Wanna own a piece of the Jack Daniel’s Barrel Tree? Benefit auction starts Dec. 1.

The Jack Daniel’s Barrel Tree is up in Lynchburg and cities across the U.S. and you can own the top barrel. (Photo Credit: Jack Daniel’s Distillery)

Each year, Jack Daniel’s Barrel Trees pops up in Lynchburg as well as cities around the globe. It’s a fun, holiday tradition that supports a great cause, Operation Ride Home, which helps help junior-enlisted service members and families travel home.

The first barrel tree went up in 2011. It was 26 feet tall and made from 140 American white oak whiskey barrels. After all, since no barrel is ever filled with Jack Daniel’s twice, we’ve got plenty of them around. All the barrels used to made the famed Jack Daniel’s Barrel Trees were once entrusted to mature the famed Tennessee Whiskey.

It brought folks from all around Tennessee, the U.S., an the globe to tiny Lynchburg. Today, replicas also go up in Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Dallas, Boston, Las Vegas, Tampa, Cleveland, and Nashville.

As part of its “Operation Ride Home” program, the famed distillery and partner, the Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA), will auction off the top barrel of each tree with proceeds helping junior-enlisted service members and families travel home from their place of military service. Due to the current pandemic, travel for these heroes is on hold due to Department of Defense restrictions but will commence as soon as they are lifted. Since the program began in 2011, ORH has helped send a total of 8,583 individual junior-enlisted service members and their families home while raising $1.8 million in donations. Men and women from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard have been assisted with travel to all 50 states.

“The Jack Daniel Distillery barrel tree has always brought people together to celebrate the spirit of the season and remind us of the sacrifice of so many heroes and their loved ones” said Chris Fletcher, Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller. “We hope our friends will stop by and join us to reflect on this special time of year. After all, we all need some extra cheer this holiday season.”

The barrel tree auction kicked off on December 1 and if you ‘d like to learn more about taking home one of the the barrels from this year’s trees, click here. •

The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Santa visits go virtual this year

Thanks to the folks in Pigeon Forge, local little ones can get a call or letter from Santa this year as a socially-distanced option. (Art Provided)

Schedule a video chat with Santa or send him a letter – either way Santa Claus is still coming to town in 2020, thanks to some clever folks in Pigeon Forge.

For kids across the United State, standing in line at the local mall to get their yearly picture with Santa Claus is a holiday tradition. But this year, lines, crowded malls, and getting closer than six feet to a stranger – even Santa –are all on the naughty list due to COVID. The folks at the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism have a solution – virtual chats with Santa and letters from Santa. To schedule a chat or request a letter with Santa for your child, click here.

“We understand the holiday season may look different for a lot of families this year, but making Christmastime memories is more important than ever,” Pigeon Forge Executive Director of Tourism Leon Downey said. “We’re grateful that Santa and technology can work together to gift families with the magic of Christmas in a safe, contact-free way.”  

Beginning Monday, November 30, Moore County parents or guardians can register for a free video call with Santa. Calls will be made by appointment through Tuesday, December 15 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and again from 4-8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Each family who chats with Santa will receive an exclusive ornament to commemorate the special call from the North Pole.

Kids can also correspond with Santa via a free personal letter and share their 2020 Christmas wish list by clicking here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Richard Allen Williams of Lynchburg dies at 66

Richard Allen Williams of Lynchburg died at his home in Lynchburg on Monday, November 23. A veteran of the United States Army, Richard was preceded in death by his father, Bill Williams, his daughter, Stephanie Collins, and his sister, Linda Williams.

Survivors include his mother, Lucille Warren of Lynchburg, his son, Eric Williams of Lewisburg, his daughter, Pamela Pugh of Cornersville, his brother, David Wayne Williams of Smithville, his sister, Louann Smith of Tullahoma, his grandchildren, Mhara Leaming Alexis Williams, Hannah Pugh, and Houston Pugh, and his great grandchildren, Alissa and Amelia Leaming, and Hyde Williams.

Carr & Erwin Funeral Home in Pulaski will host visitation for the family on Friday, November 27 from 4-8 p.m. The funeral home is located at 1228 East College Street in Pulaski. Graveside services with full military honors will happen on November 28, 2020 at 11 a.m. at New Zion Cemetery.•

{Editor’s Note: The Lynchburg Times publishes obituaries of Moore County residents and individuals whose immediate family live in Moore County at no cost to the family on our website. We consider it a public service important for future genealogical research. Submit your information to editor@lynchburg-times.com.}

Motlow adds thermal temp scanners to Moore County campus

Motlow’s Moore County campus recently added no-contact, thermal temperature scanners at the Marcum Technology Center, Simon Hall, Nisbett Center, and Ingram Administration buildings. (Photo Credit: Motlow College)

LOCAL NEWS — As COVID-19 cases rise throughout Middle Tennessee, Motlow College is stepping up their safety precautions by placing new, no-contact temperature scanners at building entrances.

Each thermal scanner provides a non-contact fever inspection kiosk that provides detection of temperature, with or without a mask, in less than one second. The thermal scanners are now provided as a supplemental aid to Motlow’s existing on-campus requirements. Students, staff, and visitors are still required to submit a self-assessment health screening form before coming to any Motlow campus. Scanners were added at the Marcum Technology Center, Simon Hall, Nisbett Center, and Ingram Administration on the Moore County campus.

The scanners are simple to use. Walk towards the scanner and it will detect your presence. It will display your temperature on the screen and tell you if you are cleared to enter the building. If your temperature is 100.4 or above, you are not cleared to enter the building and you should leave campus immediately.

To learn more about Motlow College’s on-campus COVID safety requirements, click here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Letter from the Editor: Let’s shop Lynchburg first this holiday season

Wines from Lynchburg Winery, candles from the Moon Pie Store, and handmade ornaments that benefit Lynchburg Friend of Animals at the Perfect Picker, these are just a couple of our favorite gift ideas you can buy right here in Lynchburg. (Lynchburg Times Photo)

Every year, I attempt to holiday shop with purpose. I understand that money equals support and Lynchburg local small businesses need it now more than ever.

Each November and December, Americans pump millions of dollars into the economy in the form of holiday shopping. In fact, nearly 20 percent of annual retail sales happen during this period. Redirecting just a small percentage of your Christmas spending to local, regional, state, and American independent, small businesses could be the difference in their survival in 2021.

In 2020, I’m focusing my spending in four crucial areas: Lynchburg shopping, southern middle Tennessee shopping, made in Tennessee shopping, and made in America shopping. Sure, if my niece just has to have the hottest toy of the season, I’ll buy it. But my goal this year is 80/20 — eighty percent to independent brick and mortar stores as well as local artist and makers and the other 20 percent to those items it’s just not possible to buy locally.

Starting the week of Thanksgiving, we’ll be listing our Favorite Things. As always, we shop Lynchburg first. We also like to support small businesses in Tullahoma, Fayetteville, Winchester, Shelbyville, Manchester, and other surrounding areas. There are also some iconic made in Tennessee items that made our list and even a couple of made in America items we just could not pass up.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas, y’all.

Tabitha Evans Moore, Editor & Publisher

Lynchburg Buy Local Gift Guide

Historic downtown Lynchburg offers tons of unique gift ideas that you can only find in Lynchburg like wines from Lynchburg Distillery, Moon Pie candles, and handmade Christmas ornaments that benefit the local shelter.

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, everyone’s holiday season is looking a little different this year. But one trend we’re absolutely in love with is the desire to shop small, local independent businesses in 2020.

The historic Lynchburg Square is filled with gifts that just about anyone on your list would love. These are our top seven. Also be sure to check out The Lynchburg Times Facebook things for their Favorite Things this holiday season.

1 | The Perfect Picker — Located at the corner of Majors Boulevard and Mechanic Street near Lynchburg’s only stop light, the Perfect Picker is a must-shop for anyone who has a vintage lover in their life. Owner Marcy Smith curates the stores collection and it’s filled with unique finds and pieces of Tennessee history. Beginning in November, the store transforms into a Christmas wonderland with every type of ornament, decoration, and holiday themed décor you can imagine. They also boast an impressive 13 Christmas trees including one created with antique cast iron. From local art to vintage kitchen items to local honey, the Perfect Picker should definitely, be one of your #shoplocal Lynchburg destinations. For more information, visit their Facebook page. They update it regularly with new finds.

2 | Velma’s Candy — If you have foodie on your list or you are looking for unique stocking stuffers, you should pop by Velma’s Candy. Not only do they boast the best front window display on the historic square, they also offer a unique taste of Lynchburg likeone of our favorites the Whiskey Truffles made with a little local product. They are usually onsite making fresh candies on Wednesday through Sunday.

3 | Miss Mary Bobo’s Restaurant Gift Shop — Not only does Miss Mary Bobo’s Restaurant offer the premiere southern dining experience in Lynchburg but their cleverly curated gift shop is both affordable and filled with finds for favorite aunt or grandmother is sure to love. On of our favorites are hand-poured candles by the Lynchburg Candle Company. They also sell gift certificate to the restaurant. You do not need to eat at the restaurant to shop at the gift shop and they mirror the restaurant’s hours. To learn more, visit their Facebook page.

4| Lynchburg Winery & American Craft Distiller of Lynchburg — It’s no secret that Lynchburg is a hotspot for whiskey and wine connoisseurs. If you have one on your holiday list, you can find an only-in-Lynchburg item they’ll love. Both Lynchburg Winery wines and American Craft Distiller’s of Lynchburg pours can only be bought at their Lynchburg location. They also sell unique mixers and cocktail ingredients. On of our favorite is the Nashville Hot Bloody Mary Mix. It’s oh-so-tasty and oh-so-Tennessee. Learn more on their Facebook Page or check out their website.

5 | Indian Motorcycle Lynchburg Garage — Thousands of two-wheeled whiskey aficionados roll through Lynchburg each year. If you’ve got one on your list, pop by Indian Motorcycle’s Lynchburg Garage and check out their selection of riding gear and Indian Motorcycle swag. Even if you don’t ride, one of their vintage t-shirts would make a perfect gift for any of the cool kids on your list. They are located just off the Lynchburg Square.

6| Moon Pie General Store — Nothing tastes like southern, middle Tennessee more than a Moon Pie. Heck, our friends in Bell Buckle plan a whole festival around the Chattanooga-based graham cracker cookie and marshmallow sandwich. Lynchburg’s is blessed to have on of their general stores right here on the historic square and it’s a perfect place to buy a gift for anyone on your list who loves all things southern. Our favorites is the Moon Pie candles that smell exactly as good as a warmed-in-the-microwave Moon Pie tastes.

7 | Lynchburg Ladies Handiworks Store — If you’ve got a lover of art and handmade things on your list, we’ve got a find for you. There is an entire store in Lynchburg filled with gifts made by the ladies of Lynchburg, Tennessee. It’s run by an all volunteer staff and offers thoughtful one-of-a-kind gifts like hand-pieced quilts, bonnets, baby clothes, handmade toys, art, crocheted items and so much more. Our favorite is the hand-crocheted stuffed toys that would make a perfect gift for a baby or toddler on your list.

These are just several examples of all that historic downtown Lynchburg and the surrounding area have to offer. Not only is a day of shopping in Lynchburg a safer option than the malls, it’s a small town experience. If you’d like to pass that experience along to someone else, most of the restaurants, gift shops, and boutiques also offer gift certificates and gift cards. And don’t forget about Christmas in Lynchburg, which kick off on Saturday, December 5.

For more information about the business of historic downtown Lynchburg, visit the Lynchburg Chamber of Commerce Facebook Page or website. You can also get regular updates on news and information about Lynchburg at The Lynchburg Times Facebook page or website. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Virtual Jack Daniel’s Barrel Tree lighting happens Saturday

Local folks and those from around the globe can join together on Saturday for a virtual Jack Daniel’s Barrel Tree Lighting event. (Photo Credit: Jack Daniel’s Distillery)

LOCAL NEWS — For years, the lighting of the Jack Daniel Barrel Tree each year has been a big deal. Locals, residents of neighboring counties, folks from across the United States, and even those from abroad gather each year in Lynchburg to kick off the holiday season. This year due to COVID-19 things will need to be a little different.

“We won’t be able to celebrate in person this year, but we don’t see why that should stop us from enjoying each other’s company,” the company said.

In that spirit there will be a virtual Holiday Kick Off and Barrel Tree Lighting on Saturday, November 21 from 6 to 7 p.m. If you’d like to attend simply click here. Once you’ve registered, you’ll be sent an invitation to the event.

Kevin ‘the Barrel Man’ Sanders will be on hand sharing some history about the Barrel Tree and the barrels that were used to craft it. Lynchburg Mayor Bonnie Lewis will update folks about Lynchburg, and the folks at Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House will offer some holiday entertaining advice. There might even be a bit of holiday music. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

MUD reminds customers of holiday schedule and lock offs

The MUD offices will be closed on November 26-27 for Thanksgiving. To avoid lock off, customers should make past due payments prior to 4 p.m. on Wednesday. (File Graphic)

LOCAL NEWS — The Metro Utilities Department (MUD) reminds customers that their offices will be closed on Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27 for Thanksgiving. This means that water customers with a past due bill will need to make a payment no later than 4 p.m. on the Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving in order to avoid a water lock off. Lock offs will not take place until after the holiday on Monday, November 30.

MUD officials say that they have made attempts to contact everyone that is currently on the lock off list. Payments can be made via U.S. mail, at the MUD offices, or 24/7 online.

There is a $100 reconnection fee. MUD officials say that if you make your payment in the night drop off box after 4 p.m. on November 25, it should include the additional $100 plus the balance due.

If you have questions, call the MUD offices at 931-759-4297 or visit their website by clicking here. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Area state parks plan Day After Thanksgiving Hikes

Four area state parks — Old Stone Fort, Henry Horton, Cumberland Trail, and South Cumberland — will offer Day After Thanksgiving Hikes on November 27. (Photos Provided)

Mark your calendar for November 27, skip the Black Friday shopping, and work off a few of those turkey calories with these four Day After Thanksgiving Hike at Middle Tennessee state parks.

MANCHESTER — Join Park Ranger Keith Wimberley for a guided hike around Old Stone Fort State Park. Hikers will walk a leisurely 1.25 mile path that follows along the Little Duck and Duck Rivers while discussing the pre-history, history, and geology of the area. The event is free (though donations are welcome) and will be limited to 50 people. Registration is required. Click here to reserve your spot.

MONTEAGLE — South Cumberland State Park in Grundy County and Ranger Jessie plan a guided hike through the picturesque Grundy Forest Natural Area to discuss the native plants and animals that inhabit the area. This two mile hike is rated as moderate due to rocky terrain, exposed roots, and some minor elevation change. The hike is free (though donations are welcome) but registration is required. Click here to reserve your spot.

CHAPEL HILL — Rangers at Henry Horton State Park in nearby Chapel Hill plan an organized hike through the Hickory Ridge and River Trails. It’s a easy, 3.5 mile hike that’s suitable for all ages and hiking abilities. Ranger Julia and Park Manager Ryan will stop along the way to point out various natural and historical features along the way. The hike is free (though donations are welcome) but registration is required. Click here to reserve your spot.

CROSSVILLE — Exchange Black Friday for Black Mountain at this Cumberland Trail State Park Guided Hike. Ranger Mike Croley will guide hikers across the northern rim of the Sequatchie Valley to the stunning boulder formations. It’s a 1.5 mile roundtrip hike that should take around two hours. The hike is free (though donations are welcome) but registration is required. Click here to reserve your spot.

All hikers should wear good walking shoes (no sandals), and bring their own drinking water. Daytime highs that day will be around 63 degree, so dress appropriately for the weather. For more information, visit the Tennessee State Parks website. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Motlow names U.S. Navy veteran Dwyer first Chancellor’s Commendation winner

Motlow State President Dr. Michael Torrence, left, awards Motlow freshman and U.S. Navy veteran Zachary Dwyer a special challenge coin, representing the inaugural TBR Chancellor’s Commendation for Military Veterans. Dwyer was nominated by Torrence for the award. Challenge coins are a rich tradition in all military branches and signify special achievement, excellence, hard work, unit pride, respect, and esprit de corps. (Photo Credit: Motlow College)

LOCAL NEWS — The Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) recently established a new award honoring the service, bravery, and sacrifices of military veterans. The Chancellor’s Commendation for Military Veterans will honor a military veteran attending one of the state’s community and technical colleges. Recipients of the new Chancellor’s Commendation were nominated by the college presidents and include students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

That award winner from Motlow College will be Zachary Dwyer of Smyrna. Zachary is a freshman attending Motlow’s Smyrna campus. He is majoring in general studies and plans to transfer to MTSU to study Geoscience. He graduated from Lancaster Christian Academy in 2010 and joined the Navy in 2011, serving aboard the USS Fitzgerald and USS Bonhomme Richard during his eight years of service.

“Courage, commitment, and honor are the core values of the U.S. Navy, and Zachary Dwyer embodies these core values,” said Motloe President Dr. Michael Torrence. “In an unprecedented year, Zach’s core values are his anchor and compass as he begins a new journey as an adult learner in a time of uncertainty. He brings as much to the classroom as he receives, and he enjoys the learning experiences and environment of Motlow.”

College presidents presented recipients of the commendation a special Challenge Coin on behalf of the chancellor.  Challenge coins are a rich tradition in all military branches and signify special achievement, excellence, hard work, unit pride, respect, and esprit de corps.

During the 2019-2020 academic year, 3,436 students in the College System of Tennessee self-reported as veterans and active duty military personnel on their admission materials. Since such reporting is not required, there are likely more student veterans – and they are in addition to the many veterans in the faculty, staff, and alumni ranks. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}