Knoxville Botanical Garden supporters cocktail with leprechauns and fairies at Ancient Lore Village

Tom Boyd and Sandi Burdick welcomed guests to Ancient Lore Village.

Looking for a creative way to salute their major donors, the leaders of Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum decided to take them to Inner Earth!

That is the fictional realm that is the theme of Ancient Lore Village, the new 67-acre resort and event center owned by Tom Boyd and Sandi Burdick in South Knoxville. The guests enjoyed cocktails and an elegant hors d’oeuvres spread prepared by Executive Chef Simon Hall and music by Sean Claire, a violinist with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, before touring the eight guest cottages and numerous gathering places on the property.

Everyone was amazed by the combination of whimsy and elegance the location embodied. Based on a book Boyd wrote about various mystical creatures who dwell in Inner Earth, each cottage portrayed a different theme. Check out the Ancient Lore Village website for more info on hosting events there. In addition to leasing out the entire Village, other options include special Saturday dinners that guests may enjoy without committing to an overnight stay.

Alan Carmichael, left, with Julia and Gary Bentley during cocktails.

Anna and Tom Ford. (If that glass looks a little off-kilter, it’s because it is!)

Hors d’oeuvres by Executive Chef Simon Hall were delish.

Sean Claire of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra provided beautiful tunes.

The rain did not dampen our spirits as we toured the village.

This is Bokee’s Bungalow. It is named after the main character in the book upon which Ancient Lore Village is based: “Bokee’s Trek: Outcasts to Inner Earth.”

Here’s a painting of Bokee. He bears a strong resemblance to Tom Boyd, the book author and founder of Ancient Lore Village. Can you see the tiny lilac fairy near the top? That represents Boyd’s wife, Sandi Burdick!

Dining table in Bokee’s Bungalow.

Here’s Bokee’s bathroom!

From left, John Butler, Townes Osborn, Bob Marquis and Sandra Anderson.

Lane Hays and Stuart Worden.

There are many nice outside gathering areas at Ancient Lore Village.

David Williamson outside Leprechaun Lair.

Loved the chimney in this one!

There’s the leprechaun himself!

From left, Victoria Daniel-Cape, Jack Barlow, Diane Humphreys-Barlow and Annelle Neel.

Rick Fox and Ralph Cianelli. Rick is chairman of the board of the Knoxville Botanical Garden.

My favorite cottage was Waterfall Villa.

Look at these beautiful birch trees inside it!

And this wall treatment!

Here’s what Sandi had to say about that. “We didn’t use wallpaper anywhere. All the wall treatments were faux painted by an extremely talented local group of artisans called A New Hue using all kinds of paint, Venetian plaster, gold and silver foil and — in the case of the faux tree fireplaces — concrete. The Waterfall main suite bedroom was about seven layers of paint, plaster and foil!” Wow.

Speaking of waterfalls …

Tom Boyd, center, with Executive Chef Simon Hall and Melissa Blettner, the CEO of Ancient Lore Village.

Patrick and Rachel Beasley.

Katharine Pearson Criss, left, and Joan Ashe.

The landscaping will be lovely when it fills in.

Another lovely gathering spot.

This big light fixture came from The Foundry near World’s Fair Park.

Ground Elf Burrow.

Tom Boyd with Victor Ashe, former Knoxville mayor and U.S. ambassador to Poland.

Marty Begalla, left with John and Sandra Butler.

Neil and Maureen Dunn McBride.



Archway to a big gathering spot.



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16 Responses to Knoxville Botanical Garden supporters cocktail with leprechauns and fairies at Ancient Lore Village

  1. Rusha Sams, on May 10th, 2021 at 2:15 pm said:

    Thanks for sharing all these wonderful photos. I’m looking forward to seeing Ancient Lore Village soon! A very interesting development!!!

  2. Cynthia Moxley, on May 10th, 2021 at 2:21 pm said:

    Rusha: I think you will like it! It’s definitely a departure from the usual event locations!

  3. Monique Anderson, on May 10th, 2021 at 2:42 pm said:

    It looks so fun! Would love to see it!

  4. Mary S Brewington, on May 10th, 2021 at 2:42 pm said:

    I cannot wait to visit this magical and beautiful place!

  5. Terry A. Morgan, on May 10th, 2021 at 4:45 pm said:

    Can’t wait to visit – thank you for sharing the photos!

  6. carolyn jensen, on May 10th, 2021 at 5:38 pm said:

    Love the pics. I wondered what it would be like and it is certainly interesting and different from the familiar resort spots. Would love to visit and see it first hand, but your tours are so special and always give us the feel and ambiance. Thanks,

  7. Jackie Wilson, on May 10th, 2021 at 6:46 pm said:

    So happy that the Blue Streak is back! And featuring this wonderful event. Sandi and Tom have created such a magical place. Can’t wait to see it.

  8. Gina, on May 10th, 2021 at 10:06 pm said:

    It is gorgeous! Thanks for posting… glad you are back!

  9. Cynthia Moxley, on May 10th, 2021 at 10:15 pm said:

    Thanks for your kind comments, friends. And for reading the Blue Streak! It’s been weird not writing it for so long – but there were no events to write about! Glad things are gradually getting back to normal. And can’t tell you what a relief it is to be fully vaccinated! Highly recommend!

  10. Georgiana Vines, on May 11th, 2021 at 9:51 am said:

    It’s clear when a Boyd in this community decides to do something, obstacles become challenges and the vision become reality.
    It’s also clear I renewed my membership too late. Wrote the check last week.

  11. Cynthia Moxley, on May 11th, 2021 at 9:55 am said:

    Hey, George: I’m sure they will have many more fun things for supporters. You are a generous contributor to the good things in our community. Thanks for that.

  12. Steven Smith, on May 12th, 2021 at 7:56 am said:

    We arrived late; sorry to have missed you and Alan. What a fun place!

  13. Bette Bryan, on May 12th, 2021 at 10:04 am said:

    How exciting to see something so creative and whimsical here in Knoxville! It’s sure to be a delightful and well-visited attraction. Congrats to Tom Boyd! Thank you, Tom, for your addition to the community. Something fun and family-friendly – and well-needed!

  14. Marsha Grieve, on May 12th, 2021 at 10:41 am said:

    Ditto all comments. Wish we had known about this event (ditto Georgianna – probably forgot to renew our membership!) Will there be other ways to visit the property? Call the Realty group, etc? Duane and I would love to see it.

  15. Cynthia Moxley, on May 12th, 2021 at 12:04 pm said:

    Marsha: The website says they offer tours:

    Sorry we missed you all, Steven.

    Bette: Can’t wait to start seeing you all on the party circuit again!

  16. Joan Marshall, on May 14th, 2021 at 4:26 pm said:

    This is so amazing! What a treat! I can’t wait to see it in person! Thank you for sharing!

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