Bluegrass, Old Time, & Folk Music, Saturday, October 19th

Old Time Mountain Music
Saturday, October 19, 2013, starting at 4pm

"Two Dog Ranch" is playing music at a fundraiser for the Mt. Vernon Volunteer Fire Department at the Mt. Vernon General Store, 7805 New Hwy. 68, Tellico Plains TN - (formerly Midway Market) at the corner of Hwy. 68 and Reagan Valley Road. Admission is FREE.

"Two Dog Ranch Bluegrass Band" is a group of friends who get together to pick bluegrass, old time, and folk music. The band is made up of local musicians, including Charles Morris (lead guitar & vocals), Art Roush (guitar & vocals), Judy Lavoie (fiddle, banjo & vocals), and Rick Lavoie (guitar & bouzouki).
More info at:


Cherokee National Forest is Open!

Tellico Plains' beautiful neighbor, the Cherokee National Forest, has been minimally impacted by the current Federal government shutdown. Unfortunately, many campers have been disappointed to learn that the large gated campgrounds, like our nearby Indian Boundary campground, are closed. However, individual campsites along the National Forest roads - often called "primitive" sites since they have no facilities - are still available to use on a first-come basis.

The scenic 43-mile Cherohala Skyway is also open, and this is a gorgeous week to take a tour to the higher elevations, where the foliage is beginning to don its fall colors. The Skyway traverses the Cherokee and Nantahala National Forests which are managed by the US Forest Service, Department of Agriculture. Maintenance of resources along the Cherohala Skyway is by the highway departments of the appropriate state and/or the US Forest Service.

Our weather forecast for this week shows sunny daytime highs in the 70s and evening lows in the 50s - ideal! Trails off the Skyway are open for hiking, picnicking, and sightseeing.

The Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center, owned by Monroe County, Tennessee, and located in Tellico Plains at 225 Cherohala Skyway (Hwy 165), provides friendly information, free maps, Skyway driving conditions, and a "not for profit" gift shop. Picnic tables and spotless restrooms are available. The friendly staff will welcome you with important Skyway and area information!

The Cherohala Skyway Visitor Center is a product of a grant from the National Scenic Byway program. The visitor center was opened in September 2003 and is owned by Monroe County, Tennessee. The gift shop in the visitor center is a “not-for-profit” gift shop. Maintenance of resources along the Cherohala Skyway is by the highway departments of the appropriate state and/or the US Forest Service. The Cherokee and Nantahala National Forest through which the Cherohala Skyway traverses are managed by the US Forest Service, Department of Agriculture. Download the Online Skyway Brochure & Maps:
Cherohala Online Brochure


Veterans' Monument Needs Your Help

The Monroe County Veterans' Monument, a landmark at one corner of Tellico Plains Town Square, has been in dire need of refurbishment, to revive it as a fitting memorial to our Veterans. A major fundraising drive is underway, with a goal of $22,000 for the monument reconstruction and maintenance. Your help is needed.

A Veterans' Monument Committee, comprised of Mike Atkins, Lawrence Harris, Ray Tallent, and Helen Cochran, was created last fall. Since then, many significant renovations have been made:
- Installation of a new copper-colored standing seam roof
- Repair of the electrical system and interior lights
- Open pass-through and wheelchair accessible portal modifications
- Completion of soffits and trim

The biggest remaining project is the replacement of the existing stone nameplates with new ones sized to properly fit the existing structure. This is the most expensive item in the renovations, and funds are desperately needed. These plates will be replaced in phases, as funds permit. With additional funds some fascia trim will be added to accent the architecture, and the Town will retain any leftover funds as a perpetual monument maintenance fund.

Students at Tellico Plains High School have been enlisted to assist in creating a computer database. This will include all the existing Veterans' names on the monument, and will allow the addition of new names in the future. This database will also serve as a useful tool for family members researching their Tellico Plains relatives. An application to include the name of a Monroe County resident who is a veteran on the monument (or to correct an existing name) are available at Tellico Plains City Hall, and can also be downloaded at:


To donate to the Monroe County Veterans' Monument Refurbishment, visit any bank within the Town of Tellico Plains. You can also donate online, at
These funds will be held in an account in the name of the Town of Tellico Plains for the sole purpose of monument reconstruction.

Tellico Plains Post #240 of the American Legion created and dedicated the brick monument in May, 2001, on land donated by the Town of Tellico Plains. The Legion solicited subscriptions and donations for individual names to be included on the monument's inscribed stone plaques, and for construction and maintenance costs.

Renovations have begun, including the installation of a new copper-colored standing seam roof.

After only a few years, weather damage caused the exposed structure to deteriorate. A volunteer group, including some members of the local Legion Post, some members of the Tellico Chamber of Commerce, and other local citizens, banded together to reconstruct the monument in 2007. Members of the non-profit organization Rolling Thunder, a group dedicated to accountability and recognition of the Prisoners Of War - Missing In Action (POW/MIA) of all wars, were also involved. Additional donations of materials and money were solicited to fund the reconstruction. Unfortunately, funds ran out before the work was completed, the local American Legion Post disbanded, and the volunteer group dissolved. The monument has remained in its incomplete state since then.

Your support for this community project is appreciated!


Mt. Vernon Volunteer Fire Department is "Raising the Roof"

Mix "fun" with "fundraising" on Saturday, October 19th, as the Mt. Vernon Volunteer Fire Department presents an evening of food and family entertainment. From 4 to 8pm, at the Mt. Vernon General Store (formerly Midway Market) at the corner of 7805 New Hwy. 68 and Reagan Valley Road in Tellico Plains, children will enjoy the bounce house and face painting. Come see who bravely volunteers to be the victim of the dunk tank! Food and beverages for sale will include hot dogs and chili, and homebaked goodies will also be for sale. Two Dog Ranch Bluegrass Band will provide live old-timey and bluegrass music. Come by and meet your local volunteer firefighters and fellow Mt. Vernon community residents.

Proceeds from this event will be used to 'raze' and to 'raise' the roof - the Mt. Vernon Fire Station, located at 700 Old State Road in Tellico Plains, is in dire need of a new roof. The ceiling in the donated building has been leaking for too long, filling barrels with rainwater. Two layers of old roofing must be removed and a new roof installed, at an estimated cost of $30,000. The Fire Department is comprised of a small hard-working crew of volunteer firefighters, dedicated to protecting their community while forced to operate with very limited funds. If you can't join the fun on October 19th, please donate to the Mt. Vernon Volunteer Fire Department on their website:
Your support is appreciated.
Download the Raise the Roof flyer