Why I love Carter County – Richard Tetrick

Published 12:49 pm Monday, April 18, 2022

Carter County has been my home my entire life, only being away for college. Four generations of our family have been involved in funeral service, serving our community for 79 of our funeral home’s 100-year history. My father and mother were Don and Frances Tetrick, who moved to Elizabethton from Missouri in 1943. Four generations of my family have been members of the First United Methodist Church of Elizabethton. I have been a member of the Elizabethton Rotary Club for 53 years and am also a member of the Elizabethton Kiwanis Club. Having the opportunity to visit many countries around the world, I’ve always known Carter County was home and have never wanted to leave for any great amount of time. Both sides of my wife’s family are Carter County families, so we are pretty much died in the wool Carter Countians.

1. What do you think makes Carter County unique by comparison to other places? Not many communities can boast of a lake as pretty as our Watauga Lake. Our Roan Mountain is the second highest peak in the state of Tennessee and the third highest peak east of the Rocky Mountains. Most importantly, we have families who know how to care for their neighbors and reach out and welcome with kindness for people moving to Carter County. There is a reason why people are moving here. We have beautiful scenery and even better people. Living expenses are low in comparison to the rest of the country. Very few states or communities have a more affordable tax base than Carter County and Elizabethton. We are truly a great place to live.

2. What is your favorite place to visit in Carter County? That is a tough question, because there are so many wonderful places. However, I would have to say may favorite place is Watauga Lake. There is nothing more peaceful than being with friends on a pontoon boat traveling slowly across the smooth, still waters of our beautiful Watauga Lake. In our travels, my wife and I have been to lots of lakes around the world, none of which compare to Watauga Lake. Very few lakes in the TVA chain have mountains that spring up out of the water like Watauga Lake does. It is almost a virgin area and can easily make one feel as if you are totally secluded surrounded by God’s handiwork.

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3. Do you think living in Carter County has changed you in any way? The closeness of Carter County and Elizabethton families and friends when someone is down and needs prayer and support has always had a great influence on my life. The way church members show love and care for one another when someone needs help is amazing to witness. As a funeral director I have always been touched when a tragedy in our community happens and I witness hundreds of people stand in line for hours at a time to show their love and support to a family who is at the lowest time in their lives. Through the years seeing Carter Countians coming together has helped me to know how important it is to continually give back to our community, our friends and neighbors when they need help.

4. What is your favorite time of year? Starting in mid-spring when flowers, shrubs and trees are starting to bloom and showing nature’s awakening after a winter’s sleep is my very favorite time of the year. Summers are great here because humidity nor temperatures are high. Fall can be magnificent as the leaves change color. The older I get the more I understand why people go to Florida for the winter months as I like cold weather less and less.

5. If you were to meet someone planning a visit to the Carter County area for the first time, what places would you tell him or her not to miss? The list is very long, somewhat depending on the “likes” of the people visiting. We have the best lake in the TVA chain and beautiful Roan Mountain, especially when the rhododendrons are in bloom. The linear walking path along the Doe and Watauga Rivers in Elizabethton. The Tweetsie Trail is as nice as it gets, especially in the Happy Valley area. Our famous Covered Bridge, our downtown with some very neat restaurants, the Veterans Wall and Veterans Memorial should not be missed. Two state parks, one historical and one more of a nature preserve, are two of the best state parks in Tennessee. Stay in a VRBO and get to know some of the local people up close and personal. The list can go on and on as Carter County and Elizabethton have a tremendous amount to see and shouldn’t be missed.