away with many new skills that will help them in their future. 

Chamber News: Welcoming a new director


This is my first Vidette column as the new Executive Director of the Hartsville-Trousdale Chamber of Commerce.

My first thought, as I contemplate the position, I am undertaking is of the Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I can never forget the impeccably smooth transition I witnessed as a high school senior when we watched the ceremony as part of our senior trip.

As I move into this position, I would love to say the transition will be as smooth and precise as what we witnessed that day. In honesty though, I must say this will not be the case. However, I will set the bar high and aim for that level of perfection because I know if I even come close I will have performed at a high standard.

It is my pleasure to serve the Hartsville-Trousdale area as the Chamber of Commerce Director. For those who do not know me, I was born and raised right here in Hartsville, where I attended Trousdale County Elementary and High School. As a proud Yellow Jacket, I participated in football, basketball and baseball up until my graduation in 1997. In the following years I went on to obtain an Associates of Science Degree from Volunteer State Community College in the field of Business and Commerce, and then a Bachelor of Science Degree from Austin Peay State University in the field of Business Administration. Currently I am studying to obtain my second Bachelors’ Degree in the field of Computer Science.

My father and mother, Ron and Grace Moreland, are longstanding members of the community and both worked in the Trousdale County school system for 30+ years. I have one younger brother, Craig Moreland, who is also an upstanding member of the community and works locally for Choice One Insurance Company.

My family consists of my wife, Karen Moreland, who is the face of Karen Moreland Photography LLC, my 2-year-old son Cale, and my soon-to-arrive daughter Cailey, who is scheduled to make her appearance on September 1. We are a tight-knit group and enjoy spending all the time we can with each other. If you see one of us around, the others are surely not far away.

I have made rounds to see some of our local business owners and I will be coming around to see more of you. I look forward to meeting and doing business with you all. These are exciting times for this small county and I look forward to what we have in store for us in the near future. Please visit our website at hartsvilletrousdale.com, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter so we can keep you informed about local events and happenings.

To our local businesses who are not Chamber members, please consider signing up. We would love to put you on the list of recommended places to do business in Hartsville. To our local members, please encourage other business owners to join. We of the Chamber love promoting our members and the more we have in number, the more we are able to provide. Please remember our monthly meetings are the first Tuesday of every month at noon at Heritage Café and are open to the public. Hope to see you there soon!

County tax figures released for March


Tennessee revenue collections fell short of budgeted expectations in March, according to figures released by the state last week.

Finance and Administration Commissioner Larry Martin reported that overall March revenues were $943.7 million, which is $15.6 million less than the state budgeted. Total tax collections in March were 1.26 percent below the previous year.

“March collections reflect weaker than anticipated revenues from the sales tax category due to the severe ice storms which occurred in February,” Martin said.  “We believe this is an isolated occurrence and that consumer spending will reflect somewhat normal growth next month. Franchise and Excise collections were above budgeted estimates for March and, taken as a group, all other tax collections exceeded budgeted estimates for the month as well.”

The general fund was under-collected by $16.0 million, while sales tax collections were $32.5 million less than the estimate for March.

Locally, Trousdale County collected $2,668.70 in income tax, $20,904.41 in motor vehicle tax, $6,707.13 in realty transfer & mortgage, $209,369.94 in state salex tax and $62,957.95 in local sales tax.

The budgeted revenue estimates for 2014-2015 are based on the State Funding Board’s consensus recommendation adopted by the second session of the 108th General Assembly in April 2014. They are available on the state’s website at tn.gov/finance/bud/Revenues.shtml.

Look Back: Celebrating Trousdale County’s musical legacy


Our articles this month have touched on the Scots-Irish roots of many of us here in Trousdale County.

You can see it in many of the more familiar family names found in our own local phone book.

Don’t think that all Scottish surnames start with “Mac”, as in MacGregor. Likewise, not all Irish surnames start with “O”, as in O’Malley.

Some of the Scots-Irish last names found in Trousdale County are: Kelley, Moore, Smith, Adair, Murray, Sullivan, Kemp, Harper, Gilmore, Rankin, MacGowan, Sutherland, Martin, Taylor, Blair, Jenkins, Love, Ross, and Wade. There are many more.

If they sound “English” to you, many of them have been changed from their traditional spellings to English pronunciations and spelling. 

As we wrote in last week’s article, the Scots-Irish brought their traditions with them to the frontier. Besides their natural stubbornness, they were also hard working, independent and very Protestant! But when their work days were over, they enjoyed a little music.

“Country Music” owes much of its storytelling, its rhythms, and choice of instruments to the Scots-Irish.

If there is any family surname in Trousdale County associated with country music, it is the Scruggs family of Lick Creek!

In the early 1900s Bill Scruggs, and his wife Doss, made a living farming on the rocky hillsides and narrow bottoms of Lick Creek, in the eastern part of Trousdale County.

Their life was hard, but they were blessed with five sons, William, Carl, Noel “Monk”, Risey, and Arnett “Ped.”

That is nothing in particular to brag about. Many people had a mess of younguns, but the boys and their father stood out in a special way.

Bill, the father, was a natural musician. When the boys were very young, Bill purchased a fiddle from Sears & Roebuck for $24.99. He was very proud of that fiddle and wouldn’t let the naturally inquisitive boys touch it.

Now before we go any further, let’s make one thing clear. The difference between a fiddle and a violin is: “a violin has strings and a fiddle has strangs!”

The boys got more and more curious.

One day, the older boys told the youngest one to keep a watch out the door and to holler if “Pappy” came walking towards the house. Then they got out the store-bought fiddle and they “fiddled around with it.”

And they had the same natural talent their father had.

One day Pappy caught the boys at their game, but it wasn’t a switch he rewarded them with. Their father was impressed with what the boys could do and he began to give them lessons.

Bill couldn’t read or write. He played the fiddle by ear, and he taught the boys to do the same.

Risey Scruggs spoke to our Historical Society a few months ago. He is the last of the five boys still living. Risey told us that his father was a mechanical genius. He could make anything. All he had to do was to look at something, and then he could go home and make one for himself.

One time, Risey told us, he looked at a neighbor’s cotton gin, then returned home and made one just like it.

Bill did an incredible thing. He made fiddles for the boys. No more sharing the Sears fiddle!

If you’ve ever looked closely at a fiddle (or violin), you can appreciate the skill Bill Scruggs had!

All of the Scruggs boys continued to make music the rest of their lives, and they were quite good at it. Monk Scruggs played on the Grand Ole’ Opry for 10 years as a member of the “Possum Hunters” band.

They all entered old-time fiddling competitions across the state and people knew that if one of those Lick Creek Scruggs boys was playing, the rest of the competition might just as well go back home!

March of Dimes event set for Saturday


Mark your calendars! On Saturday, April 18 at the LP Field Riverfront, thousands of families and business leaders will join together in the March of Dimes’ annual March for Babies.

The event is the nation’s oldest walk fundraiser honoring babies born healthy and those who need help to survive and thrive. The 2015 March for Babies will be dedicated to the memory of Jimmy Turner, a longtime board member, volunteer and friend of the March of Dimes.

This year’s Nashville Ambassador Family is Ben and Kristin Wrather.

“Ben and I were distraught and overwhelmed with grief and heartache. We had done everything right, we were good people, and we didn’t deserve to have this happen,” shared Kristin & Ben after losing their daughter Cora. “I was online one day and saw a banner ad for the March of Dimes.  I knew their focus was on the health of babies, so I clicked. That ultimately led us to create our own Family Team, Team Wrather.”

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., with the 2-mile walk kicking off at 9:30 a.m. Participation in March for Babies will provide a memorable and rewarding day for the whole family, including food & drink, a stroller decorating & spirit contest, Zumba, live music, activities for families, memorable moments to connect with the mission of the March of Dimes, a kids zone, costume characters, face painting and more! To register for the free event, visit marchforbabies.org.

Funds raised by March for Babies in Tennessee help support prenatal wellness programs, research grants, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) family support programs and advocacy efforts for stronger, healthier babies.

The most urgent infant health problem in the U.S. today is premature birth.  The March of Dimes is committed to preventing it by funding research to find the answers to problems that continue to threaten the health of babies.  

Each week in the state of Tennessee, 240 babies are born prematurely or 1 in 8, which is the equivalent to 11 kindergarten classes. 

Nationally, that number is 1 in 9 that are born prematurely.

In Tennessee every week, 14 babies die before reaching their first birthday.

 In 2014, Tennessee earned a grade of “C” from its premature birth rate of 12.6 percent, up from a “D” in 2011.

Nationally, more than 500,000 babies are born prematurely and 120,000 babies are born with a birth defect each year.

Birth defect have been the leading cause of infant mortality for the past 20 years, accounting for 1 in 5 infant deaths.

The March of Dimes is sponsored locally by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, Turner Construction, Senex, CCA & Affinion Group. To donate, visit marchofdimes.com/tennessee or call 615-399-3200.

Donkey Basketball brings laughs, helps cancer fight


If you are looking for a good laugh and like to help others, Donkey Basketball may just be perfect for you.

Sponsored by Trousdale County Relay for Life, the event will be held Thursday, April 16 at 6 p.m. at Jim Satterfield Middle School.

“In the state of Tennessee, cancer is the second leading cause of death, averaging 13,290 deaths per year,” said Heather Hudgins, a volunteer with Relay for Life.”

“Relay For Life of Trousdale County endeavors to raise money, to help fund cancer research through the American Cancer Society. I do not know a single person, who has not been touched by cancer, in some form, either through family or a friend.”

Tickets are $6 if purchased in advance and $8 at the door. Advance tickets can be purchased at the Hartsville Church of Christ from 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and at Sloan’s Storage from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Students can also purchase advance tickets at either the elementary or middle schools. Ages 5 and under will be admitted free.

Free donkey rides will be available for children 12 and under. Also, pizza, popcorn, drinks and homemade baked goods will be available for purchase.

“Thursday’s Donkey Basketball game, is a fun, family-friendly event,” Hudgins said, “and just one way everyone can help with cancer research!”

Reach Managing Editor Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or [email protected].

City park set for rework, repairs


Hartsville’s City Park could soon see some much needed upgrades and repairs after Thursday night’s meeting of the Parks & Recreation Committee.

First on the priority list is remodeling of all three restrooms in the park, followed by work inside Trey Park.

The committee approved County Mayor Carroll Carman’s office to begin work after Carman and Public Works Director Cliff Sallee addressed the group on the needed fixes.

The original plan was to tear down the existing restroom facilities and rebuild them, something Carman said was too expensive.

“We can take the existing bathrooms, the one at Trey Park, the one down at the Little League (field) and the one over at the T-ball (field), if we gut them, we can do some nice renovations,” Carman said.

A common complaint about the park restrooms over the years has been the lack of cleanliness to them. Vandalism has also been a problem as well, one that would be addressed by adding cameras as part of the renovations.

Carman estimated the renovations to the restrooms could be completed for around $20,000. The money for the project is already available and could come from tapping reserve funds the county received from TEMA and FEMA. The reserve funds, totaling just over $52,000, were earmarked for restroom work in the park.

Funding is also available from the county building maintenance and parks & recreation development accounts.

Another plan approved by the committee would add a second basketball court to the park. The second hoops court could go where the current volleyball court is located.

“You go out there and watch and there will be 20-25 boys trying to play basketball,” Carman said. “Fifteen or so of them are waiting their turn. Zero people on the volleyball court.”

The committee approved $6,000, which was estimated to be enough to add a second basketball court.

Carman said he expected work begin possibly as soon as a week to 10 days.


Repairs to Trey Park

Discussion next turned to repairing Trey Park, which the mayor called “dangerous.”

Sallee showed the committee examples of metal shavings commonly found in the park, which are razor sharp.

The park area also floods easily, washing away the wood chips which cover the ground.

“What you’re seeing in the pictures is not including what’s underground,” Sallee told the committee. “Any scratched paint, any rust, is underground.”

Trey Park sits over an underground spring, which contributes to the flooding.

As the covering has washed away, in its place has been left areas that could be dangerous to small children, Carman said.

“There’s kids coming down at the end of slides and the slide is higher than they are tall,” the mayor said.

A temporary fix is the best solution until a more permanent solution can be found later, Sallee told the board.

Sallee suggested laying 5-6 inches of gravel, adding a weed barrier and then pea gravel to deal with the flooding problem for now.

Long term, Trey Park could need a complete rebuild, something that could cost as much as $250,000.

In the short term, the board approved a temporary fix. A timeframe will depend on finding a solution that will work and the weather.


Water works

The final item on the agenda was setting dates for the opening of the city’s swimming pool.

The pool will open May 23, the day after Trousdale County schools let out for the summer. The final day of operation will be July 26.

Sallee told the board he did not recommend keeping the pool open an extra month as was done in 2014, citing the lack of return on investment.

The biggest expenses, Sallee said, were the pool chemicals and the cost of running the pump around the clock.

The entry fees will remain the same: $4 per person. Season passes will be available for $175 per family (up to six people) or $65 for an individual pass.

Pool parties will also be available again as well. More information on rates or on purchasing pool passes can be obtained by calling the Public Works Department at 615-374-2461.

Reach Managing Editor Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or [email protected].

Granville plans 1920s-style celebration


Historic Granville will have a Grand Opening Celebration of its yearlong “Roaring 20s” on April 11, featuring with a full day of activities.

Main Street in Granville, located in Jackson County, has been decorated in a grand fashion with 1920s-era banners and bows as numerous events have been planned for the entire year.

On April 11, the celebration will begin at 10 a.m. with a Model T, A and Cars of the 1920s show in the Pioneer Village at Sutton Homestead.  The show will last until 3 p.m. and end with a Parade of the 1920’s. There is no entry fee for the show and lunch will be served to each car owner. 

The Celebration will also feature a full day of 1920s-era music and dancing at Pruett Stage, with Tex R Cana performing from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and dancing by the Tennessee Tech Swing Dance Club.

Granville will also open a Sutton Homestead special exhibit titled “The Roaring 20’s: Fashion is not all that Changes,” that will be open each Wednesday-Saturday until May 31. The Granville Museum will open its new special exhibit, entitled “Memories of the 1920s.”  Sutton General Store also has a special exhibit, as the store was purchased by Ben Sutton on July 1, 1925. The store will feature prices of the 1920s on items that would have been purchased at that time.

April 11 will also be the date of the third annual Granville Genealogy Festival, which will feature genealogy research booths, special exhibits on the Brown and Hargis families, history of Granville families in the 1920s, individual family booths and genealogy-related booths.

A full day of genealogy speakers will be featured at Granville United Methodist Church. Speakers will be: 9 a.m. Professor Greg Pryor, “The 20’s in the Upper Cumberland Area”; 10 a.m. Professor Carolyn Powell, “WWII German and Italian Prisoner War Camp in Crossville and the Effects on the Surrounding Community”; 11 a.m. Edie Williams, “How to use DNA with Genealogy Research”; 1:30 p.m. “Recognition of Jackson County First Families and Special Recognition of Brown and Hargis Families”; 2 p.m. Ron Goode, “VFW Where to Find Military Records and What Information You Can Find”; and 3:45 p.m. Dr. Op and Kay Walker, “Healthy Ancestors of our Past.”

Also on April 11 will be the opening of the new Mayberry Diner, which will be open each Wednesday-Saturday. The seventh anniversary celebration of “Sutton Ole Time Music Hour” will also take place, with bluegrass music beginning at 4 p.m. at Pruett Stage with Andy Todd & Friends performing. The group will also perform a warmup show at Sutton Store at 6 p.m. and radio taping at 7 p.m.

A great southern meal will be served at 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., with reservations required by calling 931-653-4151.

For more information on the festivities, call 931-653-4151 or visit granvilletn.com.

New author shares story of caring for Alzheimer’s


Smith County is home to a new published author as Lorrie McDonald has published her first book with WestBowPress, a division of Thomas Nelson Publishing Company.

The book’s title is “Blue, Baseball, Virginia – The Journey of an Alzheimer’s Patient & Caregiver – The Journey of Humor, Help, and Hope.”

The book is about the journey McDonald went on with her mother-in-law, the late Lois McDonald, when Lois was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The book was written at the suggestion of Lois’ neurologist.

After Lorrie began to care for her mother-in-law Lois showed signs of improvement of the disease, something that rarely ever happens. Lorrie had begun implementing several techniques that she came up with by trial and error, and Lois began to thrive.

The neurologist suggested Lorrie write a book to help other people facing the same problems.  Alzheimer’s is a devastating diagnosis and caregivers could use all the positive resources they could find.

The book took nine years to write and is filled with humor and helpful insights into how to handle the disease, and how to best care for your loved one.

Those who have already read the book are giving it rave reviews, saying, “It is the best book I have EVER read!” and “I learned so much. I have already started implementing some of your tips and they are working. Thank you.”

Readers can get their own special-priced autographed copy at the author’s official book launch, which is scheduled for Sunday, April 12. The book signing will be held from 1-5 p.m. at Dr. David McDonald’s dentist office at 102 Ervin Drive in Carthage. 

Chamber News: Hartsville has events to cure spring fever


Start your day on Thursday, April 9, with the Boy Scout Breakfast being held at the Heritage Cafe, at 306 E. Main Street, from 7-8 a.m. The featured speaker will be John Carey.

Help the American Legion fund scholarships for local students participating in the American Legion Oratorical Contest and attendees of Boys State by visiting its Pancake Breakfast being held on April 11 at the First Baptist Church from 8-10 a.m.

Don’t forget! Leadership Trousdale applications are due by April 15. Anyone interested in Leadership Trousdale is encouraged to fill out an application. For more information call the Chamber at 615-374-9243, visit hartsvilletrousdale.com to download an application, or stop by Trousdale Bank & Trust or Citizens Bank to pick up an application.

The Chamber of Commerce will host a Career Day at Trousdale County High School on April 15. Students will have the opportunity to ask questions and learn about jobs ranging from accounting to auto body and medicine to machining and everything in between. If your business would like to participate, please contact the Chamber at 615-374-9243.

Looking for a few laughs? Check out the Trousdale County Relay for Life Donkey Basketball on Thursday, April 16, at 6 p.m. at Jim Satterfield Middle School. Tickets are $6 in advance, $8 at the door. Free donkey rides for kids 12 and under.

The Relay for Life Duck Race has been rescheduled for Saturday, April 25. There’s still time to purchase the winning duck at Advanced Propane, Trousdale Bank & Trust and Citizens Bank for $5 each.

Get your shopping on with the annual Strawberry Patch Barn Sale being held May 7-9 at 1272 Starlite Road in Hartsville. Visit their Facebook page for more info on the great collection on vintage furniture, clothing and jewelry that will be offered.

Mark your calendar for a day of cackling good fun at Mrs. Bridgewater’s Chicken Extravaganza being held on Saturday, May 16 in Dixon Springs.

Nice weather urging you to clean out that garage, basement or attic? We have a place for all the “stuff” you no longer need! June 6 is the third annual Sale on the Boulevard Yard and Craft Sale at the TCHS parking lot. Set up is free and open to the public. The school reunion will also be held in TCHS’ Eleanor Ford Auditorium on June 6.

Another great barn sale shopping opportunity will be held on June 5-6 at the 2 Hicks in the Stix Barn Sale. This sale will be located at 1125 Honey Prong Road in Hartsville. For more information visit 2hicksinthestixbarnsale.com.

Look Back: Scruggs continues tradition of dance


The first white settlers in Middle Tennessee had an independent streak. That tendency to “think for themselves” and to distrust authority was part of their Scots-Irish heritage.

And the Scots-Irish history had been one of constant struggle with the king of England.

Forced by economic oppression to leave the British Isles, many Scots-Irish immigrants ended up in North Carolina. From there, as a result of their service in the War for Independence, they received land in Middle Tennessee.

In the early 1800s it was estimated that 90 percent of the people in Middle Tennessee had Scots-Irish roots!

Those early settlers brought bits and pieces of the old country with them when they built their simple log cabins in this new land.

One bit was their love for music.

Another was their love for dance!

The two go hand in hand, of course, so when a pioneer would pick up his fiddle and play a lively tune to entertain his family or neighbors, they were just as likely to tap their toes or grab a partner and do the Virginia reel.

In the not-too-distant past, every rural one-room school would host square dances and the local VFW would hold dances in the old Kate Wilson gym or even on the floor of one of the local tobacco warehouses!

If you are familiar with buck dancing, clogging, square dancing, or Appalachian dance, then you are familiar with Scots-Irish traditional dance. They all were influenced by their jigs and reels. Even tap dancing owes its beginning to clogging!

Over time, people gave names to the different steps and styles of dance and, as we Americans tend to do, we began to compete with each other to see who was best.

Today there are dance competitions for traditional dancing, and I don’t mean “Dancing With The Stars.”

Buck dancers, cloggers, Morris dancers, square dancers, English dancers, and Appalachian dancers all take the stage on weekends and holidays to compete for trophies, ribbons, and prizes.

One such person is Trousdale County native Tommy Scruggs. Even though he is in his eighties, Scruggs is still kicking up his heels.

Tommy has danced all of his life and has a slew of awards to attest to his skill.

I asked Tommy how he got started, thinking that he must have had an excellent teacher.

That wasn’t the case.

“I just taught myself,” he told me. “I was about three or four years old and I just began to dance!”

Tommy’s father, “Dick” Scruggs, played the banjo. It seems like all members of the Scruggs clan are musically inclined and Dick was no different. Tommy listened to his daddy’s banjo and his feet began to move!

Tommy can’t play an instrument, but he can dance! Buck, clog, square … you name it. Just like some people have rhythm in their fingers and play a stringed instrument, some people have rhythm in their feet. Tommy says, “I just have a knack for it.”

Tommy’s brothers and sisters all danced some, but they all gave it up as they got older, married and had families. But not Tommy. He kept dancing and has passed it on to his children and grandchildren, and now to his great-grandchildren.

In 2006, Tennessee State Senator Mae Beavers presented Tommy with a plaque for his “…lifelong dedication to Appalachian Flat Foot Dance.”

Tommy will be the guest at this Saturday’s Historical Society Meeting, April 11. Tommy will demonstrate and explain the differences between clogging, buck, and flat-foot dancing.

All of our Historical Society meetings are open to the public, so make plans to join us at 2 p.m. at the Vaught Public Library, and see some traditional dancing by our own Tommy Scruggs and reconnect with your Scots-Irish roots at the same time!

Vidette reduces paper size beginning April 1


Hartsville Vidette readers likely noticed a new look to the newspaper this week.

A new look to the paper’s flag and section headers complimented a smaller page size, which is more in line with the industry standard.

“We believe this new look brings our decades-old community newspaper into the 21st century,” said Jesse Lindsey, vice president and publisher of Lebanon Publishing Co. “The smaller page size allows our paper to be sleeker and more user friendly for our readers. And the new design of our flag and section headers create a look like no other.”

The page size reduction equals a little more than 1 inch in width, but it will mean decreased costs for Lebanon Publishing Co. since paper is bought and sold by the pound. The slight reduction in size also comes with a reduced size in newsprint to ensure the local community continues to get the same amount of daily news, sports, advertising and more from its newspaper.

“We did a lot of work over several months to ensure our readers would receive a smaller newspaper with the same amount of content in it,” Lindsey said. “The decreased size of our section headers also allow for more space for local news. On the other hand, we feel these changes make The Vidette easier to read and more manageable for people, whether they are on the go or enjoying their paper with a cup of coffee each morning.”

The new paper size also makes Lebanon Publishing Co. even more environmentally friendly with less waste. Each component of The Vidette, from the recycled paper it is printed on, to the negatives and plates used to print the paper each day, is recycled.

“We’ve bucked the trend for years and felt that our readers enjoyed the bigger format,” Lindsey said. “But what we’ve learned after plenty of research is that readers accept and in most cases found the new format to be easier to handle and navigate.”

The changes can also be seen this week in Lebanon Publishing’s other newspapers, The Lebanon Democrat and Mt. Juliet News.

Look Back: Scots-Irish left influence on Hartsville


Last month we looked at the first white settlers in Trousdale County. We looked at several individual families, particularly the Donohos and the Harts.

But this month we are going to look at those early settlers as a group of people … because for the most part, those early settlers were of Scotch and Irish descent.

And there was a reason for that!

We have to do a little backtracking first.

When King James I of England ruled the British Isles, he controlled not only England, but also Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

He had little love for the Irish. Not only did he consider them crude and uneducated, he also disliked their Catholic religion. James and most of England were Protestant.

In an effort to make over Ireland, King James invited the poor people of Scotland to live in Ireland by offering cheap land as an incentive.

It was a clever ploy because the native Scots were a troublesome people and getting them to hop from one island to another was one way of getting them out of his hair … and if they could thrive and eventually outnumber the native Irish, another problem could be solved.

At first it worked.

Poor Scots flocked to Northern Ireland, settling mainly on the lowland around the present-day town of Ulster.

But there were rules.

The new settlers could not own land, but could lease it cheaply from the King. They couldn’t hire the native Irish as laborers, nor were they allowed to intermarry with the Irish.

Even so, the Scots prospered and their numbers grew.

As time passed, and other kings ruled England, the leases went up … way up! And England controlled where the Scots sold their produce, mainly wool and wool products.

Independently minded, the Scots had also turned away from the religious faith of the English and were creating their own, such as the Presbyterian faith.

Finally the English pushed too far and large numbers of Scots-Irish (as they are now called) left Ireland and sailed for the colonies in North America.

Once here, there was a problem.

The first settlers in New England were of English blood and of the Anglican faith.

The English colonists didn’t like the high-strung Scots-Irish immigrants. They pushed them southward, to the foothills of the Appalachians and into the Carolinas.

When the state of North Carolina gave land in Middle Tennessee to its soldiers in the Revolutionary War, most of those soldiers were of Scots-Irish blood.

They brought with them a distrust of government, well based on their treatment by the King.

They also brought with them contempt for the authority of the English church and the dogma of the Catholic faith. Hence once here they quickly established new brands of religion, such as the beginnings of the Baptist, Methodist and what would become the Church of Christ faiths.

But they had a love for life and they also brought corn whiskey and a love for music and dance … a trait that Nashville and the country-music industry owe a huge debt to!

If you don’t think we are of Scots-Irish descent, look at the way we talk. Our language is straight from the lowland Irish countryside!

When we use “fix” as a verb, such as “I’m fixin’ to go to town”, that is Scots-Irish.

The Irish had no word for “only” so they would say, “There ain’t but one.”

If we say, “I’m in a slew of trouble”, “slew” is a Scots-Irish word.

When we use “what” instead of “that”, as in “He’s the feller what went to town and got in a fight,” that’s Scots-Irish!

In the coming weeks we’ll look at some of the Scots-Irish music and dance traditions that are still a part of our lives and that can be found right here in Trousdale County.

Ex-teacher turns into playwright

A former Trousdale County middle school teacher has taken up a new craft: playwriting.

Ogeal Halfacre Webster has devoted a part of her retirement on writing about her experiences as a child in Granville, located in Jackson County.

Granville will present Webster’s work, an outdoor dinner musical play entitled “Journey to the Promised Land” from April 30-May 2. This original, three-act play tells the story of the first settlers of Granville leaving North Carolina headed to the “Promised Land,” which turned out to be later known as Granville. The play will be performed outdoors in the Pioneer Village of Sutton Homestead.

This creative historical production will be performed in front of the log cabin with a covered wagon and other historically correct artifacts. The play is a historical fiction based on the settlers’ journey to this area. Keeping true to the historical documentation, there is a love story included in the performance. Wonderful music is included in both acts of the play. History is brought to life in a very unique manner and presented in an historical setting. The cast consists of members of the 19th Alabama 1860 Living History Re-enactors, actors of the Upper Cumberland and the Cookeville Community Folk Band. 

Webster lived in Granville and was educated in Jackson County. She was a teacher for many years in Junior High schools in Trousdale and Sumner County. After retirement, she and her late husband moved to Cookeville. She has devoted her time writing books on her childhood town, Granville, which include “Growing Up on the Cumberland” and “Bananas in the Promised Land.” She is a faithful supporter of Historic Granville and this play is a testimony of her love for her hometown. 

This play is being performed in recognition of the Tennessee Department of Tourism’s Promised Land Trail, which goes thru Granville. 

Upon entering the Pioneer Village, you will be served a pioneer dinner in a very unique manner allowing you to experience life of a pioneer in the mid-1800s. You will be greeted and seated by ladies and gentlemen in costumes of that era. A $20 ticket includes dinner and the performance of “Journey to the Promised Land.” Reservations can be made by calling 931-653-4151. Dinner will be served from 5:30-6:45 p.m. and the play will begin at 7 p.m.

County unemployment rate falls in February


Trousdale County’s unemployment rate dipped to 7.1 percent in February, according to figures released by the Tennessee Department of Labor last week.

County unemployment rates for February 2015 showed the rates decreased in all 95 of Tennessee’s counties.

Trousdale’s rate was down from 7.8 percent in January.

Davidson County had the state’s lowest major metropolitan rate in February at 4.8 percent, down from 5.4 percent in January. Sumner and Wilson Counties were each at 5.1 percent, both down from 5.7 in January. Macon County’s rate was at 6.0 percent, down from 6.7 in January.

Tennessee’s preliminary unemployment rate for February was 6.6 percent, one-tenth of one percentage point lower than the January revised rate of 6.7 percent. The U.S. preliminary rate for February was 5.5 percent, down two-tenths of one percentage point from the prior month.