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This blog is authored by Mark Hinesley, Chamber President/CEO
4 minutes reading time (703 words)

Vesta, Commerce, and Prosperity!

Like many of my friends, I too have been anxious for Spring to arrive. Along with games at the park, mowing the grass, and eating outside, it’s now time for another of my favorite past times; seeing new places in Tennessee. Many of you know that on nice weekend days, Tonya and I often get in the car and head out to visit places we have not yet seen. Last summer we began a crusade to see every State Park in Tennessee. Last Saturday we made it to 3 more, bringing our total to well over 30 so far! Our first stop was the Cumberland Trail and the origin of the Sequatchie River on the northern end of the magnificent Sequatchie Valley in Rhea County. Next up were stops in Cumberland and Bledsoe County. Our last park to visit that day was spectacular Rock Island a few miles north of McMinnville. We made it back to White County in time to watch a spectacular sunset from a scenic overlook east of Sparta. It was as if we could see a thousand miles of hills and valleys. It was a great day and our love for the beauty of Tennessee continues to grow.

Sunday was another spontaneous road trip that I would imagine not many others have taken, and we did not have to leave Wilson County! Until Sunday I had no idea where communities such as Vesta, Commerce, and Prosperity were. Along the way we visited a number of very small rural communities such as Vine, Major, Greenvale, Liberty Hill, and Cottage Home. Also on our travels, we went to Statesville, Cainsville, Norene, and Cherry Valley. All of these communities are in Wilson County and yet we had never even taken the time to go see them for ourselves! Not to mention, all of these communities are south of the Interstate. We have yet to make it to Bellwood, Tucker’s Crossroads, Oakland, or Taylorsville which are also in Wilson county and north of I-40.  

Living in the heart of Mt Juliet with a rapidly growing number of cars and commerce, often times it’s easy to forget that just a few miles down the road in our own County there are such vast open spaces; many filled with grazing cattle, miles and miles of farmland, century old stone walls, and narrow roads. And speaking of narrow roads, I mean really narrow. Want to see for yourself? Buzz out to Blue Well Road, Dillon Road or even Hardin Hollow Road. When you do, it becomes obvious why schools sometimes close for weather related reasons when all seems fine on MJ Road. These roads are so far out in the middle of God’s Country it’s a wonder that busses can even get to them on nice days!

With plenty of time to enjoy the peacefulness and tranquility of such places, it provided me a new-found appreciation for the challenges facing our local leaders. I am one who feels that everyone in Wilson County deserves to be provided for equally and has a right to expect a reasonably similar return on the taxes they pay. My hat is off to those who have helped find the balance or limited resources to provide for such a wide range of urban and rural needs. One thing is even more evident to me than before; Wilson County IS the place to be! Who knows where next weekend trip will take us, but if it ends with a picnic box of fresh fried chicken, potato wedges, and orange cake like we had from a little market in Historic Watertown to end our “Wilson County” day, it promises to be wonderful! I hope you will join me right here next week! Follow Mark on Twitter @MJChamber #mjchamber or Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and be sure to visit us 24/7 at

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