TNVLC was originally founded in 2008 as the Tennessee Valley LEGO® Train Club (TVLTC) by Jordan Schwarz when he invited local AFOLs to join him in chartering a local LEGO® club in December of 2007 in Huntsville, AL. They held their first meeting in January of 2008 and in July of that same year, TVLTC held its first show at the Huntsville Depot with an eight-foot by sixteen-foot donut display. In December, TVLTC hosted its first full weekend show at the Southland Station in Huntsville, AL.
For the next four years, TVLTC operated as a single club servicing Northern Alabama and Southern Tennessee, but things were changing within the club. As more members joined, and interests changed, members realized this was more than just a LEGO® Train Club. So, it was decided in March of 2012 to change the name of the club to the Tennessee Valley LEGO® Club (TNVLC). In addition to changing the name of the club, the logo was changed to show a LEGO® Spaceship blasting off into space (pictured below). This was also about the time tnvlc.org was created and the club started its first Facebook page.
Southerland Station in Dec 2009
TNVLC remained based out of Huntsville, AL for the next three years. In 2015, club member Peter Campbell moved from Huntsville, AL to Knoxville, TN. Realizing that the commute from Knoxville to Huntsville was too far to attend club events and meetings, Peter took steps to expand the club with a Knoxville Chapter. In July of the same year, Peter and eight residents of Knoxville, TN requested permission from the club president for permission to create a chapter of TNVLC in Knoxville, TN. On July 11th, 2015, TNVLC Club President Chris Bolton approved Peter’s request and the Knoxville Chapter of TNVLC was created.
TNVLC has always had club members from across the Tennessee Valley. We have conducted shows and various-sized displays throughout northern Alabama, eastern Tennessee, and central Tennessee. In October of 2015, Jenni and Jon Joy gathered the TNVLC club members from Nashville, Tennessee, and discussed either starting their own LUG or becoming a separate Chapter of TNVLC. After little to no discussion, all members present agreed to become a Chapter rather than create their own LUG, and on October 10th, 2015, the Nashville Chapter of TNVLC was born.
In December of 2017, LEGO® updated its LUG guidelines which created an issue with the club Logo. Since its inception back in 2008, TNVLC had always used the word LEGO® in the logo. However, with the updates to LEGO®s fair play policy, the use of the word LEGO® in a club’s logo was no longer authorized. Therefore, it was decided to change the logo and from that point on refer to the club as “TNVLC a recognized LEGO® User Group”. There was much discussion about what the new logo should be, and it was finally decided the logo would be a representation of the three chapters of the club.
The logo, which can be seen to the right, consists of three bricks, one for each chapter of the club, with each brick containing the silhouette of an iconic building from each city. The blue brick represents the Nashville, TN Chapter and contains the silhouette of the AT&T Building (affectionately known as the ‘Batman Building”) and is blue to represent the TN Titans. The orange brick represents Knoxville, TN, and contains the silhouette of the Sunsphere in the center of Knoxville and is orange to represent the University of Tennessee. The white brick represents Huntsville, AL, and contains the silhouette of the Saturn V Spaceship and is white as a nod to the stars of the space program. The reason the white brick is on the bottom is that the Huntsville Chapter was the base of the club, existing for seven years before the other two chapters were formed.
Since Nashville is the state capitol, “TN” is colored blue. “V" is colored orange for Knoxville (Vols) and LC is white since our Lego Club started in Huntsville.
In November of 2022, the members of the Knoxville Chapter of TNVLC made the decision to break away from the club and seek recognition as their own LUG. As of 6 November 2022, Knoxville chapter re-branded as KnoxvilleLUG (or KnoxLUG for short) and TNVLC became a two-chapter club, consisting of the Huntsville, AL chapter and the Nashville, TN chapter. Although the TNVLC family is sad to see their club members depart, we were excited to see them branch out on their own and are excited to continue collaborating with them in the future.
The new TNVLC Logo will consist of two bricks, one for each chapter, and is still in development at the time of this writing. Check back often to see the new Logo.