Dr Jay Franklin & Cayla Cannon to Speak at Sycamore Shoals


Saturday, March 25   at   7:00 pm in the Visitors Center at Sycamore Shoals


Collapse, Coalescence, and Spanish Incursions into

16th Century Native Upper East Tennessee –

Presented by Dr. Jay Franklin, Professor of Archaeology, Dept. of Sociology & Anthropology, East Tennessee State University


In Search of the People Who Lived Here Before: from Historic to Prehistoric Significance at the Carter Mansion Site –

Presented by Cayla Cannon, Graduate Student, Dept. of Geosciences,                                         East Tennessee State University


A 1958 TVA report held that the upper reaches of the Tennessee Valley along the Holston, Watauga and Nolichucky rivers were not suitable for permanent Native American villages. However, archaeological research conducted by East Tennessee State University from 2006 to the present indicates that our region contained dozens of large, vibrant Native American towns from at least AD 1350 to 1650. Jay will discuss his recent work at several of these sites. His research suggests that the upper reaches of the Tennessee Valley were not marginal hinterlands but rather newly discovered and well-connected cultural centers. It appears that at least some of these communities came into direct contact with early Spanish explorers.

Cayla will present her findings from her work at the Carter Mansion. Based on surface artifacts and decades-old excavations, we know the site also holds a prehistoric component, which may be vital for understanding Native American settlement and coalescence within the region. Our research in the broader region suggests that there may be a significant piece of Cherokee history here. The use of geophysics and targeted test excavations yielded many intriguing results at the Carter Mansion which Cayla will share during her presentation.

Please join us this evening for this unique opportunity to get a first- hand look at the most current research on these topics!   This lecture is free and open to the public.


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Audition for Liberty: The Saga of Sycamore Shoals!


Tennessee’s Official Outdoor Drama

at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park


Sunday, February 26, 2017 at 2:00 pm OR Saturday, March 4, 2017 at 5:00 pm


Passionate about our heritage? Interested in performing in Tennessee’s Official Outdoor Drama? The time has come to audition for the 2017 season!

This year we offer two options for you to join us for auditions –

Sunday, February 26 at 2 pm OR Saturday, March 4 at 5 pm in the Visitors Center at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park.

libertyLiberty! tells the stories of the Watauga Settlement during the late 18th century during the early formative years of our country. The Watauga Association, the Transylvania Purchase, the Cherokee Siege of Fort Watauga, and the Muster of the Overmountain Men are the focus of the play and the primary historic events of the 1770-1780 era. These stories of national significance are a ‘must see’ – we invite you to be a part of our cast who are dedicated to keeping our history alive.


For the 2017 season we welcome a new director and assistant director, each with a great deal of experience in theater and production. During auditions you will have the opportunity to meet Director Tony DeVault and Assistant Director C. Keith Young.

Performances are held in the Fort Watauga Amphitheater the last three weekends in July.   Dates for 2017, our 39th season of outdoor drama, are Thursdays- Saturdays, July 13 – 15, 20 – 22, and 27 – 29; shows beginning at 7:30 pm.


Additional Information:

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park

1651 W. Elk Avenue – Elizabethton, TN 37643






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A Winter Militia Muster

with the

Washington County, North Carolina Militia

F e b r u a r y    4 & 5

Visit Fort Watauga and step into a colorful Revolutionary world. Walk among living historians who share our past through talks, displays, and demonstrations of 18th century life. Come and learn about the frontier militia and the part they played during the War for Independence!

Saturday, February 4th                                                   

10:00 – Militia Inspection & Raising the Colors

11:30 – Artillery Demonstration

1:00 – Militia Drill/Tactical Demonstration

2:00 – Artillery Demonstration

3:30 – Militia Drill

4:00 – Retiring the Colors, Event Closed

Join us tomorrow

Sunday, February 5th

10:00 – Raising the Colours

11:00 – Worship Service

1:00 – Artillery Demonstration

2:00 – Militia Drill/Tactical Demo

3:00 – Retiring the Colors, Event Closed




Activities Throughout the Weekend Include…

Open Hearth Cooking – Militia Drill & Training – An 18th Century Publick House

Artillery Firing Demonstrations – Storytelling – Hand Sewing – Flintlock Rifle & Musket Firing and Much More




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