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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,"
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,"
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
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