22nd Annual Siege of Fort Watauga

IMG_2863On Saturday, May 21st and Sunday, May 22nd, Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park will host nearly 200 living history re-enactors for the 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.

 The Siege of Fort Watauga is a live retelling of the Cherokee attack brought on the settlers of the Watauga valley in the summer of 1776. At Sycamore Shoals, Fort Watauga offered protection to nearly 200 settlers during a two-week siege led by Cherokee War Chief, Old Abram, and 300 warriors.

Sycamore Shoals will once again be the scene of war during the Siege of Fort Watauga. The event lasts from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturday, May 21st and 10:00 am to 3:00 pm on Sunday, May 22nd. Step back in time as you visit the fort, militia camps, British IMG_2846encampment, and Native camp. Be immersed in 18th century frontier life as you witness daily aspects of colonial culture. See the clash of two cultures as the attack on fort Watauga is recreated both days at 1:00 pm. Also, attend our auction of 18th century reproductions on Saturday.

This year we are excited to welcome author, journalist, composer, and film producer Nadia Dean as our guest speaker. On Saturday, May 21st at Nadia Dean11:00 am Dean will be speaking about, and previewing her film Cameron.

“Alexander Cameron–married to a Cherokee—soon finds himself in conflict with southern colonists who are in rebellion against the king. The Cherokees are likewise forced into divided loyalties between the British and colonial rebels. Nadia has at last given a voice to Cameron and the Cherokee warrior Dragging Canoe” (Ila Hatter, Appalachian author).

The film is based on Nadia Dean’s latest book A Demand of Blood – The Cherokee War of 1776. The books are available in the Sycamore Shoals Gift Store, and there will be an opportunity to have your book signed by the author.

Also 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. Vendors this year include “Johnson & Moffet” specializing in hand crafted wooden items and herbal remedies, Trader Bob offering tanned animal pelts and hides, Ft. Vause Outfitters specializing in finished leather goods, and several other vendors offering everything from 18th century reproduction clothing, weaponry, and original antiques, to replica housewares and military accouterments.

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 1st Maryland based in Hendersonville, NC, Musgrove’s Mill Militia and the South Carolina Rangers based in upstate South Carolina, and two British units; the 42nd Light Infantry and the North Carolina Highland Regiment. The host unit is the Washington County Regiment of NorthSiege of Fort Watauga Carolina Militia based at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park. Numerous individuals also participate in the event portraying many 18th century walks of life including Cherokee Natives, Backcountry Hunters, Farmers, Housewives, African Slaves, Commoners and Gentry.

For more information on this and other exciting events at Sycamore Shoals please contact the park at 423-543-5808 or visit the park’s website at www.sycamoreshoalstn.org. 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. Hear the rattle of muskets, smell the campfire smoke, and see the 18th century come to life at the Siege of Fort Watauga. This event is sponsored by The Washington County Regiment of North Carolina Militia and Friends of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area.


Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park, 1651 W. Elk Ave. Elizabethton, TN 37643

Ph. 423-543-5808








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America’s Frontier History Expedition

Visiting Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park

Saturday, May 7 from 9 am – 4 pm


From May 7-30th, 2016 a reenactment of settlers braving the wilderness to seek new opportunity west of the Allegheny Mountains will take place as men and women recreate a 230 mile 18th century horseback expedition from Sycamore Shoals, Tennessee to Fort Boonesborough, Kentucky, representing a cross section of people and cultures, frontier men and women.

There are fourteen encampment stops planned for the three week journey at which the reenactors will deliver educational presentations for the public. The purpose of this journey is to bring awareness to the need to preserve America’s frontier history the importance of the westward movement, and its impact on the Euro American and native peoples, and the skills necessary to survive on the frontier.

Campfire presentations, live fire demonstrations of Long rifles and the music of frontier fiddling are all planned activities for the event. Parades in Barbourville and Brea, KY as well as demonstrations and presentations at the encampments are also planned. Two highlights of the event include speakers Mark Sage, representing the frontiersmen, and Rusty Cottrell as “Shawnee Chief Black Hoof” representing the Native American culture. Each stop on the trail will be a bit different and the public can plan to see this expedition several times for a different live experience.

At each stop of the journey, there will be an art exhibit by Frontier Artist, David Wright. David’s work gives us a view of life on the first frontier and his paintings capture the daily activities of both the pioneer and the Indian culture.

This event will also help to support horse therapy for wounded war veterans through programs such as “Horses and Hero’s” and Deer Creek Stables in Richmond, KY. These programs help veterans return to a heathy life by using this technique of therapy. Donations of hay, oats, old saddles, blankets and offers of services to the veterans will also be accepted on the expedition. It costs $35.00 to provide a session for a veteran and the public can help them with buying segments or any monetary contributions. Collection stations will be available for the duration of the trip.

The Boone Society, Inc., a 501c3 non-profit organization made up of over 300 Boone Family descendants of which Daniel Boone is most notable, and whose mission is to preserve the legacy of the Boone Family. America’s Frontier History is sponsoring this event which also brings awareness to the Boone Trace Corridor, the historic road stretching from Cumberland Gap to Fort Boonesborough, constructed by Daniel Boone that opened the gateway west.

On Saturday, May 7, from 9 am until 3 pm, America’s Frontier History Expedition will be on site at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park in Elizabethton, Tennessee.   During their visit, please stop by and visit with 18th century re-enactors who will be making the 230 mile journey from Sycamore Shoals to Fort Boonesborough, Kentucky.

Schedule of Events at Sycamore Shoals

10 am – Noon – Education Stations for conversations with frontiersmen and woman

11 am – noon – George Rogers Clark portrayed by Mel Hankla

2 pm – 4 pm – Education Stations continue

About George Rogers Clark:

George Rogers Clark
Revolutionary War Hero
George Rogers Clark, a tall, talented Virginian, came to Kentucky as a surveyor, but it was as a military leader during the Revolutionary War that he made his mark. In 1777 Clark won approval from Virginia governor Patrick Henry (Kentucky was then a Virginia county) for a secret mission to attack British posts north of the Ohio River. Clark’s party — 175 soldiers and a small band of settlers — set up camp on Corn Island near the falls of the Ohio River in May, 1778. The next month Clark launched a brilliant campaign into present-day Illinois and Indiana, defeating the British and their Indian allies and securing the Northwest Territory for the young United States.

Meanwhile, the settlers Clark had brought along moved from Corn Island to the Kentucky shore, founding the city of Louisville in late 1778. His war exploits marked the peak of Clark’s career. Plagued by debts, drinking and poor health, he spent his later years living in Louisville. Overshadowed by his brother William, of Lewis and Clark fame, he never got the credit he thought he had earned.

For more information and to find locations of presentation stops visit http://www.boonesociety.com/pages/americas-frontier-history-expedition/


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Carter Mansion Celebration


Saturday, April 2 & Sunday, April 3   

Ramona Invidiato


Travel back to the 1780s… The American colonies have declared Independence, but the outcome of this bitter struggle is still in question. Hardy frontiersmen have crossed the mountains in defiance of British law and have carved out homes in the wilderness. Conflict is rising between American Patriots, Loyalists who support the Crown, and native Indians who struggle to retain their way of life. But the people of this time still find cause for celebration and merriment so come out and see it all come together at the oldest frame house in Tennessee.

The Historic John and Landon Carter Mansion, built ca. 1775-1780, boasts beautiful over mantle murals, hand carved moldings and raised panels making it one of the most treasured sites in Tennessee history. The house is the only surviving link to the famed Watauga Association, the democratic government set up by the early settlers in the Watauga Valley. The home’s builder, John Carter, served as a chairman of the Association.

The Washington County Regiment of North Carolina Militia, Sycamore Shoals’ host living history organization, will be celebrating its seven-year anniversary during this exciting celebration! The Militia will be encamped on the grounds of the Carter Mansion and will present demonstrations of the daily lives of 18th century backwoods settlers. As part of the activities a re-enactment of a small battle between Patriots and Tories will be presented each day.

Local craftsmen and artisans will be on hand throughout the weekend showcasing and demonstration traditional arts and crafts. Other activities throughout the weekend will include Tours of the Carter Mansion: Tennessee’s oldest frame house, Militia Drill, Musket and Rifle demonstrations, Traditional Music, Storytelling, Colonial Military Music by the Watauga Valley Fifes and Drums, and much more. Come join us for a weekend of History, Entertainment, and Family Fun!

sponsored by the Washington County Regiment of

North Carolina Militia

The Carter Mansion is located at 1031 Broad Street in Elizabethton, Tennessee.  For further information please contact:

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park

1651 W. Elk Avenue

Elizabethton, TN 37643




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