Rooted in the Land: Mary Celeste's East Tennessee Roots

A woman stands by an open white door in a serene outdoor setting, wearing a cozy blue sweater over a white pleated skirt, embodying the casual elegance featured in The Scout Guide.

Originally from Mobile, AL, Mary Celeste Beall first made her way to East Tennessee with her late husband, Sam, in 1994. “I’ve called Walland home for twenty five years now”, recounts Beall. In that time, she’s put down hearty roots, thanks, in part, to the ready welcome so characteristic of our region.

That ready welcome, alongside what Beall so aptly characterizes as “a hardiness of work ethic and drive,” makes for a powerful community. Bound by a shared appreciation for the land and informed by generations of farming, our community also has a distinct pride for East Tennessee’s natural offerings.

And while it’s not our nature to boast, it’s easy to see why. A valley surrounded by mountains and lush foothills, East Tennessee is a celebration of natural beauty and seasonal delights. This is the essence of what draws so many to our region and, certainly, what roots us here.

Like all East Tennesseans, Beall is eager to celebrate the bounty of our region’s beauty– whether it’s with neighbors or newcomers– usually around a table. Of course, it’s what Beall and her family have built a business around. The global renown of Blackberry is a testament to our region’s character. It’s just part of who we are as East Tennesseans. We welcome those who are visiting and we relish those who are lucky to call it home.

Ever the East Tennessean, Beall graciously shares a few of her many local highlights below…


Cozying up by the fire for family game night.

Long hikes, looking for nature’s rebirth.

Swims at Valley Pond followed by picnics of Tennessee tomatoes.

Relish in the jaw-dropping autumn foliage.


Andy Saftel | Benton’s Country Ham | DSB Provisions | Pretentious Glass | Richard Jolley and Tommie Rush

Matthew Howard | Special Growers | Zavels Family Farms

Cycling through Cades Cove | Paddelboarding on Chilhowee Lake | Wakesurfing on Tellico Lake | Walking Lakeshore Park

The Scout Guide Knoxville highlights the faces behind the places that make our community special. This feature, written by Makenzi Hogan, appears in The Scout Guide Knoxville, Volume 8, a collectible print guide published annually.