Dale Colbaugh may have won the 197th Peters Hollow Egg Fight

Published 12:31 am Monday, April 13, 2020

     Each year the talk around Easter Sunday is who will win the Peters
Hollow Egg Fight.
     Everyone goes to church on Easter Sunday, has dinner
with the family and then off to Peters Hollow for the annual Egg Fight.
     One of the heavy favorites each year is Dale Colbaugh. Colbaugh has
been in the egg fight almost every year since the 1960s but has never
won the big Golden Egg Trophy.
     Two years ago he was as close as he ever was when the final three
contestants were Dale, his wife Gloria and his daughter Hannah.
     So in 2018, Dale finished third. He complained that Hannah took his
hardest eggs.
     The reason why, Hannah, has won the egg fight four times which started
back in 2006, her first year in the adult division fight.
     She won again in 2011 and was the back-to-back champ in
2013 and 2014.
     No one that we have record on has won the fight three years in a row.
     Before 1958 Brooks Taylor won the fight many times, we just can’t find
those records. Howard Peters won in 1958 and that’s the first recorded win
I have on file.
     Taylor had an egg one time from his favorite chicken that broke over 300
     One of the biggest kept secrets up the creek is how the people of
Peters Hollow gets their eggs so hard.
     Not only Peters Hollow but anyone who enters the biggest event on the
     It started nearly 200 years ago in 1823 – back then there wasn’t much to
do or many people around so when an argument broke out you had to find a
way to settle the argument between the men of Rome Hollow and Peters Hollow
about who’s chicken’s laid the hardest egg.
     Chickens were very popular back then as were cattle and any livestock.
     I have a receipt from 1927 where my great grandmother paid her house
payment in chickens.
     This would of been the 197th Egg fight held on Easter Sunday at
the location near the top of Peters Hollow at Norman Peters home.
     He has hosted it since the 1970s. Before then, it was just a few houses
below his.
     Each year locals talk about a favorite to win and for over 30 years that
favorite was Jerry Peters.
     Peters is the long time king with eight wins and has accounted for more
with his chickens.
     He had several chances to win it three times in a row – once back in 1995, he
won in 1993 and ’94 but let his wife, Ann, take his place and she won that
year with his eggs.
     Peters has also won in 1988 and 89, but in 1990 Jenny Ritchie came out the
      Another favorite is Unicoi’s Mike Scott who has won six times
that started back in 1979 and his recent win of 2017.
     Ruth Jones who passed away a few years ago won the fight six times also
but she finished second five years in a row before winning her first time back in
     She also won in 1969 but Norman Peters stopped her three-peat in
1970. Jones won her last victory in 2001 when she was 89-years old.
     Someone tripped over Dale’s eggs one year just before the fight and
a voice from the back said, “Dale’s Out.”
     Colbaugh has a tradition of wearing his favorite teams, the Big Orange
shirt or hat every year and most stand around and talk to him about Tennessee’s
upcoming football season.
     He projects their win-loss record before settling in for the
     One year he had Jerry Peters on his right and Mike Scott on his
left – we knew Dale would not be in the finals.
     “Dad has always said he would love to win, he gets excited talking about it,” said Hannah.
“We always bought around 30 dozen and we never fought them down.
     “Easter Sunday after church we would go through every box and get what looked to
be the strongest eggs out to take and fight.
     “Dad always said, “Hannah pick me out some good ones don’t give me the duds,” and he would always
laugh at the fight and say Hannah took all the good eggs” said Hannah.
     “I think Dale boils his eggs in his dad, Herb’s, bar-b-que sauce”
stated his longtime friend Steve Lowe.
     Lowe lived beside Norman and witnessed the egg fight ever year before moving to Piney Flatts.
     This year wasn’t an election year but candidates like Johnny Blankenship and
the local constables come every year.
     Sheriff candidates and other offices have many members running that show up to ask for
     Jimmy Quillen use to come and now Country music superstar Carson
Peters is there every year since he was a year old.
     He has won the children’s division several times and is a tough competitor. I remember
that he was a favorite when he turned 13 to win the adult division.
     In 1976 is when the fight was separated into two divisions putting
the children under 13 on their own but once you turned 13 you were in the
big ring.
     In 1998 a third division was added where seven and under was
the children’s division and the never level was 8-12.
     Then in 2008, a division was started for three and under for the little ones making four
divisions in the fight.
     This marks the first year the fight has been set aside since it started.  I believe it was Dale’s
year to shine and win the 197th Peters Hollow Egg fight.
     Plans have already begun with Jamie Peters leading the way for the 200th egg fight which
would have been in 2023 but has been moved up a year and next year we will hold the 197th fight.
     For now, it looks like Dale will have to wait another year for that trophy and the
bragging rights he has been waiting for so long.
     “Personally it would make me so happy to see my sweet daddy win,” stated Hannah.

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