Knoxville Chapter, TOS

J. B. Owen Memorial Dedicated in Knoxville

 

 

 

 

On Tuesday, December 16, 2003, Knoxville Mayor Victor Ashe honored the late J. B. Owen by naming an overlook at Sharps Ridge Park in his honor. J. B. was a long-time member of the Knoxville TOS Chapter and known to birders across the state. He was also well known throughout East Tennessee for his regular columns on birds and other aspects of nature which he wrote from 1960 until his death in 2001. Through these columns, first in the Knoxville Journal and later in the Knoxville News-Sentinel, J. B. probably did more than any other person to educate area residents about birds.

J. B. was one of the discoverers of the birding potential of Sharps Ridge, which is known throught the region as a premier site for observing migrating landbirds, especially in the spring. Thus, naming the overlook at Sharps Ridge in his honor is especially appropriate.

Several city officials and many KTOS members attended the dedication, which was covered by local newspapers and television news programs.

Mayor Victor Ashe (center) presides over the dedication ceremony, accompanied by Sam Anderson (left), Parks and Recreation Director, and Vice-Mayor Jack Sharp (right).
Frances (Mrs. J. B.) Owen addresses the crowd. Others shown are (left to right), Sam Anderson, Mayor Victor Ashe, Jack Sharp (hidden behind Ashe), former school board member Paul Kelly, and Councilman Larry Cox.

 

Frances Owen, standing in front of a new panoramic key to the peaks of the Great Smoky Mountains, speaks with Angela Robbins of the City Information Office. In clear weather, many of the major peaks in the Smokies are visible from the J. B. Owen Overlook on Sharp's Ridge.
Mayor Ashe and Frances Owen unveil the new memorial plaque.

The memorial plaque.

 

Photos by Charlie Muise.

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