Monthly Archives: November 2014

Christmas at the Carter Mansion

Friday and Saturday, December 5 & 6 from 6 to 9 pm

The Historic John and Landon Carter Mansion

Broad Street Extension

Elizabethton, Tennessee


Tours by Reservation beginning every 20 minutes –

Please call 423-543-5808 to reserve a time


Are you tired of the hustle and bustle that always accompanies this time of year? If so, step back in time to the 18th century and enjoy a colonial Christmas at the beautiful Carter Mansion. Join Colonel John Carter, the Carter family, and all their friends for a glimpse into simpler time, when Christmas was the grandest celebration of the entire year. In colonial America the Christmas season was celebrated as month long array of merriment and festivities signaled by caroling, feasting, dances, foxhunts, and the firing of Christmas guns. Christmas on the colonial frontier would have been much different though, with only the simplest of pleasures being offered by the humble backwoods settlers. However, in contrast, the Carters would have displayed an opulence only seen in the finest homes of Williamsburg or Philadelphia.

Spend a candlelit evening in the oldest frame house in Tennessee, decorated with bright greenery for the holidays. Enjoy music, hot cider, and 18th century interpreters as they transport you to a Colonial American Christmas. Tours begin at 6:00pm and a new tour starts every twenty minutes until 8:40pm. Christmas tours are available by reservation only. Please contact the park to reserve your tour time. Admission is free, however all donations are graciously accepted and will go to support future programming at the Carter Mansion. We look forward to your visit for this one-of-a-kind holiday gathering!

Stories & Songs of Thanksgiving

 with the Front Porch Storytellers

“Over the River & Through the Woods”

Stories and Songs of Thanksgiving

7:30 pm Friday, November 21, 2014


Are you ready for turkey and all the trimmings, the joy of family gathered around the table, football, grandma’s pies, and a visit from your favorite crazy uncle? If not, then what better way to get in the spirit of Thanksgiving than a time of storytelling! Join the Front Porch Storytellers for “Over the River & Through the Woods” stories and songs of Thanksgiving.

On Friday, November 21st at 7:30 pm, join the Front Porch Storytellers for an evening of storytelling entitled “Over the River & Through the Woods”, presented at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area in the visitor center “gathering place”. The gathering place stage will be transformed to a cozy cottage where we invite you to come enjoy the evening at “Gradma’s House”. Come prepared to have your funny bone tickled and your heartstrings tugged as local storytellers, Mary Jane Kennedy and Chad Bogart, present a delightful mix of stories and songs centered on the Thanksgiving holiday. Mary Jane and Chad, co-founders of the Front Porch Storytellers, have shared stories with numerous schools, nursing homes, churches and civic organizations. Both have been featured storytellers at various festivals, historic reenactments and community events. You are sure to enjoy their talents and the friendly atmosphere they create. Join us for “Over the River & Through the Woods” to have your heart lightened and made full with the spirit of Thanksgiving. It’s sure to be great fun for the entire family.

Tickets for the event are $5.00 each and will go on sale at 7:00 pm in the lobby of the park’s visitor center. For additional information about this and other exciting events at the park please call 423-543-5808.

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area

1651 W. Elk Ave. Elizabethton, TN 37643.

Friends of Sycamore Shoals Annual Meeting

Thursday, November 20 at 7 pm

in the Visitors Center of Sycamore Shoals


We welcome guest speaker, Steve Ricker, interpreter for the Overmountain Victory Trail Association.

Please join us at Sycamore Shoals on Thursday, November 20 at 7 pm for a wonderful evening of fellowship and storytelling as Friends of Sycamore Shoals hosts their annual meeting. Members and non-members alike are all invited to learn more about the accomplishments of our Friends group and the many activities & educational programming that take place throughout the year.

This year, we welcome Steve Ricker, Director of Interpretation for the Overmountain Victory Trail Association as our featured speaker. Born and raised in Greeneville, Tennessee, Steve makes his home with his wife, Susie, in the mountains of Greene County. His life’s calling, history and art, is evident in the way he lives his life and through his artistic creations.

Steve’s commitment to preserving the old ways is evident as he comments, “My passion lies in the ability to teach and share my knowledge and skills with people from all walks of life, be it Native American or Frontier skills, highlighting the importance of good craftsmanship.”   Mr. Ricker displays his work in many fine galleries both at home and abroad, researching the techniques and materials used by early frontiersmen and Native cultures, including weaponry and hide tanning for clothing and moccasins.

In the new Interpretive Exhibits at Sycamore Shoals you can see many examples of the fine work he and his wife, Susie, have created together.   On the mannequins, examples of hand dyed and sewn garments, along with all of their accoutrements, have been primarily made by the Rickers. Additionally, other examples of the tools used by both Native & Frontier cultures are on exhibit in the Visitors Center of the park.

Steve also volunteers at both Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park and Sycamore Shoals, devoted to helping promote the rich heritage of our area through the interpretation of frontier life, hunting techniques, building shelter, and wood-lore. The program he will present for tonight’s meeting is the “Story of the Overmountain Settlements & the Battle of Kings Mountain.” Presented from a 1st person perspective, Steve’s presentation will take you back to 1780 when this pivotal event in American history took place. Inspired by his personal ancestry, Mr. Ricker is descended from Isaac Morgan of the Nolichucky Settlement who served under Colonel John Sevier.

Mark your calendars now for Thursday, November 20 at 7 pm and spend the evening with us at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area.