Vendors Keep Busy
As Estimated Crowd
Of 2,500 To 3,000
Attends The Event
BY O.J. EARLY
When antique vendor Mable North arrived at Greeneville High School this weekend, she had no idea she was in possession of an item that may date from the era of the American Revolution.
The antique turned out to be a brown larder, once used to store lard that provided oil for wheels and wagons, as well as functioning to preserve food.
"It may go back to the Revolution," said North, of Rogersville, after an attendee spotted her antique and explained what it was. "I didn't know that until today," she said.
North was one of more than 45 vendors present for the Greene County Partnership Tourism Department's eighth annual Antique Appraisal Fair and Show.
The event featured its first-ever preview party on Friday, and Tammy Kinser, the Greene County Partnership's tourism director, dubbed the entire weekend a success.
"We had a couple vendors say that they were so pleased with the sales they made Friday that they could have gone home then," said Kinser, the event's main organizer. "It was amazing."
She continued: "This year we had more interest in shopping the vendors than we did appraisals. The number of appraisals was slightly down, but the vendors seemed busier. There might be a shift there."
Still, many people took advatange of the numerous experienced appraisers present for the weekend, Kinser said.
Grainger County residents Richard Gibbs and Andrea Hessey, for example, brought a more-than-100-year-old communion set on Saturday.
The set was used in the 1800s by a Baptist Church in New Hampshire, Hessey said, and was given to Hessey's great-grandmother by a childhood friend.
On Saturday, appraiser Joe Rosson valued the religious antique between $2,000 and $2,500, Hessey said.
Kinser estimated a crowd of between 2,500 and 3,000 for the weekend fair and show that included Friday evening and Saturday.
"In tourism, it's all about numbers," Kinser said, and bringing people into the area
"We want to showcase our community. Not only is the Appraisal Fair a fund for tourism, but it puts heads in beds [at local hotels and motels]."
Kinser expressed thanks to the staff of Greeneville High School, and to her committee and her family for their work related to the fair and show.
In addition to Kinser, members of the committee include: Sharon O'Neal, Steve Shore, Josh Swatzell, Debbie Close, Rose Webb and William Brown.