Tag Archives: Georgia

Disc Golf Tournament Attracts People from 25 Cities in 3 States

{Mike Beard, Director of Parks and Recreation}

On the eleventh of November, eighty disc golfers from 25 cities in Tennessee, Georgia, and Ohio descended upon Roane County Park for the Smoky Mountain Discs (SMD) Iron Pig Disc Golf Tournament. This isn’t the first time SMD has lured golfers from near and far to Roane County for disc golf tournaments, nor will it be the last. SMD owner, Kevin Harris believes that Roane County Park is the nicest disc golf park in the Knoxville area, further noting how clean and well designed it is. This is due in large part to the Roane County Parks and Recreation staff. Thanks also go to the Roane County Disc Golf Club who showed up early to go over every inch of their home course.

The interest in the tournament was so high that SMD’s Director of Tournament Standards and Course Design, Stephen Adcock, and the Roane County Parks and Rec team had to work together to add three temporary holes to the course. Each division of golfer, from Pro Masters to Recreational competed for their share of the prize money from the entry fees. Chris Dickerson of Limestone TN, currently ranked 6th in the world, won the open. At the end of the day, everyone from first place to the last place enjoyed dining, playing and resting in Roane County.

Shannon Hester – District 7 – Oct 2018

Shannon Hester, a son of Roane County, grew up working in his father’s heavy equipment business. At the age of 18, Hester graduated from Midway High School and enlisted in the Army; leaving Roane County to serve his country as a combat engineer in Indiana, in Germany, then in Fort Benning, Georgia as a drill instructor in the Infantry Training Center. Hester ended his 21-year career with the Army after returning from his deployment with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division in Iraq. Returning to his home county, Hester, now 39, interviewed for a job for the first time in his life at Y12.

While Hester waited for his position to be finalized at Y12, Stanley Moore hired Hester to work once again with heavy equipment. Moore and Hester have maintained a friendship ever since. When a position opened up on the Roane County Commission, it was Commissioner Moore and other community members that encouraged Hester to run. Beginning his Y12 career in security, Hester, now fourteen years later, is Safeguards and Security Operations Center Manager. Together with Lisa Hester, his wife of 33 years, they raised three sons. His oldest son carries with him the family legacy of service to his nation in the Air Force along with his middle son who is a member of the Tennessee Tech ROTC. Hester’s experience prior to the commission has taught him that, “Individually a commissioner is nothing but collectively the commission can manage the county’s business.”

Former Peach Capital of Tennessee

{Robert Bailey – Roane County Historian}

For a brief time in Tennessee history, Kingston was the “Peach Capital” of Tennessee and Roane County was the second largest peach growing area in all of the United States. It was second only to Fort Valley, Georgia. The first large peach orchard was started in about 1920 in the Midtown Heights area by Sam Bright and J.S. Parker, father of J.C. (Babe) Parker. They became the largest peach growers in Tennessee. Eventually, the peach orchards dotted the hills and valleys all across Roane County. By 1925 over 20,000 bushels were shipped by rail to Cincinnati alone, and additional thousands were shipped by barge and rail throughout the United States. Overripe peaches were used by “moonshiners” and others to make and sell peach brandy. During the 1920s, Roane County Automobile license plates bore the information: The Peach Capital of Tennessee. The Roane County High School girls’ basketball team was named the “Kingston Peaches” from 1923 to 1927. They were rarely beaten and captured the East Tennessee tournament trophy for three consecutive years entitling them to a permanent display at Roane County High School. Unfortunately, peaches impacted the economy in Roane County for only one decade. The demise of the industry began in 1929 and when the ‘brown rot’ hit the orchards. Following the blight, two successive freezes destroyed crops, and the “great depression” of the 1930’s finished the industry forever when prices fell to almost nothing.

The “Kingston Peaches” basketball team in 1927. Back Row, left to right: Mildred Roberts, Mildred Bowman, Coach D.P. Roberts, Ruby Hedgecock, Nelle Ruth Cates. Front Row, left to right: Mary Frank Bowman, Dixie Lynn Bowman, Lela “Dutch” Marney, Mary Lee Sparks, Margaret Waller.

Peach orchards that dotted the hills and valleys all across Roane County.

Originally written for the Roane County Newsletter to the Community, August 2017.