Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 54

ELEPHANTS GALORE:
The first two from the left
are Southern Pottery pieces,
for sale at Valley Beautiful
Antique Mall for around
$1,000.
The remaining four are (at
a different scale) from the
Elephant Revival Herd.

by auctioning off public-art elephant statues. The Erwin Elephant Revival was born.
"We bought unpainted elephant statues
from a business in Denmark called The Elephant Parade. They protect elephant habitats all over the world. We had local artists
paint them, and after they were displayed
around town for a couple of months, we
auctioned them off. The profits went to
the Elephant Sanctuary," Rice says. In the
past two years, RISE Erwin has donated
$20,000 to the Elephant Sanctuary.
"Tomorrow's Great Outdoors Festival is the debut of our new herd," Jamie
says. "They're on display out in front of
the Courthouse."
The elephants are beautiful, with their
sunlit colors and whimsical designs. Chil-

THE ELEPHANT SANCTUARY IN
HOHENWALD, TENNESSEE

Founded in 1995, the Elephant Sanctuary is currently home to 10 elephants who are
retired from zoos and circuses. The 2,700-acre non-profit preserve includes specialized habitats for both Asian and African elephants.
The Sanctuary lies 80 miles southwest of Nashville. But if you're thinking of a
visit, think again. Visitors are prohibited, in order to safeguard the elephants and
their habitats.
However, through the use of solar-powered cameras, the world can catch
glimpses of the elephants. Distance learning opportunities are available to schools
and groups around the world. To access, go to www.elephants.com and click on the
ELECAM link.
Todd Montgomery, Volunteer and Outreach Manager of the Sanctuary, is grateful to RISE Erwin for its support.
"It's a cool partnership we have with them. We're so touched-I guess that's the
best word for it-that an entire community has come forward to support us. For so
long, Erwin was known as a town where an elephant was hung. Instead of pretending that it didn't happen, they've found a way to honor the memory of Mary."
I think Jamie Rice got it right when she said, "If Mary had lived in today's world,
she'd be at the Elephant Sanctuary." -JV

54

BLUERIDGECOUNTRY.COM

dren wander among them, touching their
trunks and leaning against their legs. Cellphone cameras are everywhere. A hiker
who's come off the Appalachian Trail removes his pack and sits on the Courthouse
steps, taking them in. They are mesmerizing, these elephant statues.
Down the street, Glenna Lewis is sitting
outside the Valley Beautiful Antique Mall,
which she owns with her nephew, Joey.
"My father was there when they
hung Mary," she tells me. "I don't remember what he said about it...but it
happened here."
More than 5,000 pieces of Southern
Pottery are stacked high in the narrow
shop, which used to be housed in the
Hanging Elephant Antique Mall down the
street. Opening in 1916-the year Mary
was hung-Southern Pottery was a major
employer in Erwin and the parent company of famed, hand-painted Blue Ridge
Pottery. The town, with its extensive rail
service, was also home to Cash Family, Erwin, Clinchfield, and Clouse pottery.
The Lewises seem to have cornered the
market. This is the place to come to if you
collect Blue Ridge. Spend an hour with
Joey Lewis, and you'll learn everything
there is to know about the beautiful stuff.
I ask about the elephant figurines in the
front window. "They're from the 1920s,
made here in Erwin to memorialize Mary,"
Joey says. He watches my hand move toward one lustered white elephant: "Southern Potteries Rare Elephant Figural. 18k
gold detail. $1,000."
"She's half-price-it's our anniversary month," he says. "I could go down
to $400."
I take a last, longing look and leave
without it. As beautiful and historic as the


http://www.elephants.com http://www.BLUERIDGECOUNTRY.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018

Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 6
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 8
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 10
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 12
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 13
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Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 16
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 18
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 20
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 22
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 34
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 37
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Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 52
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 54
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 55
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 57
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 59
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 62
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 66
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 67
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 68
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 69
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 70
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 71
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Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 79
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Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 94
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Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 96
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - 97
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Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2018 - Cover4
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