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- This time on "Tennessee Crossroads," we'll meet a Franklin lady who can transform tattered furniture. Then see what's up at a place called Sulfur Ridge, we'll discover the revival of rundown farmhouse in Woodbury and we're gonna finish up with some travel to the town of Granville. Gonna be a grand "Tennessee Crossroads" I hope. I'm Joe Elmore. Welcome once again. Well, first I guess some explanation is in order. No, I'm not training for a boxing match. I just had hand surgery and all the fingers are working fine. Now on with the show. In our first story, we meet Deborah Logan who sees potential where others might see impossible. You see if you found a new career life by giving new life to old furniture? Well, nowadays people seek her help when they've got a well-worn heirloom in need of a makeover. Maybe you know the feeling. You got this old piece of furniture that's too old and funky to use anymore but just don't have the heart to get rid of it. Well, maybe you don't have to. Debra Logan believes every old tattered piece of furniture deserves a fresh new life. That's why after working in television production and later in a medical field, she made a long overdue change. - I've always, always loved to doodle, paint, draw, and it just came to a point in my life where I knew I needed to try maybe to start a little business and I had so much encouragement and support from so many friends and family that I couldn't not do it. - So she loaded up her home studio with special tools and equipped her garage with an electric sander. This one attaches to a vacuum that increases the efficiency and speed. After sanding and adding a coat of primer to this chest, she applies the first of two coats of chalk paint. It's got a soft matte finish that can be used to give furniture a distressed look. - I have a couple of clients that just drop pieces and say do what you wanna do and then some have definite ideas in mind. It's usually a traditional look. I tend to be more artsy and sometimes I think I need to tone it back but there are clients that do like that. And I have free reign to do what I wanna do. I painted a medicine cabinet and it was my hairstylist's and she said just do it, do whatever you wanna do with it, and it's very bright. She likes bright colors. I just sold a piece that had been sitting on someone's front porch for years, and it was looked like it had a disease and I stripped it and it's just very cute and sold it. Not for much, but just, and she's so happy, she's gonna put it at her farm. So that's what's fun. This is called Mama's Butta and it just protects and deodorizes, and just brings out the wood grain and it just seems like the wood soaks it up. - [Joe] She adds an artistic touch to these drawers, first with a stencil then with a couple of transfers. These add some newfound personality and color. Each project is unique. And so as the journey from this to this. So what's the most fun part? When you get started or when you get finished? - Well, let me tell you what the least favorite part is. It's stripping paint, that is my least favorite part. The fun part is just the details and what you come up with. And sometimes you don't know. Halfway through, you might change your mind but it's just paint and you can change it. And my pieces are, I call them imperfectly perfect 'cause they're not perfect. - [Joe] So far, all of her advertising has been word of mouth, but the word's gotten out and now, new and repeat clients are seeking out Deborah's transformation talent. At this shop on Columbia Avenue in Franklin, she displays and sells some examples of her work on consignment. Furniture of course, as well as some wall hangings. Customers can pick up something like this now one of a kind chest for less than they'd pay for a new one, but the real payoff for Deborah Logan is transforming a new client's time-worn heirloom into a new source of pride and pleasure. - And it's just a privilege when they bring a piece to you that they don't wanna throw away or it is a family heirloom and they give you an opportunity to revive it and make it pretty again. Time to start something new, something more creative, and it's, I've not regretted it at all. It's been so much fun. - Do you remember climbing trees as a kid? You know, it was exciting to see just how high you could go. Maybe you were lucky enough to have had a tree house. Well, a Putnam County couple never grew up, I guess, because they've taken the tree house to another level. Ed Jones recently climbed up to see them at a place called Sulfur Ridge. - We wanted people to experience and to see things they don't normally see, so we wanted things that were different, things that were unique, something, something special. - [Ed] Something special. That perfectly sums up the whimsical dream house which Susan and Trent Dyer made a reality. Nestled in the forest, just outside Cookeville, Sulfur Ridge Treehouse bears the name of the Cumberland mountainside it gracefully rises above. - Trent and I do a lot of mission work and we travel a lot all over the world, so in 2015 with Trent's job, we got to live in Australia for a year and we stayed in this really cool Airbnb property. So we thought, why don't we have that in Tennessee? Why don't we offer that here? - So I took pencil and paper. - Yeah, we drew it up. - Drew it all up. - We had to become best friends with the codes department. But we did, we achieved that goal, - But they would kinda fight over who was gonna get to come out and see what progress had been made. So they were as excited as we were. - [Ed] Once you're settled in, you quickly realize that the most exciting thing about Sulfur Ridge is the lack of excitement, also known as stress, and that's all part of the plan. - I said, we're not gonna have wifi. We don't want to have wifi. Let's let people get away, couples. It's kind of like a retreat center to come and be together and just enjoy each other and enjoy being away from all the busyness. - [Trent] To unplug. - We have a lot of birthday surprises. We have a lot of anniversaries and a lot of honeymooners. It's the perfect escape for a couple. We had one couple that said they sat in the chairs by the window and they sit there for four hours and they'd play the jukebox. - [Ed] The jukebox is just one of the many unusual items that add to the allure of Sulfur Ridge. - It started with just the treehouse and then we went to the side shack and then she comes up with the bottle wall idea. - We created a bottle wall as the entrance of the treehouse that we did with a some anqiue doors that are eight feet tall. - It morphed into- - It's still morphing. - Well, it is and it's still morphing. It's still changing every day. - [Ed] The ever changing landscape is an eclectic mixture of new and old. Take the front door, for instance - We found it in a local shop and it's dated 1848. Come off an old mansion near Shelbyville that was used as a hospital during the civil war. But our favorite story is the floor. - The floor, yes. - The floor is our favorite story because the floor is from a local factory, Wilson Sporting Goods that has been closed for many years. They're getting ready to tear it down. We had- - Oh, it was filthy. - [Susan] 73 years of dirt on it. - All the tongues- - So we scraped- - [Trent] All the grooves to get this amount of floors, this is about 30% of what we've sorted through. - [Susan] We did the windows. We installed all the glass and all the trim. So and Trent's been a custom cabinet maker most of his life so the buffet we brought out of our home, but here again, we wanted people to see, to see things they'd never seen. - [Ed] The rustic charm of the bedroom is quite a contrast to the opulent bath. - The quartz on the countertop is, has a lot of purple color in it. So the tub is new, but it's a cast iron tub and we had it custom painted purple to match that quartz. Our faucets or are brass plated swans, so they're very unique and then the- - [Trent] Everybody has a swan, right? - Yeah, everybody has a swan- - In their bathroom. - And then the window in there is from a hundred year old church. - Out of Henderson. - Out of Henderson, Kentucky - [Ed] Take a walk up the hill from the treehouse and you'll enter another time and place, known simply as- - Shasta Camp. An area with three vintage inspired Shasta campers that are actually 2015 but they were recreated to look like the 1961 Shasta. So we have three of them. The red one, we call Hot Tamale. The yellow one is a 19 foot. The red one is 16 foot. The 19 foot is Mellow Yellow. - [Trent] Mellow Yellow. - [Susan] And the green one is Peppermint Patty. So we, and I had that vision in my mind of how to create that campsite. We didn't here again. We didn't want it to look like a regular campground. We wanted it to look different and be in community. So they sit in a semi-circle and they all have a shared fire pit. They all have a sidewalk that comes to a shared fire pit. And we have a game area. We have a bocci court. We have a life-size Scrabble game. It's a cute, it's cute place out there too. It's kinda like stepping back in time a little bit. - [Ed] Stepping back in time before the internet, before email, before our phones were a constant irritating companion, before things got so complicated. The only stressful task that visitors to Sulfur Ridge face is deciding what part of their stay they liked the most. - Sometimes it's the view. Sometimes it's the jukebox. Sometimes it's the swing. They love the heart term at nighttime and underneath the stars and the fire pit. They love being outside. They love being surrounded by the trees and even in the winter when the trees are bare, it's still absolutely stunning. - Gorgeous here, it really is. - It's still very private. You're very secluded. - [Ed] Whether you choose to camp in 60's style or spoil yourself in the luxurious treehouse, you're sure to make lasting memories with that special someone at Sulfur Ridge, memories that the Dyers love to read from their guest book. - This has been a wonderful getaway for us as our kids are now older, we reclaim our youth, just the two of us alone and together, but the best time was spent dancing to the songs of days gone by. So much more could be written but you'll have to excuse us, we have four more quarters- - And we want to dance. - Thanks Ed. Have you ever driven past an old dilapidated farmhouse and wondered what about its history? What about the memories and the people that lived there? Well, Cindy Carter visited an old farm house in Woodbury that's been given a new lease on life thanks to the family that's owned it for a century and a half. - [Cindy] In Woodbury, Tennessee, not far from the Stones River stands an old farmhouse with walls covered in family history, rooms filled with family heirlooms where the rich aroma of family cooking makes all who enter feel like they've stepped into something familiar. - [Woman] My first this morning, I'm gonna tell you. - [Cindy] Something like home. - If you need anything, all you gotta do is let us know. - T Cakes Bakery and Cafe is home to Greta Stone, her husband, Butch, father-in-law, Jim, and their children. - I love to come here and be able to cook. - [Cindy] Greta's been cooking here since 2018 when she decided to turn the old farmhouse, which has been in the McBroom-Stone family since 1875 into her dream and locals like Jane Elrod are very happy she did. - I came for breakfast, stayed for lunch, and I'm taking dinner home, but I've been up here several times. I've never been disappointed. - We listen to our customers. If they say that they want something or need something, we try to listen to them. - [Cindy] Greta says for years, people would ask her to make cakes and other baked goods for birthdays, weddings, you name it. - [Greta] I did cakes at home and it was getting too big for the house. - [Cindy] Back then, she wondered if she could turn her passion into a business but says it was just that, a thought, but when the factory Butch was working in shut down, the Stones decided it was now or never. - It was kinda like the straw that broke the camel's back, that we had to make the choice, in order that he would have a job, something he could help manage. - [Cindy] Greta and her son, Shawn, headed to culinary school in Chicago to hone their skills. - [Greta] I graduated from the bakery part of the Wilton School and I got to experience all of the decorating, of the making the roses, and the agent and doing cakes. - [Cindy] And oh, the cakes they make. - Thank you, love it! Little piece of cake, too! - That's the Southern pecan pralines. - And it's wonderful. - There's also wonderful cupcakes, of course, teacakes, pies, pastries, and pinwheels. The desserts are popular, but the cafe side is just as busy. The dining room stays pretty full, a mixture of locals, regulars and folks from all over. - I love to hear stories about how someone's heard of me and they've traveled for Kentucky to come down to eat. I love to hear those stories. - Now the cafe menu is pretty simple and straightforward. It centers around a daily luncheon special, and that's one of many family recipes handed down from generation to generation, and today that's meatloaf and mashed potatoes - Dale said that's the best meatloaf she's ever had. - Well, great. Great, we love our meatloaf. - She's had my meatloaf. - Oh, I doubt that entirely. - [Cindy] And as popular as that meatloaf is, the real draw here may actually be the experience of sitting down for a good meal with family and friends. No cell phones, no distractions. - Everybody talks to each other. I mean, if you turn around and if you don't know anybody, you just can sit here and talk to people and you get to know people. - [Cindy] People talking to each other makes you want to come back for a seconds. - Well last week, we were here three times because this has become a destination point for a lot of friends and they'll call and they'll say, "Hey, let's go meet at T Cakes tomorrow." - Our communities have become so overwhelmed with fast food and the restaurant chains and things like that that I think that this is more like coming home. - [Man] Well how ya doing, buddy? Get in here. - [Cindy] And when Butch's grandmother, the cafe's namesake T, used to prepare meals here for her family, she unknowingly provided the inspiration, and eventually the location, for the Stone family's next chapter. - We also have, oh, the chocolate meringue pie. - [Cindy] A sweet place for food and fellowship. - Good seeing you! I'm so- I love you. - I love you. - [Cindy] Conversation and connection, a place like home. - [Greta] Cannon County's just been our home. We want to keep everything here and for customers. Do you want a to-go box? - Yes, please. - Okay. - We're going. Bye. - Thank y'all! Bye! - Thanks a lot, Cindy. Most towns want visitors to feel that their community is, well, up to date in every way, but not the town of Granville in Jackson County. In fact, as Rob Wilds discovered when he visited there, just about the whole town volunteers to make visitors feel like they may have stepped back in time. - [Rob] Granville is a lovely little town that sits snug along the Cumberland River. Civic leader, Randall Clemons, says that's one reason Granville was originally founded. - The town was settled in 1799 by a group of settlers from Granville County, North Carolina. That's where we got our name. They had received land grants for having fought in the Revolutionary War and they came to Granville because of the Cumberland River and the rich fertile soil that we had in the river bottoms. Colonel Smith got 1600 acres, was the largest landholder that we had. He established a plantation here. And so we had different settlers like that, that had from two to 300 acres of land. - [Rob] Of course, Granville is an up-to-date town today but you might not know it on some days. - Well, good afternoon. We're so glad you're here. I'm Liz Bennett. I'm one of the 180 volunteers that keeps historic Granville going. But today I'm Ethel Sutton and this is my home and we are so glad you came to visit us. - [Rob] That's right. Much of the town turns out to volunteer, to show off a pioneer village. - This village was established in 2010. It is the home of Mr. T.B. Ben Sutton. That was the owner of the Sutton General Store. Mr. Sutton lived here from 1947 until 1980. We were able to purchase the property. It's almost a town block and to put it back like he originally had it, as far as the home. - [Rob] All kinds of craftspeople and artisans at work, doing this the old fashioned way and giving visitors a good look at how necessities were produced back when such things were difficult and took skilled hands. - [Randall] We moved one of Granville's original log cabins that was built in 1820 to the property. We have a blacksmith shop, a gristmill, a basket weaving shop. We have all the outbuildings a pioneer home would've had in the mid-1800s. We established a car museum here that we change each quarter and it has automobiles that goes along with whatever our theme for the year is as well. We're standing here by our gazebo that has quilt benches in it that tells the story of different patterns of quilts. We do guided tours through the home, and then a guide picks you up and guides you through the village and through the antique car museum and we're actually open Wednesday through Saturday. We are trying to tell the history of years past. - [Rob] Of course, people had to eat in years past and this is what it used to take to get your grits ground. - [Man] You're having beans and ham, swamp cabbage with corn bread and peach and strawberry cobblers. Peach cobbler. - [Rob] If you're lucky you might get to try some food made the old fashioned way. - [Woman] Onions? - No ma'am, no onions for me. - [Rob] Larry Edmondson is the vintage chef. - [Larry] There's no exceptions. You can cook anything that you can cook in your house in a Dutch oven. Of course we use Dutch ovens and the hanging pots both, but a Dutch oven is an item that can be used for anything you cook in your kitchen. - [Rob] Do you get people that come in and ask you where the microwave is or anything like that? - Mostly they wanna know where the ice cream is for the cobbler and since we don't have refrigeration, we don't use electricity, they'd have to struggle, and you know, just grin and bare it and eat the cobbler without the ice cream. Good choice. - When you come to the pioneer village in Granville, you can see artisans making things in traditional ways. They're big on traditions around here in Granville and they've got lots of them but they never run out of things to show you because every year they highlight another decade. This year, it's the 1940s. - The Tennessee Maneuvers was here in the 1940s because of the Cumberland River. They built a bridge across the river here at the end of Main street and so we had four different units that was here and they fought the battles like they did in other parts of Tennessee, but we have a rich Maneuvers history. - [Rob] All of those young soldiers, most of them from other parts of the country, made a lasting impact on Granville. One of them, Vincent DeNardo, known around here as Little Moe, came in 1943 with an engineering unit from Georgia and had a lasting impact on the town. - [Randall] And actually our museum began as the result of a military person that came to Granville with the Maneuvers, and he started coming back after the Maneuvers with a 35 millimeter camera, and he came for the next 25 years, making pictures of Granville two weeks each summer and he left us a thousand pictures. That's what began The Granville Museum. - [Rob] They say those young soldiers came as strangers and left as friends, which can be said about almost anyone who pays a visit to Granville. - Well I'm afraid that's gonna put the lid on another edition of "Tennessee Crossroads." Thanks for joining us. Now, check in on our website when you get a chance, Tennessee crossroads.org. Of course, follow us on Facebook and by all means, join us here next week. I'll see ya then.
November 05, 2020
Season 34 | Episode 17
In this episode of Tennessee Crossroads, Joe Elmore meets a Franklin lady who brings new life to old, beat-up furniture. A Putnam County couple built a B&B up in the trees. Cindy Carter finds an old Woodbury farmhouse that's been renovated as a bakery and cafe. The people of Granville turn out to make visitors feel like they have stepped back in time. Brought to you by Nashville Public Television.