The Tree and Vine – Knoxville, TN

The Tree and VineWhile my wife and I were in downtown Knoxville this past Saturday for the Market Square Art Fair, we made a short side trip to The Tree and Vine. The Tree and Vine is an olive oil and balsamic tasting shop just down Union Avenue from Market Square. Not being a fan of balsamic vinegar and having only used “plain” extra virgin olive oil, I was surprised at the number of infused oils and balsamics available to sample and purchase.

We were invited, even encouraged, to try all of the different olive oils and balsamic vinegars and to even try a combination of a couple. For example, we sampled a combination of their chipotle infused olive oil and blueberry infused aged balsamic. Separately, these two are very good, but combined you get an amazing mixture of heat and sweet. Perfect for a marinade or topping. They also had a sample of brownies (store bought mix) made with their blood orange fused olive oil instead of regular oil. A simple recipe replacement with a completely different result.

As I learned how the different oils and balsamics could be used or combined to enhance the flavors of any food, my biggest treat came with the lemon infused white balsamic. I’m somewhat of a simple kind of guy, so vanilla ice cream has almost always been topped with chocolate syrup. Well, not any more. I have now discovered the absolutely delicious addition of lemon infused white balsamic vinegar to vanilla ice cream. I guess I’m finally growing up.

So, if you are ever in the area, I encourage you to stop by The Tree and Vine at 439 Union Avenue, just off Market Square, in downtown Knoxville.

Charity Spotlight – Josh and Friends

Around the world, cuddly canines known as “therapy dogs” visit hospitals everyday to help replace a patient’s anxiety and fear with wet kisses and unconditional love. Josh, the loving, wag-happy vanilla-colored Golden Retriever based out of Knoxville, Tennessee is one of those amazing canines that daily brings comfort to hundreds of hospitalized children.

Developed by veterinarian Dr. Randy Lange to benefit children facing health or other challenges, Josh and Friends is based on Dr. Lange’s fun-loving family Golden Retriever, Josh, and capitalizes on the power of the human/animal bond to comfort, teach and encourage children.

As an extension of that mission, The Josh and Friends Project, is emerging to national attention with the ability to impact the lives of even more children. Using the book, I’ll Be O.K. and the cuddly “Josh” plush puppy, The Josh and Friends Project is helping transform anxious hospital stays for children into friendship-filled adventures to wellness.

Charity Spotlight – Water Angel Ministries

Water Angel Ministries is a Christian outreach ministry to the homeless and at-risk in Knoxville, TN. What started out as a Girl Scout mission project in 2002 to provide bottled water to the homeless, God has transformed into a ministry for his body to serve the “least of these.” This ministry is open to all who are hurting, lost, and broken.

The Water Angels provide many services to the hurting, lost, and homeless of the area. Here are just a few of their services.

  • Church service for the homeless and inner city residents every Sunday at 2 PM.
  • Discipleship & Bible Study every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 9 AM.
  • Back to School Block Part for the children. This year’s event is Saturday, August 13 from 10 Am until 2 PM.
  • Christmas Dinner and Worship for the homeless and inner city.

Every product donation received by Water Angel Ministries is given to the homeless. They do not sell anything. 100% of the financial donations received go toward operating the ministry and providing the services to assist the homeless into self-sufficiency. Every person volunteers their time, and no one draws a salary within the ministry. This is their way of giving back, and serving God whole-heartedly.

Photo Friday – Historic Concord Village

Concord is an unincorporated community in Knox County, Tennessee, United States and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as an historic district. It is located in west Knox County, east of Farragut and west of Knoxville.

The Village of Concord began to develop in 1854. Before that time, the area was sparsely settled. Large farms were centered on the Tennessee River, and relied on a nearby settlement, Campbell’s Station, for trade and other urban needs. In 1853, construction of the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad along the north bank of the Tennessee River caused a population and development shift to the area that became Concord.

Concord was founded and platted in 1854 on land owned by James M. Rodgers. Mr. Rodgers caused 55 lots to be laid out, and gave the new town the name Concord. He began to sell lots in 1855, but later moved to California. Shortly before he moved, he sold his land in the larger tracts that still exist in some sections of the village.

Concord developed rapidly after the arrival of the railroad. The first dwelling in Concord, a boarding house, was built by Shadrack Callaway. Combining the existing river transportation with the railroad made Concord the nucleus of several communities on the north side of the river, including Campbell’s Station, Loveville and Ebenezer.

By 1887 Concord was the second largest town in Knox County, second to Knoxville. The Village of Concord was a regional transportation center. Tennessee marble, crushed limestone, lime, logs, and farm produce were gathered at its public dock. Passenger ferries and commercial boats landed there. The railroad provided passenger connections to Knoxville and other cities. In addition to rail transportation, a paved road from Lenoir City to Knoxville traveled along the railroad from Lenoir City to what is now Olive Road. The road then followed what is now Olive Road to Loop Road, then to Concord Road and then north two miles to Kingston Pike. Kingston Pike was the main east-west road out of Knoxville from the early 19th century until Interstate 40/75 was completed through the area in the 1960s. This road network provided all-weather connections to other highways in the area.

In the early 20th century, the town had grown to include several general stores, a brickyard, lime kiln, inn, saloon, two livery stables, an undertaking establishment, two flour mills, a railroad depot, private schools, a bank, a post office, an ice cream parlor, a drug store, specialty shops, a barber shop and churches. In 1916, fire destroyed much of the business district but it was quickly rebuilt.

The Great Depression of the 1930s brought economic hardship to Concord. New building materials lessened the use of Tennessee marble, and caused the marble industry to go into a decline from which it has never recovered. The impoundment of Fort Loudon Lake inundated about one-third of the town (most of the business district) by 1944. Portions of the railroad were relocated to higher adjacent ground and continued to carry freight, but did not provide passenger service. The development of automobiles and new transportation routes also contributed to Concord’s slow growth.

In the 1970s the area began to rebound economically as it became a bedroom community for the fast growing city of Knoxville. Since then, residential development and land subdivision has continued apace, transforming Concord and its environs into an affluent urban community that has left behind much of its rural roots.

Photo Gallery: Historic Concord Village

Source: Rootsweb History

Charity Spotlight – Mission of Hope

The Mission of Hope concentrates on serving people throughout poverty stricken rural areas of Appalachia in Southeast Kentucky and Northeast Tennessee. To accomplish their goals of providing assistance, the Mission of Hope seeks supplies, resources, monetary donations and grants from individuals, businesses, corporations, service groups and civic organizations. The Mission of Hope then distributes donated items and purchased materials to areas of rural Appalachia where they are then delivered to needy individuals and families through the support of school resource centers and local ministries, already established within the communities which they serve.

The Mission of Hope is a year round ministry that assists many of our Appalachian neighbors with much needed goods and resources; college scholarships; and help with basic educational, health care and home repair needs. There are lots of ways that you can help the Mission of Hope. One of the most important ways you can help is to keep their ministry and those they serve in your prayers. There are also numerous opportunities to volunteer your time both in their Knoxville office and warehouse and in the areas they serve. Of course, monetary donations are always a great way to help as it allows them to use the funds where it is needed most.

Resource Links: MOH Facebook Page ~~ MOH Twitter Feed ~~ WBIR Interview with Emmette Thompson

Charity Spotlight – The Dream Connection

The Dream Connection is a non-profit organization dedicated to fulfilling the special dreams of children ages 3-18 who are faced with life threatening or chronically debilitating illnesses in the East Tennessee area. A “dream come true” to a child can give back, in some small way, that which disease and illness have taken away. Its goal is to accept and raise charitable contributions exclusively for fulfilling the “once-in-a-lifetime dream come true” of children between the ages of three and eighteen, with life-threatening or chronically debilitating illnesses in the East Tennessee community. It is dedicated to directing 100% of its contributions to fulfilling the dreams of the children it serves. As the only organization of its kind in East Tennessee, The Dream Connection is the result of a group of volunteers who realized the need for an organization dedicated to fulfilling the special dreams of children battling life-threatening or chronically debilitating illnesses. 25 years and hundreds of dreams later, The Dream Connection continues to fulfill the dreams of children diagnosed with leukemia, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, and other conditions.About 60 to 75 dreams are fulfilled per year through the support of individuals, businesses, and civic organizations.

Photo Friday – Eugenia Williams House

The Eugenia Williams House is located at 4848 Lyons View Pike in Knoxville, TN. Built in 1940-41, the two-story brick house has 6,000 square feet but only three bedrooms. It also has a living room, dining room, gallery, library, kitchen, servants’ quarters and three-car garage.

The house’s design is a rarity in Knoxville, an example of Regency architecture, with bas-relief stone sculpture inside. It’s a credit to John Fanz Staub, maybe the best-known architect ever born in Knoxville. The grandson of a Swiss immigrant who was a Knoxville mayor and downtown developer, Staub made most of his own career in the Houston area, where his grand manor-style houses are still well known.

Heiress Eugenia Williams built the house in 1940-41, replacing a previous house she had inherited from her father, physician David Hitt Williams. Dr. Williams made his fortune underwriting the Coca-Cola distributorship in Knoxville, and Miss Williams inherited most of it when she was 29.

Divorced from a World War I veteran and childless, Eugenia Williams died in 1998. By the terms of a 1981 will, she bequeathed the property to the university “on condition that the said land not be subdivided or sold, in whole or in part, so long as there is a state-operated university in the vicinity of Knoxville.” Likewise, the will of Miss Williams’ father stipulated that the only way she could dispose of it was to will it to inheritors. Although she left her home and grounds to the University of Tennessee as a memorial to her father, neither had a connection to the university.

Miss Williams left the house in 1983 and spent her last years in a private hospital room. The nearest thing she had to family was the Roddys, Knoxville’s original Coca-Cola distributor family. When Miss Williams died at age 98, she left an estate of more than $20 million and no heirs. Her parents, a sister and a brother all died before her. The Roddys had the mansion boarded up, the furnishings removed and the gates locked.

The Eugenia Williams House has been placed on the Knox Heritage 2011 Fragile Fifteen List.

Additional Information: A Knoxville Manor ~~ KnoxNews Photo Gallery