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Mission & Guiding Principles

To promote and preserve the natural and cultural resources of McMinn, Monroe and Polk counties through a cultural tourism program designed to:

  • Increase visitation to the region
  • Serve as an educational tool
  • Act as a catalyst for economic development
  • Strengthen local capacity

Guiding Principles

Our founders adopted the following organization principles in 1990. They still hold true today:
Authenticity – We honor our local traditions, culture, and history. We are proud to share them with visitors and eager to celebrate them with residents.

Thoughtful Interpretation — We cooperate with local cultural organizations to bring our historic sites to life, celebrate our arts and culture, and share our stories by interpreting them in thoughtful, innovative ways.

Preservation – Preservation of our cultural, historical, and natural resources is the bedrock of our work. We take a broad view of preservation, defining it as preserving historic sites and landscapes, but also as preserving local traditions and folkways.
Innovative Marketing – We work to strengthen our local economy and increase community wealth through thoughtful tourism development, always looking to current travel trends, technological advances, and wise use of financial resources as we develop strategies to bring tourists to the Tennessee Overhill. The Tennessee Overhill Heritage Association believes in asset based economic development, a philosophy that is compatible with heritage/cultural tourism.

Partnerships – Combining the skills, assets, and resources that are found within the Tennessee Overhill is a key component of our work. Just as combining tourism assets builds the critical mass necessary to present the Tennessee Overhill as a tourist destination, combining skills and financial resources allows us to achieve more than might be possible if we worked alone.