Saturday and Sunday, January 6 & 7, 2018

Christmas isn’t over yet! Come to Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park and see how our colonial ancestors celebrated a holiday called “Old Christmas”. In Colonial America, Christmas was celebrated as a twelve day holiday with many traditions and customs. Does The Twelve Days of Christmas sound familiar? These twelve days of feasting, and merrymaking ended on January 6th or “Twelfth Night” with a grand celebration.

On Saturday, January 6th from 10am-3pm and Sunday, January 7th from 10am-3pm the Washington County Militia will hold their annual Old Christmas Celebration. As you walk through the gates of Fort Watauga you will travel back in time to an 18th century Old Christmas “Jollification”. Each cabin in the fort will be the setting of Christmas, New Year, and 12th Night traditions as celebrated by the settlers of different cultures on the colonial frontier. Many of our modern Christmas customs are taken from centuries old practices such as English Christmas Guns, the Irish Holly Wreath, the German Tannenbaum, Scottish First Footing, and the Dutch Sinterklaas. See how our Christmas practices of today are steeped in these old world traditions.

Get the most out of the Holiday Season and visit Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park for a fun, entertaining, and educational family outing. Arrive ready to be filled with the spirit of Christmas. It’s an event that is sure to become a tradition with your family year after year.

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park is located at 1651 W. Elk Avenue in Elizabethton, TN. For more information contact the Park at 423-543-5808 or visit our websites at www.sycamoreshoalstn.org or http://tnstateparks.com/parks/about/sycamore-shoals.




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New Sabine Hill Tours added in December



On Sunday, December 10 at 2:00 pm and Saturday, December 16 at 10 am we will be offering tours of historic Sabine Hill recently dedicated November 1st of this year. These tours are by reservation only; information on registration can be found at the end of this page.

Built by the widow of Brigadier General Nathaniel Taylor, Mary Patton Taylor, this beautiful surviving example of Federal architecture is a must see.  Restored by the Tennessee Historical Commission and operated by Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park, the house has been returned to its 1818 splendor. During your tour you will have the opportunity to take in the colorful and architecturally detailed interior while learning about the Taylor family who called Sabine Hill home in the early 19th century.


To Register:

Please visit:  http://tnstateparks.com/parks/events/sycamore-shoals

Choose “Upcoming Events” in the left hand menu and search for the date and time of the tour, click on the box of your choice and you will be taken to the registration page.

Adults – $7.00; Ages 7 to 17 – $3.00; 6 and under free

Meet at:

Sabine Hill State Historic Site 2328 West G. Street, Elizabethton, TN 37643

*Please note* there are no restroom facilities on site at Sabine Hill. Plan accordingly before your arrival



For more information contact:

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park

1651 West Elk Avenue

Elizabethton, TN 37643

(423) 543-5808

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Christmas at the Carter Mansion

Friday and Saturday, December 1 & 2 from 6 to 9 pm

The Historic John and Landon Carter Mansion

1031 Broad Street      Elizabethton, Tennessee


Tours by Registration only – A new tour starts every 20 minutes

beginning at 6 pm; last tour at 8:40 pm 


Adults – $7.00

Ages 7 to 17 – $3.00

Ages 6 and under – Free

Online Registration at:


Choose “Upcoming Events” in the left hand menu to choose the date and time of the tour you would like to register for.


Are you tired of the hustle and bustle that always accompanies this time of year? If so, step back in time to the 18th century and enjoy a colonial Christmas at the beautiful Carter Mansion. Join Colonel John Carter, the Carter family, and all their friends for a glimpse into simpler time, when Christmas was the grandest celebration of the entire year. In colonial America the Christmas season was celebrated as a month long array of merriment and festivities signaled by caroling, feasting, dances, foxhunts, and the firing of Christmas guns. Christmas on the colonial frontier would have been much different though, with only the simplest of pleasures being offered by the humble backwoods settlers. However, in contrast, the Carters would have displayed an opulence only seen in the finest homes of Williamsburg or Philadelphia.

Spend a candlelit evening in the oldest frame house in Tennessee, decorated with bright greenery for the holidays. Enjoy music, hot cider, and 18th century interpreters as they transport you to a Colonial American Christmas. We look forward to your visit for this one-of-a-kind holiday gathering!


For more information please contact:

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park

(423) 543-5808







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