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Painting inspires Heritage Museum event

Vehicles, like the one Mike McIntosh is standing with in the above photo, will be on display during an event at the Unicoi County Heritage Museum on June 10. (Erwin Record Staff Photo by Brad Hicks)

By Brad Hicks

Displayed within the Unicoi County Heritage Museum is a painting completed several years ago by artist Jim Stagner.

Stagner’s work, which was previously sold as a fundraiser for the museum, depicts the exterior of the Heritage Museum with two vintage Ford cars parked just beyond the building’s front porch.

This painting, according to museum curator Martha Erwin, will come to life this weekend during what Erwin referred to as a “must-see event.”

This first-ever event, which will feature cars, music and food, will be held this Saturday, June 10, from 1-5 p.m. on the grounds of the Unicoi County Heritage Museum and the adjacent Clinchfield Railroad Museum.

“We’re doing it to promote the museums,” Erwin said.

During the event, vintage cars, like those depicted in Stagner’s painting, will be displayed on the museums’ grounds. Karen Simmering, president of the East Tennessee Model A Restorers Club, is also set to be in attendance.

Live entertainment will be provided by Art Lang and Friends. The group, which performed during last month’s kickoff ceremony for the museums’ 2017 season, is set to perform old-time bluegrass tunes and railroad-themed songs.

“They are returning by popular request,” Erwin said. “They will be playing multiple musical instruments – guitar, upright bass, fiddle, autoharp, harmonica and banjo.”

The car display and musical portions of this Saturday’s event are free to attend.

Food will be sold during the event. Erwin said a plate consisting of grilled hotdogs with all the fixings, chips and a canned drink will be available for $5.

The museums are located at 529 Federal Hatchery Road next to the Erwin National Fish Hatchery.

For more information on this Saturday’s event or the museums, call 743-9449, 743-8923 or 753-9233.