History at Home – June 3 – 14


Welcome to the 2020 season of History at Home!

Below please find our programs planned for June 3 – 14 that will be presented by Seasonal Interpretive Rangers, Laura Ellis and Taylor Moorefield

To register for one or more of these great programs, please visit  https://tnstateparks.com/parks/sycamore-shoals  and choose Upcoming Events in the left hand menu.   From there you will see all our upcoming programs.  Most programs are offered free of charge except for historic house tours of the Carter Mansion and Sabine Hill, that will begin in mid-June.  There is also the opportunity to donate to Sycamore Shoals when you register for your free program.

***In keeping with CDC guidelines to prevent Covid-19, we can host programs for groups of 10 or less. Therefore, all guests MUST register in advance for the listed programs. We encourage attendees to bring masks and keep 6 feet apart from other guests. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation***

Registration requiredhttps://tnstateparks.com/parks/sycamore-shoals


Wednesday, June 3rd

11:00 a.m.      “Colonial Letter-Writing” In today’s world of media, the traditional necessity of letter writing is increasingly less practiced. Laura Ellis will demonstrate the art behind the main source of communication on the frontier, including formal etiquette, writing essentials, and the varieties of message sending during the Revolutionary War. Please meet Laura inside the Visitor Center Gathering Room. Duration: 30 minutes.

3:00 p.m.     “Native Flames” – Join Taylor Moorefield for a talk and demo of primitive fire methods used by the Cherokee and other native tribes. You will learn what types of local woods are effective for fire by friction, purposes and uses for fire by the native peoples, and get to see a flame made with a bow drill or hand drill kit – entirely from natural materials! Meet inside the fort. Ages 10 and up. Duration: 30 minutes.

Thursday, June 4th

12:00 p.m.      Creek Crawl” – Laura Ellis will be hosting a “critter hunt” along the trail. Tennessee’s waterways are prime area for animals large and small to build their homes and hideouts. The mission is to those creatures and the benefits they bring to the region. Please meet Laura at the butterfly garden if interested. Catching equipment will be provided and individuals should prepare to get wet. Children Welcome! Duration: 1 hour

3:30 p.m.      “Useful Plants of Appalachia” – Join Taylor Moorefield on an easy hike through our walking trails along the beautiful Watauga River. On the hike we will identify and discuss 20+ plants, trees and flowers along the trail, and any edible and/or medicinal uses they offer. Traditional uses by Cherokee and settlers will also be discussed. Plant lovers, history enthusiasts, and self-sufficiency buffs alike will enjoy this program! Ages 12 and up. Rain or shine. Bring water and comfortable walking shoes, and dress for the weather. Duration: 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Friday, June 5th

10:00 a.m.       “Period Project Runway” – Laura Ellis will be offering a demonstration on 18th and 19th Century attire, and how the fashion industry shaped early American society and trade. There are more layers than you think! Please join her inside the visitor’s center. Duration: 30 minutes.

3:00 p.m.         “Do Not Forget Your Knots!” – Taylor Moorefield will demonstrate and discuss several useful knots for camping, shelter building and utility uses. You will get a chance to learn and practice these knots! Duration: 1 hour.

Saturday, June 6th

11:00 a.m.      “Let the Colonial Games Begin!” – In the 18th Century, kids would invent many different games to pass their time. Laura Ellis will be bringing those games to the 21st Century in the field by the butterfly garden, so bring your children, set up a picnic, and enjoy the day watching or participating in colonial games! Duration: 1 hour

3:00 p.m.        “Music on the Frontier” – Join Taylor Moorefield and hear history come alive through song! Taylor will play songs and tunes from the 18th century and discuss the ways the settlers made music, and the important role it played in their daily lives. Duration: 30 minutes.

Sunday, June 7th

12:00 p.m.      “Women on the Frontier” – Sit down and learn all about the daily lifestyle of young ladies, upper-class women, and the working housewife in 18th Century South. Laura Ellis will hold casual discussions on what women wore, etiquette, and daily chores that were done in order to keep the home in order. This event will be held in the second cabin inside the fort. Duration: 1 hour

3:00 p.m.        “Frontier Firearms” – Witness the flintlock rifle in action! Learn about this significant tool and weapon of the frontier, its history, uses, construction, and see it fire. All ages welcome! Meet at the fort. Duration: 30 minutes.

Thursday, June 11th

10:00 a.m.      “Frontier Fire-Starting” – Learn how the settlers made fire and try it yourself! Once the settlers began influencing Cherokee culture, they introduced metals, and fire making evolved to the use of flint and steel. Taylor Moorefield and Laura Ellis will be demonstrating the use of flint and steel and will invite you to try it yourself. All ages welcome. Meet inside the fort. Duration: 30 minutes

3:00 p.m.        “Whipping Rope – An Ancient Skill” – In this program, you will learn how to whip rope or cordage – a vital skill in primitive tools crafting. Whipping is a method of attaching two objects together, and can be used to make many stone tools, weapons, shelters, or structures. Ages 10 and up. Meet at the fort. Duration: 45 minutes.

Friday, June 12th

10:00 a.m.       “Period Project Runway” – Laura Ellis will be offering a demonstration on 18th and 19th Century attire, and how the fashion industry shaped early American society and trade. There are more layers than you think! Please join her inside the visitor’s center. Duration: 30 minutes

3:00 p.m.       “Making Rivercane Arrows” – How did the Cherokee make arrows for hunting and warfare? Join Taylor Moorefield and see it done first-hand! Meet in the fort and we will walk down to the long-hunter camp as a group for the program. Duration: 30 minutes.

Saturday, June 13th

10:00 a.m.       “A Life in Linen” – How was linen made? What did early settlers use for dye? Join Laura Ellis inside the fort as she answers questions like these and explains the importance of flax and linen on the frontier, as well as get an idea of fabric dyeing in the late 1700s. Duration: 30 minutes

3:00 p.m.       “Cordage Making” – Want to learn to make rope/cordage entirely from natural materials? Join Taylor Moorefield and learn this simple but invaluable skill that you can always carry with you! Resource-permitting, you will make a bracelet or necklace you can take home with you. Meet in the fort. Duration: 45 minutes.

Sunday, June 14th

12:00 p.m.      “It’s a Farmer’s Life for Me” – Early settlers in the Watauga Valley made their livelihoods off farming the surrounding land and utilizing it as much as possible. Laura Ellis will be inside the fort explaining a typical 18th Century farm and the responsibility that came with it. Many of their farming traditions are still in common practice today! Duration: 30 minutes.

3:00 p.m.        “A Walk in Nature, Through Time” – The woods of Carter County, TN have seen some of our area’s most significant historic events take place. Take a short hike with Taylor Moorefield and learn about how the settlers and Native Americans saw these woods, the edible and medicinal plants, animal life, significant events that took place here, and more. Meet in the visitor’s center. Wear comfortable walking shoes, bring water and dress for the weather. Duration: 45 minutes.

Programs beginning June 17th through June 30 will be posted soon!

Questions?   Need help registering?   Please call the park office at 423-543-5808

The Visitors Center is open from:

9 am – 4 pm Monday through Saturday – Closed from 11:30 – 1:30 for lunch and cleaning daily.

1 pm – 4:30 pm Sunday

Be sure to drop by and visit our book and gift shop!