Chester Inn on Summer Hours and Expanded Tours

The Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum will be open extended hours for summer starting on Wednesday, May 1. The museum will be open on Monday, Wednesday-Saturday from 11-6 and Sunday from 1-5. Thursday evening Town Tours return on May 2. Tours leave at 7:00 from the Chester Inn Museum. Tickets are $5.00. Old Jonesborough Cemetery Tours are back at 2:30 on Saturday, May 4. Cemetery tours will be available at 2:30 the first and third Saturdays of the month. Come and experience history in Tennessee’s Oldest Town!


Dulcimer Exhibit at the Jonesborough Washington County History Museum

How much do you know about the dulcimer? How about its construction?




The Jonesborough Washington County History Museum will be hosting a traveling exhibit about Dulcimers through early June. Coinciding with Jonesborough’s Dulcimer Days (May 13-19), this exhibit looks at the history of the instrument while focusing on the craft of dulcimer making. It features luthier Ernest Combs from the Vilas community of Watauga County, NC and also includes a hands-on dulcimer where visitors can try to play the instrument.



Leading up to and following Dulcimer Days, there will be special programming centered on dulcimers and Appalachian Folk Music. We will be working with local craftspeople and musicians to bring the space to life with music and talks.



On May 23rd at 6:00 pm, join Jim and Cheri Miller at the museum for an evening of dulcimer history and music. The program will begin with a look at the early evolution of the dulcimer from its European roots to the instruments we know today. Jim and Cheri will entertain with a selection of traditional Appalachian songs and tunes.



This exhibit is part of a larger traveling exhibit entitled The Luthier’s Craft: Instrument Making Traditions of the Blue Ridge which explores and documents the traditional arts of fiddle, guitar banjo, and dulcimer making in Southern Appalachia and the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Luthier’s Craft was produced by the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History (Mount Airy, NC) with financial support provided by The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, Interlam, Hibco Plastics, and Dr. Mac and Becky Sumner.



The Jonesborough Washington County History Museum is located in the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center and is operated by the Heritage Alliance.

Saturdays at the Christopher Taylor House

Last year the Heritage Alliance and the Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum partnered with the Town of Jonesborough to offer a series of programs and activities in the Christopher Taylor House. This historic home was Jonesborough’s first preservation project, and it will be open again on Saturdays throughout the calendar year. We’ve already got a full slate of fun activities in April, from hands on crafts to storytelling and basket weaving! Check back monthly to see what else we have going on in this eighteenth century log house.





Schedule is subject to change. The Christopher Taylor House is located at 124 West Main Street. The home is owned by the Town of Jonesborough. Programming arranged by the Heritage Alliance and the Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum. The Chester Inn is a Tennessee Historical Commission State-Owned Historic Site. This project is funded under an agreement with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Tennessee Historical Commission.




Washington County Digitization Day May 18

The Heritage Alliance will have an open donation day for the general public to bring in pictures to be digitized on May 18th. This is part of our ongoing project to digitize photos and negatives related to Jonesborough and Washington County History.



As part of this project, we are asking local donors to help us fill in some of the gaps in our collection. While we would typically rather a donor gift the original hard copy of a historic picture so we can preserve it for future use, we do have the option of a digital donation. This allows us to scan the original image and save a digital copy for our uses and then return the original to the donor. In either case, we can provide a digital copy to the donor if you bring a flash drive to save it on.


We hope that you will be able to join us in preserving the history of our region for future generations. If you are unable to attend, you can contact us any time regarding any photographs you may have that relate to Jonesborough or Washington County by emailing us at or by calling us at (423)753-9580 or (423) 753-4580. You can also help out by spreading the word about the date, time, and goal of this event!