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Allan and Vikki Roberts

Allan and Vikki Roberts

Vikki Roberts loves to renovate old buildings.  Her love for bringing beauty and dignity back to beaten down structures has led her and her husband, Allan, to renovate two downtown Gate City buildings and locate businesses in each.

The Roberts first renovated a structure at the corner of Jackson and King Streets and turned it into one of the area’s finest bakeries—The Family Bakery.  Vikki’s latest venture, Roberts & Jones gift shop, was once home to a bank and a longtime dress shop, called the Style Shop.

During the 17-month renovation of the former Style Shop, the Roberts completely gutted the building.  “The building has great bones,” Vikki said.  “You just couldn’t see them.”

Today Roberts & Jones Gift Shop is an open, airy store lighted by two massive chandeliers that were rescued from an old Washington, D.C. waterfront restaurant.  The chandeliers hang from a bead-board ceiling that Vikki painstakingly stained by hand while standing on gigantic scaffolding.

A wall of exposed brick and rough edged Depression-era wallpaper and horsehair plaster complete store’s entrance.  On the other side of the room stands an ornate antique cast-iron fireplace surround shanked by a cozy overstuffed chair that beckons you to come on in and sit a spell.

The Roberts initially looked at the former Style Shop as a home for the Family Bakery.  At the time, a price could not be negotiated but the Roberts never lost hope of someday owning the building.  Four  years after the Roberts opened the Family Bakery, the owner of the Style Shop, Walter Rhoton, came to the couple and asked if they were still interested in the Style Shop.

“Mr. Rhoton said he appreciated our vision,” she said.  Unfortunately, Mr. Rhoton passed away right before the property closed.  “I think he would have been proud of the renovation. We wanted to showcase the historic building in a way that made the community proud.”

 

Aside from bringing an old building back to life, Vikki wanted to open a gift shop that catered to personal service.  “You can call us and tell us the gift occasion and your price-point.  Then we will pick out something, wrap it up and have it ready for you.”

The Roberts have found downtown Gate City to be a good market.  “There are a lot of people who work in or near downtown Gate City and don’t have time to drive to Kingsport for a gift, plus Gate City sees a lot of tourists who want to take a memento home to remember their trip.”

Vikki is quick to point out that Gate City is a good market not just for them, but for anybody.  “Other businesses could also thrive here.  It would be great to see downtown Gate City full of shops.  That would make more people come.  We don’t want to be the only show in town.”

Roberts & Jones offers items with a price point ranging from $1.95 to $295.00.  The majority of the stock is sold exclusively by Robert & Jones. The store sells “Simply Southern T-shirts” and carries its own line of T-shirts, called “My Part of Virginia.”  There is also a women’s clothing line called “Lost Petal Linens” that is designed and made in Nashville.

You can find a gift for any occasion at Roberts & Jones.  There are baby gifts, a huge bridal selection, pottery, dishes, pieces for entertaining, men’s gifts including fly fishing equipment, books of local interest, Bates’ Family Farm Goat’s Milk lotions, Virginia Diner peanuts which are also suitable for corporate gifts, handmade signs, local art and a host of other items.

Renovation of the former Style Shop is not complete—there is an upstairs loft and basement that will be refurbished in time.  The basement will be turned into office space and the loft an apartment.  Vikki already has visions for the upstairs loft.

It will have an open floorplan, a similar look to downstairs, with a lot of open space that complements the antique bead-board and outside back view of the mountains in the distance. Truth be told, Vikki just likes to renovate. “I wanted to redo the buildings…I want these buildings to be beautiful.  But I have to have a business in here to pay for the renovations,” she laughed.

As for the store’s name—Robert & Jones—it took Vikki a long time to come up with just the right name for her new venture.  Then one day, she was rummaging around and found an old sign that said “Dick Jones, Proprietor.”

Wedding GiftsDick Jones was her grandfather and the Jones family’s first entrepreneur.  The sign came from an old service station that Mr. Jones owned in the Bloomingdale community of Kingsport.  That wasn’t Mr. Jones first business though.

According to Vikki, her grandfather had his first business when he was just 14-years-old.  “He and his older brother made crates to put caskets in that were taken to Knoxville.  They rode their bicycles 12 miles one way each time to make the crates.  And they turned out to be very successful with that little business.”

Even though Vikki’s real love is the rehabilitation of old buildings, the seeds of entrepreneurship were planted many years ago by Dick Jones.  In homage to her grandfather, she named the store Roberts & Jones.

Roberts & Jones is located at 165 W. Jackson St., Gate City, Va.  Hours of operation are Mon.—Sat., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Telephone number is 276-690-2531.  You can find Roberts & Jones on Facebook and Instagram.  If you want a real feel for this wonderful store, drop in and browse.

 

Scott County is fortunate to have an extremely active horse association–the Scott County Regional Horse Association.  The Association is active in supporting trail rides and monthly shows from April to September at the Scott County Regional Horse Park in Dungannon, Virginia.

Trail Ride with Scott County Regional Horse AssociationScott County Regional Horse Association Mission

To promote and provide equine activities in Scott County and the surrounding region for our youth and fellow horsemen, while encouraging sportsmanship, family values and lasting friendships with our community and members through dedication and public involvement. We promote all breeds and activities pertaining to each breed.

An All-Breed Association headquartered in Scott County, Virginia at the Scott County Horse Park located at
17257 Veterans Memorial Hwy, Dungannon, Va.  24245

2019 Event Schedule

3/16 – VET DAY – BILL FULLER, DVM – 1:30 PM

           RAIN DATE – 3/23 – 1:30 PM

3/16 – TRADE DAY – 9:00 AM – Bring your items to sell or trade.  Bring any items as long as they are legal in the State of VA

4/18 – FOGGY MOUNTAIN EVENTS:  CHECK IN 12:00 PM

4/19 – TRAIL RIDE 10:00 AM

4/19 – EASTER EGG HUNT – AGES 0-12 & 12-17 – 1:00 PM

4/19 – FOGGY MOUNTAIN FUN SHOW – 6:00 PM – (See Class Sheet Under Programs Tab)

4/20 – FOGGY MOUNTAIN STRAIGHT AWAY EVENTS – (See Class Sheet Under Programs Tab)

 5/25 – GOLDEN GAITS HORSE SHOW – 5:00 PM

5/31 – WAGON TRAIN – LEAVE FROM THE HORSE PARK 9 AM ON FRIDAY MORNING

                   CAMPOUT FRIDAY NIGHT.  CAMP LOCATION TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON

6/1 –  MEET  AT THE HORSE PARK AND LEAVE FOR THE RIDE AT 10:00 AM.  RIDE TO  THE CAMPSITE  AND  CAMP FRIDAY        

 

6/14 – JUVENILE CAMP OUT – FOOD AND GAMES

6/15 – JUVENILE TRAIL RIDE (LEAVE HORSE PARK) – 11:00 AM

DOUBLE HOURS FOR TRAIL RIDERS

6/28 – VIRGINIA STATE CHAMPIONSHIP – 7:00 PM

6/29 – VIRGINIA STATE CHAMPIONSHIP – 7:00 PM

7/5 – CAMP OUT AT THE PARK

7/6 – BREAKFAST SERVED – 8:00AM – 9:30 AM

7/6 – FREEDOM TRAIL RIDE – SCAVENGER HUNT – CASH PRIZE FOR THE WINNER LEAVE PARK 10:00 AM  **DOUBLE HOURS**

DINNER AFTER RIDE – $10  MUST PRE-PAY   THIS EVENT IS NEW AND WE WILL HAVE A BLAST.  JOIN IN THE FULL!!!

PAYMENT FOR MEAL DUE BY:  MONDAY, JULY 1ST

7/20 – JUVENILE HORSE SHOW – 6:00 PM

DOUBLE POINT SHOW

8/31 – BURLEY FEST HORSE SHOW – 6:00 PM

We will be honoring our Veterans at this show

9/12 – CHECK IN FOR MOUNTAIN MADNESS

9/13 – RACK N ROLL  SHOW – 7:00 PM

9/14 – MOUNTAIN MADNESS STRAIGHT AWAY EVENT

9/28 – REASONS FOR RIDING HORSE SHOW – 5:00 PM

 

Cyclists will be delighted by Scott County’s scenic roads and trails.

Clinch RiverThe Dungannon and Clinch River Scenic Road Tour winds for 24 miles along country roads in the heart of Scott County. This beautiful route passes historical buildings and cemeteries, the world-famous Clinch River, a stunning waterfall and two charming small towns.

The Guest River Gorge Trail is one of the area’s easiest and most scenic hiking and biking trails and is the best way to explore a State Scenic River by bike. Cyclists will be enthralled by gorge geology, trestle-top views of the river, rare plants and river wildlife.

Another popular and relatively flat bike ride is along the A.P. Carter Highway. Here you can ride through Scott County’s scenic valley without all the twist, turns and inclines on the Clinch River Highway.  Start at the Hiltons Train Depot and ride all the way past the world-famous Carter Family to Mendota, Virginia.  There you can hook up with the Mendota Bicycle Trail.

You will travel through lovely countryside that parallels the Holston River for several miles.  Feel free to venture forth on one of the side roads, such as Lunsford Mill Road and circle around to Anne B. Cooper.  Along with the Carter Fold, you will see the picturesque Lodge at Crooked River, standing high on a hill overlooking the Holston River. The Lodge is available for wedding and event rentals and features an Crooked River Lodgeoutdoor wedding chapel on the banks of the Holston Rive

For many years, the Yuma community was home to the Tour De Possum Creek, a popular bike race, held in conjunction with Kingsport, Tennessee’s annual Fun Fest celebration.  Even though the event was abandoned, bike enthusiasts can still follow the 43-mile course, featuring a 2,600 feet climb.  A second option included a rolling, beautiful shorter ride of 22 miles plus a six-mile fun ride.  For the family or pro, this is a great ride through the rolling hills of Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.

http://www.mapmyride.com/us/gate-city-va/tour-de-possum-creek-ridge-race-route-2914741

For mountain bike enthusiasts, Natural Tunnel State Park has an eight-mile, single-track mountain bike path.  Another great mountain bike ride is a nine-mile ride along Waters Edge, which parallels the Clinch River.  This gravel road will take you along the Clinch River to the Tennessee State line.  When the water is right, you will spot several naturally-occurring waterfalls along this path and even a swinging bridge.  It is also a favorite trek for horseback enthusiasts.

For additional bike riding suggestions, contact the Scott County Tourism Department at 276-386-6521.  New trails are being added with the help of the Spearhead Trails Initiative.

 

Fannon’s Train museum is located at the intersection of Highway US 23, 421, and 58, in Duffield, Virginia.  Free admission.  Call in advance 276-431-2428.
Kenny Fannon, and his grandson, Ruston Fannon, are preserving the history of the railroad in Southwest Virginia.  The collection currently includes a refurbished authentic N&W Railroad caboose, a Diesel engine from Fannon Railroad Museum MemorabiliaBlue Diamond Coal Company in Scotia, Kentucky, and a tender car from ETW&NC, called the Tweetsie Line.  In addition, the Fannon’s have the depot used as a prop in the movie, “Coal Miner’s Daughter.”  The depot is filled with old photographs, lanterns, whistles, schedules and anything else connected to the railroad.
The Fannons regularly provide railroad programs at Natural Tunnel State Park and the Southwest Virginia Museum.  They are available to provide programs to local civic clubs and schools.
Visitors welcome to the museum.  Call in advance.

Unique interactive personal encounters with some of the worlds rarest animals

Creation Kingdom Zoo is situated on 12 acres of sloping land in Snowflake, Va., just a few miles outside of Gate City. In addition to Bella, the white Bengal tiger, visitors to the zoo can also see leopards, an African serval, Creation Kingdom Zoospider monkeys, camels, wildebeest, a red kangaroo, Surri alpaca, zebras, elands, emu, kookaburra and llamas just to name a few.

One of the most unique and interactive zoo experiences for the whole family with some of the rarest animals on Earth. Creation Kingdom Zoo is situated in the picturesque Snowflake area just 5 miles out of Gate City, VA.

Visitors can see animals ranging from Apes to Zebra and all in between. In addition to being open to the public, the Zoo conducts ongoing research into the behavior and reproduction of several critically endangered species and participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Program (SSP).

The Zoo is licensed by the USDA, USFW and State of Virginia and holds memberships in the Association of Professional Zookeepers, Association of Professional Wildlife Educators, and Zoological Association of America.

For more information on the zoo, please visit: www.creationkingdomzoo.com or call the zoo main line at:276-479-1910

The zoo is available for group tours and parties. Special events are held throughout the year.

The Zoo is open Mid March through November 30

Mon – Sat: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Sun: 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Creation Kingdom Zoo is located at 1642 Snowflake Road, Gate City. 276-690-5450 wwww.creationkingdomzoo.com

(Note:  The zoo is easy to find, but please call for directions.  Please do not rely on Google or your GPS to find Creation Kingdom Zoo.  Google Maps and your GPS are highly unreliable in Scott County.)