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Old 07-19-2011, 08:21 PM
 
141 posts, read 259,314 times
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Hello everyone,

I have been researching towns in NE TN for days. Recently retired male, 53, divorced, christian, looking to relocate somewhere in the area. Erwin really sticks out to me, super low crime, small town living. I now live in Louisiana in a town of 40,000, just west of New Orleans. Trying to escape the madness! I've looked at Bristol, JC, and Elizabethton but statistically, Erwin looks really appealing to me.

How do you think I would be welcomed into a town like Erwin-Banner Hill over time? Don't get me wrong, I'm not judging. Just asking how local folks receive new people into the area, hopefully well.

I'm guessing Erwin has all the basic services one would need, and all the above mentioned towns are just an hour or less away.

What about things to do in Erwin area? I don't drink or smoke anymore, no need whatsoever for the bar or lounge scene, looking for a real safe place to live, grow a garden, take photos, enjoy the natural beauty and scenery, breath fresh clean air, sleep under the stars at night occasionally if I want to.

So how do you think this would work out? All thoughts, opinions, or suggestions greatly appreciated, especially from anyone living in the Erwin-Banner Hill areas. Anything big I'm missing?
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:41 PM
 
Location: Johnson City, TN
168 posts, read 223,309 times
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I live in Unicoi County, so hopefully I can be of some assistance.

Erwin is a quaint, small town with few retailers. Basic services are nearly all located along Main Avenue (one of the town's quirks - "Main Street" is actually "Main Avenue"). The town has three grocery stores located within - two IGAs (low-grade), and a Food Lion (modest). Auto Zone, Advance Auto Parts, Dollar Generals (two), Family Dollar, H&R Block, and a Ford dealership round out the remaining recognizable establishments. Walmart is located one exit past Erwin on Interstate 26, between Erwin and Unicoi (though technically located in Unicoi thanks to annexation). Speaking of I-26, it is a blessing and provides fast access to the Tri-Cities (most notably Johnson City, twenty minutes to the north), and Asheville, NC (forty-five minutes southeast). It also provides a quick and typically safe drive to the Wolf Laurel ski resort in the wintertime.

Fast Food dominates the restaurant scene, with McDonald's, Subway, Wendy's, Hardee's, and KFC leading the pack. Pizza Hut and Huddle House are the other two chains located here. Azteca and Los Jalapenos are both locally-owned Mexican restaurants if you're looking for something a little different. There are a couple of great downtown joints, most notably Hawg-n-Dawg, which offers hot dogs and barbecue. If you want "home cooking," there are plenty of mom-and-pop joints across the county that offer your basic southern fare. Just to note - I rarely dine anywhere within Erwin, though that is due to my dietary preferences. Fast food generally doesn't cut it.

You may want to take this with a grain of salt, for I am nineteen, a sophomore in college, and have been subjected to living in Erwin my entire life. Admittedly, I am ready for something new. However, Erwin is charming, offers many great homes, and has literally everything within walking or biking distance. But, sidewalks are lacking or in a state of dire disrepair. Progressive thinking is nonexistent, and status quo remains, no matter if that is a positive or negative. Small town theatrics run rampant, though it is easy to avoid that by not becoming involved from the beginning. Nature's beauty surrounds, and provides a wonderful escape (or, in your case, would provide an accent). I love the linear trail the town has built, as well as hiking trails across the area (most notably the Appalachian Trail, whose hikers provide a much-needed culture shock in the summertime). As a retirement community, it deserves nine on a scale of one to ten. I cannot wait to leave now, but I would move back later in life in a heartbeat.

Hopefully this helps.
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Old 07-20-2011, 06:35 AM
 
141 posts, read 259,314 times
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Thanks so much for your input, it is quite valuable to me. I've been searching past posts on Erwin and it does seem to have a bit of a reputation, for being exactly what it is, a small town. I can understand the desire of a nineteen YO wanting to experience other options after living in a small town, but the fact that you state you just might come back down the road of life speaks volumes. I'm sure there are some really cool, good folks living in Erwin.

"Mayberry" sounds pretty good to me after living in and around New Orleans, LA for 52 years. The hiking trails sound awesome. Mexican food is one of my favs too.

Best wishes with your education and future plans :-)
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Johnson City, TN
218 posts, read 358,888 times
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Erwin is bascially small town USA - I live in Johnson City but have worked in Erwin as has my husband. It is a friendly place, but very clannish and hard to break into. People from there pride themselves in being able to say "you ain't from here" - My husband worked in manufacturing there and it was far worse than me as I worked in medical. It is beautiful and there are many things tot do if you like the out of doors. Culturally, there's not much. The AP lends itself to the hidden beauty as does the river. SO, if you are looking for quaint beauty, out door scenic majesty, Erwin is a good place, but then most of East Tennessee has that too. You'll love it here and never want to leave.
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:27 PM
 
15,748 posts, read 28,792,463 times
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Lots of good stuff about Erwin but do agree that they are very clannish. Outsiders will always be just that, no matter what. Come visit the area and drive around; only you can decide what area suits you. Luckily you can cover a lot of the area in a day or two.
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:32 PM
 
141 posts, read 259,314 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beretta View Post
Outsiders will always be just that, no matter what.
What defines an "outsider"? If a person or family lives there for a couple years/owns a home, they are no longer an outsider. They are a member of the community. To me outsiders are visitors or people who are there short term.
To shun people or resent them is pretty judgemental, and it sure isn't very christian like.
My mother grew up in Corbin, KY, a small town. She was raised Baptist and had a compassionate heart and love for others, went out of her way to help anyone in need. Maybe she was an exception, or maybe it was her love for her Saviour.

I do appreciate the input from all.
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Old 07-22-2011, 02:24 AM
 
Location: Johnson City, TN
218 posts, read 358,888 times
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polizzo:
In Erwin it doesn't matter if you have a home or how long you have lived there, if you aren't born and raised and have family roots - so deep they can never be completely uncovered, then you are and will always be an outsider. Even if you were born in a neighboring county and moved to Erwin, you are still an outsider. The only way you might be considered family - is if you marry a person who is from Erwin - then you might have a chance. Even persons from Unicoi - are outsiders.
Judgemental - yes to a point - however the people in Erwin are generally wonderful folk - just hard to break into - has nothing to do with religion unless you are non-Christian - then you may encounter some prejudice.
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Old 07-22-2011, 07:50 AM
 
141 posts, read 259,314 times
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Thx Homegrown, that helps me understand it a bit better. Hey if a person from Unicoi or other parts of TN, and me being from Louisiana are labeled outsiders, on equal ground, I can deal with it :-)

Does it go so far as to say they would harm someone, or their property? Or just limited to shunning or social exclusion? Or maybe a negative comment?
What if the outsiders were say a black family?

Not trying to incite anyone, just understand the depth of this outsider deal. I see statistically Erwin is like 99% caucasion.
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Old 07-22-2011, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Johnson City, TN
218 posts, read 358,888 times
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Please don't get me wrong... the folks from Erwin are not hostile by any stretch - just very clannish. I don't think anyone would ever do anything to anyone who moved to the area from the outside. by the way the county has an excellent Sheriff's Department - Law Enforcement is taken very seriously. You will not find too many if any blacks in the area. - there is a long history behind that and I'll let someone else expand on that story, there are quite a few hispanics - mostly farm workers who have come there to work in tomatoes and strawberries and stayed. I don't think they have a problem. Erwin is a neat place and I think as long as one minds his/her own business
all can coexist just fine regardless of where one is from.
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Old 07-22-2011, 09:46 AM
 
141 posts, read 259,314 times
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That is one of the things that drew me to Erwin, the crime statistics are super low, way lower than say JC or Bristol, specifically theft. I fully support law enforcement and living within the law. Those areas appealed to me too but the safety and values of Erwin just really popped to me. I read the day they hanged the elephant story. Plus so much outdoor things to do, trails, and the natural beauty around the area. And JC and Bristol are less than an hour away. I think I would fit in overall. Tomatoes and strawberries, 2 of my favorite foods, they're big down here in southern LA. Creole tomatoes, doesn't get any better.
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