Conversation with Dr. Alex Navarro editor of the Influenza Encyclopedia

Chester Inn Museum docent Joe Spiker was joined by Dr. Alex Navarro, assistant director of the University of Michigan’s Center for the History of Medicine and editor-in-chief of the Influenza Encyclopedia, for a conversation about the 1918 influenza pandemic. They discussed how the Influenza Encyclopedia project came about, measures taken during the 1918 pandemic, and how we can compare that pandemic to the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic.
Influenza Encyclopedia –
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7th Annual Ringing of the Bells for Constitution Week at Oak Hill School

On Sunday, September 13th, the State of Franklin Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR), are hosting their Seventh Annual Bell Ringing in honor of Constitution Week. The event will take place at 1:30 p.m. at Oak Hill School, located at 214 East Sabin Drive in Jonesborough across from the Jonesborough Public Library. The program will include history on the 19th Amendment to the Constitution that prohibited denying citizens the right to vote based on gender. Linda Good with the Johnson City Women’s Suffrage Centennial Celebration will be honored for her work in commemorating local history. Several groups will be participating, including the Kings Mountain NSSAR, the Town of Jonesborough, Fort Watauga Society Children of the American Revolution, and the Overmountain Victory Trail Association.  Bring your chairs, your bells, and your face coverings that Sunday and “make a joyful noise” as America celebrates the 233rd Anniversary of the U.S. Constitution.


The event will include a proclamation from Jonesborough Mayor Chuck Vest, a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem on the cello from Thomas Donahue, a special presentation from the Fort Watauga Society Children of the American Revolution, and much more. This year’s celebration will include special, pop-up bell ringings at specific sites throughout the week of September 17-23. Watch for these pop-up bell ringings on the Heritage Alliance’s social media.


The bell ringing on September 13th will follow all CDC guidelines. Washington County is currently under a face covering mandate. Social distancing will be observed on the lawn of the schoolhouse, and there is plenty of space for guests to spread out. Please bring your own chair and your own bell to ring. Seating will not be provided on site.


The Daughters of the American Revolution began the tradition of celebrating the Constitution.  In 1955, the DAR petitioned Congress to set aside September 17-23 annually to be dedicated for the observance of Constitution Week.  The resolution was adopted by Congress and signed into law on August 2, 1956, by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.  The State of Franklin Chapter of the NSDAR has been based in Jonesborough since 1929.

Educational Resources for “To Make Our Voices Heard: Tennessee Women’s Fight for the Vote”

“To Make Our Voices Heard: Tennessee Women’s Fight for the Vote” is currently on display at the Jonesborough & Washington County History Museum. As part of the exhibit, there are lots of great educational resources people can access if they’d like to know more. Follow the links below for additional information on the fight for the 19th amendment and the pivotal role Tennessee played.


Tennessee State Museum recently opened Ratified! Tennessee Women and the Right to Vote, an 8,000 square foot exhibition exploring the Women’s Suffrage movement in Tennessee, as well as, an online component called Ratified! Statewide! highlighting the suffrage movement in every Tennessee county.


Educator resources from a wide range of institutions and organizations have been compiled on the TNWoman100 website.

• Professional Development for Educators
• Lesson Plans
• Primary Source Sets
• Digital Collection & Online Exhibits
• Traveling Trunks & Docs Boxes
• Woman Suffrage Timeline
• Tennessee and the 19th Amendment for Woman Suffrage
• Historical Background
• Videos


Additional digital content is available on the Tennessee State Museum website and YouTube channel.


To Make Our Voices Heard: Tennessee Women’s Fight for the Vote was organized by the Tennessee State Library and Archives and the Tennessee State Museum with funding provided by The Official Committee of the State of Tennessee Woman Suffrage Centennial. This project was also funded in part by a grant from Humanities Tennessee, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Heritage Alliance to Participate in Freedom Stories on September 5

The International Storytelling Center (ISC), home to the world-renowned National Storytelling Festival and Storytelling Live! Teller-in-Residence series, will host a free virtual event titled What You Don’t Know (But Should) About Appalachian Slavery on Saturday, September 5th, from 1-2:30 pm as part of the Freedom Stories project.


Freedom Stories is an ongoing series that illuminates the underappreciated and neglected stories of African Americans in Appalachian history and highlights the role that face-to-face storytelling has played in both African and Appalachian cultures. Through Freedom Stories virtual events, the project marries performance and discussion, connecting prominent African American storytellers, artists, humanities scholars, and community experts to trace the rich history of African Americans in Appalachia—from the first African arrivals in Appalachia, to the shaping of a distinct culture, to the struggles for freedom and equality. The project will also produce multi-media resources that will be made accessible to a national audience.

As the nation learns to grapple with difficult truths, this free public event will serve as a model for how to engage in productive discussions around complex topics. The distinguished panel will feature Frank X. Walker, a self-identified “Affrilachian” poet and author; author and historian, Anne Mason of the Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee & Southwest Virginia; West Virginia storyteller and humanities scholar, Ilene Evans of Voices from the Earth; and Dr. Dinah Mayo-Bobee from East Tennessee State University Department of History. The panel will be moderated by ISC Freedom Stories Project Director, Dr. Alicestyne Turley.


The live panel discussion will take place on September 5th, from 1-2:30 pm EST on the International Storytelling Center’s Facebook timeline and will be followed by a public Q & A. The event will be recorded and made available to watch with closed-captioning post-event.


Alicestyne Turley, Director of the Freedom Stories Project states of the September Freedom Story, “Today’s audiences have very limited, generalized knowledge of American slavery, a knowledge informed primarily by American entertainment media. Which of course means many audiences have even less information about Appalachia or its history of slavery. Slavery in Appalachia was like the region itself, unique in its form and application. The September public discussion will be a brief look at this overlooked aspect of American and regional history.”


Kiran Singh Sirah, President of ISC, says these Freedom Stories discussions are important to the region in the context of the national movement of storytelling. “For example, how many of us know that in Appalachia, more people identify as African American than Scots-Irish?” asks Sirah. “The project is not meant to neglect or subdue the stories we do know, but rather to bring forward, in public conversation, the untold stories that contribute to the uniqueness and rich traditions of Appalachia. These stories are integral to the history of the region, and Appalachia (while often othered) is integral to the story of our entire nation.”


The project is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Discussions Grant, an award based on projects that bring the ideas and insights of the humanities to life for general audiences. ISC would like to thank the following organizations for their support of the Freedom Stories Project: Appalachian African American Cultural Center, Black in Appalachia, Black/White Dialogue, Green McAdoo Cultural Center, Heritage Alliance, Langston Centre, Leadership and Civic Engagement at East Tennessee State University, McKinney Center, Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association, and the Town of Jonesborough.


To learn more about the International Storytelling Center and upcoming Freedom Stories programming, please visit

Jonesborough & Washington County History Museum Presents ‘To Make Our Voices Heard: Tennessee Women’s Fight for the Vote

Exhibition showcases events leading up to Tennessee’s ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

JONESBOROUGH, TN, AUGUST 24, 2020 – The Heritage Alliance presents To Make Our Voices Heard: Tennessee Women’s Fight for the Vote, a new traveling exhibition, on display now. The exhibition, created in partnership with the Tennessee State Museum and the Tennessee State Library and Archives, explores the history of the woman’s suffrage movement, Tennessee’s dramatic vote to ratify the 19th Amendment in 1920, and the years that followed. The exhibit is currently on display in the Jonesborough & Washington County History Museum located inside the Jonesborough Visitor’s Center.

“We are very excited and honored to host this traveling exhibit in Tennessee’s Oldest Town,” says Heritage Alliance Executive Director Anne Mason. “We have been researching the role of local suffragettes, and we’ll be creating a Washington County companion exhibit that will only add to this wonderful exhibit from the State Museum and Archives.”

The exhibition is constructed of multiple dynamic panels, offering guests a touch-free experience of archival images, engaging stories and introductions to the leaders of the fight for and against the cause of woman’s suffrage. The stories begin by detailing the early challenges of racial and gender discrimination and continuing to the organization of African American and white women’s associations to encourage political engagement.

Visitors will also learn about Febb Burn of McMinn County, whose letter to her son, Harry T. Burn, resulted in a last-minute vote that helped change women’s history in the United States forever.

The exhibit includes a Tennessee map, highlighting suffragist activities across the state, including in Washington County.

“Tennessee’s role in becoming the 36th and final state to ratify the 19th Amendment not only solidified women’s right to vote but propelled women across the country to opportunities and futures they never thought possible,” said Chuck Sherrill, State Librarian and Archivist with the Tennessee State Library & Archives. “The hope of the committee is this centennial celebration will do the same all across our state.”

In coordination with this traveling exhibit, the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville will soon open Ratified! Tennessee Women and the Right to Vote, an extensive 8,000 square foot exhibition exploring the Women’s Suffrage movement in Tennessee through archival images and documents, artifacts, films, interactive elements, and programming.

An online component of the exhibition, Ratified! Statewide! highlighting the suffrage movement in every Tennessee county is available now at

“As we commemorate the historic vote that took place at Tennessee’s State Capitol in August of 1920, we want to honor those individuals who played key roles in the journey to gain voting rights for women,” said Ashley Howell, Executive Director of the Tennessee State Museum.  “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to share these stories across the state.”

To Make Our Voices Heard: Tennessee Women’s Fight for the Vote is organized by the Tennessee State Museum and the Tennessee State Library and Archives with funding provided by The Official Committee of the State of Tennessee Woman Suffrage Centennial. The project is also funded in part by a grant from Humanities Tennessee, an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

About Jonesborough & Washington County History Museum

The Jonesborough & Washington County History Museum is located inside the Historic Jonesborough Visitor’s Center at 117 Boone Street. They can be contacted directly by calling 423-753-1010. The museum and its archival collections are managed by the Heritage Alliance. 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.

About Tennessee State Museum

The Tennessee State Museum, on the corner of Rosa L Parks Blvd. and Jefferson Street at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, is home to 13,000 years of Tennessee art and history. Through six permanent exhibitions titled Natural History, First Peoples, Forging a Nation, The Civil War and Reconstruction, Change and Challenge and Tennessee Transforms, the Museum takes visitors on a journey – through artifacts, films, interactive displays, events, and educational programming – from the state’s geological beginnings to the present day. Additional temporary exhibitions explore significant periods and individuals in history, along with art and cultural movements. Additional temporary exhibitions explore Tennessee history including the current exhibition, Ratified! Tennessee Women and the Right to Vote. For more information on exhibitions, events and digital programming, please visit

About Tennessee State Library and Archives

The Tennessee State Library and Archives is located next to the State Capitol building in Nashville. Established in 1854, it houses a vast collection of books, documents, maps and photographs about the State of Tennessee. These materials are open to the public for research use, and staff are on hand to assist researchers. Suffrage-related collections include legislative records, oral histories, historical newspapers and manuscript collections. For more information about the collections of the Library & Archives and how to access them, please visit

The Official Committee of the State of Tennessee Woman Suffrage Centennial

The Official Committee of the State of Tennessee Woman Suffrage Centennial was created by the appointment of the TN House Speaker and Lt. Governor and began work in February 2019. Governor Bill Lee declared August 2019 to August 2020 as the Tennessee Woman Suffrage Centennial Year. Under leadership from the Tennessee General Assembly, the Committee members include the Tennessee State Library and Archives, the Tennessee State Museum, the Tennessee Department of Education, the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, the Tennessee Historical Commission, the State Historian, and the Tennessee Historical Society. Learn more at

Taste of Tennessee Official Program

Our program for the inaugural Taste of Tennessee includes Timber! restaurant in Johnson City, Serenity Knolls Farm, River Creek Farm, the North Carolina Craft and Beverage Museum in Asheville, Boone Street Market, the Exchange Place in Kingsport, the Pakalachian Food Truck in Abingdon, and the Chester Inn Museum! The day will be full of virtual events from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm.


Click HERE to access the full program.


Don’t forget to purchase tickets to the Farm to Table Tour and Food at River Creek Farm, the Use of Smoke as an Ingredient in Appalachian Cooking with Nathan Brand of Timber!, and the Seasonal Cooking: Tomato Pie Class with Serenity Knoll.

Taste of Tennessee: Virtual Appalachian Food Celebration

What’s cooking at the Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia? The organization is serving local residents a new event that highlights the history and culture of Appalachian foodways. “Taste of Tennessee” is a new virtual program that promises to bring people together to explore and celebrate Appalachian cuisine from the comfort of their homes. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, the event is completely online and is scheduled for Saturday, August 22nd from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. This day-long digital celebration is full of education and entertainment, and also serves as a fundraiser for The Heritage Alliance. As part of the event, The Heritage Alliance will present a variety of offerings via Facebook and Zoom, including lectures, demonstrations, cooking classes, and more.




“When we first conceived of the idea of Taste of Tennessee, it was envisioned as an in-person Appalachian food fair,” says Executive Director Anne Mason. “Unfortunately, COVID-19 has forced us to re-conceptualize the event, but we still wanted to keep the intended spirit of the event alive.”

“Our goal is to get people excited about Appalachian cuisine, past and present,” adds Programming Coordinator Megan Tewell. “That’s our main objective with this event—to connect people to food and to each other.”

A complete program for “Taste of Tennessee” will be released shortly, although confirmed speakers include prominent chefs, “foodies,” farmers, historians, interpreters, to name a few. Tickets for special Zoom events are available on the Town of Jonesborough’s website. Featuring historic recipes, techniques, and ingredients, as well as modern spins on Appalachian classics, the Heritage Alliance hopes that “Taste of Tennessee” helps the public to come together around a virtual “table” and enjoy a sense of community once more.

The Heritage Alliance is also continuing to collect recipes for their community-curated cookbook, as part of “Taste of Tennessee.” Do you have a favorite recipe that you would like to contribute? Please contact programming coordinator Megan Cullen Tewell at in order to share. And don’t miss this exciting opportunity to learn more about our local food heritage on August 22nd— bring your appetite for Appalachia!

Historic Quilt Care Video and Resources

Do you have a historic, family quilt that you think needs to be cleaned? Before you go any further, we suggest you watch this instructional video prepared by the McKinney Center. Watch as Programming Coordinator Megan Tewell takes us through proper ways to clean and store your historic and antique quilts! In the video, Megan is posing in front of historic quilts from our collection. These pieces are currently on display at the McKinney Center through August 7 as part of the Stories & Stitches exhibit.

Historic Quilt Care Video –

For additional information, we suggest you download our Historic Quilt Care best practices.



Calling All Cooks, The Heritage Alliance Seeks Contributions for New Cookbook

The Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia is asking local residents to submit their favorite recipes for a new project! The request comes as part of an initiative to create the organization’s first-ever community cookbook.

To access the form in PDF format, click here.

The cookbook represents an effort to celebrate Appalachian foodways by collecting, preserving, and sharing local recipes. The Heritage Alliance is accepting submissions for the following categories from July 16 to August 16, 2020. Contributors can submit as many entries as they like, and their names will appear in the cookbook alongside their dishes. The final product will be published and available for sale by the end of 2020, and will feature various recipes, as well as information about the history and culture of Appalachian food. This community-based project is part of the programming for The Heritage Alliance’s inaugural “Taste of Tennessee” event, an online Appalachian food festival that launches on Saturday, August 22.

Please send your entries by mail to the Heritage Alliance at 212 E. Sabin Drive, Jonesborough, TN 37659 or submit by email to Megan Cullen Tewell (Programming Coordinator) at

Stories & Stitches: A Historical Quilt Exhibit

‘Stories & Stitches’ will open Friday, July 17th, at 7 pm with a virtual exhibit tour lead by Merikay Waldvogel on Facebook Live via the McKinney Center Facebook page and will then share it to the Heritage Alliance Facebook page. This exhibit will largely take place virtually, offering activities for children and adults in education and craft. ‘Stories & Stitches’ will also offer a way for all to participate by allowing submissions for online gallery of quilts on the McKinney Center’s Facebook page.



The exhibit will be open for appointment only visits at the McKinney Center, July 20th– August 7th, Monday through Friday, 9am-4pm. To schedule your private viewing of this exhibit please call 423-753-0562. Scheduled viewings will be 30 minutes at a time, but if larger groups or longer times are needed, please let us know when you call. Groups can be up to ten people at a time and admission is free, but a donation is appreciated.


The McKinney Center and Heritage Alliance invite you to experience Stories & Stitches: A Historical Quilt Exhibit that will feature 15 local and regional quilts from the Heritage Alliance historical collection. These quilts each come with their own stories. This exhibit will include a variety of quilt styles, including Crazy, Friendship, Irish Chain, and Floral Pattern. One Friendship quilt even includes a personal poem on the quilt, created for a local businessman in 1860. You will not want to miss the history, stories, and beautiful stitches of these historic quilts from right around here in Historic Jonesborough, Tennessee.


The McKinney Center and Heritage Alliance welcome Merikay Waldvogel as the guest expert on July 17th, on the McKinney Center’s Facebook Live, at 7pm. Waldvogel is an author, curator, and quilt researcher. Co-directing the Quilts of Tennessee survey with Bets Ramsey in the 1980s sparked a keen love for Southern quilts and quiltmakers. Her writings include: Quilts of Tennessee (1986), Soft Covers for Hard Times (1990), and Southern Quilts of the Civil War (1998). She has served on the Board of Directors of American Quilt Study Group and the Alliance for American Quilts. In 2009, she was inducted into the Quilters Hall of Fame. Waldvogel says, “Quilts documented for the Quilts of Tennessee survey in Jonesborough in the 1980s were some of the most interesting due to the diversity of their stories and styles. I am excited to delve into the stories of these quilts from the Heritage Alliance collection.”



Between July 17th and August 7th be sure to pay close attention to both the McKinney Center and the Heritage Alliance’s social media as they release educational resources in companionship with this exhibit. A children’s resources packet will be available on July 20th, a Crazy Quilt craft challenge July 22nd, an online quilt puzzle, July 29th, ways to submit your own quilt photographs, July 17th, and a “How to Care for your Quilts” video August 1st, offered by the Heritage Alliance.



The Heritage Alliance and McKinney Center have continued to provide free educational content throughout the pandemic. If you would like to make a donation to the McKinney Center, please go to, scroll down, and click “Partner.” If you would like to make a donation to the Heritage Alliance, please go to and click “Donate Now” at the top of the page. You can also send a check to either the McKinney Center or the Heritage Alliance. To find out more about either organization visit and