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- Tennessee crossroads is made possible in part by, - Discover Tennessee trails and byways. Discover Tennessee's adventure, cuisine, history, and more made in Tennessee experiences showcased among these 16 driving trails. More at tntrailsandbyways.com. - This time on Tennessee crossroads, we take a day trip to meet some four legged friends at a farm and creamery in Smithville. We'll go to Centerville at a popular catfish attraction, then meet a family of artistic recyclers in Chapel Hill. Finally, it's that time of year, time for a haunted ghost tour. Hope you're up for that I'm Joe Elmore. Welcome to this edition of Tennessee Crossroads. Our first story involves some adorable four legged creatures who provide a number of healthy benefits that will keep you clean, keep you fed and warm your heart. Cindy Carter takes us to the Harmony Lane farm and creamery in Smithville. - Once upon a time, goats in America were primarily known for their presence in children's stories and fairytales. You know, like those billy goats gruff, but now thanks to pop culture trends like goat yoga and screaming or fainting goat videos, you might say goats are getting their day in the sun. - They're so smart, people don't give them enough credit. - And at Harmony Lane farm and creamery in Smithville, Tennessee, you simply got to give credit to the goats for all the cheese, milk, soap and yes, smooches, they provide. - Not only do we make yummy products, we're, we're like a destination. We make a lot of memories. A lot of families come here that are traveling. Now we're, we're the number one attraction actually in, in Smithville. - Every day, Harmony Lane owner, Julie David, and her staff welcome visitors from all over offering an informative and entertaining look at the inner workings of a working goat farm. - All right, Miss Julie's coming out. - Opening her gates to tourists was a way to earn a living while living a farmer's life. Though Julie didn't start out like this. A digestive issue led her to goat's milk as an alternative to medicine. - That's really how it started. And, and I kind of wanted to do something for myself. So I was buying some goat milk from a man down the way. And all of a sudden, I said, why don't I just get a few goats? And, and that way I have milk for my own supply. Those four goats quickly turned into 16. - Today, Julie and her staff wrangle roughly 150 goats of various sizes, shapes, and responsibilities. - All the way down. Pay attention. - Visitors don't just learn about milking goats. They do it. - You're milking a dairy goat, dairy goat, yes you are. - A hands-on experience that really resonates. - Now this is what the farm is known for, goat cuddling. Visitors can spend quality time with a baby goat and health experts say there are real benefits to this. It releases endorphins that calm you down, it lowers blood pressure, and Hannah is just so doggone cute. - Hannah and her friends are wrapped in blankets and placed in waiting laps where they just chill for a while. Julie says these kids are sweet because they're bottle fed from birth. She says, if their mamas do the honors, the goats are unfriendly and don't play nice with each other. - Being a bottle baby, they're friendly, they're lovable. And, and, and they're just fun to watch. You don't even have to cuddle them, just watching them in the field. And all of their little antics is, is, is quite a joy. - As fun as it is to frolic on the farm, the goats do have a job to do. The milk they make is used to make in-house cheese or chevra seven different varieties. There's also caramel, ice cream, fudge! - Their milk, you can do so much with it. I mean, Cleopatra used to bathe in goats milk. - Harmony Lane does that too. Bars and bags of sweet smelling goat's milk, soap. and lotions are mixed and made here daily. - It's pushed me to do things I probably wouldn't normally have done. I'm a little stronger than I thought I was. - The goats may get the glory, but they share these 64 acres with dozens of other farm friendly family friendly animals that visitors can also feed and pet. Donkeys, lamas, emus, pigs, and 18 Angus beef cattle led by, - Here's old Ferdinand right here. - Ferdinand the bull weighs in at 3,200 pounds and he and his friends don't mind the periodic pasture invasions, as long as someone brings the snacks. - At the end of the day, I love what I do. I'm passionate about it. I love sharing. I love, I love the knowledge. Children don't know where their meat comes from. You know, I can, I can drive them into an Angus beef herd and say, this is your hamburger and steak. - Julie proudly points out, her farm gives visitors an opportunity to learn, the opportunity to try, and the opportunity to make some pretty cool memories. - So this is our Nigerian dwarf habitat. You can actually go in here and spend time with these little dwarfs. - Between the product production, milking, and merriment, there's a lot of moving parts and critters on this small Tennessee farm, but it's the goats, all those happy attention grabbing goats that are the reason every moving part moves in harmony at Harmony Lane. - Thank you, Cindy. We love taking you to homegrown food food venues around the state, and when the specialty is something like catfish, well, all the better. Our next destination is a popular destination in Centerville called fish camp. In addition to fresh fish, there's a heartwarming story there about overcoming adversity, after that flood in 2010. It's a scenic spot off highway 100, just outside of Centerville. The Fish Camp has been a popular destination for lovers of well fish, of course, since it first opened in the early eighties. - My uncle started in 82 and I worked for him washing dishes the first day, and then I washed dishes and moved to cook, and then we used to clean her up all our own catfish here. - Years later, when Troy Bates uncle decided to hang up his apron and sell the place well, he and wife, Kim had a big decision to make. - We just decided that we would give it a try. So in 99, we bought the Fish Camp and started it, and here we are, 20 years later. - Weekdays, most customers are local regulars who made lunch at the fish camp, somewhat of a ritual. - There is a variety of people that come in here at lunchtime. There's just a lot of nice folks that come in here on a daily basis. And we just, we just have a lot of, you know, the communities support. - On weekends, Fish Camp becomes a destination for travelers, especially those who are on a quest for some top-notch Tennessee River catfish. - You walk around in the dining room and talk to folks there. It seems like they're always kind of eager to tell you where they're from. You know, I'm from Clarksville, I'm from Dickson. And you know, you just kind of have a minute to share with them why, how they got here to eat. How did they find out about the fish camp? And so it's always kind of interesting to me. - Things were growing great for the couple and the restaurant until May, 2010. That's when everything came to a disastrous halt. After the nearby duck river overflowed and flooded. Nearly submerging the entire building. - I really liked about two inches getting to the ceiling of the old building and it stayed up for a couple of days. And then when it went down, just everything was covered with mud. It's just kind of a blur now, and you know, we just, things just happened so quick, and, you know, we just kinda kinda lost our jobs and our business at the same time. - Undaunted, the couple was determined to build a new place on the same property. And by January, 2011, they were back in business, bigger and better than ever, with the same time tested recipes. What's your take on how to make catfish consistently good like you've cooked? - Well, you have to keep you batter consistent. I'm the only one that makes the batter and I keep it mixed up for our folks and keeping good clean oil and keeping fresh fish, cause everything's fresh. - You're the only one that makes the batter though. - Yes sir. - Why that? - I just want it to be consistent every time. That way I know the battery is exact every time. - So what do you have in the batter? - I can't tell you that. - Of course sides like hush puppies play a big role in the perfect catfish plate. Belinda Devor has been making sure there's our first great since day one. - We have a special recipe that came from J tan lender rights, was one of their recipes and we've kept it because it worked for them. So it's working for us and if you don't make it right the first time, you don't get to make them again. - While whole catfish and catfish filets enjoy top billing, you might get sidetracked by the pulled pork barbecue, cooked onsite and highly rated. Then there are the daily main three specials. - Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, we do a main three everyday for lunch, and then on Sundays we have our big white lunch. You're going to make three, we have our own recipes, we go by them and stick to them. - Yeah, him and I, we try to walk around and check on folks and meet folks and just make sure everybody's getting everything that you're supposed to. - Yeah, there might be a short wait on weekends, they're pretty busy, but that gives you a chance to come out here to the pond and feed the pet cat fish, the lucky ones. Today, Fish Camp thrives, thanks to the dedication and hard work of its proud owners and employees. Troy and Kim Bates boldly follow the dream that even a flood couldn't drown, and their measure of satisfaction could be summed up this way. - Just folks being happy and saying it's the best cat fish they've ever eaten and saying that they will be back. - A watering trough is just a watering trough, right? So what happens to it when it gets too old and rusty to do its job? It becomes a cedar chest, if the Akin family of Chapel Hill has anything to say about it. Rob Wiles visited their workshop to see some amazing things they do with other people's trash. - That was grandmother's house wasn't it? - I think so. - Matt and Aaron Akin are a couple of brothers who might just be out for a walk on a pretty day. These brothers are really treasure hunters. - We're we're fans of a, you know, the, the term picking. A little bit of running water. We'll we'll go picking every now and then we've got several buddies that are older farmers that have had this equipment and things like that, their entire life. - If you can get it out, we'll just beat it up real good before artificial aging. - They're just as passionate as we are about it in the sense that they don't want it to wind up in a scrapyard, and we don't either. So they know when we can come and talk with them and deal with the piece, they know it's going to be honored and live another lifetime. - A new lifetime, as something surprising. - We find a lot of water troughs and more often than not, they wind up just getting thrown away. We started it awhile back, dad made one and we really liked the way it looked. That's our take on a rustic, rustic Cedar chest, if you will. So we found a way where we can utilize them and, you know, put wood interior in them and put some legs on them and they make an awesome coffee tables or Cedar chest or anything like that. - Matt and Aaron and their family own Rustic River Creations where their purpose is to repurpose the things that have been discarded as worthless. - Yeah, to some people it might, it might be junk. To us. it's a, it's important to preserve our past and our history. I want my kids to see pieces that we've created and something that's part of our past that was utilized, and we want to keep it around and make sure it doesn't wind up in the scrapyard. - A lot of time and effort goes into keeping those pieces out of the dump and putting them into someone's home. Planning too, now good thing Matt and Aaron had easy access to a talented designer, their dad, Mike. - My dad's got the, the, the vision that I currently don't have, but I'm getting there. He can build from the ground up without a drawing, and it turns out to be a phenomenal piece. Whereas I do have to sit down and kind of try and study up a little bit before I take on a project. - Which results in beautiful creations. - We've got wood from Carthage, Tennessee that was once a, a standing log cabin, and we love that wood. It's a mixture of oaks and we've milled the boards down and it just makes for a beautiful distress table that people really enjoy. That's we've got that. We've got our hanging bed, which is just a, a beautiful bed with a woven rope backing and fabricated metal that took so long to do. But the turnout of it is just one that is not duplicated. And then some of our other pieces we've got desks and things like that, that we just really like to do, do those, to showcase that where it's rustic river creation, but we can do, do elegant and refined as well. We love the pipe legs and we love just trying to do tricky designs on them to make them look a little bit different. That was a mix-up of a modern, rustic, industrial, several different flavors there, but putting the stainless steel on the, on the outer edge to kind of give an accent, just something that we like to, you know, pull out of our brains and see what we can make and see what the angle is. - Beautiful and interesting. - It's just a, it's a unique design that is a little more creative with the brass strapping around it. And it's just something that we really like taking your average stump table and turning it on its head, putting hidden compartments in it and making it to where you can store things in it. - All those pieces take a lot of wood. - We're, we're not lumberjacks. We don't go and cut down trees, but if they have been sustainably harvested, we're going to be the guys that want to make certain that their, they stick around and see another lifetime. So we're not going to, they don't want to wind up in a dumpster getting burned. With us, we want to cut them up and preserve them. so other people can enjoy them as well. Don't get any better than that. - Hard work here and in the shop. But listen to this, that is the sound of a man who loves his work. - It's gotta be a labor of passion. Cause if it, if it wasn't, we're not, we don't get an hourly rate and you know, but it's the pure joy of getting to work with our family and day in and day out, being able to learn from our dad who is our hero and be able to be creative. And at the end of the day, when we go home, we feel fulfilled. Whereas before working hourly jobs and things like that, it's just not the, not the same thing. There's not as much pride in it. - Pride in craftsmanship that shows an every piece repurposed and return to a new life at Rustic River Creations in Chapel Hill. - Nashville is growing by leaps and bounds, and once folks get here, most never want to leave. Some say, even the dearly departed, still hang around in several parts of town. Well, in our final story with Halloween coming up, Miranda Colon takes us on a ghost tour, where they stop at all the local haunts. - The beautiful streets of downtown Nashville, draw visitors from all over the world. Plenty of great things to see celebrity sightings are common, but visitors and locals are excited for the things they can't see. - I'm here to see if I can find some sort of paranormal activity tonight. There's all the war history and that sort of thing. I think the whole town is haunted actually, but this is home to me, and I want to see more about what I can find when it comes to ghost. - Rick Owens has taken plenty of ghost tours in other cities and was intrigued to find one in his own backyard. - So all of ghosts of Nashville, you guys ready to get our tour started for tonight? - Tanya Curtis is hosting the popular ghosts of Nashville tour. The mile and a half john through the streets of music city is as much about the history as it is about the hauntings. - How many believers do we have tonight? How many believers in the paranormal do we have tonight? It's not just about the ghosts at all. We do tell the ghost story, but we're also teaching about the rich history of Nashville, about the things that have happened here in Nashville. - And according to Curtis plenty has happened to keep the spirits hanging around. - I believe that when like traumatic and tragic things happen, like it kind of leaches into the soil, just believe it's the land that kind of makes Tennessee the paranormal hotspot that it is. - From the lands original settlers, the native American Indians, to the battle of Nashville during the Civil War. - But for 10 days, they battled here in Nashville. - Hard fought violent battles over the land and even the buildings. - Tonight we're actually going to start out at our capital because we actually have one of the most beautiful and unique state capitals. - The stately brick top landmark took 14 years to build and two bickering architects didn't make the process any easier. - The first ghost story that has to do with our capital is of Strickland and Morgan. While they we're working on this project, they literally argued about everything, - As fate would have it, William Strickland and Samuel Morgan are both in tombed in the walls of the capital, and it seems they still just don't get along. - And police have told us around 9:00 PM here at our capital they start hearing yelling in side the capitol and it's two men still going on it about the building. - And the volunteer states capitol serves both as mausoleum and cemetery. James K. Polk was the governor of Tennessee who went on to be the 11th president of the United States. Both he and his wife, Sarah are buried in this beautiful stone gazebo, but even here, Curtis says they aren't exactly resting in peace. - And every time they get close to this man at Mr. Polks grave, he disappears right in front of them. They also see, say they see a lady antebellum era clothings, and every time someone approaches her as well, she does the same thing. She just disappears. Whatever's going on, we do know that the Polks are not at rest at all, and they do haunt our capitol. - The ghost of Nashville tour will wind through the streets and alleys of downtown. Every tour is different and you never know who or what you will see. - I think there's this mystery to it that it's just fascinating to try and unravel. You hear the history and it's one thing, but you hear things that go on now and you try and piece it together for yourself and figure, figure it out that way. - And don't think the ghost tours only go during the spooky season. In fact, they go 365 days a year. That's right. Every day because ghosts don't take holidays. - This tour is seven days a week. It isn't just spooky season that that people want to learn about ghosts. They want to learn about it all the time. And we have a lot of out of town people that come to Nashville and want to see a different side of Nashville, and this is a great way to do it. - The tour will stop at several churches that also served as hospitals during the Civil War. - Which is St. Mary's of Seven Sorrows. This is Nashville's second Catholic church. - But not all of the stories are scary, and not all of the ghosts are up to mischief. - Now, some ghosts are drawn because it was their favorite place. It was the place that they loved. Several ghost stories along our way, talks about the fact that they're still there because they loved it. And the building we're actually going to talk about is the building right there. It is the Hermitage hotel. - Built in 1908, the opulent five-star hotel seems to be a favorite haunt, and why wouldn't it be? Presidents, celebrities, even notorious bank robber, John Dillinger all stayed there. It's no wonder folks never really want to check out. Which brings us to the last stop on the tour, the world famous Ryman auditorium, a place where in life, some people spent their happiest times. - That's mostly what the activity is at the Ryman. It is hearing, you know, really people from a rich musical past. They talk a lot about hearing Hank Williams Senior there and Patsy Cline. And I believe that the reason why they are drawn back to the Ryman is because that is where their dreams come true, where their story began. We are at the Ryman auditorium. Now this was named after Thomas Ryman. This is Mr. Ryman right here, and he was a riverboat captain on the Cumberland river right down there. - So whether you have a passion for the paranormal, a curiosity about the unknown, or just want to learn more about music city, the ghosts of Nashville tour is the way to go. Tickets and tour times are available on their website. - Enjoy the rest of your time everybody, thank you so much. - Wow. A hauntingly good time, indeed. Thanks for joining us. I hope you had a good time. Don't forget about our website, Tennesseecrossroads.org. Follow us on Facebook and what else? Join us next week. See you then. - Tennessee Crossroads is made possible in part by, - Discover Tennessee trails and byways discover Tennessee's adventure, cuisine, history, and more made in Tennessee experiences showcased among these 16 driving trails. More at tntrailsandbyways.com.
October 28, 2021
Season 35 | Episode 15
Cindy Carter takes us to the Harmony Lane Farm and Creamery in Smithville. Joe Elmore visits a popular restaurant in Centerville called Fish Camp. Rob Wilds meets master woodworkers at Rustic River Creations. And Miranda Cohen braves the unknown with Nashville Haunted Ghost Tours.