The Overmountain Victory Trail Celebration and Historic Watauga River Crossing


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Saturday and Sunday, September 24th and 25th

It was the year 1780. The tide of the Revolution had turned against the colonists. The British, forced out of New England, gained new allies in the divided South and won victory after victory in a bloody civil war. Charleston had fallen, and American forces had crumbled at the battle of Camden. But then the impossible occurred…The frontiersmen of the western mountains began a long march, gathering an army along the way, from the highlands of Virginia to the hills of South Carolina. There, at a place called King’s Mountain, they destroyed an army and opened the way for the final American victory at Yorktown.

The route they took from Virginia to South Carolina, we now know as the Overmountain Victory Trail. Come celebrate with us as we recreate the muster of the Overmountain Men, which occurred here at Sycamore Shoals over two hundred years ago. Re-enactors in period clothing will be on hand throughout the weekend to share stories of the excitement and danger of that tumultuous time.

The weekend long celebration is a must for the whole family as the Washington County Militia present living history demonstrations and activities in and around Fort Watauga. As part of the weekend’s activities, we will celebrate National Public Land’s Day on Saturday, September 24th. At 1:00 pm join Historic Interpreter Chad Bogart on a special guided walk through the grounds of Sycamore Shoals and along portions of the walking path. Discover the vital role Sycamore Shoals played in the early frontier community, and how its significance would impact our nation’s history. Hear the story of the Overmountain Men and their historic gathering at Sycamore Shoals.

On Sunday, September 25th local author, journalist, and historian Robert Sorrell will be on hand from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm signing his recently published book, Historic Homes of Northeast Tennessee, by Arcadia Publishing. The book focuses on residences from the colonial period to the Victorian period in the communities of northeast Tennessee where a number of architectural styles can be seen including mountain log cabins, brick Federal-style residences, Georgian, Colonial, and Victorian mansions, urban apartment dwellings and row houses. Books will be available for purchase by cash or check for $22 each.

The culmination and highlight of the event occurs at 2:00 pm on Sunday, September 25th as the Overmountain Victory Trail Association recreates the historic Watauga River crossing. For the past 41 years Members of the OVTA have recreated this historic occurrence since 1975, following the same route and timetable as their legendary forebears from Abingdon, VA to Kings Mountain, SC. Immediately following the river crossing members of the OVTA will share the story of the campaign to Kings Mountain in the Fort Watauga Amphitheater.

While enjoying the activities of the weekend, be sure to visit the award winning museum and interpretive center, and don’t miss the park’s interpretive film “Sycamore Shoals – Story of the American Spirit”. Also visit the Eastern National Book and Gift Shop to take home a special souvenir or a gift for the history buff or avid reader in your family. It will be a fun filled and action packed weekend sure to entertain and educate all ages. Admission is free so bring the entire family and relive some of the most crucial days of the American Revolution.

 

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National Public Lands Day Hike – Saturday at 1 pm – Walking in Frontier Footsteps

 

2016 EVENT SCHEDULE

 

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24th  

 

10:00 – “Raising the Colours”Join The Overmountain Men inside Fort Watauga as they assemble for morning instructions, militia inspection and posting the flag. 

11:00 – “Gearing up for War” – Join Major Ledbetter inside Fort Watauga and learn about the equipment and weapons carried by the Overmountain Men in their campaign to Kings Mountain. 

11:30 – “Echoes of Revolution” – Join the Watauga Valley Fifes and Drums and learn about martial music of the 18th century.

12:00 – “Every Seventh Man” – Oral tradition states that the Overmountain Men left behind one in seven to guard the settlements as they went in search of the tory army. Witness the Watauga Home Guard drill and hone their skills as defenders of the frontier. Learn about the different firearms used in Colonial America.

12:30 – “Tunes of the Times – The Smith Brothers will share a delightful set of tunes and songs form the American Colonial period. 

1:00 – “Trail Talk: Walking in Frontier Footsteps” – To celebrate National Public Lands Day, join historic interpreter Chad Bogart for a guided walk along the park trail as he recounts the story of the Overmountain Men, their historic gathering at Sycamore Shoals and . Program begins at Fort Watauga.

1:30 – “Echoes of Revolution” – Join the Watauga Valley Fifes and Drums for an exciting glimpse into the musical world of the 18th century.

2:00 – “Life on the Homefront” – Come to the Talbot House for a look at the woman’s role on the 18th century frontier. See how the women and children fared after the militia had marched off in search of Patrick Ferguson and the Tory army.

3:00 – “Every Seventh Man” – Learn about the different firearms used in Colonial America.

4:00 – Camps Close – Join us tomorrow for another exciting day of life on the colonial frontier!

 

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25th  

 

10:00 – 3:00 – Meet the Author – Join local journalist Robert Sorrell, author of the book Historic Homes of Northeast Tennessee, in the park visitors center to learn more about this latest book which will be available for purchase. 

10:00 – “Raising the Colours”Join The Overmountain Men inside Fort Watauga as they assemble for morning instructions, militia inspection and posting the flag. 

11:00 – Worship Service – Feel free to join the militia for Sunday morning service held in the courtyard of Fort Watauga. Following the service witness the Washington County Militia fall in for inspection of arms, and orders are given for the day. 

12:00 – “Every Seventh Man” – Oral tradition states that the Overmountain Men left behind one in seven to guard the settlements as they went in search of the tory army. Witness the Watauga Home Guard drill and hone their skills as defenders of the frontier. Learn about the different firearms used in Colonial America.

1:00 – “Life on the Homefront” – Come to the Talbot House for a look at the woman’s role on the 18th century frontier. See how the women and children fared after the militia had marched off in search of Patrick Ferguson and the Tory army. 

2:00Watauga River CrossingMembers of the Overmountain Victory Trail Association and other 18th century reenactors re-create the historic crossing of September 25th, 1780.

Following the Crossing – Story of the Kings Mountain Campaign – Members of the OVTA will present a first person account of the events leading to, and during the Battle of Kings Mountain. Program presented in the Fort Watauga Amphitheater. 

3:00 – Retiring the Colors – Camps Close – Thank you for joining us for a great day of frontier living history. Join us next time! 

 

ONGOING ACTIVITIES FOR BOTH DAYS INCLUDE:

Open Hearth Cooking – Flintlock Musket & Rifle Demonstrations – Militia Drill

Colonial Music – Leatherwork – Colonial Games – 18th Century Camp Life

And Much More!!!

All activities are weather dependent. Schedule is subject to change or cancellation.

 

 

 

For more information, contact

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park

1651 West Elk Ave

Elizabethton, TN 37643

(423) 543-5808

http://www.tnstateparks.com/SycamoreShoals/

http://www.sycamoreshoalstn.org

http://www.washingtoncountyregiment.wordpress.com


 

 

 

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