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A Legend in Tellico Plains Shares His
Passion for Collecting with Others

Original Air Date: July 28, 2010

  He was the mayor of Tellico Plains for three decades. And while people still use the title, he now spends his time collecting and sharing.

  You might not know Charles Hall, but this man has played a big role in East Tennessee history. The evidence is everywhere in his museum. From guns to music players, Charles Hall has it all. And he's done it all. "I've been a carpenter, a plumber and electrician, a tool and dime maker and what have you," says Hall.

  He also dabbled in politics. "I was elected mayor in 1951 at the age of 27. Apparently the people felt there was a need for change here," says Hall.

  He stayed mayor for 31 years. While in office he campaigned hard for the Cherohala Skyway. He even played a part in closing the Tellico Dam. He was also a business man. He owned an appliance store, but he had an issue making phone calls to place orders for customers. "I had a hard time getting a call out of here because of the old telephone system so I started badgering the old owner to sell it to me," says Hall. "I realized real quick that I didn't want just to improve his system a little bit, I wanted to build a new one."

  And during his time with telephones, he continued his passion for collecting. "When I began to take these old telephones out, I realized that some day they would be valuable. They would be a piece of history," says Hall.

  Now he has one of the largest telephone collections in the nation. And he loves sharing the antiques he's been acquiring since he was a young boy. "At 12, I got a .22 rifle and I still have it," says Hall. It's what started his passion for holding onto the old.

"You start young and live old and I've done both," says Hall.

  He had so much stuff he had to open a museum. It was just too good to keep to himself. Now 30,000 plus people roll through. "It's thrilling to visit with people that will pat you on the back and thank you for doing this. You feel like you've accomplished something," says Hall.

  And he doesn't charge them a penny. "I just enjoy seeing the people. And I've been so blessed. I just want to give a little something back," says Hall.

  Yet another one of Mr. Hall's accomplishments he shares with his wife, Billie. "We've been married 67 years," says Hall. "I'm very proud of that."

  Charles Hall, a local legend, a collector, and a beloved former mayor in Tellico Plains. One of "Your Stories." There's no place like this one.



Tennessee Crossroads: Charles Hall Museum



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