The next morning I wake up in New Market, Tennessee. I head down a gravel road to Highlander’s Workshop Center, nestled on top of “the hill”. Octagonal in shape, I would later learn—as the story goes—following Highlander’s forced relocation from Monteagle, TN to New Market, no one would agree to build for Highlander except a vacation home contractor. Many of the Highlander buildings, now more than 50 years old, were only meant to stand temporarily.
Induction into Highlander began when I landed in Knoxville. A member of the Center’s staff drove me out to the property, 180 acres on top of Bay’s Mountain with a clear, sweeping view across the Tennessee Valley to the Smoky Mountains. As we rode into darkening skies, he told me about Highlander’s work, and the efforts of interconnected organizations across the region.