Month: May 2014

Winding roads, horses, honeysuckle, and quilt squares Pt. 1: Rutledge, TN

Sunny days just call for an adventure. Sunny days call for windows down, music blasting, and riding down a back road. Sunny days are filled with happiness and life. On this particularly sunny day the quilt trail was calling. It was calling out to be explored, to take the back roads and explore Rutledge, TN. Not knowing where to go, I took my AQT map, jotted down a few areas close to the historic Bryan House and let the quilt squares lead. On my way around these roads I encountered some of Spring/early Summer’s grandeur: box turtles, honeysuckle, wildflowers, horse foals, breeze blowing my hair, and friendly people willing to share some stories with me.

Stop 1: Flower Basket @ Holbrook Quilt Barn

Talk about taking the back road! I had to get off 11 W and follow a winding road to this farm. The road took me through pretty areas, such as roads filled with flowers, tomato farms, and of course mountains. Along the way I crossed a box turtle in the middle of the road! At first I thought it was a block of wood then the closer I approached I realized it was a box turtle. Luckily, I realized this in just enough time to let it finish crossing the road. Eventually I found myself at this waypoint on the AQT. I was greeted with such a lovely site, a baby horse!

 

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Stop 2: County Fair @ Country Shed Antiques

I drive past this every time I come into work and I have always been fascinated by  it. So today I let the road, this time the main road, take me there. I pull into a gravel driveway greeted again by horses. Stepping out of my car I felt as if I was transported back in time. Log cabins, an side house, are in my sight. A lady named Doris walked my way as I approached the antique store. Doris was a very friendly lady and was happy to tell me some facts about Country Shed Antiques. Country Shed Antiques is built onto a barn (you could have fooled me it looked so real! Like it was all one piece of property). The first part of the barn, besides the stalls, use to hold tobacco. If you go in the store that will be the room that looks like a kitchen. Originally Doris just had a gift shop, but then it kept expanding into what is now the Country Shed Antiques. If you are ever out this way do stop by. The antiques in this shop are very rustic and would fit into a cabin or old country home.  Cast iron skillets, corn pone skillets, mugs, quilts, even a carriage cart to be hooked up by a horse in available! Since it changes with the season, come back many times to see what is in store.

 

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Stay tuned for the second half of  my sunny day quilt adventure! More quilts, more flowers, more good times!

Stop One: The Bryan House in Rutledge, TN

The Bryan House is a very special stop on the AQT. The Bryan House is home to Clinch-Powell RC&D, the not-for-profit organization that brought the Appalachian Quilt Trail to our region. Clinch-Powell RC&D acquired The Bryan House in 2004 following the death of Doc Bryan, for whom the house is named.  They have since restored and renovated the house and opened it up to the community for tours. It is also used as a local meeting area for community groups.

 

The Bryan House has a long and interesting history in Rutledge, Tennessee. It was originally built in 1869 for Michael Goldman, who was the County Court Clerk of Grainger County as well as a merchant. He was not originally from Grainger County and the locals referred to him as a “Jewish Yankee carpetbagger”. After Goldman’s death, the house was passed on to his son John N. Goldman, a lawyer who practiced in Rutledge.  When he died it passed on to his daughter Johnnie Alexander Long. She had left it unattended for some years when Doc Bryan purchased it in 1937.

 

Dr. L.C. Bryan and his wife purchased the house from Johnnie and began extensive renovations. The Bryans were an interesting family with a big presence in Rutledge. Doc Bryan practiced medicine for sixty-seven years, retiring at the age of 93. From 1927-1968 he delivered 3,424 babies. The Bryans hosted Sunday Suppers at the house, along with croquet in the summer on the lawn. The croquet tournaments were such serious business that the children could not participate; they had to watch from the side as the adults played.

 

Bryan House is open for informal tours Monday-Friday, from 8:30-4:30. Clinch-Powell RC&D staff and resident Appalachia CARES/AmeriCorps members are on-site and will do their best to answer any questions you may have about this remarkable structure and the families who have called it home.

 

****If you are in the area the week of June 16-21st, it is Clinch-Powell RC&D’s special 25th Anniversary Open House. Staff and volunteers will be conducting tours between the hours of 1-4 pm. Light refreshments will be available.****

 

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