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"Legacy in Action"...The Sergeant York Patriotic Foundation is dedicated to preserving the legacy of
Sergeant Alvin C. York, the greatest hero of World War I.


York General Store is headquarters for events (get directions).



2011 Event Schedule
19th Sgt. Alvin C. York Memorial Black Powder Shoot - March 26
Sgt. York Cultural Arts Celebration - May 7 (read more)
WWI History Event - date TBD
World’s Longest Yard Sale Aug 4-7
11/11/11 at 11 a.m. Veteran's Day Patriotic Ceremony, York General Store,
Alvin C. York State Historic Park. FREE
12/10/11 at 4 p.m. Christmas in the Valley,
Alvin C. York State Historic Park. FREE

2012 Event Schedule

3/24/12 at 7 a.m. 20th Annual Sgt. Alvin C. York Memorial Black Powder Shoot, York General Store,
Pall Mall. FREE to observe.

4/28/12 at 9 a.m. Celebration of "The Way We Worked in the Upper Cumberland,"
Progressive Savings Bank grounds, Jamestown. FREE

4/28/12 - 6/2/12 "The Way We Worked Smithsonian" exhibit,
Progressive Savings Bank grounds, Jamestown. FREE

6/3/12 at 9 a.m. Upper Cumberland Arts Alliance Fresh Air Festival,
York General Store, Alvin C. York State Historic Park. FREE

York General Store is headquarters for  all SYPF events
Visit www.yorkgeneralstore.blogspot.com for contacts, directions and information!

Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art, Nashville, TN
April 9 - December 31, 2011

Cheekwood is taking its visitors on a trip across the State of Tennessee and its fascinating history.  From 20th century landmarks, like Elvis Presley's Graceland, to Pulitzer Prize winning author Alex Haley's boyhood home in Henning, to those dating back several centuries, nearly two dozen replicas of the state's most famous landmarks including the York Mill will be on display in our model garden railroad.  Seven trains will be running all day, rain or shine, along lines that include the Tweetsie Railroad, the Southern Crescent Passenger and Ladybug Train. (read more)

May 7, 2011 Tennessee Cultural Arts and Heritage (view photos)

Art, music, food and history are all part of the Sgt. York Cultural Arts and Heritage Celebration, a free event on May 7 at the Sgt. Alvin C. York State Historic Park in Pall Mall, Tenn.

Sponsored by the non-profit Sergeant York Patriotic Foundation (SYPF) and funded in part by an Arts Build Communities grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission through the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, the event features craftsmen and artisans demonstrating skills that would have been commonly engaged in throughout the Wolf River Valley and Cumberland Plateau during Sgt. Alvin C. York’s lifetime.

“Many of these skills are now preserved as arts,” said SYPF executive assistant Sarah Voiles, coordinator for the event. “Between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on May 7 we are proud to showcase an impressive list of Tennessee artists and craftsman demonstrating and discussing their talents throughout the day as well as making their creations available for purchase.”

Among the artists demonstrating are Mary Curren, who spins llama hair into wearable creations; Natali and Paul Devine, a husband and wife team who make colorful hand-dyed baskets using reeds and white oak; Julie Styer, whose talents include wood burning and painting; Patti Ognibene, creator of handmade colorful, wire wrapped jewelry and free form art; Lynne Looney, who creates large modern and abstract art; Maxine Osburn, who grows gourds and turns them into works of art; Chuck Becker, who paints landscapes in oil and acrylic; Robin Blaine, who weaves on a handmade, Native American loom and discusses the traditions of beading and the Native American way of life; and Chuck Blaine, who creates and plays dulcimers.

Other participating artists include Carol Ludgate, who does realistic paintings; Joan Swanson, specializing in portraits and landscapes; Doug Thompson, who fuses metal and wood to create artistic benches and boxes; Rachel LaPlant, who makes jewelry for women and girls; abstract artist Jack Holtz; Debra Genchi, who works with vintage fabric and materials; and members of the Fentress County Artist Guild.

In addition to the arts, the Celebration will offer World War I displays of artifacts, interpreters in period attire, a live, online genealogical research booth, book signings by local authors and tours of Sgt. York’s home, farm, mill, Bible School, nature trail and burial site.

Sgt. York’s three surviving children will be present throughout the day to meet visitors and answer questions about their father. World War I military artifacts and other period pieces will be presented and discussed by Alison Vick from her extensive collection of historic artifacts. Mark Thompson will demonstrate black powder shooting and display and explain the associated equipment and ammunition.

Presenting the genealogical information is Bruce E. York, creator of York's Fentress County, Tenn., genealogy database. He will demonstrate and share information collected during 55 years or research, containing more than 301,000 names of deceased and living persons connected to the Cumberland Plateau.

Dressed in the appropriate uniform, Joe Barkley will assume the persona of a World War I sergeant in the First Division.

“His story begins with his training in the US, his boat trip to France and continues to the battlefield of the Meuse-Argonne,’ Voiles said. “He will be armed as a trench raider and will make the audience believe that they have talked to a real Doughboy.”

The Fentress County Historical Society’s booth is featuring publications and displays about the history of the region.

At 1 p.m., author and lecturer Dr. Calvin Dickinson will discuss his new book, Soldiers, Spies and Spartans, which highlights the heroic efforts of children and women in Tennessee during the Civil War.

“Visitors will begin their experience at York General Store and Visitor Center at Sgt. Alvin C. York State Historic Park, where they will receive a Celebration site map and schedule of the day’s events,” Voiles explained, adding that food is available all day at the store’s deli, with all proceeds benefiting the visitor center. “Registration for door prizes will take place inside the store.”

Spankie’s Smokehouse will be on hand to offer additional food choices.

In support of the event, PWP Greenhouse in Pall Mall is offering a 10 percent discount on all purchases of more than $10 upon presentation of the Celebration program.

For further information about the event and its sponsors, Voiles recommended visiting www.sgtyork.org and www.yorkgeneralstore.blogspot.com.

“These websites offer many resources for those who plan to visit, including a downloadable deli menu, a topographical tour map, brochures and GPS coordinates,” Voiles said.

For more information call York General Store at 931-879-3657 or email Voiles at sypfexecutiveassistant@gmail.com.


Joe Barkley assumes the persona of a World War I Doughboy at a free cultural arts and heritage celebration on May 7 at the home of Sgt. York, America’s best-known hero of the Great War.


More than dozen Tennessee artists and craftsmen will demonstrate and display their artistic talent at a free event May 7 at Sgt. York State Historic Park.

tennessee arts commission

Sgt York black powder shoot

“Work” is the subject of a Smithsonian exhibition tour set for Upper Cumberland in May 2012

The Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition “The Way We Worked”
will visit Jamestown from April 28 through June 2, 2012.

The exhibit is made possible through a partnership between the Smithsonian Institution’s Traveling Exhibition Service and Humanities Tennessee, a not-for-profit organization that provides public education in the humanities for all Tennesseans.
“We are very pleased to be able to bring this exhibit to the Cumberland Plateau,” said Claudia Johnson, executive director of the Sgt. York Patriotic Foundation, the non-profit organization that is one of only six organizations in Tennessee to be awarded the honor of sponsoring the exhibit.

“The Way We Worked uses large-scale images, audio/video recordings and artifacts to explore the history and meaning of work in American society across regions and over time,” Johnson said, explaining that Progressive Savings Bank’s main office in Jamestown will host the exhibit.

“We are honored and humbled to host such a distinguished institution as the Smithsonian in Jamestown,” said Steve Rains, CEO of Progressive Savings Bank. “This exhibit will enable the people of the Upper Cumberland and surrounding areas in Tennessee who may never have a chance to visit the Smithsonian museum system in Washington, DC, to experience some of what the Smithsonian has to offer.”

Rains expressed appreciation to the Sgt. York Patriotic Foundation’s board and management on behalf of the employees and directors of Progressive Savings Bank, The Rains Agency, and Cravens and Company Advisors for working to bring the educational opportunity to the region, calling it a “privilege” to host the exhibit.
Admission will be free to the public, and special emphasis will be placed on attracting students of all ages.
Adapted from an original exhibition developed by the National Archives, The Way We Worked explores how work became a central element in American culture by tracing the changes that affected the workforce and work environments over the past 150 years.

“The Way We Worked offers multiple opportunities for local historical, genealogical and educational groups to showcase their own collections and local history,” Johnson said, adding that the York Foundation hopes to work with volunteers from interested organizations throughout the Upper Cumberland and the Cumberland Plateau to launch a variety of concurrent programs such as community research projects, companion exhibits or book/film discussions.
“Humanities Tennessee is delighted by the  talented and resourceful hosts involved in the upcoming tour,” says Robert Cheatham, president of Humanities Tennessee. “We are eager to work with them as they delve into their varied local histories to explore this topic.”

Cheatham noted that from the farms and factories, to challenging barriers to employment, to the ever-changing technology of the tools used, the project offers a profound opportunity for Tennesseans to explore the means and meaning of work in their communities and their role in the national story.

Venues in Jamestown, Lexington, Cowan, Elkton, Memphis and Dyersburg and their surrounding communities were chosen by Humanities Tennessee to host The Way We Worked as part of the Museum on Main Street project.
For more information about Humanities Tennessee’s programming, visit www.humanitiestennessee.org. For information about the York Foundation visit www.sgtyork.org or contact Johnson at (931) 347-2664.

The Way We Worked is funded in part through a Congressional appropriation to the Smithsonian and in part with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Veterans’ Day Celebration -  November 11, 2010
All Veterans, active duty military and the public are invited to attend Sgt. Alvin C. York Veteran’s Day Celebration at York State Historic Park, Pall Mall, Tenn., on Nov. 11, 2010. The event is free and will include patriotic activities such as presentation of colors, a flag retirement ceremony, a 21-gun salute, patriotic music and a keynote address by George Edward York, the 87-year-old son of World War I hero and Pall Mall native Sgt. Alvin C. York. The day's them will be "God and Country" with special recognition for all veterans and military personnel who attend. Guests will gather at 10:30 a.m. with services beginning at 11 a.m. (weather-protected tent). Participating in the ceremonies are American Legion, Mark Twain Post 137, Jamestown; JROTC World War I Color Guard, York Institute; Hull-York Disabled American Veterans; York Institute's Noteworthy vocal ensemble; and other organizations. Everyone is invited to a Dutch treat luncheon at York General Store & Visitor Center with proceeds benefiting the non-profit York Visitor Center. Following lunch, VIP Tours of Sgt. York’s home, farm & grist mill will be facilitated by Park staff family members Andrew York, son; Margaret York, daughter-in-law; and Cletus York, nephew. For more information contact Claudia Johnson, Executive Director, Sergeant York Patriotic Foundation at sypfdirector@gmail.com or 931.347.2664 or visit www.yorkgeneralstore.blogspot.com.

veterans day

For more information contact:

Claudia Johnson-Nichols, Executive Director, Sergeant York Patriotic Foundation
Email: sypfdirector@gmail.com
Phone: 931.347.2664
Foundation correspondence: 1010 Christmas Lane, Cookeville, Tennessee 38501
(P.O. Box 100, Pall Mall, Tennessee 38577)
Web: www.sgtyork.org       Blog: www.yorkgeneralstore.blogspot.com


cruise in

Wholesome free family fun at Sgt. York State Park and York General Store
Sponsored by BRASS www.backroadrunnersandspeedshop.webs.com
(see photos)

Vintage cars, great food, music and more are all part of a special event at York General Store in Pall Mall, Tenn., June 19.
“We’re inviting everyone to come up for this free event,” said David Robbins, general manager of York General Store, who is working in conjunction with Sgt. Alvin C. York State Park and the Back Road Runners and Speed Shop (BRASS) car club to provide a day of family entertainment near the home of America’s greatest World War I hero.

Robbins said that anyone wishing to drive up and display a cherished automobile should stop by York General Store for instructions. He is also asking all local musicians who would like to play during the day to contact him at 931-879-3657 or yorkgeneralstore@gmail.com. There is no charge for participating in the cruise in or for playing at the event.
“This is just a time for sharing,” Robbins said. “We want to regularly offer a venue for musicians and vocalists to perform, either individually or with their bands. We’re also open to pickin’ and grinnin’ sessions in the store or on the porch.”
York General Store is a reproduction of one operated by Sgt. York and his family early in the 20th century. It serves as the official visitor center for Sgt. Alvin C. York State Park and is operated at the expense of the nonprofit Sgt. York Patriotic Foundation.

“All proceeds from the store are reinvested into enhancing the visitor center and helping the thousands of guests to the park and to Pall Mall have an educational and entertaining experience,” Robbins said. “The June 19 cruise in and music event is one of many opportunities for the residents of the Upper Cumberland to have a reason to visit the park again and again.”
Robbins said the June 19 event will also feature vendors with interesting items to sell, and York General Store will be open and selling its usual wares – T-shirts, books, Sgt. York souvenirs, snacks, drinks and its full menu of barbeque, hamburgers, chili dogs and deli sandwiches.

“Bring a lawn chair, and we’ll prepare your meal so you can enjoy the music,” Robbins said, adding that there’s plenty of room inside the air-conditioned store and several picnic tables outside, along with clean restrooms and bagged ice.
The store and visitor center has recently upgraded its interpretive center, and visitors are able to view a 10-minute orientation film, Legacy in Action, narrated by Walter Cronkite about Sgt. York’s life after WWI.
“We now have Legacy in Action available for purchase, and it’s become one of our best selling items,” Robbins said. “It’s a great keepsake, but it’s also perfect for educators.”

Robbins encouraged those interested in York General Store and Visitor Center to visit www.yorkgeneralstore.blogspot.com for additional information, maps, announcements and more.
“We hope Sgt. York would be pleased at our invitation to share his home community with those who love a wholesome good time,” Robbins said. “We are carrying on the tradition he began of making everyone know they are welcome in Pall Mall.”


Black Powder Shoot 2010 was held March 27, 2010
The 18th Annual Sgt. Alvin C. York Black Powder
Shoot is set for Saturday, March 27, 2010, in the Valley of the Three Forks of the Wolf River at Pall Mall.
The cost is $35 for 10, one-shot matches, with the score being the total measurement of all 10 shots.
Competition events include X-center, over-the-log, 60 paces and traditional muzzleloading rifles. There are
prizes for overall top score, best “X” of the day and best-costumed man and woman.
The women’s costume contest encourages old dresses, hose with back seams, bonnets, etc. The men’s
competition could include bibbed overalls, wide ties, old suit jacket with wide
lapels, fedora hats and more.

Only traditional rifles, flint or percussion, either traditional hunting or “old style” traditional target
type are acceptable. There is no limit to weight or caliber. No false muzzles, no sealed ignition, no in-line actions, no
thumbhole or adjustable stocks and no padded butt plates are allowed. Rifles must shoot black powder with patched lead
round balls, no bullets. Shaders are permitted, but must not extend past the rear of the breech.

The $35 registration fee includes the $5 membership in Alvin York Rifles and $30 match fee.
Call 317-422-9750 for Black Powder Shoot registration information. Call the Fentress County Chamber
1-800-327-3945 or visit www.bigsouthfork.org for lodging and other tourism assistance.
York General Store and Visitor Center is headquarters for the Black Powder Shoot. Doors
open at 7 a.m. and will sell coffee and light breakfast. Deli open all day!

RULES: Traditional rifles - flint or percussion, either traditional hunting or ‘old style’ traditional target type, no limit to weight or caliber. No false muzzles, no sealed ignition, no in-line actions, no thumbhole or adjustable stocks and no padded buttplates. Rifles must shoot black powder w/ patched lead round balls, no bullets. Shaders are permitted, but must not extend past the rear of the breech. Rear sights: fixed and open - at least 6” in front of the breech. Front sights: blade, pinhead or post. The use of barrel rests (cant blocks) or sandbags on the chunk are permitted and encouraged. Only the shooter’s hand may support the butt of the rifle, no sandbags or blocks of wood are allowed under the butt of the rifle and no gloves of any kind. The butt of the rifle may not touch the ground.

REGISTRATION: $35.00 ($5.00 membership in Alvin York Rifles + $30.00 match fee). Pre-registration before March 15 is $35.00. Please send to: Ron Borron, 496 Village Drive, Bargersville, Indiana 46106. Phone: 317-422-9750, Important cut off date for pre-registration is March 15.

See Event Archives


If you are planning to visit Sgt. York's home in the Wolf River Valley of Pall Mall, Tennessee,