Categorized | History

Knox Heritage

Stunning Food and Delicious Views

Since 2004, Knox Heritage has presented an annual series of “Summer Suppers” in some of Knox County’s most spectacular historic places. Each supper is a unique experience unmatched by any event in Knoxville. The 12-13 suppers are organized by host committees of volunteers who work together to plan every detail of the event. From menu preparation, to wine selection, to dishwashing, the host committees make it work.

Last year, the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance joined in the fun and hosted the first Summer Suppers beyond Knox County. One supper highlighted the beautiful Claypond Farm in Loudon County with a tasty menu of grilled seasonal vegetables, slow cooked chicken breasts, Lynchburg lemonade, and homemade ice cream. We even had a grand piano under the tent for entertainment. The second supper was atop Preservation Plaza in Downtown Maryville and featured stunning views of the mountains, delicious tapas, and sangria (a secret recipe!).

This summer, ETPA is again hosting two regional suppers. This year, we’ll be at Richland Mill on August 13 in the rolling hills of Grainger County for “Country Dining Down by the Old Mill Stream.” The story of the mill dates back to 1796 when William Stone was given permission by the first Grainger County Meeting to build a mill on Richland Creek.  Occupied by both Confederate and Union forces during the Civil War, the mill remained in the Stone family until 1904.  Later owners built the Miller’s Cottage for a residence, and the mill continued operation until 1958.  Marvin and Janie House purchased the mill in 1996 and faithfully restored it, with additions made to serve as their unique residence.

Guests will be treated to Grainger County tomato sandwiches, baked country ham with an apricot-cranberry-orange glaze, blue cheese and green onion potato salad, apple slaw, spicy Grainger County tomato grits, seasonal fruit cobblers, and of course a cool stream breeze cocktail. Just imagine a warm summer evening along the cool, gurgling Richland Creek.

Then, on September 11, Beverly and Jack Kramer will open their home for the “Riverside Supper at the McBee Farm.” This Summer Supper is a rare treat! Overlooking the Holston River and McBee Island from the lawn of the McBee House, guests will dine on freshly grown, locally raised, chemical free, farm to table fare. The circa 1830 brick house is one of the oldest surviving houses from the time period in the area and sits on a working farm.

Our hosts have lovingly restored this home and farmstead and received preservation awards from the Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities and ETPA. Evening entertainment will include tours of the home, a fox hunt demonstration by the Tennessee Valley Hunt Club, a wagon ride along the banks of the Holston, and music suitable to the setting. This will be a special evening to remember.

The host committee, which includes sisters Jennifer Niceley and Anna Barreiro, has pulled together a tasty spread of local fare that showcases the talents and flavors of Jefferson County. A sampling includes freshly picked vegetables, homegrown herb and hickory cane corn muffins with homemade butter, rosemary pork tenderloin, and vanilla lemon custard with berry coulis. The menu will complement the views perfectly.

We hope to see you at the Richland Mill and the McBee Farm this summer for one of East Tennessee Preservation Alliance’s Summer Suppers. For more detailed information, including full menus, ticket ordering information, and the list of all Knox Heritage Summer Suppers, please visit or call (865) 523-8008. Tickets will sell out quickly!

ETPA is a membership organization that relies on the input and support of volunteers. If you are interested in becoming a member, serving on a committee, hosting an event, or need technical assistance for your historic place, do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Each month contributors from the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance (ETPA) write an article for Everything Knoxville celebrating the rich heritage of our region. ETPA is a regional historic preservation membership-based organization that serves Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Monroe, Morgan, Roane, Scott, Sevier, and Union counties. Preservation field services in this region are provided by Knox Heritage and are assisted by a Partners in the Field grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. For more information, please visit

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