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If you’ve ever seen the hit series Antiques Roadshow, you’ve probably seen it happen.  An item is appraised, most likely something that the owner says has been lying around forever, and it turns out to be worth more than anyone had imagined. What many people might not realize, though, is that the great finds aren’t just seen on TV.

In fact, since the event began in 2005, quite a few items made right here in Northeast Tennessee have been rediscovered as treasures during Greeneville’s Annual Antique Appraisal Fair and Show.

This C. A. Haun piece set an artist record when it sold at auction for $36,800

In 2009, for example, a mid-19th-century miniature Sheraton chest of drawers made in Washington County sold for $8,966 at auction. The following year, a stoneware jar made in Washington County in the late 19th century by Charles Decker, complete with his trademark open tulip design, sold for $2,610 at auction.

The C. A. Haun jar shown on the left sold for $38,600 in 2010, and a similar jar by J. A. Lowe set a Tennessee pottery record in 2008 before when it sold at auction for an incredible $63,000.  It’s possible (and probable) that Lowe may have been Haun’s apprentice at some point before the Civil War. And like many of the craftsmen hailing from the  “Potterville” area in East Tennessee at that time, their work is only getting more valuable.

These are just a few examples of Northeast Tennessee’s rich artisan history producing items that sometime prove to be very valuable at international auctions.

Who knows? Some of the things you have lying around could be worth more than you think. Your chance to find out is coming up on Saturday, Feb. 18, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the Seventh Annual Appraisal Fair and Show at Greeneville High School.  General admission is free, and appraisals will be $5 per item.

Driving down Interstate 26 last weekend, my mind resonated with everything I had ever heard (or learned) about Unicoi County and the town of Erwin.

Of course, there’s the incredible scenery…where you can see the ghosted peaks of the Unaka Mountain Range separating Tennessee and North Carolina. There’s the “Grand Canyon of the East,” a vastly deep gorge carved by thousands of years worth of flowing waters from the Nolichucky River. There’s that good old story of “Murderous Mary,” the crazed elephant that was hung from a railroad derrick…

And I wandered through every recollection I’d ever had about this place, there was one thing I just couldn’t seem to figure out: “What the heck is so special about apples anyway?” Read the rest of this entry »

Imagine seeing a NASCAR pit road, a 1930s service station, a 1950s-era café, and a moonshine still under one roof. Sounds interesting, right?

Well, there’s a place in Greeneville where you CAN see all that. And interestingly enough, they’re not even the stars of the show.

I’m talking about the City Garage Car Museum on Main Street. The real stars here are the 40 cars, ranging from the super-fast to super-expensive to super-eccentric. It’s the kind of place that inspires an infatuation with automobiles, even if you’ve never been a “car person.”

You’ll see everything from a 5-horsepower 1901 Oldsmobile (manufactured 7 years before the invention of the Model T) to the Morgan-McClure Winston Cup car—which Sterling Marlin used to win the 1994 Daytona 500. You’ll see a 1940 Ford “moonshine hauler” (made famous by the likes of Junior Johnson), a 1933 Hudson Essex Terraplane (that won the Pike’s Peak Hill Climb in 1933), and an incredibly rare 1964½ Mustang V8 Convertible.

Sterling Marlins 1994 Daytona 500 winner

Read the rest of this entry »

If you love old furniture, fixtures, collectibles, and memorabilia…or if you have antiques and you’re curious about their value, then you need to be in Greeneville this weekend for the 6th Annual Antique Appraisal Fair. The Greene County Partnership’s Tourism Department created this event so that local antique aficionados can showcase their antiques, and have them appraised by experts.

Starting at 9am on Saturday, the event will feature more than 50 vendors from Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia and Virginia. It’s the perfect place to shop for antiques, meet antique dealers, or learn the value of your own pieces.

DATE: Saturday, February 19
TIME: 9am-6pm
LOCATION: Greeneville High School, 210 Tusculum Blvd.
ADMISSION: FREE

And in case you missed it, here’s proof that Northeast Tennessee has a wealth of treasures to share:

Stopped into this great little antique store in downtown Newport, with all the old dishes, toys, photographs and jewelry you could imagine. The highlight of the stop: a museum-quality, civil-war-era “mourning dress,” which a lady would wear when her husband was killed in battle. It’s shown in the first couple of photos below.

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Just stopped in Cosby at Holloway’s Country Home, and if you’re a quilter (or if you just enjoy quilts themselves), then this place has got to be on your list. The quilts they’ve made are amazing (and featured in all sorts of quilting magazines), and if you think you might be interested in doing your own, they’ve got quilting kits to get you started.

Take a look below.

SPECIAL TIDBITS: the fireplace (see photo) is original to a section of the house which was built in the 1700s! Also, next door is a “guest house” they’ll rent out to quilting groups. That’s right, just pack your fabric, your pajamas, and bring a few friends, and enjoy a weekend away.

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