The earliest club records go back to February 1992. However, the meeting minutes indicate that there were probably some earlier meetings. At that time 10 members and six visitors attended, and the treasury already had a balance of $309. At the October 1992 meeting the Constitution and Bylaws were presented, amended and approved. A name for the club with appropriate spelling was selected and approved. A club logo was discussed and members were encouraged to bring ideas. Pertinent materials were to be sent to the AKC for approval.
A December 1992 roster shows 21 members with officers: President: Debbie Mueller, Vice Presdident: Patti Payne, Secretary: Linda Howard, and Treasurer: Bruce Lorenzen.
The club's first fun match that was approved by AKC was held in conjunction with shows in Gray, Tennessee on May 22, 1993. Aubrey Withering from Nashville was the judge and there were 10 entries. Pam McKeehan was the match chair. That same year a second fun match was held in conjunction with the fall cluster at Chilhowie Park. Patti Payne was the match chair and Tommy Combs was the judge.By the end of 1993 the treasury had increased to $3,300.
By February 1994 there were 27 members, and the club had been approved to hold an informal AKC-sanctioned “B" match on May 21, 1994 during the spring cluster shows in Gray, Tennessee. The judge was Mr. Barber and Kim Wall was the match chair.
The club began holding training classes at a member’s house. The minutes also noted that club treasurer, Bruce Lorenzen had been approved by AKC to judge Bulldogs. Plans had already begun for the 1997 Bulldog National Week to be held in The Convention Center at Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.The August treasurer’s report shows an expenditure of $32 to Dr. Bailey for treatment of a rescued Bulldog.
In the fall of 1994, another informal sanctioned “B” match was held in conjunction with the Smoky Mountain cluster at Chilhowie Park with Bruce Lorenzen as match chair and Ken Fisher of West Virginia as judge.
The club was busy in 1995 with fund raising activities; treasurer’s reports showed a number of donations to other club's trophy funds, and a sanctioned “B” match in November brought 15 entries. James Frederickson was the judge. A catered hospitality and auction followed the match. By the end of the year the club put $2,000 in a CD.
The Smoky Mountain club not yet decided on a club logo.
In 1996, one year out from the Pigeon Forge BCA Nationals, the club was busy with more fund-raising activities and preliminary plans. A letter from the 1997 BCA Nationals Ways and Means Committee specified that each club in the BCA Division VIII would be assessed $1,500.
Linda Howard was named co-coordinator for providing morning hospitality each day during the Nationals Week. Ranee Randby was put in charge of preparing “goodie bags.” Another sanctioned “B” match was held in the fall with 11 entries, hospitality and an auction. By the end of 1996 the club had decided on a logo.
The January 1997 meeting announcement featured the first example of our now famous logo. The club was kept busy with work for the September Nationals Week. Having the National specialty in our “back yard” took tremendous effort from a handful of club members. Even though the club was not yet an AKC-recognized club, it participated fully by providing transportation to and from the Knoxville airport to the show headquarters; organizing morning hospitality; the golf tournament and grounds and cleanup chores.
Members Linda and Grant Howard, Bruce Lorenzen, and L. J. DeCuir were listed as committee heads in the official show catalog. It should be noted that during all of this the club lost a Charter member and the show chairman of the 1997 Nationals when Patti Payne moved out of BCA Division VIII.
Even with all the activity surrounding the September Nationals, Smoky Mointain members managed to have an AKC-sanctioned “B” match at the end of October with Wick Carter as the judge and Ranee Randby as the match chair.
Because of our participation in the 1997 Nationals our Treasury balance for 1998 showed a substantial increase. The club received $12,000, plus interest, from its particiapation in the Nationals.
In July the club was granted approval to hold the club's first formal AKC-sanctioned “A" match. Vivian Ayers was the match chair, Sam Steding was the judge and with the sale of fuzzies, sweatshirts, the auction and entries we made a profit of $518.
In 1999 the club began discussions concerning liability insurance and incorporating as a not-for-profit organization.. Apparently the first “A" match was not accepted by AKC because it again applied in 1999. AKC also required that the club hold training classes and educational programs at some our meetings in order to qualify as a club to hold licensed shows.
In August the minutes note the formation of the club's first official BCA Rescue Program with Ranee Randby as chair and L.J. DeCuir as co-chair. The second “A" match was held November 5 at Chilhowie Park with Dennis McCoy as the judge and Ranee Randby as the match secretary and chair.
For the first time since the club was formed, the nominations committee proposed a new president: Ranee Randby, and in September the club became incorporated with the help of attorney, Mary Jane Borden.
The club applied for license status in January of 2000 after receiving a letter from AKC stating that our second “A” match had qualified us.
We also participated in “Bark in the Park” a dog event sponsored by the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley. This gave the club some exposure and publicity in the community.
Before we could be granted license status, AKC requested changes to the wording of several sentences in the bylaws, which were approved in October. Additionally AKC needed a list of our membership for 2001.
Having met all the requirements for licensing, our secretary once again applied to AKC in February 2001, and the club was finally approved to hold its first specialty. It was held on Nov.3 in conjunction with the Tennessee Valley Kennel Club show. There were 59 entries. Lmar Mathis was the judge and Dianna Thompson judged the sweeps Best of Breed was Ch. Sandstone’s Simply Bradley.
Throughout the history of the club several names are prominent as the real founders and workers in the club. This history would be deficient if it did not note them specifically:
Debbie Mueller who served as president from 1992-1999.
Linda Howard who served as Secretary from 1992-2001until 2001. She furnished all the information and documentation required by the AKC to become licensed.
Grant Howard who served as a board member, mentor, pooper scooper from the very beginning.Bruce Lorenzen who served as the first treasurer. She was was responsible for putting the club on firm financial footing through vigorous fund-raising activities..
L.J. DeCuir who was a founding member, served as a board member and was the first show chair and Rescue Program co-chairman.
Club members, which have numbered as many as 40 bulldoggers, have bred and shown collectively more than 25 champions, and have rescued at least 45 dogs.