A State Owned Historic Site Operated by the Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia
116 West Main Street
Located in the heart of downtown Jonesborough, the Chester Inn Museum chronicles the history of Jonesborough from its inception in 1779 to the present. The museum is located on the street level of the oldest commercial building in town. Exhibits include information on the State of Franklin, a diorama of Jonesborough in the 1850s, the history of the Chester Inn, the 1873 cholera epidemic, and much more. Many of the exhibits feature Jonesborough’s extensive collection of photographs. The upstairs parlor and dining room of the Chester Inn, restored to the Victorian era style of the late 1800s, are also open for viewing. Kids’ activities include a museum scavenger hunt, a coloring book that features some of Jonesborough’s historic buildings, and a primary source activity with the cholera epidemic of 1873. This project is funded under an agreement with the State of Tennessee.
January-February by appointment only
March 1st – April 30th Fri-Sat 11:00-6:00 & Sun 1:00-5:00
May 1st – October 31st Wed-Sat 11:00-6:00 & Sun 1:00-5:00
November 1st – December 21st Fri-Sat 11:00 – 6:00 & Sun 1:00-5:00.
Founded in 1982, the Jonesborough/Washington County History Museum and Archives collects artifacts, documents, and photographs to help tell the stories of the land and people who constituted the “mother of Tennessee.”
Our collection of artifacts, newspapers and other ephemera focuses on the social, cultural, and economic history of Jonesborough and Washington County – creating a fascinating historical record of our region. Our extensive photographic collection spans the period from 1850 through the 1980s, and features a number of photographs from early Jonesborough photographers L.M. Keen and O.L. Hensley.
We invite you to visit our gallery space located in the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street. Exhibits include information on frontier life in Tennessee, local educational history, a rotating exhibit that honors local veterans, and much more. Come and see Jonesborough’s very first fire fighting equipment, purchased in the late 1800s, and view the clock that used to keep time in the 1842 Washington County Courthouse.
Monday – Friday: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday & Sunday: 10:00am – 5:00 pm