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.

Historical Photo Exploration #3 – 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 see a larger version of the image, click HERE.

 

Questions to Answer:

1) What is happening in this photo?

2) What are some of the items you can identify in this photo?

3) What do you think the man is making?

4) What is written on the back wall of the shop?

5) What are some clues that can help you date when this photo was taken?

6) What does the word credit mean in this situation?

7) Why would he have suspended credit to his customers during the time this photo was taken?

8) Who do you think took this picture?

9) Why do you think this picture was taken?

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

 

Creative Writing Exercise – What do you think this man was feeling in this moment when this photo was taken? Do your best to write like you’re from that time period. Go a step further and write an advertisement for this business based on what you’ve learned from this photo.

 

Answer Key:

1) This is a cobbler engaged in making shoes.

2) Hammer, leather, work bench, hat, glasses, apron, diagrams, etc.

3) Open ended answer, but he is actually making shoes.

4) “New Way No Credit for 1898-99”

5) The year is written on the wall behind him. This photo was most likely taken in early 1898.

6) “The ability of a customer to obtain goods or services before payment, based on the trust that payment will be made in the future.”

7) Maybe his customers weren’t actually paying him like they were supposed to? Also, the United States went through several depressions and panics in the 1890s that destroyed the economy. Many people didn’t have enough money to live on.

8) Might have been someone who knew the store owner. Might have been some one from the newspaper who was helping him advertise his new rules.

9) Lots of possible answers, but what we like best about this photo is the amount of detail.

Social Media Round Up 4/06/2020 – 4/12/2020

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

Historians at Home – This week we launched our new crowdsourcing, archival project in response to the Covid_19 Pandemic. Own your history and submit to the program today.

Historic Photo Exploration #2

 

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.

Weekly posts about recreation through time, including gardening and Victory Gardens.

Photos and posts from our archival collection.

 

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.

 

YouTube – Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum

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

At Home Amateur Museum Theatre Presents: Andrew Jackson vs. Waightstill Avery – Video series examining interesting stories from Jonesborough’s past.

 

Instagram – Heritage Alliance

Featuring Spring inspired pictures from our archival collection.

Historical Photo Exploration #2 – 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 see a larger version of the image, click HERE.

 

Questions to Answer

1) What is happening in this photo?

2) What is a cornerstone?

3) Where is the Courthouse in this photo?

4) What are some clues that can help you date when this photo was taken?

5) Who is included in this picture? (Look for clues to gender, age, and race.)

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

7) Who do you think took this picture?

8) Why do you think this picture was taken?

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

10) Would you be able to walk across an open construction site in the United States today? Why or why not?

Additional Study Question – Why was the Courthouse so important to Jonesborough?

 

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) Placing of the cornerstone for the new Washington County Courthouse on Main Street, Jonesborough.

2) The cornerstone is the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation. All other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure.

3) The Courthouse is currently just a hole in the ground in this photo. The old Courthouse had been torn down and a new one was being built.

4) This photo is actually dated, but other points of reference are the electric and telephone poles and the clothes being worn by the people in the photo.

5) There is a mixture of men, women, and children. People in the photo appear to be predominantly Caucasian. There are not many African Americans in the photo.

6) There are a few African Americans in the photo. Where are they located in relation to everyone else in the photo? (Not in the foreground) Why do you think this is? (Answers could touch on segregation and that African Americans were a minority within Washington County’s population.)

7) Possibly someone from the newspaper or a town official.

8) To commemorate the placement of the cornerstone for the new Courthouse.

9) Open ended answer, but one big surprise is the people walking over the hole in their finest attire across stacked boards.

10) Mostly no, and that has everything to do with changes in law and safety standards.

Additional Study Question – You can find the answer to this question under local history on our website, or by conducting a Google search on Jonesborough’s history.

Historians at Home: Crowd Sourcing History

The COVID-19 pandemic has created numerous uncertainties and challenges, but the Heritage Alliance is working hard to make the current “safer at home” order an opportunity to create a new type of historical record. This week, The Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia launched a crowd-sourcing collection project entitled “Historians At Home.”

 

Historians At Home is a letter-collecting campaign that gathers, saves, and shares first-person accounts of the COVID-19 pandemic from local residents. It allows The Heritage Alliance, a local history non-profit, to engage with the public remotely, and collect original, first person materials from this highly irregular historical moment. Contributors are asked to write a letter or email detailing their experience and perspective, and are provided with a series of starter questions to consider. Historians At Home is a great activity for all ages, and also fits well into a home-school curriculum.

 

In 2019, The Heritage Alliance served over 36,000 people, including local residents and out-of-town visitors. Despite museum and office closures, Historians At Home allows The Heritage Alliance to continue facilitating a relationship between history and the public from afar. So consider submitting a letter via email, including a completed Written Release, to historiansathome@gmail.com. You can also mail your letter and release to The Heritage Alliance at 212 E. Sabine Drive, Jonesborough, TN 37659. The Heritage Alliance would love to hear from you, and all of the other Historians At Home.

 

To access the packet, questionnaire, and release form, click HERE.

Social Media Round Up 3/30/2020 – 04/05/2020

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

Cholera Epidemic Primary Source Activity

Historical Photo Exploration #1: What’s Going On Here?

Chester Inn Museum Coloring Book

 

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.

Weekly posts about recreation through time, including bicycling and hiking.

Photos and posts from our archival collection.

Sears Modern Home Historic House Hunt – Round One 1908-1914

 

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.

 

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 Your Own Buzz Saw Toy Video

 

You can also follow the Heritage Alliance on Instagram @heritage_alliance. Check back here every week for another recap!