Monthly Archives: February 2017

Dance with History

Sycamore Shoals State Park announces a new way to enjoy & learn more about our history in the Elizabethton area. In connection with Sabine Hill, our newest property, Sabine Hill Social Society will be having its first meeting on Sunday, March 5 – 1:00 to 5pm. Sabine Hill Social Society (SHSS) is a group of dedicated volunteers who focus on helping the park with educational events, social activities, and early 19th century period clothing assistance as it relates to the Federalist period of time in America (1790-1820).

To celebrate the initial start of the group, an informal English Country dance will be held at The Pine Room (behind Sycamore Shoals Hospital-1501 W. Elk Ave, Elizabethton). Guest dance instructor Bob Thompson will be guiding the group with this entry level dance session.

Cost: $7.00 payable at the door. Lite refreshments will be served. We encourage those attending to wear casual & comfortable clothing.

To reserve your spot on the dance floor: contact Sycamore Shoals State park: (423) 543-5808

For additional information on SHSS, please contact Donna Horowitz – (423)434-0424 or



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.


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