Christmas At Historic Rugby Set For Dec. 8

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - by Amy Barnes
Christmas Carolers
Christmas Carolers

Candlelit visits to traditionally decorated historic buildings, seasonal music performed throughout the village, an award winning film and mural at the new Rugby Visitor Centre & Theatre, and a traditional Victorian dinner combine to provide glimpses of 1880s Rugby Christmases. This annual holiday fundraiser will take place Dec. 8 at the British-founded museum village atop the Cumberland Plateau.    

Six historic and reconstructed buildings open to visitors will be lit with candles and old-fashioned oil lamps.  Beautifully decorated with holly, ivy, and evergreens, just as used by Rugby's early colonists, these buildings will transport you back to 1880s Rugby.  The open buildings include the antique-filled founder's home, Kingstone Lisle, where Madame Margaret Hughes, the founder's mother (portrayed by Virginia Lovellette) will greet visitors.  The fragrance of plum pudding steaming on the kitchen wood stove and parlor music performed by Michael Harris and Donna Hefner will fill the house.  Enjoy cider and cookies while listening to Robin and Company harmonize in the Schoolhouse.  Visitors will also be welcomed to 1880 Newbury House, the Victorian-furnished original boarding house now a bed & breakfast, where Zeb Turrentine will be performing classical guitar music.

The Harrow Road Cafe will serve a four-course Christmas dinner by oil lamp light at two reserved seatings - 5:45 and 8 p.m. Eastern Time.   The menu includes Champagne punch, Clam Chowder, Crab Stuffed Mushroom Caps, Roast Filet Mignon with Béarnaise Sauce, Twice Baked Potato, Antiqua Vegetable Medley, and Pumpkin Cheese Cake.  Recipe handouts will be provided. For event and dinner tickets and area lodging information, call Historic Rugby toll free at 1-888-214-3400 or locally at 628-2441. 

The award-winning history film, Rugby: The Power of a Dream, will be shown several times each evening at the Visitor Centre & Rebecca Johnson Theatre.  A 32-foot wall mural at the centre shows Rugby as it looked in the 1880s. 

Hot wassail will be served fireside at the Rugby Community Room where visitors can take part in old-time carol singing led by musicians Butch Hodgkins and Doug Piercy.  

At the Rugby Printing Works, the 1880s Chandler-Price letterpress will turn out hand printed hot wassail recipes for visitors. 

Visitors are invited to the historic Christ Church Episcopal, to visit with members and listen to the music of Thomas Howell on piano and Judy Newport on flute.  The choir will also be performing there from 4:30–5 and 7–7:30 p.m.

Christmas treasure shoppers will find many gift ideas. The Rugby Commissary Museum Store, the Spirit of Red Hill Nature Art & Oddiments Shop next door, and the Painted Rooster and the Carriage House Gallery, both across the street, have a wide variety of items including ornate Victorian cards and decorations, cookbooks, British preserves and teas, hand-crafted pottery, quilts, woven rugs, stained glass, dolls and baskets, artwork and more.  An authentically costumed St. Nicholas will give out candy to children of all ages.

Event hours are 4-9 p.m. Eastern Time.  Event tickets are $12 and can be purchased in advance, or on Saturday at the Visitor Centre.   Tickets for Historic Rugby members are only $9 and high school and elementary students are $5.  Dinner tickets must be purchased in advance and are $29, tax and gratuity included.  Call 888 214-3400 for event and dinner tickets and information on area lodging.  Christmas At Rugby proceeds help support the restoration and preservation of the National Register village.

Historic Rugby is 70 miles northwest of Knoxville on State Scenic Highway 52, adjoining the Big South Fork National Park.  It was founded in 1880 by British author and social reformer Thomas Hughes as an agricultural Utopia.  Today approximately 20 of its 1880s buildings remain near a rugged, river gorge setting.  The museum village is open daily through Dec. 31 offering building tours, historic lodging, food service, museum store and special events and workshops. More information is at

Chattanooga Kicks Off April With New ArtBurst Month-Long Celebration

Chattanooga kicks off April with a new event, ARTBURST, a month-long celebration of art, artists, and the blooming of color in spring. Each week features events designed to stimulate the senses and bring new energy into the city including outdoor art exhibitions, artful yoga, art walks and bike rides, unveiling of several new public artworks, and more. “The vibrancy ... (click for more)

Arizona Snowbowl - A Desert Oasis

High in the mountains overlooking Flagstaff, Az., on the western slope of Mount Humphreys is a year-round refuge of natural beauty and adventure. Arizona Snowbowl is noteworthy on many accounts. Opened in 1938, Arizona Snowbowl is one of the United State’s oldest continually operating ski areas. It is home to the largest beginner terrain in the Southwest, receives over 260 inches ... (click for more)

Volkswagen To Build New 5-Passenger SUV In Chattanooga

Volkswagen officials announced Monday that they will build a new five-passenger SUV at the Chattanooga plant at the Enterprise South Industrial Park. Governor Bill Haslam was among those on hand for the announcement. It will be a variant of the seven-passenger Atlas that is already under production here. Like the Atlas, the new model will be designed and engineered for ... (click for more)

Weather Channel Correspondent Hunkered Down In Chattanooga, But Storm Stayed Mainly To The Southwest

A Weather Channel correspondent hunkered down in Chattanooga on Monday night as a fierce storm approached. A Weather Channel anchor termed it "a rough night in the Scenic City," but the main area of damage kept to the southwest.. Reynolds Wolf said he, along with his cameraman and producer, were ready to take shelter in their nearby hotel should the storm become dangerous. ... (click for more)

The Panhandling "Tax" On Gunbarrel

I’ve been reading about the panhandling problem in downtown; it is a huge problem in the Gunbarrel area, too.  It’s commonplace to be accosted by panhandlers when walking from your parked car into a commercial establishment.  And often they are aggressive.  I look carefully around my car before getting out, but sometimes someone will be lurking in between cars and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Meme From The Meanies

Hardly a day goes past that I don’t receive several strings of memes in my incoming emails and yesterday there was one particular collection that gave me pause for thought. First, here’s the definition of a meme: “An Internet meme (/mi?m/ MEEM) is an activity, concept, catchphrase or piece of media which spreads, often as mimicry or for humorous purposes, from person to person via ... (click for more)