Eastern Tennessee

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer reports from Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary. He visits with Brian May, who along with his partner operates prison tours, concerts, a theater, restaurant and distillery. 

Thomas Wilmer

Knoxville—the third largest city in Tennessee—is most definitely a big, little city, according to correspondent Tom Wilmer, who visits with Angie Wilson at Visit Knoxville to hear the backstory on just why this vibrant town bustles with new, locally-owned businesses.

Courtesy of General Morgan Inn

Michael Brown, general manager at the General Morgan Inn in Greeneville, Tennessee, shares his recommendations for exploring the region and the town’s historic past. Dick Nelson, longtime resident of nearby Johnson City, talks about how the era of malls nearly killed the downtown, and how the demise of malls paved the way for its renaissance.

Thomas Wilmer

Correspondent Tom Wilmer reports from eastern Tennessee, where he explores Roan Mountain and Rocky Fork State Parks. He then visits with innkeepers at the state’s oldest inn in historic Jonesborough, and discovers how community engagement drives business at Jiggy Rays Pizza Parlor in the Appalachian village of Elizabethton.

Thomas Wilmer

Join correspondent Tom Wilmer reporting from Kingsport, Tennessee—in the shadows of the Great Smokey Mountains—for an exploration of the town’s vibrant economy and fascinating educational opportunities for the upcoming generation.

Back in the latter 1990s, manufacturing jobs were disappearing at a frightening rate across America’s Rust Belt. Kingsport, Tennessee was a poster child for the changes, with staggering job losses and industrial manufacturing plant-closures.

Entrance to Dancing Bear Lodge
Dancing Bear Lodge

A conversation with Sharon and Mark Oldham, owners of Dancing Bear Lodge situated in the Great Smoky Mountains of Eastern Tennessee. Dancing Bear features 26 rustic but elegant lodge-style accommodations, an event center where live musical performances feature regional artists, and the award-winning Appalachian Bistro. We’ll also visit with the Bistro’s star-chef Shelly Cooper.

6th generation Danny Ray Carver's family has been growing apples in Eastern Tennessee since the late 1700's
Thomas Wilmer

Danny Ray Carver’s dad started Carver’s Orchard in Cosby, Tennessee back in 1942, but the Carver clan has been growing apples in Appalachia for six generations, arriving in Eastern Tennessee in the late 1700’s.