Tennessee, October 2nd, 2013.


When a local farmer’s tractor got stuck in a hole while he was bush hogging a hillside pasture on the family farm located on Red Hill Road last Monday morning, he didn’t realize there was a 12-foot drop under the tractor big enough to swallow a cow.

Chuck Templeton parks his tractor near a deep sinkhole he was fortunate enough to get the tractor out of before the earth gave way. The sinkhole is 12 feet deep and approximately six feet in diameter. Looking on is the family dog, Saw.

Chuck Templeton saw that the front right tire of the tractor had dropped into a hole, so he kept rocking the tractor back and forth to try to free it. When that didn’t work, he asked his brother to tow it out of the hole.

As the tractor was pulled out, a large layer of dirt dropped into the void, exposing the sinkhole below.

“It had a layer of ground over it about six-inches deep,” said Chuck’s wife, Connie.

“I’ve never seen any thing like that,” said Chuck. “We’ll put a fence around it to keep the cattle out.”

In the past, family members have found other sinkholes on the 400-acre farm, but nothing of this magnitude. Over time a tree would grow in the sinkhole, marking the spot.

The Century farm belongs to Don and Jean Templeton, who are well known for the local honey they produce. Eight generations have lived and worked on the farm, while other family members own adjoining property.

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