History Happy Hour Online Event May 28th: How Anti-Slavery Politics Won

History Happy Hour is making its online debut next week!

History Happy Hour was set to launch for a fourth season in March. Due to public closures related to the coronavirus, the first two meetings were cancelled. The May program, originally scheduled for May 21st, has been pushed back to May 28th and is going to be offered online. It will be offered through the Zoom platform. Go to the Chester Inn Museum Facebook page for the link to the meeting room and for the password to login. You can also access this information via the Heritage Alliance’s website, www.heritageall.org. We are excited to offer this online option and for the opportunity to gauge how this program might work virtually.

The topic this month covers history around the Civil War. Join Dr. Kyle Osborn as he presents “How Anti-Slavery Politics Won.” Dr. Osborn is an Assistant Professor of History at King University, and worked as a graduate assistant for the Heritage Alliance’s Teaching American History grant several years ago. The program will begin online at 6:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public!

 

Topic: History Happy Hour

Time: May 28, 2020 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

 

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87410560423?pwd=bjBCenNib1IvVnNCbnRxQWk5ZElvQT09

 

Meeting ID: 874 1056 0423

Password: History

 

William Gannaway “Parson” Brownlow’s Report on Jonesborough from 1844

Parson Brownlow was the twice Governor of the State of Tennessee and a State Senator. He was also a Methodist circuit rider and a newspaper editor. He was a strong proponent of the Whig party, and he was never one to shy away from his opinions.

Here is his report entitled “Jonesborough—Its Prospects: Advantages and Disadvantages” published on February 7, 1844 in his paper the Jonesborough Whig.

 

“Jonesborough is not Baltimore, nor is it the seat of the Federal Government, yet, it is all sorts of a place, take it by and large-having some things to boast of, some to regret, and others to be ashamed of. Jonesboroughs Institutions of Learning, consisting of a Male and a Female Academy, at which, collectively there are now about 200 students, tend in on small degree to promote the prosperity of the town. Then, as a Church-going place, Jonesboro’ aspires to pre-eminence, there being the Factories of three sects in “full blast!”-New School Presbyterians, Methodists, and Baptists-among all of whom, it is fair to presume, there are some noble hearted fellows, and pious souls, and some dirty Locofoco [a name for the opposing political party] dogs, cloaking their villainy with hypocritical pretentious to much godliness.

Our town is located in a SINK HOLE, surrounded by hills, … and until recently, we have exhibited more mud and filth in our streets, than any little town could boast of in this end of the state-wintering our cows under our porches, and empting our slop buckets into our front streets! At one time in December, there were but about 3 FORDS, or CROSSING PLACES on Main Street; but our citizens have nobly commenced the work of cleaning our streets, and upon a scale worthy of their just importance. They have much of the FILTH in PILES on main street, which seem destined to stand as a lasting ornament to the place, -a blessing to the community, and a monument of the liberality and enlightened views of the town authorities!

Jonesborough contains no less than six Black smith shops. There are, three Tan-yards in operation, with the promise of one or two more, soon to be started, which shows that these branches of business are carried on with much energy.

There is one DOGGERY, beside a great deal of the corn-burnt is drank in private families, and kept concealed from the church and the world. There is also a respectable business doing in all the other ordinary crimes of towns and villages.

There are now two large Sunday Schools, each having the rise of 100 scholars, and which meet regularly every Sabbath; one at the Methodist-the other at the Presbyterian Church-where they are taught Methodism and New Schoolism. There is also a large Temperance Society-one-third of the members of which, mostly of the Locofoco stripe, have gone back to their vomiting again, and their wallowing in the mire!

And it is not to be disguised, that there is likewise a Masonic Lodge in Jonesborough, which is composed of a mixture of the best citizens of the town and county, and of the most depraved rascals in the place.

In the Mercantile line, there is an extensive business doing in Jonesborough, and Goods are commanding cash readily, at from 50 to 150 per centum. Further particulars relative to our Mercantile operations, the closeness of the Merchants will not permit us to give through our advertising columns. It is, perhaps, however, just for us to state that of the SEVEN STORES now in blast, five and a half of them are owned and conducted by Whigs; the Anti-Bank, and Anti-Credit party having suspended operations, rather than call on gentlemen in the Eastern cities for further indulgence, till they shall have paid up the “old score!”

Then, again, there is what is termed the Professional line of business-Law, Medicine, and Divinity-in all of these “departments” our town goes it! Some how, or some how else, in the mysterious ways of Providence, it turns out that no Lawyer capable of business, in all this country, is to be found in the Locofoco ranks-but here, we have T. A. R. Nelson, John A. Aiken, and William Henry Maxwell, strong Whigs, who will promptly and efficiently attend to all business entrusted to their care. In the Medical line, we have Doctors Vance, Cossen, Cunningham, Outlaw, and Embree, and next week we expect to have Hunt among us-in all six, five Whigs, and the one in italics a Democrat. Upon the whole, our Medical Faculty will compare with any town in this end of the State. In the way of Preachers we have a resident Presbyterian, Methodist, and Baptist-each seeking to build up his own sect, and managing like politicians, while all pretend to be perfectly disinterested. Beside these, there are two Ex parsons who regularly visit the town, but for the want of them papers, they are rendered powerless!

It must not be forgotten, that we have 2 TAVERNS-the one kept by a very accommodating Whig-the other by a very surly Locofoco. The long Bell Tavern, with a BASEMENT STORY, somewhat after the fashion & taste of a Pennsylvania Dutch Barn, is kept by DOCT. CHESTER, and is Locofoco head quarters. The Hotel, in the large brick building, covered with tin, is kept by THOMAS B. EMMERSON, and is Whig head quarters-a good house, with accommodating inmates.

As to the Girls, there are a caution of them, and we honestly believe they are all candidates for matrimony. Some of them are pretty-others are just middlin, and others of them are as ugly as the butt-cut of original sin! And further this Deponent saith not.

 

Want to know what a Locofoco is? Learn about that fun word and the fight Parson Brownlow had with fellow newspaper editor and politician Landon Carter Haynes on Main Street, Jonesborough in this edition of “At Home Amateur Museum Theatre Presents: Parson Brownlow vs. Landon Carter Haynes.”

Link to video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8Zs1ipYtJw

 

Heritage Alliance Will Host Virtual Fieldtrip Day on May 18

The Heritage Alliance will host its first Virtual Fieldtrip Day on Monday, May 18. Throughout the day, the Alliance will offer tours and activities online for students learning from home. The day will include a look at their one room schoolhouse Oak Hill School, an interactive tour of Main Street Jonesborough, a tour of the third-floor bedroom of the Chester Inn Museum, an interactive artifact exploration, and much more. The Heritage Alliance will be streaming and posting content for students from 10:00 a.m. that morning to 2:00 p.m. that afternoon.

 

“Normally we welcome students in person to our historic sites, but it’s not safe right now to have a large group exploring together, so we wanted to offer an alternative for students who are learning from home,” Executive Director Anne Mason explains. “We also wanted to offer this experience to students who were supposed to come with their schools this spring and weren’t able to. This is a way for students, parents, and educators to engage with local history. Hopefully this will encourage them to visit the physical sites in the future when it’s safer to do so.” The tours and activities on May 18 will be streamed from and posted to the Heritage Alliance’s Facebook page, as well as the Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum’s Facebook page. In the coming week, the Heritage Alliance will post a packet to their website that outlines what students and educators can expect to see and do on May 18.

 

“We’ve been posting a lot of educational activities to our website, including explorations of historic photos from our collection, and a primary source activity with the cholera epidemic of 1873. Our Virtual Field Trip Day is a new, educational activity for us, and we’re really excited to share the historic buildings with the students,” Mason adds. “We encourage students to log on with their families and ask questions. We want this to be as interactive as possible.”

 

 

The day will also include visits to the Christopher Taylor House, the Chuckey Depot Museum, and the Old Jonesborough Cemetery, with some surprises thrown in. To help cover expenses, the Heritage Alliance suggests a donation of $5.00-$7.00, which covers the normal fee for a student during a fieldtrip. Donations can be made online at www.heritageall.org.

Historical Photo Exploration #5 – What’s Going On Here?

The archival collections of the Jonesborough/Washington County History Museum are full of historical photos from all over Washington County. When the photos are donated to the museum, sometimes the donor knows all kinds of information about the picture, sometimes the person who took the picture left a whole lot of information on the back for future generations. Usually, though, the pictures come with no information at all. As historians, we have to look at several context clues within the picture to help us date when the photo was taken and where the photo was taken. What was going on in that particular moment in time when the photo was taken? Early photographic technology was not as instant as it is today. It took time to take a good photo, so photos were usually reserved for special occasions.

Each week, we’ll be posting a photo from our archives with some questions to help you explore the photo. We’ll also include some writing prompts if you feel like going a step further and turning this into a creative writing exercise as well.

If you are doing this activity with your student(s), the answer key is provided at the end of the post.

To view a large version of the image, click HERE.

 

Questions to Answer:

  1. What do you think is happening in this photo?
  2. Why do you think all these people are gathered together?
  3. What are some clues that can help you date when this photo was taken?
  4. Do you recognize any of the buildings in this picture? (Hint: This photo was taken on Main Street, Jonesborough.)
  5. Why are the two people at the edge of the photo blurred?
  6. Who is included in this picture? (Look for clues to gender, age, and race.)
  7. Who is not included in this picture? (Look for clues to gender, age, and race.)
  8. Who do you think took this picture?
  9. Why do you think this picture was taken?
  10. What is the most surprising or shocking thing about this photo?

 

Creative Writing Exercise – Pick a person in the photo and write a paragraph from their point of view. What were they feeling and thinking in this moment? Do your best to write like you’re from that time period. Go a step further and write a letter as the person in the photo describing the event you saw today.

 

Answer Key:

1. Open answer, but the people are actually gathered because Shipley’s Hardware, the business they’re standing in front of, was giving away a brand new sewing machine. If you zoom in on the picture, can you find the sewing machine?

2. Open answer, but they are gathered together to see who will win the new sewing machine from Shipley’s Hardware. We believe these are all the people who entered the contest.

3. Poles with wires, fashion worn by the people, the model of the sewing machine. This picture was actually taken in 1912.

4. All of these buildings are still standing on Main Street. The antique shop is there now. The wall was knocked down between the two businesses and now the buildings are one.

5. The people at the edge of the photo are blurred because they were moving. Any movement made during a photo would blur it, so people had to remain very still when a picture was being taken.

6. There’s a mix of genders and ages in this photo.

7. There seem to be very few African Americans in this photo. Why might that be?

8. Possibly the owner of Shipley’s Hardware or someone from the newspaper.

9. To document the sewing machine give away and all the people who came out to enter the contest. Do you think Shipley’s Hardware did good business that day?

10. Open answer, but we always enjoy seeing the men hanging out the open window up top.

 

Additional Study Questions – Why was a sewing machine such a great giveaway in 1912? Answer, sewing machines greatly changed the life of the average American. They made repairs to clothes and creating new clothes much easier. They were also expensive, so winning one was a great prize. Some people would rent sewing machines because they couldn’t own one outright.

 

To read more, check out these newspaper articles from the Herald and Tribune about the giveaway.

 

 

To see the articles enlarged, click Here, Here, and Here.

Volunteer Spotlight: Daniel Nelson

The Heritage Alliance could not do half of the programs we do without our wonderful volunteers! This volunteer spotlight is on Daniel Nelson. Daniel has been volunteering this spring in our archives scanning photographs. Daniel began as a computer engineering student at Northeast State, and is now a second semester junior at ETSU where he changed his major to IT with a computing concentration. We want to thank Daniel for all of his hard work!

 

 

Q: How did you find out about volunteer opportunities with the Heritage Alliance?

A: I saw the Heritage Alliance on a list of service organizations. I chose to volunteer here because of your work on history and preservation, and because you seemed to have an impact on the community.

 

Q: What do you plan to do with your IT degree, and how will your volunteer work help with that?

A: I am interested in enlisting in the Air Force with a plan to focus on cyber security. This position has been helpful because I have been able to learn the Past Perfect system, see how small organizations function and how volunteers help, and this is my first time using this type of scanner.

 

Q: You’ve scanned hundreds of photographs. Do you have a favorite?

A: I really enjoyed the Civic Trust photograph collection that showed recent events and town celebrations. I also enjoyed any pictures that captured what daily life was like in the 80s and 90s around and before when I was born. My favorite photograph that I have scanned is the Ostrich Farm in Jacksonville [around 1900]. It was interesting to see how ostriches were used and how people handled them.

 

Q: Do you have anything that you want to add?

A: I hope to see these photographs online, and possibly made more accessible to the public in the future. I have enjoyed my time working with the Heritage Alliance staff.

 

 

DIY: Buzz Saw and May Basket

Are you looking for some easy crafts to make at home? If you have a button and some string, you can make a Buzz Saw. Click HERE for a full set of instructions, and click HERE to watch a YouTube tutorial on the toy.

 

 

History of the Buzz Saw (from Historical Folk Toys)

“The Buzz Saw is one of the most popular noisemakers of all times! Indigenous Peoples made “buzzers” from a circular piece of bone or antler and used sinew instead of string. Colonial children played with buzz saws. This type of noisemaker was also known as “button on a string” during the Victorian period and later. A very large button from a mother’s sewing basket could be strung for this toy. Coins, bamboo, stones, and seashells have also been used to make this toy. Tin was even used, and teeth were cut around the circumference so that the disc would shred a piece of paper when the two came in contact. Made this way, it resembles a circular saw blade, and this is where it got the name Buzz Saw. Other names are Whizzer, Whirligig, Whiligig, Moonwinder, and Skyewinder.”

 

 

 

If you have some paper, some tape, and some string, you can make a May Basket. Click HERE for a full set of instructions, click HERE to watch a YouTube tutorial for the craft.

 

History of the May Basket

The May Basket is an old tradition that goes back centuries. It is part of the celebration of May Day, which customarily takes place on May 1. This old custom marks the changing of the seasons. Villages and towns used to host May Day celebrations with such activities as the May Pole. The May Pole was a large pole in the ground with ribbons coming off of it. People would take the ribbons and dance around the pole with them. May Baskets were especially popular during the mid-late 1800s during the Victorian era. People would make their own May Baskets, fill them with treats, and hang them on the door of someone they cared about on May 1. The point was not to get caught leaving your basket. The recipient would have to guess who sent it to them. May Baskets are a great way to spread cheer from a distance!

Social Media RoundUp 4/20/2020 – 4/26/2020

We hope you all are doing well. The Heritage Alliance is posting a lot of content online right now, both on our website and our social media pages. We decided to do a weekly round up so you all can find what you’re looking for in a more expedient manner. This will also help you know what posts to be on the lookout for.

 

Website (heritageall.org)

Historic Photo Exploration #4

 

Facebook – Heritage Alliance

Weekly posts about local businesses in Jonesborough, the history of the buildings, and what the businesses are offering now in the midst of Covid 19.

An interesting article on the Chiles Motor Company in Jonesborough and their prize winning car in 1926.

Posts with archival photos celebrating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and Volunteer Appreciation Week.

Our announcement that the Heritage Alliance will be participating in #GivingTuesdayNow on May 5!

 

Facebook – Chester Inn Museum

Weekly posts reflecting back on the Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918 with primary sources from Washington County.

Reminder that we have a virtual exhibit. Check out Historic Preservation in Jonesborough, 1970-2020. 

 

YouTube – Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum

Social Distancing with the Victorians – Video series examining how the Victorians would have practiced social distancing.

Historic Marker Stabilization video filmed in the Old Jonesborough Cemetery with Board President and graveyard volunteer Gordon Edwards.

Homecooked History – This video series features our programming coordinator Megan Tewell as she cooks historic recipes in her home. This first edition features Abraham Lincoln’s Apple Bread Pudding.

 

Instagram – Heritage Alliance

We’re sharing historic images from our archives that make us think of Spring!

 

 

 

Historical Photo Exploration #4 – What’s Going On Here?

The archival collections of the Jonesborough/Washington County History Museum are full of historical photos from all over Washington County. When the photos are donated to the museum, sometimes the donor knows all kinds of information about the picture, sometimes the person who took the picture left a whole lot of information on the back for future generations. Usually, though, the pictures come with no information at all. As historians, we have to look at several context clues within the picture to help us date when the photo was taken and where the photo was taken. What was going on in that particular moment in time when the photo was taken? Early photographic technology was not as instant as it is today. It took time to take a good photo, so photos were usually reserved for special occasions.

Each week, we’ll be posting a photo from our archives with some questions to help you explore the photo. We’ll also include some writing prompts if you feel like going a step further and turning this into a creative writing exercise as well.

If you are doing this activity with your student(s), the answer key is provided at the end of the post.

 

To view a larger version of the image, click HERE.

 

Questions to Answer:

1) What is the first thing that stands out to you in this photo?

2) What do you think happened here?

3) What evidence do you see that helps explain what happened?

4) When did this event take place?

5) What do you think all those people are doing out in the street?

6) Who is included in the photo? (Look for clues to gender, age, and race.)

7) Who is not included in this picture? (Look for clues to gender, age, and race.)

8) What is a bucket brigade and what does it have to do with this photo?

9) Who do you think took this picture?

10) Why do you think this picture was taken?

11) What is the most surprising or shocking thing about this photo?

 

Additional Study Question – Can you identify where this photo was taken on Main Street, Jonesborough? Hint, Lampson Hall was located at 107 E Main Street. If you go to that location and face Southwest, what are you looking at? Remember to use safe distancing and caution when outside.

 

Creative Writing Exercise – Pick a person in the photo and write a paragraph from their point of view. What were they feeling and thinking in this moment? Do your best to write like you’re from that time period. Go a step further and write a letter as the person in the photo describing the event you saw today.

 

For a more involved lesson on the fire of 1873, you can read all about the “Fire Fiend” in this article from The Herald & Tribune that was printed after the disaster occurred. This makes for a great vocabulary lesson. Click HERE to access the full story.

 

Answer Key:

1) Open ended answer, but one of the most striking elements is the destroyed building in the foreground.

2) A fire. If you cover the information at the bottom of the photo, a common answer is war or bombing.

3) In this case, the information is given at the bottom of the photo. The burned out and destroyed buildings are also a clue. You can see the smoke damage on the buildings.

4) The fire took place during the night of December 31, 1873. The photo was taken on January 1, 1874. In this case, the information is at the bottom of the photo. – This leads to another question, Do you think New Year’s celebrations caused this fire?

5) Open ended answer, but they’re most likely surveying the damage.

6) It’s hard to make out exactly, but it looks like mostly men. There do seem to be a couple of children standing outside the big building. There are also some dogs in this photo. Why do you think it would be mostly men?

7) Again, it’s hard to make out exactly, but there don’t seem to be many women in this photo.

8) A bucket brigade was a method used to combat fire. A group of people, mostly men, would line up and pass buckets full of water from the nearest water source down the line and the last person tossed it on the fire. This was not a very effective way to combat fires, especially large ones. Jonesborough employed this method until 1888 when the town purchased firefighting equipment. Maybe the men in this photo had been part of the bucket brigade from the night before?

9) In this case, we know who took the photo. L.W. Keen, the unofficial town photographer, captured this image. A common answer would be someone from the newspaper.

10) To capture the devastation of the fire. We know that Keen actually made several copies of this photo and sold it as souvenirs.

11) Open ended answer, but the amount of devastation is striking.

 

Additional Study Question – If you go and stand at 107 East Main Street and face Southwest, you’d be looking at Mauk’s at 101 West Main Street. The burned out building in the forefront of the photo is where Mauk’s stands today.

 

 

 

 

Heritage Alliance and Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum Receive Honors for Programming Excellence

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/.

Social Media Round Up 4/13/2020-4/19/2020

We hope you all are doing well. The Heritage Alliance is posting a lot of content online right now, both on our website and our social media pages. We decided to do a weekly round up so you all can find what you’re looking for in a more expedient manner. This will also help you know what posts to be on the lookout for.

 

Website – heritageall.org

Chester Inn Museum Virtual Exhibit – This week we launched a virtual exhibit that takes you inside two cases in the Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum. Check out Historic Preservation in Jonesborough, 1970-2020 now!

Historic Photo Exploration #3

 

Facebook – Heritage Alliance

Weekly posts about local businesses in Jonesborough, the history of the buildings, and what the businesses are offering now in the midst of Covid 19.

Information on local, Smallpox outbreaks in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

One of our tour guides submitted an At Home Amateur Museum Theatre video of her own that talks about early Jonesborough history and Jesse Walton.

A look at the Civilian Conversation Corps (CCC) and their impact on Northeast Tennessee.

Updates on marker cleaning in the Old Jonesborough Cemetery.

 

Facebook – Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum

Weekly posts reflecting back on the Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918 with primary sources from Washington County.

We also launched our virtual exhibit this week! Check out Historic Preservation in Jonesborough, 1970-2020. 

 

YouTube – Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum

Social Distancing with the Victorians – Video series examining how the Victorians would have practiced social distancing.

Make A May Basket – This instructional video talks about the history of May Day and the May Basket. It also includes a step by step guide on how to make your own May Basket. The McKinney Center in Jonesborough, located at 103 Franklin Avenue, has a make and take option for the May Basket. Swing by the Center and pick up the items you need to make your own May Basket. Craft materials are located in the green box outside the Center.