#thisplacematters, Historic Hotels, History, Stories, Volunteerism

Our Roots


July 2019 

 “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

“Home” is one of those beautiful four-letter words. From the first settlers who arrived on the east coast to those who fought to separate themselves from the lands they left behind to form a “more perfect union” to those wanderers who kept moving across the unknown landscape, our country was built upon brave souls.

And home’s the most excellent place of all – Neil Diamond, Heartlight, 1982

After a hard day’s work, most of us return to our home for rest, peace and reassurance. We go on vacations to “get away” but we look forward to returning home when the get-a-way is done. Home is our anchor, our safe haven, and our foundation.

Red Boiling Springs is home to variety of folks. Those who roots go back three or four generations or more and have never left, call it home. Those whose roots are here, left for a time but have returned home. Those who heard of the “hominess” of the community and now call it home. Isn’t that the nature of home? Some never leave, some leave for a time and return, and others are welcomed to be a part of home.

“Home is where you hang your hat.”

“Home is where the heart is.”

Home is a refuge. Home is where you are reminded who you are and who you can become.

“There’s no place like home”

“Home is where our story begins”

Our story begins with those settlers and early families who came to this area and called it home. Vision 2020 wants to save those stories of struggle and triumph and home. Our story is worth saving and passing on to the next generations.

Whenever a member of Vision 2020 asks for a donation to the Ice Cream Social or the Cathie and Troy Johnson 5K Walk/Run to finance the restoration of the old bank building, we are not asking for just money. We are asking for your participation in saving our home. Brick and mortar restoration efforts require money for materials and expert labor.

The old bank building restoration project is more than restoring a historic building, more than preserving history, it is preserving home.

#home #redboilingsprings




June 2019

We have just experienced, in the last few weeks, opportunities to remember. With Memorial Day and the marking of the D-Day invasion, we honor the memories of the fallen brave with recollection of deeds that paid the price for the precious freedoms we enjoy in our nation.  From the heart of composer and D-Day veteran Jim Radford:

And those of you who were unborn, who’ve lived in liberty,
Remember those who made it so on the shores of Normandy.

One of the goals of Vision 2020 Inc is to preserve and share the history, the family stories and folklore of Red Boiling Springs, TN. Why? Because “this place matters”.  Why? Because the history and lives of the past are the foundation on which our present and future lives are built. #thisplacematters

Everyone has places that are important to them. Places they care about. Places that matter. Red Boiling Springs is a place many people call home. Whether they still reside within its borders or not. #thisplacematters

To that end, Vision 2020 Inc has been working the past 5 plus years to restore the old bank building in town to house historic memorabilia.  We are currently in phase 2 of this preservation project — restoring the old building to her glory days of the 1930s. We need volunteers to do physical labor under the supervision of those experienced with restoring historic properties.  The old bank building is listed on the National List of Historic Places. #thisplacematters

Because historic restoration is not free or cheap, we need financial support. Your donation does not need to be large. Whatever the amount, it will be put to use in the restoration efforts.  One way you can easily donate is through the Amazon Smile program.  If you shop on amazon.com anytime during the year, please choose to sign up for this fund-raiser — Amazon Smile


Choose Vision 2020 Inc as your preferred charity. Each time you shop, Amazon will make a donation to Vision 2020’s heritage museum fund based on the amount of your purchase.  It does not increase your purchase amount. Amazon is making the donation.

Send us stories why Red Boiling Springs matters to you — vision2020@nctc.com




April is Volunteer Month. Volunteers are the key to any community’s success!  Volunteers want to make a difference. Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they have the heart (Elizabeth Andrew).  Vision 2020 is made up of folks with a heart for their community.

If you have been following Vision 2020 on Facebook, you have send the faces and heard the reasons why some of your neighbors volunteer. What began as a few business owners and concerned citizens visiting about how to attract more guests to our hometown grew into the establishment of a group of volunteers known as Vision 2020 Inc.

With the support of the city government and lots of volunteers, Vision 2020 Inc has brought back some favorite community activities from the past: the Community Easter Egg Hunt, Night-time Christmas Parade and Folk Medicine Festival.  One of the first major projects V2020 volunteers completed was the Walking Quilt.

Located throughout our city parks; the walking trail begins at the gazebo in front of the Donoho Hotel on the corner of East Main Street and Witcher Hollow Road. Under the direction of volunteer Carolyn Whitaker, the quilt trail has a three-fold purpose. First, it honors the heritage of the town by honoring one of the crafts prevalent in our history. Second, it provides a pleasant addition to the existing walking trail in our city parks. Lastly, the quilt trail encourages citizens and guests to walk the trail to add a few more steps to their lives.

Walking Quilt Trail opening day 9-4-10 004smallerEach shadow box display contains a 2×2 painted representation of a quilt block from a popular quilt design of the 1920’s to 1940s. The box also contains a plaque that tells about the design and why the sponsor chose it. Most of the quilt displays are in honor or in memory of someone. The names of the sponsor and the artist are also included on the plaque. The shadow box has a plexi-glass covering to help protect it from the elements.

You can be a part of any Vision 2020 Inc program or activity– all you have to do is volunteer! To learn how you can become a part of the Vision 2020 Volunteers — come to our monthly meetings on the 4th Tuesday of each month beginning at 7:00pm in the dining room of the Armour’s Hotel. Or, stop in the Step Back in Time Shop at 252 Main St., RBS and speak with a Vision 2020 Volunteer.  Visit our Facebook page or e-mail us at vision2020@nctc.com




February 2019

On a Saturday evening in the summertime, to drive over narrow, twisting roads to dine at the Donoho Hotel in Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee, is to experience a remnant of the nearly vanished past. The Donoho, built in 1916, is a living antique, functioning in much the same way as it did when Red Boiling Springs was a thriving resort community. In the late afternoon sun, tall white columns gleam through the trees surrounding the hotel, and the shade lies cool and deep on the lawn; on the long veranda people lounge in rocking chairs until the clanging of the dinner bell calls them to the dining hall. After supper, guests return to their chairs on the veranda. The stillness remains unbroken, except for the occasional car on the highway which passes through the small Macon County community. Guests are prone to think nostalgically about the “good old days” when people enjoyed restful vacations lolling on the veranda at Red Boiling Springs.  (introduction to Simple Pleasures by Dr. Jeanette Keith)

February 2019 – This month we launch a new feature of our vision2020inc.com website – Our Roots.  This blog site is planned to be updated each month with reminiscences of growing up in our charming hometown of Red Boiling Springs, TN as well as stories of days long past from the history of this once thriving resort community.

The Donoho Hotel Nestled in the rolling hills of middle Tennessee, The Donoho hotel is an oasis for a weary traveler for both the body and the soul. With a warm southern breeze and a cold glass of ice tea in your hand you are home! Established in 1914, the Donoho Hotel is steeped in tradition. As you drive over Salt Lick Creek onto the grounds you see more than 100 years of rich history. It is the last of the great white frame hotels with full-length two-story verandas. After the first Donoho Hotel burned, the current structure opened in 1914. What brought tourists to this rural Tennessee town were the potential curative powers of the mineral waters found in the area. This began in the 1860s after the Civil War ended and mountain spring resorts became the vacation destination for people all across the United States.  http://www.thedonoho.com/phone/about.html


Left: Mary Hudson and her sister, Peggy in front of the Donoho in by-gone days.

Visit us soon in Red Boiling Springs and enjoy the hospitality of the entire community.