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2014 – A Year of Milestones

After the end of our 2013 season, Lainey and I took a little while off to recuperate from another long year.  Now we are back, getting ready for 40 guests coming for President’s Day/Valentine’s Day this weekend. We are also thinking about 2014, our 26th season as the Innkeepers of Hemlock Inn.

2014 is going to be a year of milestones, both personally and for the inn.

First, our family will experience a number of events that are noteworthy: In February, Lainey and I will celebrate our 31st anniversary and I will officially become a senior citizen when I turn 65.  This is retirement age for some, but I plan to be at Hemlock Inn many more years, maybe just moving a bit slower.  In May, we will celebrate two graduations.  Steven, our middle son will graduate with a MDiv from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston. and John Thomas, our youngest will earn his BA in History from the University of Tennessee. The trick is they graduate the same weekend, but Lainey has a plan for us to be at both.  In July, Andrew, our oldest, and his wife Jeanette, will return to the states after a year in East Asia.  Then in September, John Thomas will marry Alli Cochran, right here at the inn.  We will have more to report later.

Hemlock Inn will also have significant events throughout the year.  We start our season with our annual Wildflower Walks and Talks with Jim and Eleanor Burbank.  This is be April 28-May 10 and is always a highlight of our spring season.  In late May, we will be the site of the first of four weddings scheduled this year.  Other weddings are scheduled for June, September, and early October.  In August, the Francis Asbury Society will meet here for the 32nd consecutive year.  The second week of September will be the time of our “Innkeeper Hiking Week”  when I will lead all comers on some of my favorite hikes in the national park.  October will be beautiful as always, Thanksgiving Weekend is a popular time and is highlighted by our Thanksgiving feast.  November and December is known for the Polar Express Train Excursion packages which include a stay at the inn and a ride on the magical train ride on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad to the North Pole.

We will also host a number of family reunions and a few church retreats as well.  I’m sure there will be more to report, so keep in touch.

2014 is going to be a great year and we hope you can come to share some time with us.





  1. Marilyn Hense says

    Congratulations on the boys’ graduations and all of the other events to celebrate at Hemlock Inn!
    Spring is not too far away!