Evanswood Magic Mansion

During Terry Evanswood’s Magic Show he mentioned how he had been converting his 1840 farmhouse into a Magic Mansion for the past 4 years. He also said Magic Mansion was open for tours and space available for the evening tour. The clip of the home at his show intrigued me so having the evening free signed up for the 7 pm tour.

Side View of the Home

Arriving late as I had lost Waze navigation I quickly snapped this picture knowing no photography was allowed inside the home. Mr. Evanswood greeted me upon arrival and I was escorted into the red Victorian parlor filled with antiques of the period. After he explained much of the furnishings the group of 12 then toured the library, dining room, and upstairs of the home. What extensive renovation talents this man possesses.

The home also serves as a Museum with contemporary items as well as rooms related to the Titanic, a chapel with religious artifacts, and an extensive collection of magic items. It was an amazing tour and post tour our guide even provided a magic show.

Plans are being made for specialty tours during the Halloween and Christmas season. Sounds like great fun.

To reserve your place: https://evanswoodmagicmansion.com

Loco Burro

Ate at this Mexican restaurant in downtown Gatlinburg, and it was yummy. While it was 95 degrees during my visit, enjoyed the upstairs view over the street and the heat tolerable from my perch. Service was impeccable and sangria sublime.

Caught the ambience of the main dining room when departing. Too cute..

And who couldn’t get a laugh from this donkey’s message??

What a hoot..

Worth the visit, it won’t disappoint.

Terry Evanswood Magic Show

Terry Evanswood has performed his magic in Pigeon Forge for the last 25 years at the Grand Majestic Theater. This was his 8528 show. He has won a Merlin, which is the akin to the Academy Award of Magic. Half of the audience had been to his show before so he has quite a following. And while you’d think the audience would mainly be children, they were adults.

Terry at intermission having a meet and greet with the audience. No pictures or video are allowed during the show. All is copyrighted.
Terry looks magical in this shot don’t you think?

Interesting and intriguing card and coin tricks were performed during the show along with the usual assistant related situations where knives are plummeted into caskets. He also performed unexplainable illusions.

So if you are in Pigeon Forge seeking an afternoon of family fun check out the show. You will certainly be entertained.

Tickets can be obtained at the theater or through Expedia.com.

Motown Lives!!!

What a delightful evening of song and dance at the Majestic Theater in Gatlinsburg… This group hit it out of the park with their performances. Everything from Gladys Knight, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, and even a Burt Bachrach tune was sung. They performed for close to two hours and what a fun night.

Besides the male ensemble, there were also two women who performed.

My favorite part of the evening was the tribute to The Temptations. Amazing.

What a special night. To see a live performance once again was a joy.

If in the area go.. I got my tickets through Expedia.

Gatlinburg Retail

Great spot for a family pic.

What a surprise this area was. Restaurants, shops, and activities galore for one and all.

However, much traffic

and expensive parking. Most lots charged a base rate of $20, OUTRAGEOUS, but I found a deal at a local Catholic Church, St. Mary’s, just down the street from the Conference Center and Space Needle. Five dollars cash using an envelope system and you can park, leave, and return – Mother Mary was watching over me.

The Conference Center and Space Needle

On to the visit, there is a trolley in the area for transport. Here’s one of their stops.

Many restaurants with great variety..

And interesting things to do..

Get married – another thing to do in this town. Apparently many come here to marry, so why not make it exciting and memorable?
And kids love this one and it’s free, so make sure to stop..

There were many freebies and samplings offered.

These cookies were quite tasty.
Sample the wines at the many wine stores. The cotton candy wine was very good.

And for those who don’t want to pay those parking fees, book a room along the retail area.

There were numerous shops of all types in the area. This was my favorite mini mall as it reminded me of Europe..

And a little levity as I bid farewell.

Putting this picture on my refrigerator.

Next: Motown Lives!

Historic Brattonsville

What an amazing tour.

There are 80 buildings on this site reflecting the early 1800 period. The Bratton family were Scotch-Irish and Colonel Bratton was a patriot who fought in the Revolutionary War. He had a militia and fought a battle on his property. He won the battle and all the highlights of this battle are depicted in signage along the actual battle site.

Harriet Bratton was captured by the British and placed with her 7 children under house arrest in their attic during this siege. She would not divulge her husband’s location and during her arrest managed to write a letter and give it to a young slave, Watt , who left on horse back to deliver the letter. Colonel Bratton returned to the property won the battle.

The Bratton Home – currently under renovation

The McConnell House – this was reconstructed and moved to the property. The McConnell’s were farmers who grew an assortment of crops and had livestock. This is reflected in the outbuildings surrounding the home. Currently this is the only home open on the property as all others are under renovation.

The Bratton family continued to live on the family property. Their son Dr. John Simpson Bratton, senior, had 14 children and became quite wealthy. He was a cotton farmer who also ran a cotton gin. His home..

and cotton gin..

Historic Brattonsville has many events throughout the year.

  • September – The descendants of the African American slaves who lived on the plantation return to the site and interpret events. This is known as Sweat of Our Brow.
  • October – Pottery Festival
  • December – Christmas Candlelight

The site also recently purchased another Bratton home and are in the process of renovating the home for a wedding venue. Here is it, and if looking for a wedding venue it will be available soon, http://www.chmuseums.org, 803-684-2327.

Can’t you just see a band and people dancing on this lawn??

Latta Nature Preserve

This Preserve was developed from the lands of James Latta, who had his cotton plantation along the Catawba River in the 18th century. The lands have been transitioned into a recreational area for the people of Mecklenburg County.

Here’s what the Preserve has to offer…

Trails for Horse Riding
Picnic Grounds

Kayaking along the river

A Raptor Center

In taking a hike along one of the Preserve trails came across this closed facility. Believe this must be the former lands of the cotton plantation.

Oh how lucky the people of Mecklenburg are to have this Preserve

available to them.

From This Day Forward

This play recounts the persecution of the Waldensian people. It was written by a local Valdese history teacher, Fred Cranford, and has been presented during July and August for the last 52 seasons. The Waldensians were a religious group who were persecuted severely by the Church as they read the Bible. In early Christianity only the Pope was allowed to read the Bible.

Act I

A Waldensian is captured reading the Bible. He is later burnt at the stake for this. All this was depicted on stage.
The Waldensians discussing the possibility of moving to North Carolina for a better life.

Act 2 The North Carolina people in their church discussing how they hope the Waldensians ship sinks as they do not want immigrants in their community. Eventually, the Waldensians win over the North Carolina people and are accepted, however, not after much plight.

The play was well acted, however, be prepared for much violence, pyrogenics, and gunfire.

Following is the Old Colony Players 2021-2022 season. Further information can be obtained at:


  • Love Letters September 17-19, and 24-25 as a dinner theater performance
  • The Rocky Horror Show October 21-24, and 28-20
  • Elf December 10-12, and 16-19
  • A Valentine’s Murder February 2022
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame April 15-16, 21-23, and 28-30

President James K. Polk State Historic Site Pineville, North Carolina

Who was this James K. Polk and what did he accomplish as President?? This restoration with its informative movie answers these questions regarding this little known President.

James Polk was President from 1845-1849. There were several hallmarks to his Presidency:

  • He was instrumental in expanding the United States to the Pacific. He was a close friend and devotee to President Andrew Jackson who also believed in Manifest Destiny. This relationship earned him the nickname “Little Hickory,” as Jackson was known as “Old Hickory.”
  • In his cabinet those in opposition to his beliefs, “his competitors” were placed.
  • He was the first President to have “Hail to the Chief,” played at his inaugural.
  • When he came into office he stated he wished only to be a one term president.
  • He lowered tariffs on cotton.
  • The Mexican War was begun and ended during his Presidency.
  • Began an independent treasury.
  • Lowered prices on government land.
  • Worked incessantly, never took a vacation during his Presidency, which probably led to his demise 3 months after leaving office at 53 years of age.
  • He is known to be one of the greatest Presidents, however, he remains one of our least known.
  • President Harry Truman felt Polk an extraordinary President, often quoting and reading about him.

James Polk was the first born of Samuel and Jane Polk. He spent his first 11 years living on this site in North Carolina working on the family farm which Samuel and Jane received from Samuel’s father as a wedding gift. The family later moved to Tennessee selling their property to neighbors. They had slaves.

The Polk Homestead

Interesting man this James K. Polk was, think I need to read a biography on him. If Harry Truman liked him he must have been a good man.

Fort Dobbs: State Historic Site

I can say much about North Carolina, but, one thing the State does very well is to honor their history. Fort Dobbs is an exceptional historic site and its docents professional and steeped in knowledge.

This block house fort reconstruction of the French and Indian War era exemplifies the colonists as well as American Indians role during that period. Costumed interpreters give insight into this time of tangled history.

Following are pictorial representations of life in a 1750 military post.

Living Quarters of the Militia.

The original well was located in this spot. Archaeologists located several thousand artifacts from excavating the well.

Here are some reproductions:

Fort Storage Area

I learned much of this time period at this visit. Pre-pandemic over 6000 students visited the Fort. It is a must see.