An Evening with Dr. Jay Franklin and Cayla Cannon

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


Dr. Jay Franklin digging a medieval house site in the mountains of southcentral France

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.

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Gardening opportunities at Sycamore Shoals!

Do you love to work outdoors and enjoy the beauty that results from your efforts in your gardens? If you do, Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park would like to invite you to join the Sycamore Shoals Gardeners!

The Sycamore Shoals Gardeners is a group of dedicated folks who enjoy gardening and especially love to create and nurture natural places of beauty for others to enjoy.   Currently the group takes care of a North American Butterfly Association certified garden and Monarch Waystation near our trail by the Watauga River in addition to the herb gardens at the Carter Mansion.

We are planning a spring orientation and gathering and would like to know if you would like to learn more about these volunteer opportunities at Sycamore Shoals!   For additional information, please contact Jennifer Bauer by calling 423-543-5808 or email,

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Overmountain Weavers’ Guild Fibers Show


Saturday, March 18, 2017                10 AM to 4 PM


Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park in Elizabethton, TN will come alive once again on

Saturday, March 18, 2017 for its annual Fiber Fair. On that day many of the most talented

fiber artists of the region will come together to share their talents and their wares. Weavers

will throw their shuttles, spinners will ply their yarns, and botanists will transform tough

plant stalks into silky fibers.


Visitors will be invited to try their hand at a loom or a spinning wheel!  Knitters and

crocheters will answer questions and give helpful hints about their craft. A children’s craft

table will be available. Guild members will work with both children and adults to create

felt balls from wool.


In addition, many area vendors will be selling fine hand-made items throughout

the day. Natural yarns, beautiful jewelry, hand-made scarves, house-wares, mittens, goatfibers-show

milk soap and roving will be for sale.

Refreshments are available all day through

Powers Coffee – for breakfast, lunch or



For visitors interested in learning to weave, guild members will offer a chance to sign

up for a beginning weaving classes during August 2017. The classes will be held each

Saturday and Sunday in August.  A sign-up sheet will be at the OMWG information desk

at the Fiber Festival.


The Fiber Fair is sponsored each year by The Overmountain Weavers’ Guild from

Kingsport.  It is part of the Guild’s mission to keep alive the time-honored skills of

the fiber arts.


Admission is free and all are welcome. Come and enjoy a fun and educational day

with the entire family.



Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area

1651 W. Elk Ave.

Elizabethton, TN 37643




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