Geologist James Wedekind, our guest speaker, will show us why East Tennessee rocks are so different and made our hometown famous.
On July 12, we’ll dig more deeply than we ever have before, and present a program unprecedented in its span of eras. In fact, as you enjoy supper and a refreshing drink in our hour above the bowling alley, we’ll cover several hundred million years. Our guest speaker will be rock expert James Wedekind, a Knoxville native who has spent most of his long career as a practicing geologist working in various places across America. Recently returning to his hometown, James has become fascinated with the story of Tennessee Marble (a term used for two centuries by industrialists, stonecutters, and architects, if not geologists—he’ll explain), from its formation thanks to ancient sea creatures during the Ordovician Period to the mid-19th century, when it became a major part of Knoxville’s economy. Its astonishing variety of colors excited visitors to the 1876 Philadelphia World’s Fair, when it began changing the look of American architecture. If you go back too far in Knoxville history, you’ll drown, but maybe we can’t really get the full picture without this deep dive.
Free program. Drinks and bar food available for purchase.