Tag Archives: Carter Mansion

Carter Mansion Celebration!


Saturday, April 6, 10:00 – 4:00 

Tours of the home Saturday at 11 am, Noon, 2 pm, and 3 pm

Sunday, April 7, 10:00 – 3:00

Tours of the home Sunday at Noon, 1 pm, and 2 pm


Have you ever wondered what it would be like to travel back in time? You can do just that during the Carter Mansion Celebration. Step back to the 1780s, when the Revolutionary War was raging in the colonies and hardy frontiersmen had crossed the mountains in defiance of British law to carve out homes in the wilderness. One such man was John Carter, a wealthy trader who built his beautiful house along the banks of the Watauga River. Known as Carter’s Mansion, the elegant frame house stood in stark contrast to the log homes used by the settlers of the region. This event will celebrate that historic home and the early settlers that gave us our rich heritage and history.

Visitors will have opportunities to take a free guided tour of the mansion built ca. 1775-1780. Known as the oldest frame house in Tennessee, the Historic John and Landon Carter Mansion boasts beautiful over mantle murals, hand carved moldings and raised panels making it one of the most treasured sites in Tennessee history. The house is the only surviving link to the famed Watauga Association, the democratic government set up by the early settlers in the Watauga Valley. The home’s builder, John Carter, served as a chairman of the Association.

Guests can also enjoy visiting with 18th century living history interpreters who will be presenting demonstrations of the daily lives of 18th century backwoods settlers. These skills and trades will include wool processing, sewing, natural dyeing, flint knapping and much more. Also enjoy colonial militia drill and training, musket and rifle demonstrations, and 18th century military music by the Watauga Valley Fifes & Drums.

Experience the life of early settlers, smell the campfire smoke, hear the rattle of muskets, and see the 18th century come to life at the Carter Mansion Celebration. This event is free of charge so bring the entire family and enjoy a weekend of Living History, Education, and Family Fun!

The Carter Mansion is located at 1031 Broad Street in Elizabethton, TN.

For further information contact Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park at (423) 543-5808 or visit these websites:




Christmas at the Carter Mansion

Friday, November 30th and Saturday, December 1  6 – 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:



Set aside the hustle and bustle that always accompanies this time of year, and 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

1651 W. Elk Avenue

Elizabethton, TN 37643











40th season of Liberty! to open Thursday, July 12th!


Thursday, July 12th opens the 40th annual production of the State of Tennessee’s official outdoor drama, recreating the events of the early pioneers who settled in this region. Here, near Elizabethton, TN, the “first free and independent government was organized on this continent”, leading to the Transylvania Purchase (the largest private real estate transaction in the history of the United States), the Cherokee siege of Fort Watauga, and culminates in the Battle of Kings Mountain, long recognized as the decisive turning point in winning the Revolutionary War.

During this exciting retelling of our regions’ history, the Fort Watauga amphitheater comes to life with the sights and sounds of the late 18th century on the colonial frontier. Nationally significant events that helped to shape the future of our nation before, during, and after the American Revolution are presented in an engaging and entertaining fashion.

Liberty! is set in front of the full-scale replica of Fort Watauga and tells the stories of these important days of American history as well as demonstrating the lives of pioneers in a frontier settlement. Moreover, it gives faces to the names we see on many of our street signs and other local area designations. For example, we meet John Sevier, who went on to become the first Governor of Tennessee. We are also introduced to John Carter, and his son Landon, both of whom are reflected in the full name of the Carter Mansion, the oldest frame house in Tennessee. It is preserved by the Park and the associated Friends of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park.

The amazing strength and skills of the local pioneer women are far from neglected in the drama. Another character is Mary Patton, who learned the art of manufacturing gun powder from her father. Her assistance was crucial in the defense of the settlement during the siege. Moreover, she supplied the Overmountain Men with a minimum of 500 pounds of gunpowder for their foray into North Carolina.

We also encounter Catherine “Bonnie Kate” Sherrill, a lively lass who was caught outside the fort during the siege attack, and was rescued by Sevier, whom she later married. While Tiptonville was the original name of Elizabethton, as part of the State of Franklin, it was later renamed for Landon’s wife, Elizabeth MacLin Carter, who also appears in the drama.

Enhanced sound and stage effects during Liberty! is accomplished through the use of professional lighting and sound, a well-maintained amphitheater, as well as an all-volunteer cast of nearly 100 local actors in speaking and non-speaking roles.  The cast of Liberty! invites you to join us to relive the historic events, challenges, joys and heartaches of those who first made the Watauga settlement their home.

Liberty runs Thursdays-Saturdays, July 12 – 14, 19 – 21, and 26 – 28, 2018 in the Fort Watauga Amphitheater at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park in Elizabethton, TN. And, all of this is provided to local residents and area visitors at a very reasonable price.

General admission tickets range from Free for Children 5 and under; to $6.00 for Students 6 to 17 years; $11.00 for Seniors 55 and up; and $14.00 for Adults. Members of Friends of Sycamore Shoals may attend the drama any night for a reduced adult/senior admission price of $7.00.

Tickets can also be purchased online at http://www.TheLibertyDrama.com or at the door.

First Night tickets to the opening show on Thursday, July 12th are only $9 for adults and seniors. This year, our 1st Responders Night is celebrated on opening night. All 1st Responders and a guest will be admitted for Free on Thursday, July 12th.

Veterans Night is on Thursday, July 19th, where Veterans are formally thanked for their service during the show, and also with free admission for themselves and a guest.

Please consider becoming a member of Friends of Sycamore Shoals who helps to support the Liberty! as well as a host of other educational park activities that take place throughout the year.

Don’t be one of the many who say “I’ve heard about it, but never gone.” And, if you’ve seen it, you’re most welcome to come again. Each year we present new script changes that are sure to keep you on the edge of your seats!

Support your local history, educators and preservationists; come learn about our regions history in a fun and entertaining context.   We’ll see you at the Old Fields!

Additional Information:

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park

1651 W. Elk Avenue

Elizabethton, TN 37643