The Blog

Heritage Alliance and Chester Inn Museum Receive Awards

The Heritage Alliance and the Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum received two Awards of Distinction from the East Tennessee Historical Society at their Annual Meeting on May 1 in Knoxville.  The East Tennessee Historical Society’s Awards of Excellence program annually recognizes individuals and organizations for significant contributions to the preservation, promotion, and interpretation of the region’s history.

The Heritage Alliance won a 2018 Award of Distinction for the interactive, murder mystery Legs In a Barrel. The play, which was based on an actual murder that took place in Jonesborough, was a fundraiser for the Heritage Alliance’s educational programs. Legs In a Barrel was the first murder mystery put on by the Alliance, and it is another example of the organization’s commitment to sharing history in a variety of ways.

The Chester Inn Museum received a 2018 Award of Distinction for History Happy Hour. Launched in 2017, History Happy Hour offers insightful history to the public, fosters a collaborative relationship with various individuals and organizations, and increases the role of the Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum as a community meeting place. History Happy Hours are scheduled for the third Thursday of every month through November at 6:30.

The Award of Distinction is the second accolade that the Chester Inn Museum has received for History Happy Hour. The program also won an Award of Excellence from the Tennessee Association of Museums at their annual conference in March.  Programs like History Happy Hour and Legs In a Barrel share local history in unique ways and connect us to our past.  According to Executive Director Deborah Montanti,  “We are extremely fortunate to have creative and talented staff.  Anne G’Fellers Mason, who researched and wrote Legs In a Barrel, and Joe Spiker, who created and manages History Happy Hour, work hard to make our history more accessible and keep it relevant. We congratulate them both on these honors.”

The Heritage Alliance is always working on new and exciting programs. Interested public can stay up to date on Heritage Alliance programs by visiting our website (www.heritageall.org) and liking us on Facebook!

The Heritage Alliance is dedicated to the preservation of the architectural, historical, and cultural heritage of our region and to providing educational experiences related to history and heritage for a wide range of audiences.  The Chester Inn Museum is a State Owned Historic Site operated by the Heritage Alliance. The operation of the Chester Inn is partially funded under an agreement with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the Tennessee Historical Commission. For more information, please call our office at 423.753.9580, or contact the organization via email at info@heritageall.org.  Additional information can also be found online at http://www.heritageall.org/.

Summer Tour Schedule and Chester Inn Museum Schedule

The weather is finally warmer, and that means extended tour hours and extended hours at the Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum!

Chester Inn Museum

Mon, Wed-Sat 11-6

Sun 1-5

 

Town Tour

7:00 pm Thurs evening (through end of Sept)

1:00 pm on Fri, Sat (except 1st Sat of month)

 

Old Jonesborough Cemetery Tour

2:30 pm on the first and third Sat of month starting May 19

 

Mythbusting Tour

1:00 pm first Sat of month, 2;30 pm second Sat of month

 

Railroad Tour

2:30 pm fourth Sat of month

 

All tour tickets are $5 per person. Combo options are available. Tickets can be purchased at the Chester Inn Museum

Old Time and Bluegrass Jam Session at the Christopher Taylor House

The Heritage Alliance, in cooperation with the Town of Jonesborough, will be hosting an old time and bluegrass jam session on the first Thursday of every month from 6:30-8:00. The first one will take place on Thursday, May 3. Bring your instrument, your chair, and a picnic dinner and come on down to the Christopher Taylor House on Main Street. This is a low key event, and it’s open to musicians and spectators. Jam sessions will take place from May through September. The Christopher Taylor House is located at 124 West Main Street next to the Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum.

Readers’ Theatre to Highlight Local Struggles During WWI

A woman searching for her missing son who returned from war but never came home. A man who was reported to the authorities by his neighbors because he refused to purchase war bonds. A soldier who was sick and tired of being stuck in the mud, and another who wouldn’t change places with the president of the hometown bank. A community hard hit by the deadly Spanish Influenza Pandemic. Come hear these stories and more at a performance hosted by the Heritage Alliance on Sunday, April 8 at 3:00 p.m. inside the Jonesborough/Washington County History Museum.

This Readers’ Theatre piece will share firsthand accounts of the lives of Washington County citizens during World War One. “While doing the research for this piece, I was struck by the similarities between now and then, even though a century has passed,” shares Special Projects Coordinator Anne Mason. “It was a time of suspicion in America, where neighbors spied on one another and turned each other in for un-American activities. World War One was a devastating war overseas, and its chaos was definitely felt across the Atlantic.” Join the Heritage Alliance on April 8, and hear the struggles from overseas and on the home front as century old newspaper headlines come to life. The Jonesborough/Washington County History Museum is located inside the Jonesborough Visitor’s Center on Boone Street.

Registration Open for Homeschool Day

The Heritage Alliance is hosting its very first Homeschool Day all throughout Jonesborough on Friday, May 18. The cost is $7.00 per student, no matter the amount of activities. Parents, guardians, and non-participating younger children are free of charge. However, due to space limitations, not all chaperones and non-participating children will be able to participate in every activity.

Activities that day include lessons in Oak Hill School, a one room schoolhouse restored to the year 1892, Town Tours, Old Jonesborough Cemetery Tours, and hands-on activities with artifacts in the Jonesborough/Washington County History Museum. In addition, students can participate in history hunts at the Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum, listen to a Storyteller, and participate in train based activities in the Chuckey Depot Railroad Museum. Archeological activities will be offered in the morning, and older students will have the opportunity to solve the mysteries surrounding the Cholera Epidemic of 1873 through various primary sources. It will be a day full of history and fun!

To register, please complete the registration form and email it to Anne Mason at amason@heritageall.org, or mail it to the Heritage Alliance 212 East Sabin Drive, Jonesborough TN 37659. You can also call and register by phone at 423-753-9580. Registration form is available by clicking HERE.

For a look at the whole day’s schedule, click here.

 

Heritage Alliance to offer first Homeschool Day

The Heritage Alliance is excited to announce its first ever Homeschool Day on Friday, May 18. History and heritage based activities are planned from 9:00am – 4:30pm that day and will offer a wide variety of experiences for multiple ages. Students from first grade through senior year of high school are encouraged to come and experience history with their families in Tennessee’s Oldest Town.

Activities that day include lessons in Oak Hill School, a one room schoolhouse restored to the year 1892, Town Tours, Old Jonesborough Cemetery Tours, and hands-on activities with artifacts in the Jonesborough/Washington County History Museum. In addition, students can participate in history hunts and listen to a Storyteller at the Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum, and participate in train based activities in the Chuckey Depot Railroad Museum in Jonesborough. Archeological activities will be offered in the morning, and older students will have the opportunity to solve the mysteries surrounding the Cholera Epidemic of 1873 through various primary sources. It will be a day full of history and fun!

Students and parents will be able to select their activities and schedule for the day. Registration opens on March 12. The cost is $7.00 per student. Please watch this space and our website (www.heritageall.org) for more information. Another Homeschool Day is planned for Friday, August 10.

Come and experience history with the Heritage Alliance in Jonesborough!

The Heritage Alliance is dedicated to the preservation of the architectural, historical, and cultural heritage of our region and to providing educational experiences related to history and heritage for a wide range of audiences.  For more information, please call our office at 423.753.9580, or contact the organization via email at info@heritageall.org.  Additional information can also be found online at http://www.heritageall.org/.

Town Tour Schedule 2018, Now With Four Options!

Jonesborough’s Historic Walking Tours are back with four, different options for 2018!  The Main Street Tour will be offered at least once a week March through December. Tickets are only $5.00 per person and can be purchased directly at the Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum on Main Street.  Tours will depart from the Museum and costumed guides will lead guests on an hour long journey through Jonesborough’s storied past.  The popular summer evening tours will return in May at 7:00 p.m. on Thursdays.  There’s never a bad time of day to tour Tennessee’s Oldest Town.

Last year, the Heritage Alliance introduced the Jonesborough Mythbusting Tour. The Mythbusting Tour, complete with new myths & outrageous history, continues this March-December on the first and second Saturdays of the month.

New this year, the Railroad History Tour is a great opportunity to tour the backside of Main Street. The railroad is an important part of Jonesborough and East Tennessee history, and the Railroad Tour shares the trials & tribulations of bringing the railway through the region. The Railroad Tour concludes at the Chuckey Depot Railroad Museum, located in the newly renovated 1906 Chuckey Depot. Moved to Jonesborough to preserve and save it, the Chuckey Depot Railroad Museum opened in its new location in 2017. The Railroad Tour is available at 2:30 p.m. on the fourth Saturday of the month. Tickets for the Railroad Tour and Mythbusting tour are $5.00. Combo ticket options are available.

 

No tour season would be complete without the Old Jonesborough Cemetery Tour. The Cemetery Tour will return on May 19 and will be available at 2:30 p.m. on the first and third Saturdays of the month through October 6.

Tour dates are seasonal, so make sure you visit www.heritageall.org, or like the Heritage Alliance on Facebook to stay up to date with the full calendar. For more information, please contact the Heritage Alliance at 423.753.9580, or the Chester Inn Museum at 423.753.4580.  To schedule a tour for a larger group, or another day/time, please contact the Heritage Alliance directly.

History Happy Hour Schedule 2018

History Happy Hour is back at the Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum on Thursday, March 15. This year, you can catch a new History Happy Hour on the third Thursday of each month at 6:30. We already have most of our programs lined up for the year, so go ahead and mark your calendars!

Far Away and Close to Home: The Art and Words of Author/Illustrator Rhea Wells

From the Austrian Alps, to the coast of Sicily, to a village in Spain, words and art have the power to transport us around the world.  They also have the power to bring us back home to a farm in Washington County, Tennessee.  Children’s book author/illustrator Rhea Wells ventured far and wide throughout his life, but he always held his hometown of Jonesborough near and dear to his heart.  Wells’ work will be showcased in the exhibit Far Away and Close to Home: The Art and Words of Author/Illustrator Rhea Wells which will be on display at the McKinney Center at Booker T. Washington School from January 26 through February 23.  The exhibit will be open to the public from 9-5 Monday-Friday and 10-3 on Saturday.  Far Away and Close to Home is presented by the Heritage Alliance and is funded in part by a grant from Humanities Tennessee, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Far Away and Close to Home will feature artwork from Wells’ art school portfolio, as well as illustrations from some of his books.  What types of styles did Wells practice with in art school?  How did these early works, never before displayed in public, influence the rich illustrations that filled Wells’ later books?  What parts of his childhood in Washington County did he write about, and where did his inspiration for Beppo the Donkey and Ali the Camel come from?  Wells was writing in the 1920s and 1930s, when the field of children’s literature was just developing.  What is his legacy as an author?  What is his legacy to Jonesborough, and does it still stand today?  The answer to these questions and more can be found in Far Away and Close to Home in the McKinney Center, and in a companion exhibit on Wells’ life in the Jonesborough/Washington County History Museum at the Jonesborough Visitor’s Center.

A series of programs are planned around the exhibit, beginning with an opening night reception and art/history talk at 6:30 on January 26 at the McKinney Center.  Children will be able to make and illustrate their own books at the Jonesborough Library on Saturday, February 3.  To carry on Wells’ tradition of advocacy for libraries and literacy, the Heritage Alliance will host a panel discussion with local librarians and educators on February 16 at 6:30 at the McKinney Center.   Wells was a community builder, and Far Away and Close to Home is a partnership with the McKinney Center and the Town of Jonesborough, the Reece Museum at ETSU and the Jonesborough Public Library.  We hope that Wells’ art and books will help to inspire a new generation of authors, illustrators, artists, and readers.

Annual Meeting Set for February 1st

In accordance with the bylaws of the Heritage Alliance, the Annual Membership Meeting will be held on Thursday,
February 1st! Help us celebrate a record breaking year for the Heritage Alliance. The evening will include a short business meeting, updates on programming, and will provide a wonderful opportunity to connect with friends old and new alike. Please bring a covered dish, either a side item or dessert, to share. Please R.S.V.P. by calling 423.753.9580 or by emailing info@heritageall.org no later than January 25th.