Smith County teen featured on Highway See podcast

NASHVILLE – The podcast series, “Highway See,” has released its second episode sharing the fascinating history of our roads and bridges. Episode 2 of Highway See reveals the origin of Tennessee’s roads, and Smith County native Auburn Swann will discuss her 1st place demonstration winning entry in the 4-H district competition titled “How Tennessee’s Roads are Built.”

Listeners will learn about the build-out of early roads going back to historical texts which cite the 1700s, 1800s and early 1900s. Highway See is centered in telling the seldom heard stories of how our road network was built and where.

Highlights of Highway See Episode 2 include:

  • The history of the first roads built, in human history and in Tennessee
  • A deeper look into the building of Tennessee’s major roads, including the Avery Trace and Walton Road 
  • The evolution in types of roads, including corduroy, plank and the macadam method of constructing roads
  • The adoption of the macadam method of building roads, which became synonymous with a “good road”
  • How an increase in the use of automobiles impacted the demand for roads in Tennessee
  • The origin of the term turnpike

The podcast is narrated and hosted by Chris Hill of HumblePod. Episode 2 features these guests:

  • Darrin Kirkus, Sevier County native, Tennessee Infrastructure Alliance  
  • Raymon White, former TDOT official from 1996 to 2000
  • Kent Starwalt, the longest-serving head of the Tennessee Road Builders Association in the organization’s history
  • Auburn Swann, Smith County Native, 1st place winner of 4-H district competition with her demonstration titled “How Tennessee’s Roads are Built” 
  • George Webb, Rogersville native and official Hawkins County historian, 50+ year collector and dealer of Tennessee rare antiquities and documents 
  • Susie Alcorn, Highway See creator and executive producer, Tennessee Infrastructure Alliance

“The idea of Highway See is to share the history behind the roads we all use, with a goal to better understand how roads are crucial to our continual mobility and advancement,” said Alcorn. “Roads are known to not only expand our economy and connect us to faraway places, roads have intrinsically shaped our state.”

The slogan for the podcast series is “We hope you’ll see the highway when you’re on the road.”

Anyone can follow or subscribe to the Highway See podcast for free through Apple or Google podcasts, Spotify or wherever they get their podcasts. Listen anytime at

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.