Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Where is Strawberry Plains, TN?

The number 1 question I am asked is Where Is Strawberry Plains? There is no really simply answer. Many people mistakenly think we are located off of I-40 at Exit 398. That's wrong. The exit is called the "Strawberry Plains Pike" exit. The heart of Strawberry Plains is about 10 miles away.

A few people mistakenly think of Strawberry Plains as being the Carter Community around by the high school. The homes and businesses there do have the mailing address of Strawberry Plains. But they are still several miles from the actual downtown point.

The heart of Strawberry Plains (aka Downtown Strawberry Plains) is in Jefferson County, TN. off of Andrew Johnson Hwy. Google has it marked as the corner of Hwy. 139 and Hwy. 11E. This is the address of the Strawberry Plains Post Office. Mapquest has it marked at the corner of Hamilton St. and W. Old Andrew Johnson Hwy. This is closer to the truth.

You may be surprised to learn that there are 4 counties that make up parts of Strawberry Plains, TN. This includes Knox, Jefferson, Sevier and Grainger Counties. Downtown is inside Jefferson County just a few blocks from the Knox County line. Sevier and Grainer Counties are just a few minutes from downtown.

There is more difference here than just county lines. When speaking or writing a few people like to shorten Strawberry Plains into Straw Plains. This is an immediate signal that the speaker/writer is "not from around here". Most likely, they are from Knox County or they may have recently moved into the area. (Yes, 40 years ago is recent thank you very much.)

The area is steeped in history. A civil war battle was fought here. The famous Stringfield Family Cemetary of Rev. Thomas Stringfield is here. Indians called it home for generations.

But it matters less where you are from than where your heart is. Strawberry Plains has some of the nicest people you'd ever want to meet. Friendships are formed quickly. Bonds are formed that last lifetimes. There area itself is full of nature's beauty.

That's why the elementary kids created a banner that reads "Strawberry Plains. It's the sweetest place to live."

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