Monthly Archives: October 2017

Colonial Harvest Celebration and Fall Fibers Show


Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park

November 11 & 12

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 11 from 10:00 to 4:00 and Sunday, November 12 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 holiday, 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, and many more aspects of daily life on the colonial American frontier.

In the Visitors Center we will be hosting our Fall Fibers Show which will showcase a variety of plant and animals fibers vendors and demonstrations both days.

This 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 Park 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 and We look forward to seeing you at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park, where you too can “Share in the glorious cause of Liberty”!


1651 W. Elk Avenue     Elizabethton, Tennessee   37643


Scary Stories at Fort Watauga


Thursday, October 26 @ 7:30 pm


Scary Stories at Fort Watauga is soon to be upon us! On Thursday, October 26th 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!

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.

The Front Porch Storytellers developed and co-founded by Mary Jane Kennedy 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 ten 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 twelve years both in music and storytelling.

Chad Bogart, co-founder of the Front Porch Storytellers, descends from a long line of Appalachian storytellers. His abilities are enhanced by a background in music, living history, and historical interpretation. Chad’s interests 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!



The Tennessee Historical Commission and Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park are pleased to announce the opening of Sabine Hill in Elizabethton, Tennessee. This beautiful early 19th century home was constructed c. 1818 by the family of Brigadier General Nathaniel Taylor. Architectural historians consider the home to be one of the finest examples of Federal style architecture in the State of Tennessee. The property was restored as a capital project of the Tennessee Historical Commission and will be operated as a unit of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park. “We are very honored to partner with Sycamore Shoals to help provide a valuable addition to the area’s thriving tourism industry,” notes Tennessee Historical Commission Executive Director Patrick McIntyre. “This exciting new attraction for Elizabethton is the culmination of a decade of work that began when we learned the home was imminently threatened by demolition.”

Jennifer Bauer, Park Manager at Sycamore Shoals said “It was the intent of all involved in this process that this should be a model historic preservation project. Extensive research and a high quality restoration of the property and home were paramount in the process of bringing the Taylor home back to life.”  Research included archaeological investigations of the grounds, obtaining cut dates of the primary beams in the main house through dendrochronology, and detailed historic paint studies of the interior and exterior of the structures.

The process of saving Sabine Hill has been a continuum of events since the mid 1900’s. When the house was sold to the Reynolds family in the late 1940’s, their stabilization of the structure ensured it would not fall. Subsequently, other private owners worked together to preserve the house, the original doors, mantles, and examples of varied architectural details inside the home. When threatened with demolition, the local community and Taylor descendants came together to call for the future preservation of the Taylor home.

Ultimately, the success of the efforts of both citizens and state government working together can now be seen in Tennessee’s newest and finest State Historic Site, Sabine Hill.

Sabine Hill will once again radiate with the life and stories of its earliest inhabitants, Brigadier General Nathaniel Taylor, his wife, Mary Patton Taylor, their children, and descendants.


In celebration of the opening, Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park will be conducting guided tours by reservation on November 4, 5, 11 and 12 and also hosting an entertaining celebration at Sycamore Shoals on Saturday evening, November 4th at 7:30 pm. The Saturday evening event will include historic dance demonstrations & guest participation, a glimpse into the history of Sabine Hill via clothing of the era, and fun for the whole family. This event is sponsored by the Sabine Hill Social Society and Friends of Sycamore Shoals. 

Tours for these two weekends will be conducted at 9 am, 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm on Saturdays and 1 pm and 3 pm on Sundays and are by reservation only by logging onto and choosing “Upcoming Events” in the left hand menu. Tours meet at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park. Additional opportunities to tour Sabine Hill will be announced at a later date.


Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park                              Tennessee Historical Commission

1651 W. Elk Avenue                                                            2941 Lebanon Pike

Elizabethton, Tennessee 37643                                       Nashville, Tennessee   37214

423-543-5808 for additional information