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Sequatchie Valley commemorated in keepsake photobook

Posted on Wednesday, February 21, 2024 at 11:37 am


The much-anticipated pictorial book, “Cruising Tennessee’s Great Valley: A Photographic Journey Through the Sequatchie Valley,” developed by John Hargis and Tom Wood is now on sale.

This extensive, more than 200-page, volume showcases captivating landscape and wildlife photographs captured in the Sequatchie Valley (SV), making it a delightful keepsake for both valley residents and visitors. Professional photographers Hargis and Wood contributed their expertise, collecting information from Bledsoe, Sequatchie, and Marion counties—the three counties highlighted along the SV National Scenic Byway (NSB). The book, published by THRIVE Sequatchie, a fundraising arm of the Sequatchie County-Dunlap Chamber of Commerce, aims to generate funds for promoting tourism in the Sequatchie Valley. Director Janis Kyser, from Bledsoe to Marion County, provides insights into the initiative.

The Sequatchie Valley achieved recognition in 2021 as one of the newly added locations to the NSB list, meeting the criteria of being scenic, historic, natural, and recreational. It now shares this distinction with renowned TN scenic byways like the Blue Ridge Parkway and Natchez Trace Parkway. Managed by the Sequatchie County Chamber of Commerce, the SV NSB encompasses 70 miles of stunning valleys, surrounded by majestic mountains, conveniently situated within a short drive from major cities like Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Nashville. The route spans Cumberland, Bledsoe, Sequatchie, and Marion counties, each offering unique downtown experiences. Connected by the picturesque 116-mile-long Sequatchie River, the valley provides a diverse range of activities, catering to those seeking both adventure and tranquility. Designated NSBs in TN meet various criteria, drawing tourists who prioritize authentic experiences. Research indicates that such travelers contribute significantly to local economies by supporting small businesses, dining at local restaurants, and staying in nearby accommodations.

The program, distinct from the National Park’s foundation, emerged in 1991 through congressional establishment to safeguard and promote the nation’s significant locations. Administered by the United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (USDOT FHA), this prestigious classification is granted to areas or roads showcasing at least one of six distinctive characteristics: scenic, archaeological, cultural, historic, natural, or recreational. The primary goal is to ensure the preservation and protection of these noteworthy byways while simultaneously fostering tourism and economic development in the respective regions.

Further information on SV see For additional information regarding the Scenic Roadways, Michael McClanahan, the Scenic Roadways Coordinator can be reached by email at and by phone at (615)741-0803.

The SV memorabilia can be obtained locally at the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, 302 Betsy Pack Drive in Jasper. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. You may call (423) 942-5103 for more information. The book is also at the Sequatchie County-Dunlap Chamber of Commerce during business hours from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Priced at $75 for pick-up in cash or check made to THRIVE Sequatchie, or $85 for shipping. Additionally, copies are available at The Bledsonian-Banner in Pikeville from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

More locations to purchase the book and book signings will be announced at a later date. For more information call (423) 949-7608 or (423) 593-1444.

Photos by Tom Wood

The Marion Tribune – January 18, 2024