Monthly Archives: October 2014

Colonial Harvest Celebration & Militia Muster


November 15 & 16

Autumn is in full swing. As both the temperature and the leaves continue to fall, we begin to think of the many holiday festivities that wait in the coming days. Over two hundred years ago it was quite the same for the early frontier settlers. On Saturday, November 15 from 10:00 to 4:00 and Sunday, November 16 from 10:00 to 3:00 Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area will become the scene of a Frontier Harvest Celebration as we enjoy a time of friendship and thanksgiving.

In Colonial America, before Thanksgiving was declared a national Colonial Harvest Celebration - Donna Ledbetter - Sycamore Shoalsholiday, each colony or community observed days of thanksgiving usually after the harvest had been brought in or after a significant military victory. Join the Washington County Militia, host living history organization at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area, for their monthly militia muster and Harvest Home Celebration!

Activities throughout the weekend will include; a reading of colonial governor Richard Caswell’s Thanksgiving Proclamation, open hearth cooking, flintlock musket and rifle demonstrations, 18th century artillery demonstrations, militia drill and training, and many more aspects of daily life on the colonial American frontier.

Colonial Harvest Celebration - Sycamore ShoalsThis is a perfect opportunity for the entire family to visit one of Tennessee’s finest state parks and enjoy a day immersed in history and fun. Admission is free so don’t miss this unique event showcasing Tennessee’s rich heritage. During your time at the park be sure to experience the new interpretive exhibits and our Eastern National Book and Gift Shop to make your visit complete.

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area is located at 1651 W. Elk Ave. Elizabethton, TN 37643. For additional information about this and other exciting events at the park please call 423-543-5808 or visit us on the web at


We look forward to seeing you at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area, where your history comes to life!

Scary Stories at Fort Watauga

At Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area

(formerly held at the Carter Mansion)

Thursday, October 30 @ 7:30 pm


Scary Stories at Fort Watauga is soon to be upon us! On Thursday, October 30th at 7:30 pm, the walls of the historic recreation of the fort will be alive with tales of haints and happenings of days gone by. An annual event not to be missed, Scary Stories is set inside the fort, creating a unique atmosphere for an evening of spooky tales geared to the entire family.

We are excited to welcome three exceptional storytellers to the fort this year; C. Keith Young, and the Front Porch Storytellers – Mary Jane Kennedy, and Chad Bogart. Each of these talented tellers is sure to bring a smile to your face and a chill to your spine!

C. Keith Young, Raconteur, has performed as the featured storyteller/emcee for the Virginia Highlands Festival, First Night Kingsport, Kingsport Funfest Showtime, Fayetteville Christmas Past Festival, Erwin Strawberry Festival, the Stone Soup Festival (South Carolina), Elizabethton’s Covered Bridge Celebration, Roan Mountain State Park Miller Homestead Days, Sycamore Shoals State Park, plus numerous appearances at Tellabrations and Jonesborough Days. His work as a storyteller, emcee, humorist and professional musician spans more than three decades. He serves the area as Dean of Off Campus Programs and Services for Northeast State and interim director for the Bristol Campus.

The Front Porch Storytellers developed and co-founded by Mary Jane Kennedy, Sherri Hyder and Chad Bogart is actively presenting storytelling programs throughout the area and in Elizabethton. Be sure to check out their Historic Ghost Walks in downtown Elizabethton! They have been telling stories together for five years at many schools, civic functions, senior homes and organizations throughout the Mountain Empire.

Mary Jane Kennedy spent 30 years teaching in Orlando.  She has a background in music, voice over, historical research and storytelling.  She is the Co-Founder of The Overmountain Singers, The Homespun Storytellers and The Front Porch Storytellers.  She has been actively performing in the area for the last nine years both in music and storytelling.

Chad Bogart comes from a long line of storytellers. His abilities are enhanced by a background in music, living history, and historical interpretation. Chad’s interest in scary stories stemmed from family ghost tales told by his Grandmother, and are a favorite among his listeners.

Bring a lawn chair or a blanket and make it a point to mark your calendar now for an exciting evening with family and friends!


A Walk In Their Boots

A Timeline of American Military History

A Walk in Their Boots - Poster

Come out on this weekend before Veteran’s Day and step back in time. Experience life on the front lines as an American military soldier and follow his footsteps through the earliest frontier days, the American Revolution, the War of 1812, America’s Civil War, World War I, World War II and beyond. See firsthand, how the uniforms, equipment and weapons developed over the years. Follow the path of America’s proudest tradition, that of its military veterans.

As a timeline event, re-enactors and historical interpreters will walk you through each period, displaying artifacts and conducting interactive demonstrations that will show you how these men and women contributed to securing American freedom and how they have protected it to this day. Tour the period encampments, see how soldiers lived in the field and what resources they had to survive!

Plus, do not miss the battle skirmish presentations for three specific time periods. At 11 am you can watch a Revolutionary battle assault on the historic Fort Watauga. At 1 pm there will be a Civil War skirmish and at 3 pm we wrap up with a WWII American Airborne assault on a German paratrooper unit a la D-Day, 1944. Do not miss this opportunity to see period equipment and weapons in action!

This event is FREE to the public and we encourage all veterans to attend!



Park Historic Interpreter – Chad Bogart



Event Coordinator/Timeline Director – Keith Rutherford

The Five Oh First Group

WWII 101st Airborne Re-enactment Group