Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2017 - 49
Worth a Click!
For video and additional stories by Joe Tennis from some of
these destinations, visit BlueRidgeCountry.com/FallMagic
Top left: Sam Mauzy is a co-owner of Big Timber Brewing Company.
Bottom left: Ghost tours are popular at the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum.
Center left: Stonewall Jackson Lake laps the banks of the Stonewall Resort.
Center right: Foster Falls is a popular destination at South Cumberland State Park.
Above: A swinging bench awaits on the wide porch of Jim Oliver's Smokehouse at Monteagle Mountain, Tennessee.
Best Comedian Guitar Player."
Hall waxes poetic on Gordon
Lightfoot and "Gilligan's Island"
and how the same chords have
been recycled in rock, song after
song. Hall's humor is a hit on top of
Monteagle Mountain. And he loves
to improvise, telling one couple,
"It's urban legend that if you spend
$100 at the Smoke House on your
first trip, on stuff, that good luck
will follow you for at least 30 days
Established in 1960, the Smoke
House ranks among the best-known
landmarks of the Cumberland Plateau in Southeast Tennessee. The
Marion County site sprawls with
a trading post, restaurant, conference center, lodge and cabins. You
can browse endless rows of barbecue sauce, made in house, and even
sample some of those smoky flavors on the pulled pork served on
the dinner buffet.
We love the salad at dinner and
the sausage at breakfast. But we also
venture beyond the Smoke House to
Pearl's Fine Dining (931-463-2222) in
Sewanee to taste fried calamari and a
salad of Boston Bibb lettuce topped
with asparagus and carrot strips.
On a daytrip to Tracy City, we
gaze at the collectibles stacked high
against the ceiling of Henry Flury
& Sons Grocery (931-592-5661), a
Main Street landmark since 1905.
We pick up deli-sliced meats at this
general store for a picnic lunch and
snap shots of the railroad-themed
Tracy City Mini-Park.
Then, for dessert, we walk a few
doors to the Dutch Maid Bakery
(931-592-3171), where the owner,
Cindy Day, serves strawberries and
cream while maintaining a freshmade tradition that began with the
bakery's opening in 1902.
"All of our breads are made from
starters and sponges," Day says.
"Nothing is fast, instant or quick."
The bakery building boasts a
legend: Day says its founder, John
Baggenstoss died from making a
bad batch of beer, and now perhaps his spirit lingers. And yet she
questions, "What baker makes a
bad batch of beer?"
Day's answer? "None. Somebody poisoned him."
So is there a ghost here?
"I don't know," Day says.
"Ghost hunters said there was. They
found that little [ghost] meter thing
in a couple of different places."
John and I didn't investigate
the Dutch Maid Bakery ghost. But,
upon Day's advice, we did head
seven miles to Foster Falls-what
became the highlight of our day.
By trail at Foster Falls (931-9242980), it's only a few dozen yards
from the parking lot to reach a
platform lookout. But, if you really
want the best view, hike another
half-mile down the ridge, step over
rocks and cross the suspension
bridge to find a swimming hole at
the waterfall's base.
"This waterfall is special because
it's the tallest one we have in South
Cumberland State Park. It's a little
over 60 feet," says park ranger John
"In the fall, when all these
trees are leafed out, and you've
got a lot of really brilliant oranges
and reds, the waterfall will have a
little bit less flow on it, but it will
make this whole area a little bit
quieter, because there's not a lot
of people down here," Ball says.
"So it's very serene."
September/October 2017 49