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Community News

  • The Garden GATE: This berry can weigh hundreds of pounds

    Using pumpkins as jack-o’-lanterns for Halloween is an American idea — an adaption of the medieval custom of making lanterns out of hollowed-out turnips.

    Those in medieval England, Scotland and Ireland believed elves, ghosts and fairies haunted the Earth. It was customary to build huge bonfires to ward them off.

    The early jack-o’-lanterns contained fires to protect the house. They were small and made from the big yellow turnips we call rutabagas.

  • Chattanooga steam engine chugging up to Harriman

    The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is planning a special 160-mile steam engine excursion from Chattanooga to Harriman and back next month.

    On Sunday, Nov. 11, the former Southern Railway’s Engine No. 630 will leave from Chattanooga for Harriman  at 8:30 a.m. as the train passes over Norfolk Southern main lines.

    Passengers will stay on board the train at Harriman and the train is expected back at Chattanooga around 4:30 p.m.

    The steam engine also is making a slightly longer trip to Attalla, Ala., on Saturday, Nov. 10.

  • 'Round Rockwood: Oct. 22

    Well it looks like we've got enough of much needed rain. This kind of weather is a good time to settle down with a good book and read. My daughter Nina Swafford gave me a big book to read and laugh at some of her articles by the author Erma Bombeck.

    Our son Joe and his wife Kathleen McKinney are visiting from Chesapeake, Virginia. While here we planned a family get-together Joe's house. Joe and Kathleen have bought our house and plan to move back here soon.

  • Harriman Happenings: Oct. 22

    Missionary Gloria Ward and a friend from Atlanta left Friday to attend a ladies conference in Memphis.

    Early Saturday morning, they left for Blytheville, Ark., to assist in a Bible quizzing where 300 or more youth from different parts of the country were in the quizzing that was sponsored by Cedine Bible Ministry.

  • The Garden Gate: What plant does thoughts of Halloween conjure?

    We have for a long time been convinced that kudzu is a menacing, fearsome Halloween plant. And so it is, but now it is being threatened by a new menace, an even more fearsome Halloween menace which some people who have known about it have called “the plant from hell”.

    Arundo is a grass-like and bamboo- resembling plant which has been ranked among the world’s 100 most invasive plants. A number of state and even some national organizations have been trying, with no success, to declare it a noxious weed and ban it from the region.

  • Treasure, area Elvis impersonator to be at October Sky Fest

    By Julia H. Daniel, For Roane Newspapers
    At the October Sky Fall Festival on Oct. 20 in Oliver Springs, one Roane County Treasure will be displaying her family history for the second year.

    Nannie Smith Hopper has spent more than 65 years living in Roane County on her family farm in Oliver Springs.

    She was born in Jefferson City on Oct. 7, 1924. She has many good memories of her early childhood days, such as living in a two-room house that Luther Beller had given the family. The house was once a one-room school house.

  • Lots to see, do at October Sky Fest

    Celebrating its setting for the 1999 movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Laura Dern, the town of Oliver Springs will host its annual October Sky Festival this weekend.

    The festivities will begin late this afternoon at 5 p.m. with a stroll through the old town with costumed storytellers at each stop.

    On Saturday, events begin at 10 a.m. at both Arrowhead Park and the historic depot on Winters Gap Road.

  • Roane Choral marking 40th anniversary in song

    Roane Choral Society will celebrate its 40th anniversary with concerts in November, February and April.

    A variety of music is planned to entertain all music lovers.

    The first concert of the season will be Handel’s Messiah at 3 p.m. Nov. 18 in South Harriman Baptist Church.

    “This is a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday season,” said Julianne Bailey of Roane Choral Society.

  • Poetry reading scheduled

    In celebration of the Creative Arts Co-op’s 10th anniversary, Roane Writers Group will have an open poetry reading from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Nov. 17 at 426 Ruritan Road, Harriman.

    Award-winning poet and poetry editor John C. Mannone will host the event.

  • The Garden Gate: What are your plans for night of the mad moon?

    Our annual Halloween celebration is an offshoot of the ancient pagan festival of Samhain.

    On that night, the ancients believed, the spirits of all those who had died during the previous year would come back to haunt those still living.

    To appease them, and possibly to scare them away, people dressed in fiendish costumes and left offerings of food on the doorstep.

    So now we have bands of costumed revelers going from house to house shouting “trick or treat,” and we mollify them with candy treats.