Siege of Fort Watauga

Saturday and Sunday, May 21 & 22

10 am – 4 pm each day

 On Saturday, May 21st and Sunday, May 22nd, Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park will host nearly 150 living history re-enactors for the 27th annual Siege of Fort Watauga. Colonial, British, and Native re-enactors will converge at the re-created Fort Watauga at Sycamore Shoals to relive the days when America’s first frontier was the land beyond the blue ridge.

Join us from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm each day as Sycamore Shoals once again becomes the scene of war during the Siege of Fort Watauga. Step back in time as you visit the fort, militia camps, British encampment, and Native American camp. Be immersed in the 18th century as you witness daily aspects of colonial frontier life. See the clash of two cultures as the attack on fort Watauga is recreated both days at 1:30 pm.

During the event, take advantage of colonial merchants selling period wares in “Sutler’s Row”. There will be several vendors offering a myriad of 18th century reproduction items for the colonial enthusiast or the primitive decorator including clothing, weaponry, replica housewares and military accouterments. Vendors this year include Ft. Vause Outfitters specializing in finished leather goods, Walnut Hill Embellishments showcasing 18th century reproduction and historically inspired jewelry, Trader Bob offering a wide selection of hides and pelts, Charles Carter Knives featuring an array of reproduction blades and knifework, and Old Goat Trader offering vintage and repurposed items.

Several Revolutionary War living history units will be in attendance and will make the 18th century come to life during the weekend. Units include the 2nd Regt. SC Continental Line, the South Carolina Rangers, and Musgrove’s Mill Militia all based in South Carolina, and British units; the 71st Highland Regiment, the British Legion, and the Southern Indian Dept. The host unit is the Washington County Regiment of North Carolina Militia based at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area. Also, enjoy musical entertainment from the Watauga Valley Fife & Drum Corps. Numerous individuals also participate in the event portraying many 18th century walks of life including Cherokee Natives, Backcountry Hunters, Farmers, Housewives, Commoners and Gentry.

Returning this year will be the Auction of 18th century reproductions and colonial inspired goods at 3:00 on Saturday afternoon. The auction is always an entertaining event and has become quite popular with re-enactors and members of the public alike. It’s a great buying opportunity for those in the living history hobby, the home decorator, or the general history buff. All proceeds from the auction go directly to offset the cost of producing the Siege of Fort Watauga event.   

For more information on this and other exciting events at Sycamore Shoals please contact the park at 423-543-5808, log on to tnstateparks.com/parks/sycamore-shoals or visit us on Facebook. Admission to the event is free so bring the entire family and see how your ancestors played a crucial role in our region’s history and in the formation of our nation. Witness the 18th century come to life, hear the rattle of muskets, smell the campfire smoke, and “Share in the Glorious Cause of Liberty” at the Siege of Fort Watauga. This event is sponsored by The Washington County Regiment of North Carolina Militia and The Friends of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park. Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park is located at 1651 W. Elk Avenue in Elizabethton, TN.

Siege of Fort Watauga – Schedule of Events

Saturday, May 21

10:00   Militia Muster & Posting of the Colors – (Fort Watauga)

10:30   Salute to the Women of Watauga – (Sons of the American Revolution ~ Amphitheater)

11:00   Chickamauga or Cherokee: Was it a Choice? – (Mark Ledford ~ Native Camp)

11:30   “Our Daily Bread” Baking in the Earthen Oven –

(David Simerly ~ Fort Watauga Bread Oven)

12:00   Cherokee Cooking – (Sherry Finchum ~ Native Camp)

12:30   A Warrior’s Preparations – (Malaciah Taylor ~ Southern Indian Department Camp)

1:30     Battle Reenactment: “Siege of Fort Watauga – Part 1” & Revolutionary War Tactical Demonstration (Please move to the spectator viewing area 15 minutes prior to battle)

2:30     Kids Militia Drill – (Talbot’s Meadow)

3:00     Auction – (Visitor Center Gathering Room)

4:00     Event Closed for the Day – Join us tomorrow for another exciting day of living history!

Sunday, May 22

10:00   Event Opens

10:30   Militia Muster and Inspection – (Fort Watauga)

11:00   18th Century Worship Service – (Fort Watauga)

11:30   Chickamauga or Cherokee: Was it a Choice? – (Mark Ledford ~ Native Camp)

12:00   Cherokee Cooking – (Sherry Finchum ~ Native Camp)

12:30   “Our Daily Bread” Baking in the Earthen Oven –

(David Simerly ~ Fort Watauga Bread Oven)

1:30     Battle Reenactment: “Siege of Fort Watauga – Part 2” & Revolutionary War Tactical Demonstration (Please move to the spectator viewing area 15 minutes prior to battle)

2:30     A Warrior’s Preparations – (Malaciah Taylor ~ Southern Indian Department Camp)

3:00     Kids Militia Drill – (Talbot’s Meadow)

3:30     Retiring the Colors – (Fort Watauga)

4:00     Event Closed

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Fibers Show and Sale

This Weekend! Saturday and Sunday, March 12 & 13

10 am – 4 pm on Saturday and 11 am – 4 pm on Sunday

with the Overmountain Weavers Guild!

The Fibers Show and Sale will feature Guild demonstrations of weaving, spinning, and knitting throughout the weekend.  Guild members and other local fiber artists will have a variety of natural fibers, handspun yarn, handwoven items and knitted products available for sale.  Attendees will have the opportunity to meet and speak with area fiber artists, observe them using fibers to create yarn and apparel, and try their hands at these heritage crafts.

The Overmountain Weavers Guild was founded in 1972 to teach, stimulate, and furnish inspiration, information, and mutual assistance in the growth and development of handweaving, spinning, dyeing, felting, basketry, and related fiber arts. The Guild hosts programs and workshops for members throughout the year and educates the next generation of fiber artists through their beginning and advanced weaving classes every August. The Guild is currently working on a variety of projects including weaving drafts (patterns) from the mid-19th century and growing a garden of plants to make natural dyes.   This event is free and open to the public.  

New this yearNeedle Felting Class taught by Jen Hanlon

Sunday, March 13 beginning at 12 pm –3:30 pm

Cost of Class: $65.00 – Includes all supplies (2 felting needles, needle holder, finger protectors, skewer, foam felting surface, project template & handout, Core & Topcoat Fiber- enough to complete project and more!

Minimum number of participants:  3    Maximum number:  10

Age restriction: 18+

In this Beginners level class you will be creating a little bird! If you have a special favorite bird, bring a picture!

To Register:  email- jenhanlon35@gmail.com – 50% of class fee is due upon registration

About the Artist:     Jennifer Hanlon is a multimedia artist with a focus on fiber, especially needle felting. Originally from Western North Carolina, she participated in several shows, galleries, and was secretary of the Blue Ridge Fine Arts Guild for 3 years focusing on 2-dimensional works.  She took a break from crafting after marrying and moving to Vermont for 3 years.  After moving back to the mountains here in Johnson City, TN She has gotten back into crafting and discovered needle felting in 2020.  Needle felting is a great craft that takes patience but is so worth the effort when you see the results. Please join her at Sycamore Shoals!

The Guild meets on the third Wednesday of every month at 10 am at Exchange Place in Kingsport, Tennessee. Its hand-spinners meet on the fourth Wednesday. More information about the Overmountain Weavers Guild can be found on their website at omwg.net or by e-mailing the Guild at OvermountainWeavers@gmail.com.  Information and the opportunity to sign up for their classes will also be available during the event.

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park –

1651 W. Elk Avenue- Elizabethton, TN 37643

423-543-5808

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Looking for an intriguing program to attend in February?

Visit the top menu and choose Monthly Interpretive Programs followed by February 2022. Tours of our historic homes and more are happening and just waiting for you to visit with us!

In 1772, Sycamore Shoals was part of the earliest settlement outside the 13 original English colonies. It was here that the Watauga Association, the first majority-rule system of American government was formed, when settlers elected five of their number to “govern and direct for the common good of all the people.”

Now, 250 years later, we celebrate their lives and accomplishments. Throughout the year, watch for new programs and special events focused on this important time in history.

Questions? Call the park at 423-543-5808 or follow us at:

http://www.facebook.com/sycamoreshoals

http://www.tnstateparks.com/parks/sycamore-shoals

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