by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
At the June 24 meeting, the Monteagle City Council revisited an 8,000-gallon-per-day water loss issue, and grappled with the need for paving an easement, which provides access to the medical emergency helipad and ballpark. During regular business, the council approved business licenses for two new restaurants and announced plans for three days of July Fourth festivities.
Utility Manager John Condra explained the water loss occurs because the water department must leave water running at the Marshall Graves property to avoid rust. The waterline dead-ends at the Graves property served by 80-year-old cast iron pipe. The city delayed replacing the line due to negotiations with Graves. Graves wants to develop the property, which would require a larger service line.
Graves recently agreed to pay for the larger line, but asked the city to pay for the meter and a fire hydrant.
Condra objected to Graves proposal.
“We haven’t done this for anyone else,” observed alderwoman Rebecca Byers.
“Water customers pay $18 to $20 dollars for each 2,000-gallons of water. We’re losing money from the water dumping out,” said alderman Tony Gilliam. On Gilliam’s suggestion, the council will consult with city attorney Harvey Cameron and invite Graves to the next workshop to attempt to resolve the issue.
Codes Enforcement officer John Knost brought to the council’s attention the need to pave the road adjacent to and owned by Shan’s Chinese Buffet. The city has an easement to use the road to access the ballpark and helipad.
“There are potholes as big as cars,” said alderwoman Jessica Blalock.
“If we have an easement for use of the road, isn’t it partly our responsibility to keep it up?” asked alderman Kenneth Gipson.
Knost said the owner estimated the paving cost at $38,000. Knost expressed concern about dust from vehicle traffic and has asked the state to perform an air quality assessment. The air quality assessment could result in the state requiring the restaurant to address the dust nuisance.
Knost also brought to the council’s attention tree rubbish being dumped within the city limits by Bob Lowrie. Lowrie claimed to have permission to dump the refuse with the intention of burning it. Knost said Lowry did not have a permit for dumping and objected to the burning due to overhead power lines and the close proximity of the lake watershed.
“Lowry can either clean up the mess or tell the judge why he hasn’t,” Knost said.
Turning to routine matters, the council approved business licenses for The Big Porch and Dixie Lee Diner restaurants. Both establishments will serve beer, and The Big Porch will also serve wine. The Big Porch, located on Main Street, will feature southern comfort food. Catering to a 1950s-1960s theme, the Dixie Lee Diner on Dixie Lee Avenue will offer milkshakes, Chicago hotdogs, Philly cheese fries, burgers, and perhaps a jukebox.
Parks and Recreation Chair Blalock announced three days of July Fourth festivities. On Wednesday, July 3, at Dubose Conference Center, the community is invited for free food, a bounce house, swimming, and evening fireworks, an event organized by mayor David Sampley. Monteagle’s parade will begin at 10 a.m. July 4. Friday, July 5 at the ballpark, the city will host a homemade ice cream making contest at 6 p.m. and fireworks at dark.
Updating the council on police activities, Sergeant William Barker reported Monteagle’s 2018 crime rate was under five percent. Pointing to the 16 percent crime rate in Memphis, Barker said only two other communities in the area had crime rates as low as Monteagle.
by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
Financially the district is healthy,” said auditor Don Mills addressing the Sewanee Utility District Board of Directors at the June 24 meeting. “Two of three findings noted in the 2017 audit were corrected. I look for the district to have a clean slate next year.” Following the discussion with Mills, the board reviewed Capital Improvement Projects (CIPs) needing attention and approved a pay raise for manager Ben Beavers.
The single critical finding in the 2018 audit had been corrected before the end of the year. Mills praised SUD for addressing another criticism which had appeared on its audit since 2013. To avoid an “inadequate segregation of duties” citation, SUD employed Tennessee Utility Assistance to perform a monthly review of financial accounts. The “inadequate segregation of duties” finding is common for small utilities that lack the staff to provide the required degree of financial oversight and lack the resources to hire additional full-time staff.
Mills said his firm the MG Group could perform the oversight function “a little more cost efficiently.”
“If we go with another auditor, we could look at switching the oversight provider as well,” said Beavers. On the recommendation of the state, SUD switches auditors every five years. For the audit and oversight to be provided by the same entity would be a conflict of interest. SUD typically selects an auditor in October.
Board President Charlie Smith brought to Mills’ attention the audit’s inaccurate reference to SUD board member term lengths and how board members are selected. Mills will correct the error before submitting the audit to the state comptroller.
Looking ahead to Capital Improvement Projects needing addressed, Beavers cited replacement of old deteriorating cast iron water lines on Tennessee Avenue and at St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School. Identifying the constricted sections on Tennessee Avenue and replacing only those could cut the cost by half, Beavers said. At SAS, he proposed eliminating the old section of line and tying into the new line already there. SUD could do both projects “in-house,” Beavers noted, meaning additional cost savings.
Asked about the need for replacing old constricted, leak-prone waterlines versus addressing inflow and infiltration into the sewer system, Beavers observed the cost of losing treated drinking water due to leaks was greater than the cost of treating increased wastewater due to inflow and infiltration (I&I). Also significant, SUD had already cut I&I by half and has not exceeded its Wastewater Treatment Plant spray limit in years.
Pointing to another upcoming capital expense, Beavers said the two membrane filters at the water treatment plant would need to be replaced in the next three or four years, estimated cost $50,000.
Commenting on operations and lower water sales, Beavers said, “The trend in the past five years has been for decreased water use in the state and across the country.” Beavers attributed much of the decline in water use to low flow toilets.
Revisiting the discussion at the June 17 special called meeting about Beavers salary, Smith said the board reviewed Tennessee Association of Utility Districts data on utility managers’ salaries. Beavers’ current salary falls at the midpoint for other utilities of the same size. Beavers hasn’t received a wage increase since 2017.
The board approved board member Ronnie Hoosier’s proposal to give Beavers a 3 percent salary increase for 2018, with the portion for the first half the year paid as a bonus.
The board meets next on July 23.
By the end of the summer, the University of the South plans to limit vehicular access to the unpaved section of Breakfield Road past the Equestrian Center. Bicycle, pedestrian, and equestrian access will not be affected.
The University remains committed to encouraging recreational, educational, and research uses on the Domain, balancing that demand with the need to protect the natural environment and ongoing academic teaching and research areas. University employees and current students will continue to have vehicular access to the end of Breakfield Road; recreational hikers and bikers will be able to walk in. Leaseholders and alumni will also retain access for camping.
How will this work?
The University is installing a new electronic gate on Breakfield Road—where the asphalt becomes a gravel road—with access provided by key code or swiping an ID card. Some initial hardware will be located over the next few weeks, though the gate will not be operational until later in the summer.
Why is the gate needed?
The gate will allow the University to reduce the inappropriate use of vehicles on Breakfield Road, protect research and teaching areas, reduce road erosion and associated expense, and improve safety and security efforts.
Can visitors still hike on the Domain?
Yes! In order to realize the potential of the Domain as a resource for recreation and research, Sewanee’s Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability has upgraded parking areas so that they are functional and attractive to visitors and provide directed areas for traffic, with kiosks that provide trail and liability information. These include Green’s View, the University Gates, Lake Cheston, and the Memorial Cross. Trails have been classified according to difficulty and appropriate signage has been installed at intersections, providing helpful information for recreational use. The recreational trail map is being revamped currently and the new and improved version will be launched in the fall.
Community members who have questions should contact the OESS via email <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Marie Ferguson is stepping down from her position as chief of police in Sewanee, effective July 15. Vice-Chancellor John McCardell has asked Assistant Chief Troy Huffines to assume the duties of acting chief as of July 15. Huffines has been with the police department since 2017.
Chief Ferguson joined the Sewanee Police Department in 1999 and became chief in late 2012. During her tenure, she improved the department’s use of technology, implemented the use of the LiveSafe app by dispatchers, and established training and mentorship in the department.
“Marie has served with distinction in a most challenging position. Her leadership, her judgment, and her utter professionalism have earned the respect of the entire Sewanee community,” said McCardell. “While we will sorely miss Chief Marie’s leadership on campus, I am pleased that she will remain an active part of the Sewanee community. And I am confident that the SPD will continue to function smoothly under Troy’s leadership while we determine the appropriate next steps.”
The Sewanee Business Alliance (SBA) is hosting a series of free concerts in downtown Sewanee.
Kicking off the event on Friday, June 21, is The Secret Commonwealth. The Secret Commonwealth has been Middle Tennessee’s most enduringly popular Celtic band since their inception in 1993. Influenced by The Pogues, The Chieftains, and traditional Irish pub bands, The Secret Commonwealth’s music mixes original material with traditional music and many styles of American and European folk.
The rest of the lineup for Friday Nights in the Park is: VOLK on June 28; Towson Engsberg on July 12; and Jess Goggans Band on July 19.
University Avenue will be closed at 6 p.m. each of these nights for the annual outdoor family event, with food and drink from local vendors available for purchase. The entertainers play from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the Angel Park Pavilion.
The events are free and open to the public. Bring a blanket or a chair and enjoy the show in downtown Sewanee. Rain location is the American Legion Hall.
The SBA is also sponsoring a reverse raffle to benefit Sewanee Angel Park, Community Action Committee and Housing Sewanee, with a chance for participants to win up to $5,000.
Tickets for the reverse raffle are $100 each and are for sale at the following local businesses: Beauty by Tabitha, Big A Marketing, The Blue Chair, Fine Arts at the Mountain, the Lemon Fair, University Realty and Woody’s Bicycles. Tickets are also available at the Friday Nights in the Park.
During each Friday Nights in the Park, there will be a drawing for a special prize. The ticket drawn will be placed back in the pool for another chance to win. The $5,000 grand prize drawing will take place during the ninth annual AngelFest on Oct. 4. Participants do not have to be present to win.
For more information go to
by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
“We’re really excited,” said Monteagle Fire Chief Mike Holmes. “We’ve been in a rented building almost three years.”
At a special called meeting June 18, the Monteagle Regional Planning Committee approved the site plan for the new fire hall. Discussion stalled last February when the design under consideration was downsized to conform to the budget. The downsized plan wouldn’t accommodate the department’s equipment.
The site plan, prepared by American Engineering Solutions (AES), calls for a 6,000 square foot metal building with three bays, an office, kitchen, training room, and men’s and women’s bathrooms with showers. AES constructed the Whitwell fire hall and offers both design and building services, resulting in a cost savings for the city, with the total bill for design and construction coming in under budget at $365,200.
Slated for construction on the site of the former fire hall, which was demolished, the building will sit back further from the College Street entrance than the former facility. The 35-foot setback was needed to give the department space to pull out the trucks for washing and other maintenance. The longest truck is 31 feet, 6 inches.
Planning Committee Chair Carter Underhill asked for the special called meeting so the site plan could be approved and forwarded to the Monteagle City Council for final approval at the June 24 meeting. Monteagle building inspector Earl Geary reviewed the plan and found it in compliance with all city codes and building requirements.
“Construction is expected to begin in as soon as two weeks,” said Kenneth Gipson, Monteagle alderman and planning committee alternate.
The rented building currently occupied by the fire department costs the city $1,100 each month. The projected completion date of the new fire hall is early November.
by Bailey Basham, Messenger Staff Writer
Charles Broad took over as executive chef and managing owner of Pearl’s Fine Dining after almost 20 years in the business. A Mississippi native, Broad has been on the Mountain for nearly two years. He grew up eating his mom’s southern, Cajun dishes, and said her cooking created a love of food for him.
“I’ve always loved being in the kitchen. I have had a stutter all my life, and back in the kitchen, I do not have to talk often. I can talk through my food,” Broad said. “There are a lot of Mississippi and New Orleans influences in my food, but I really cook with one thing in mind—the Southern mantra of ‘cook everything with love.’”
Broad has been serving from the Pearl’s menu since taking over as executive chef and managing owner, but he said he has hopes of offering a new menu within the month—one that is inspired by his roots and blends Cajun, Creole, European and Southern flavors.
“I had to learn the foundations of different cuisines before I could start creating things on my own. You have to learn where food has been so you know where you might go next,” Broad said. “We’re also working on getting wine, liquor and beer permits, and eventually, we want to build a Speakeasy-style lounge and bar.”
Broad said nearly everything will be either locally sourced or made in-house, and he has recruited some friends from the area to make this possible. He is sourcing his ingredients from vendors at the South Cumberland Farmers’ Market and from Wildberry Farms in Decherd.
“We’re working with Hannah at Wildberry Farms to get arugula, San Marzano tomatoes, garlic shoots and popcorn shoots,” he said.
Kyle Larsen will be doing all the bread baking at Pearl’s using yeast local to the area on Jump Off Road. Larsen, who previously dabbled home brewing beers, said bread making is like the inverse of brewing. You just switch from fermentation to baking.
“We’re work shopping some of the menu items as we roll everything out. I’ve made some French bread, a big country-style sourdough, Kaiser rolls, beignets,” Larsen said. “Bread making just brings me back to the way that people have eaten for so long.”
Pearl’s is located at 15344 Sewanee Hwy., Sewanee. Hours are Wednesday and Thursday, 5–9 p.m., and Friday–Saturday, 5–10 p.m. Reservations are recommended. For more information or to make reservations, call (931) 463-2222 or visit www.pearlsdining.com.
by Bailey Basham, Messenger Staff Writer
The summer season at Locals in Sewanee is well underway, providing a space for artists and craftsmen from the Mountain area to display and sell their work.
Locals will exhibit a curated collection of career bests through Saturday, Aug. 3.
Ashley Charlton, gallery manager, has been with Locals since May of 2014. She said the gallery provides an opportunity for creators from the area to share their work.
“This area specifically has a whole lot of artists that are involved with these age-old traditions, such as our ceramicists, sculptors, our woodworkers—all of those are centered around Southern craft tradition. This area, unlike some others, has an exceptional group of diverse styles, materials, in terms of our artists. We are very lucky to have such an array — copper, wood, stone, paper, wax, and all these different mediums. There is too much talent here not to have some place to exhibit,” she said.
This season’s featured artist is Larry Todd Wilson, who has been sculpting and painting for more than 20 years.
Wilson said his process of creating involves leaning into the natural curiosity of the artist’s mind, seeking to offer an opportunity to become more aware of what captivates the observer.
“My process is a flow activity, with minimal mind chatter and a great deal of physicality and curiosity. I paint with my hands, not brushes. For sculpture, the method is direct carving with hammers, chisels, rifflers and rasps,” he said. “My goal is to show engaging, layered color in mixed-media paintings and show elegant, sculpted forms in alabaster.
Wilson’s pieces will be displayed alongside the work of 15 other artists, including Jim Ann Howard, G. Sanford McGee, Jimmy Abegg, Susan Church, Jamey “Otis” Chernicky, Connie Ulrich, Thomas Spake, Jeanie Stephenson, Bill Mauzy, Bean & Bailey, James Tucker, Melodie Grace, Nick Fletcher, Hal Broyles, Nancy Wallace and Phyllis A. Narus.
Locals is open from noon to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday. For more information, visit www.myerspoint.com/locals/ or call (865) 567-5563.
Sewanee’s Fourth of July Parade Committee is proud to announce that John and Bonnie Green are the Grand Marshals for 2019.
John and Bonnie were both born at the old Emerald Hodgson Hospital.
Bonnie’s parents left the Mountain for Chicago, where she was raised until eighth grade. She returned to Sewanee to attend eighth grade and high school. The couple met at Franklin County High School and were married in 1958, their senior year. They moved to Chicago but returned to Sewanee after a year. John was the produce/delivery man at the University Supply Store until 1969. He was the first Little League coach in Sewanee. Bonnie worked at Emerald Hodgson Hospital in medical records before taking a position with the College Board.
In 1969, the College Board moved from Sewanee to Atlanta, and John and Bonnie followed them there. John worked at Overnite Transportation until his retirement in 1997. Bonnie worked with the College Board until her retirement in 1995.
The couple loves to travel, especially to sporting events of their children and now grandchildren, and did so extensively for three years before returning to live in Sewanee in 2000.
Bonnie and John pride themselves on their volunteer work. Bonnie worked on the opening show of the 1994 Super Bowl in Atlanta, when the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Buffalo Bills. She was offered a paid position with the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta but chose to volunteer instead. She worked the opening and closing ceremonies in the costume department and still gets chill bumps when describing the experience. She is currently the treasurer at the Sewanee Senior Center and Golden Heights Apartments in Winchester. She also volunteers with Almost Home in Winchester. John is the go-to person if you need help with anything. They are both members of New Beginnings Church in Monteagle.
The Greens have attended every Independence Day celebration in Sewanee from its inception 34 years ago, except for one summer they spent in Alaska. They were in charge of decorating the leaseholders’ float for 15 years. Bonnie has held several volunteer positions with the Fourth of July Committee over the years.
We are honored to have them as the 2019 Grand Marshals. Please join us on Thursday, July 4, to celebrate Bonnie and John, two of Sewanee’s finest!
The celebration will begin on Wednesday, July 3, with the Street Dance at the Sewanee Market at 8 p.m. featuring Bad Nayber. Stay until midnight to start the Fourth off right! The rain location for the Street Dance is Cravens Hall.
The Sewanee Community Center is hosting a Sunrise Yoga session at 6:15 a.m. in Manigault Park. The class is free and for any level of yoga ability. Mats, bolsters, blocks and straps will be provided. The rain location is in Sewanee Community Center.
The morning of the Fourth of July begins with music and song at 8 a.m. at the 47th annual Flag Raising at Juhan Bridge in Abbo’s Alley. Come join us to sing patriotic songs accompanied by the Sewanee Summer Music Festival’s brass quintet and watch our local Scout Troop 14 raise the flag. Our sponsors, The Friends of Abbo’s Alley, will offer coffee and juice.
To complete the celebration, please bring your favorite breakfast finger food to share (or simply make a small donation). The event takes place amidst the Smith, Gardner and Beaumont-Zucker homes at 139 and 143 Florida Ave. For more information or to volunteer to serve coffee or juice, call Margaret Beaumont Zucker at (931) 598-5214.
Join the Monteagle Sunday School Assembly in celebrating their 42nd Annual Pub Run starting at 8 a.m. Runners will meet at the MSSA Front Gate and run to Shenanigan’s (6.4 miles) on the Mountain Goat Trail. Walkers may start at Dollar General. The fee for the run is $20. Pre-register at the MSSA Office or call 924-2286 for more information. All are welcome to participate. There will be awards for winners and beer at the finish line.
Arts & Crafts Fair
We invite you to participate in our Arts & Crafts Fair beginning on Thursday, July 4 at 9 a.m. in Shoup Park, where you can view the parade without leaving your booth, rain or shine. There is a $20 non-refundable fee and spaces are limited and pre-assigned, so sign up early. Go to <sewanee4thofjuly.org> under Event Registration for more information and for your entry form or contact Bracie Parker at <email@example.com> with any questions. Come spend the day with us, sell your wares, and enjoy the parade and other fun activities.
Enter your favorite pooch in the 2019 Fourth of July Mutt Show! All dogs are welcome to compete—no talent necessary. The Mutt Show will begin in Manigault Park at 10:00 am. You may pre-register at <sewanee4thofjuly.org> under Event Registration. You may also register on the day of the event from 9 to 9:45 a.m. Ribbons will be awarded for these canine categories: Best Dressed, “Grooviest” Doggie, Owner/Dog Look-Alike, Best Trick, and Judges’ Choice. There will also be an award for Best Dog Joke. Entrants may register to compete in two categories. The registration fee is $5 per category, and all proceeds will go to help fund the fireworks display. There is a suggested donation of $1 for audience members—those proceeds will go to help our furry friends at Animal Harbor and MARC. We are looking for volunteers to help with set-up, registration and doggie line-up. If you are interested, please contact Sarah Butler at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Calling all cake bakers! Have a favorite cake recipe or a talent for cake decorating? Put your skills on display this Fourth of July by entering your cake in the Sewanee Woman’s Club Annual Cake Contest! Entering is free of charge, and the winner of the Best All-Around Cake gets $100 cash, courtesy of IvyWild Catering. But there’s more!
Adult winners of the Best Tasting, Best Decorated, and Best Representation of the Theme cakes each get a ribbon and $50 gift certificate from Octoπ. Under-13 winners of the Best Tasting, Best Decorated, and Best Representation of the Theme cakes each get a ribbon and a gift card. There will also be a Best All-Around winner for the children’s cakes.
Winners of the Best Tasting, Best Decorated, and Best Representation of the Theme contests will be entered in the Best All-Around Competition. Thanks to Ken Taylor for his ribbon sponsorship.
Show up to register and set up your cake between 9–9:45 a.m. on Thursday, July 4, in St. Mark’s Hall at Otey Parish.
Winners will be announced at noon. All are invited to view the cake entries, and there will be a cake tasting party on site afterwards. Enter as an individual or as a team. One entry per person or per team.
Questions? Please call Susan Peek at (615) 504-5404.
String Blazers Performance
The String Blazers ensemble under the direction of Jess Wilson will perform in Shoup Park at 10 a.m. Come listen to music while you browse the Arts & Crafts Fair offerings.
Children’s games and bounce houses will be available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Quad. If you are interested in volunteering to help with the children’s games, send a message on <sewanee4thofjuly.org> under Contact Us or send an email to <email@example.com>.
Vendors along University Avenue will begin selling food and drinks at 10 a.m. To sign up as a food vendor, visit <sewanee4thofjuly.org> under Event Registration to download the Food Vendor Application form with instructions to mail in a check to reserve your spot. There is a $20 fee per event (Street Dance, Parade and Fireworks).
Leave Us a Memory
The Sewanee Trust for Historic Preservation invites you to Leave Us a Sewanee Memory - you have 4 Minutes! from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Folks at Home office just below Reed Lane and Sewanee Elementary School. The STHP wants to gather residents, visitors, former residents, relatives of residents, and anyone else who has a story to tell about people, places, or events in Sewanee. The participants in this oral history event will need to provide their name and signature allowing the recording for future use. We hope those who “Leave Us a Sewanee Memory” will have fun telling their stories — and maybe they will want to have a longer interview with STHP members later in the summer - information on the Oral History program for the community and the Sewanee Trust organization will be available.
Corn Hole, Craft Beer and BBQ
From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., hang out downtown and get ready for the parade with fun games of corn hole, refreshing craft beer and delicious barbeque.
Patriotic Photo Booth
This is a new event at the new store 1866 Revival (next to Taylor’s). Come have your picture taken with a vintage VW bus staged by Heirlooms Vintage Rentals. You will receive a free mini Polaroid picture while supplies last.
See Sewanee’s Future
From noon to 2 p.m: See Sewanee’s Future at The Blue House. This will be an open house featuring the downtown development project plans. Take the opportunity to see the future of Sewanee and learn about the Master Plan for the additions to downtown Sewanee. This project has been in the planning stages since 2012 and is now on the brink of action with specific projects to vitalize the Sewanee Downtown. University Special Assistant to the Vice Chancellor, Frank Gladu and Director of Implementation from Town Planning and Urban design Collaborative, Becky Timmons, will be on hand to describe the plan, the projects and answer questions. All are welcome including developers and investors who are needed to bring the plan to life. Learn more at <sewanee.edu/village>.
Breslin Tower Bells
Also at noon, The University of the South Guild of Change-Ringers will perform at Breslin Tower.
The Sewanee Fourth of July Committee is proud to announce a new event for this years’ festivities - a Picnic Contest. For those of you who have a great setup for the Fourth and like to host a party for your family and friends, why not enter our contest to see if your picnic is the best. The winner will receive a brand new Picnic Basket set. Participants will setup their picnics in their usual spots up and down University Avenue and then starting at 1 p.m. on July 4, judges will visit each entry. If you are interested and would like to enter or if you have any questions regarding the contest, please contact Amanda Bailey at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Charlene Williamson, Hannah True and Raymond Gotko will perform a Carillon Recital at 1 p.m. Bring a chair to All Saints’ Chapel to enjoy the music.
The Fourth of July Parade Committee has been working for months on the biggest, best, most arms-open-wide parade Sewanee has ever seen. There will be fire engines, police cars, the grand marshal (soon to be announced), candy galore, and this year they want you and your organization to be recognized and cheered on in the Peace, Love, and Fireworks parade.
Sewanee’s Fourth of July Parade celebrates America and its origins at a time when the ideals of freedom and good citizenship were agreed upon by all. The parade is an event where everyone feels welcome and respected—where spectators and participants alike feel proud of our town for its creativity, diversity, and mutual respect.
The committee wants you to know there are so many creative ways to strut your stuff up University Avenue, and they range from traditional and elaborate to simple, elegant, memorable, and bizarre. Anything with wheels is good: flatbeds, cars, convertibles, golf carts, wagons, wheelbarrows, bikes, big wheels, scooters; but on foot (or hooves) could be even better, especially if you’ve got a colorful banner (and/or signs, big hats, confetti, giant pinwheels) declaring who you are and what you do for this diverse community. The parade committee will do all it can to help you find materials and get you organized on the big day.
The parade begins at 2 p.m on Thursday, July 4, with line-up on Lake O’Donnell Road starting at noon and ending at 1 p.m. This is when and where the judging will be: trophies for best float, best decorated vehicle, and best horse; and blue ribbons for best decorated bicycle, best banner, and best costume.
If you’re interested in showing how your organization keeps alive the American spirit of opportunity and hope for all, please fill out the entry in the Messenger or register online at <sewanee4thofjuly.org> under Event Registration. Let’s see what Sewanee comes up with in the name of Peace, Love, and Fireworks!
PLEASE DO NOT PARK ON UNIVERSITY AVENUE. All vehicles must be moved before 1 p.m. to make room for the parade.
The parade will begin at 2 p.m., starting at the Sewanee Market and will travel through town, turning on to Hall Street and ending in the parking lot behind the Hospitality Shop. All sirens will be turned off at Texas Avenue.
Weather permitting, the Air Show will take place at 3:30 p.m. at the Sewanee Airport.
Airplane rides will be available for adults and children after the parade until 6 p.m. at the Sewanee Airport. Parents must be present to give written permission for children ages 16 and under to ride. A $20 donation is requested.
Everyone ages 13 and up is invited to participate in a volleyball tournament starting at 5 p.m. at Lake Cheston. Each team must have at least four players and at least two females. Register online at <sewanee4thofjuly.org> under Event Registration to reserve your team’s spot in the tournament or register on July 4 at the event. There is no fee to participate, and the grand prize is $100 cash.
The Sewanee Summer Music Festival students will perform a Patriotic Celebration at 7 p.m. in the Quad.
After dark, the Fireworks Show will be at Lake Cheston. There will be a suggested donation of $1 to contribute to next year’s fireworks. Parking at the Lake will be limited to handicapped and special needs only. Chief Marie Ferguson asks that if you need a handicap or special need parking pass for the fireworks show, please go by the Sewanee Police Station. Simply go to the window at the station, give your name, and you will be given a pass. If you have a permanent handicap tag you will not need a temporary one.
A shuttle will be available at the EQB Monument to transport people to and from the fireworks. The cost per person is $3.
This year’s season of the SSMF will begin at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, June 15. Season tickets ($125) and tickets for individual events ($20) are on sale now. For a complete list of events or to purchase tickets, visit www.ssmf.sewanee.edu
Oakes and Oliver plan to open the store toward the middle of the month. For updates, visit
by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
On Memorial Day, African-Americans with a Sewanee connection converged on St. Mark’s Community Center to remake Sewanee’s African-American history. They digitizied photos and documents, located places of personal significance on a huge town map and recorded oral histories capturing for the future memories and recollections.
The Digitization Day event occurred in conjunction with the Sewanee Project on Slavery, Race, and Reconciliation, headed up by University history professor Woody Register.
Rita Bean and her daughter Tina Dumasis were in town for a family reunion on Saturday and stayed for the Digitization Day event. Both were born in Sewanee. Tina grew up in Atlanta, but the family visited often.
“We had so much freedom here. In Atlanta, we were not allowed to leave the yard. Here the only rule was ‘be home before the lights came on,’” said Tina.
Rita and Tina are the daughter and granddaughter of legendary Dora Turner. Also on hand was another of Dora’s children, Sandra Turner Davis of Winchester. Dora and Willie Turner’s children were among those named in the 1960s lawsuit that brought about the desegregation of the Franklin County Schools.
Dora Turner made history by joining the lawsuit and was an archivist and historian in her own right. Sandra brought her mother’s scrapbook. The thick volume spanned decades and included news clipping and mementos not just about friends and family, but numerous articles and fliers detailing other events and local figures, both non-white and white, capturing Franklin County history first hand. The entire volume was scanned.
The scanning station offered two scanners to create electronic copies of photos and documents.
After being scanned, the photos and documents were returned to the individuals who brought them along with an electronic copy. With the donor’s permission, an electronic copy will also be added to the University archive.
The University archive is notably short of data on Sewanee’s black history and that realization was the impetus for the Digitization Day event.
In addition to scanners for copying images and documents, a light box was available to enhance photographic reproduction of images and objects by optimizing lighting conditions.
At another station, visitors circled a huge map of Sewanee attaching flags to mark the location of family homes and sites meaningful to them. Event assistants recorded pertinent information for each flag along with the name of the person who placed it.
Conversation flowed freely, with people sharing Sewanee stories and memories about family and friends.
Cynthia Wilkerson Kelley grew up in South Pittsburg, but recalled coming to Sewanee every Sunday as a child to visit relatives. “Sewanee is my comfort zone,” Cynthia said, remarking on her connection to the natural beauty of the forested mountaintop.
Those who wanted to record oral histories made their way to the quieter ambiance of the oral history trailer outside St. Mark’s. Interviewers were trained to ask questions geared to elicit not so much the literal truth but the emotional truth. Long-time Sewanee resident Lula Burnette talked long and openly during her oral history session. Inspired, Lula promised to go home and search for photos to have copied and archived at the next Digitization Day event on July 5.
The two Turner siblings and three of their childhood girlfriends posed for a photo, with Sandra displaying a photo of the five of them along with other children gathered on the steps of the old St. Mark’s Church.
The church on a hill on Oak Street was next door to the black Kennerly School and black community center. All three buildings were torn down. The St. Mark’s Community Center never became a hub of activity like the complex of buildings on Oak Street.
Until, that is, on Memorial Day 2019 when Sewanee’s African-American history was both remade and made.