Heritage Alliance Board of Trustees 2022

We are proud to announce our 2022 Board of Trustees.

 

Fred Counts, President

Terry Countermine, Vice President

Pat Wolfe, Treasurer

Hal Hunter, Secretary

Mike Floyd

Jack Van Zandt

Mark Edmonds

Cari Jarman

Kati Jenkins

Walter Buford

Charlene Cleveland

Meghan Kieta

 

We thank our outgoing Board Members Tom Krieger and Dan Eldridge for their leadership. We also want to say a big thank you to our former Board President Gordon Edwards for all his work these past six years. Thank you for keeping the ship on course while also expanding the organization’s horizons.

Job Posting: Site Manager Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum

This position has been filled. We are no longer accepting applications.

 

POSITION DESCRIPTION

 

SITE MANAGER/ CHESTER INN MUSEUM

SCOPE

Under the supervision of the Executive Director, the Site Manager is responsible for all aspects of visitor relations and for the inventory of the Chester Inn State Historic Site & Museum collections, including the update in PastPerfect of items relocated from museum storage or the JWC History Museum to the Chester Inn. Additionally the Site Manager is the point person for Chester Inn collections, management and care of the collections, establishment and maintenance of proper collections record keeping, and the accessing/cataloging/inventorying/monitoring of any and all additions to those collections. Additionally, the Site Manager is responsible for collection research, exhibit planning, and coordinates with the Executive Director and museum personnel with subject expertise on the development and initiation of educational and outreach programs for the museum, including traveling exhibits that may be exhibited in the Chester Inn Museum. The Site Manager shall advise the Executive Director on the current state of the collection and shall inform and advise the Board of Trustees regarding conservation needs including environmental conditions, storage, feasibility of exhibition or collections movement, and direct care of the artifacts. The Site Manager will provide appropriate training for volunteer docents and coordinate scheduling the volunteers for museum shifts. The Site Manager will be responsible for cleaning the museum and for preparing the space to take part in Town of Jonesborough events. The Site Manager will create educational programs and materials based around the artifacts in the museum. These programs and materials will be appropriate for various grade levels. Programs should be designed for school groups and general visitors alike.

 

The Site Manager shall possess an understanding of the use of material culture to interpret history.

 

The Site Manager shall have good working relations with the general public. The Site Manager is the first face that many people interact with when visiting Jonesborough, TN.

 

This job involves weekend working hours and working hours that extend after 5:00 pm.

 

Work is seasonal with 20 hours a week in January-February, 25 hours a week in March-April and November-December, and 28 hours a week in May-October.

 

Compensation – $11.50 per hour

 

HEAD DOCENT RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. Responsible for collection security.
  2. Responsible for security of historic site.
  3. Responsible for registration and cataloguing of Chester Inn Museum collections.
  4. Monitors collection conservation needs and keeps Executive Director informed on exhibit and collection condition.
  5. Responsible for training volunteer docents
  6. Responsible for coordinating with volunteer docents to create a monthly calendar/schedule for the Chester Inn Museum
  7. Responsible for appropriately cleaning the artifacts on display
  8. Responsible for cleaning the public spaces of the museum
INTERPRETATION
  1. Plans and implements all permanent and temporary exhibits, and interpretation programs in conformance with the Chester Inn Museum mission.
  2. Responsible for collection research activities.
  3. Maintains a verifiable collection data base source.
  4. Provides tours of Chester Inn Museum and, if available the town of Jonesborough.
  5. Write articles pertaining to Chester Inn Museum exhibits and activities for the Heritage Alliance’s quarterly newsletter The Link
  6. Write press releases for new exhibits and programs
  7. Create appropriate posts for the Chester Inn Museum’s Facebook page
  8. Create appropriate videos for the Chester Inn Museum’s YouTube channel

QUALIFICATIONS

An advanced degree or course work in museum studies, history, and /or Public History is desirable. Work experience should include museum employment and familiarity with standard museum operation procedures, collection care. Desirable skills: word processing, data base entry, writing, public speaking, grant writing, and teaching skills. Candidate should be self-motivated and creative, able to maintain existing programs as well as conceive, develop, and execute new ones too.

 

HOW TO APPLY

Send your resume, cover letter, and two letters of reference to Executive Director Anne Mason at amason@heritageall.org. Application materials are due by 5:00 pm EST on Thursday, February 17th. For more information, you may email Anne Mason or call the office of the Heritage Alliance at 423-753-9580.

2022 Historical Photos Calendar Available Now!

The Heritage Alliance has partnered with the Herald & Tribune for their 2022 calendar. We now have copies of the calendar for sale in our office at the Duncan House (212 E Sabin Drive Jonesborough, TN 37659). They are only $1.00 and all proceeds go to our educational programs. Stop on by and say hi and get a copy or two. We’re usually in the office in January, but we do recommend you call first at 423-753-9580, just to be sure we’re not off in a museum or archive somewhere.

 

Head Docent Joe Spiker Says Farewell to the Chester Inn Museum

From Joe Spiker, Head Docent Chester Inn Museum:

Anne and I always joke that I am like Jack Torrance at the end of the Shining: that I have always been the caretaker at the Chester Inn. If history teaches us anything, however, it teaches us this: nothing is permanent.

I began at the Chester Inn in the summer of 2016. I had an awkward video call phone interview (before they were commonplace) and by the time I drove home from my second interview former director Deb Montanti somehow called to offer me a position. I am stepping away to accept a full time teaching position with Walters State Community College, a place I have been teaching part time since 2014.

To say that this job has been endlessly rewarding would be an understatement. I have had the chance to do what I love while being unashamedly myself. I have found levels of creativity I wasn’t sure that I still had while being equal parts ridiculous and serious. I am proudest of my work on the two digital series “Exhibit Extras” and “With the Victorians,” helping the Inn grow a more public profile, the History Happy Hour program, and perhaps my favorite thing: co-hosting trivia night with Megan!

Beyond the joys of professional accomplishments, the biggest thing I am taking from the museum is this: advice for what to look for in a job. Work with an institution that you are proud to be affiliated with. Find a staff that welcomes you for who you are and challenges you to become better. Work for leaders that are open to suggestions and that balance high expectations and encouragement. Work with colleagues that support each other and help pull towards common goals.

I have been blessed to be part of a small but amazingly talented staff that has basically become family. We get each other, and genuinely enjoy each other’s company. Deb was the executive director who took a chance on me, and I cannot repay that enough. Megan Tewell is like the other pea in my quirky history nerd pod. Jacob was someone who shared my love of crazy plans including the idea that no plan is too crazy, or unattainable. And I have been with Anne the whole time. She is a fantastic sounding board, strong leader, and above all an amazingly kind human. And all of our volunteers are exceptional, especially Charlene, Janice, Joe, Gordon, and Bob, who have also been here for my whole tenure.

Goodbyes are sad But, I am grateful for my time with the museum, and am excited to see what is next for both the museum and myself.

 

Heritage Alliance Receives Tennessee State Library and Archives Grant

In late 2020, The Heritage Alliance received a Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) grant, funding a contract archivist position for Spring 2022. The grant will be used to hire an individual to digitize photographs in our archival collection and make them accessible to the public via an online program where individuals can find, view, and learn more about our digital collections remotely.

“Some of the photographs in our care are real treasures,” explains Anne G’Fellers-Mason, the Executive Director at the Heritage Alliance. “We’re happy to have them in our collection, and preserve them for future generations, but we haven’t been able to share them with the public as widely as we would like. This grant will help change that.”
The contact archivist will work on this digitization project from January to May 2022, primarily in the archival division at the Jonesborough/Washington County History Museum located inside the Jones-borough Visitors Center. The digitized files, complete with information and provenance (the history of the item’s origin and ownership), will be available to viewers online, including school groups, researchers, families, and the general public.

Many thanks to TSLA for helping the Heritage Alliance to make this important project a reality! Stay tuned for updates.

Heritage Alliance Office Closes for Holidays

The Heritage Alliance’s office is closed for the Christmas and New Year holidays. We will reopen on Tuesday, January 4th. If you’d like to leave a message for us, please call 423-753-9580.  

 

Santa Claus (aka Tim Herron) visits the Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum parlor. (Decorations by Marcy Hawley and Heritage Alliance staff.)

Heritage Alliance and State of Franklin Chapter NSDAR Celebrate a Fresh Coat of Paint at the Oak Hill Schoolhouse

Earlier this year, the Heritage Alliance was the recipient of a Historic Preservation Grant from the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR). The grant provided new paint and wood repair for Oak Hill School. Over the course of the summer, local painter Christopher Basar and his team with J. Ross Historic Restoration repainted the schoolhouse and repaired/replaced rotten wood. “In a normal year, Oak Hill School welcomes thousands of people for educational programs,” said Executive Director Anne Mason. “It’s such a part of the community, and this preservation grant from the NSDAR has made it possible for us to keep the schoolhouse in operation for years to come.”

 

Executive Director Anne Mason and members/officers of the State of Franklin Chapter of the NSDAR pose outside Oak Hill School.

 

Built in 1886, Oak Hill School served first through eighth grade students in the Knob Creek Community of Johnson City until 1952. It was a part of Washington County Schools. The building was moved to Jonesborough in the 1990s to save it from demolition. The schoolhouse is the largest artifact in the collection of the Jonesborough & Washington County History Museum. Today, the Heritage Alliance runs the Oak Hill School Heritage Education Program out of the building. This experiential learning program, the only one of its kind in the area, transports students back to a school day in 1892/1893. The program is based off the records of Washington County Schools’ superintendent at that time. The Heritage Alliance has also partnered with Jonesborough Elementary School to create a unique experience in Oak Hill School where students come and do their 21st Century lessons with 19th Century supplies. Instead of computers, they use slate tablets.

 

Oak Hill School is home to the State of Franklin Chapter’s Constitution Week Bell Ringing which takes place on the schoolhouse lawn every September. The Jonesborough Storyteller’s Guild has used the school as the “Swapping Ground” at the National Storytelling Festival, and there have even been weddings in the building. “We cannot thank the State of Franklin Chapter of the NSDAR enough for sponsoring Oak Hill School for this grant. We look forward to the next one hundred years for the schoolhouse,” Mason shared.

 

“State of Franklin NSDAR treasures Oak Hill School and its contributions to the community. As a historic schoolhouse structure where our chapter partners with Heritage Alliance to celebrate Constitution Week each year, it aligns with DAR’s missions of historic preservation, education, and patriotism.  We’re so grateful to be a part of securing its future,” added State of Franklin Regent Allyson Wilkinson.

 

Funding for this project was made possible through the sponsorship of the State of Franklin Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. The State of Franklin Chapter of the NSDAR has been based in Jonesborough since 1929.

Church Walking Tours this Saturday in Jonesborough

The Heritage Alliance is excited to offer a new walking tour on Saturday, December 18th. As a part of Jonesborough’s Christmas Church Stroll, the Alliance will be offering Historic Church Tours at 11:30 am and 1:30 pm. These tours will lead guests down Main Street and will include the history of Jonesborough’s churches, interesting tidbits, and a chance to view their beautiful architecture from the outside. This tour will not take people inside the churches, but guests are welcome to look inside participating churches from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm that day as a part of the Town’s event.

 

Do you know which church was the first building in Jonesborough to be designed by an architect? Do you know who influenced the Baptist Church to purchase their bell? Which church has a historic chandelier, and how did the Civil War impact the churches in town? Learn all this and much more during the one hour tour. Tickets are only $5.00 per person and are available at the Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum. The museum opens at 11:00 am that morning.

CANCELLED: Heritage Alliance Trivia Night Gets Festive

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED.

The Heritage Alliance is ho-ho-hosting its riotously fun trivia night in December with questions to test your knowledge of all things festive and historical!

 

 

Join us at the Jonesborough Visitors Center on Thursday, December 16th at 7:00 pm for holiday-themed and history-based trivia questions, friendly competition, and a ton of fun! Not a “history buff?” Don’t worry! These questions cover a wide range of topics and categories and include something for everyone. We will have questions about holiday celebrations, movies, music, and more!

 

Teams (of up to six people) can register up until the evening of the event, which will kick off at 7:00 PM and last about an hour and a half. We request that teams check in with the hosts prior to the event. Joe Spiker, Head Docent of the Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum, and Megan Cullen Tewell, Programming Coordinator at the Heritage Alliance, will host the event, tallying points and administering prizes to the winners. The event is family-friendly and open to all ages. Cost is $5 per person, although additional donations are appreciated. Register to play now at http://www.heritageall.org/trivia/.

 

You can sign your team up for trivia at Heritageall.org. The link to sign up for the event is at the top of the page. Like and follow the Heritage Alliance on Facebook for more information.

 

This project is funded under an agreement with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Tennessee Historical Commission.

Victorian Holiday Celebrations at the Chester Inn Museum

Join us at the Chester Inn Museum this holiday season to add some 19th Century flair to your celebrations!

 

This year we are featuring four special programs at the museum. On Saturday, November 27 we will be hosting a reading of Dr. Seuss’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” in our restored parlor room. We will also feature holiday items from our archival collection and talk about the history of Victorian holiday celebration practices. The readings will be at 11:45, 12:30, 1:15, 2:00, and 2:45. Each reading will be approximately 45 minutes.

 

On Friday, December 10th from 5:30 to 8:30 pm, the museum will be a stop on the Town of Jonesborough’s Downtown at Dusk event. Visitors can see our restored rooms fully decorated in Victorian holiday style while enjoying seasonal food and drink. Tickets for Downtown at Dusk are available at Jonesborough.com/tickets.  On Saturday, December 11th from 11:00 to 3:00 pm, the museum will have living Victorian Christmas cards. Visitors can take photos with our holiday décor and with our tour guides dressed in Victorian attire—the perfect touch for holiday cards! We will also have a camera on hand and visitors can donate $3 for a digital file copy of a photograph from our photographer.

 

In addition to our programs we will have 19th century holiday decorations on display in our restored parlor, dining, and lodging rooms, beginning the first week of December. The museum is open from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm on Fridays, Saturdays, and Mondays in November and December, as well as from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Sundays. It is open by appointment only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. There is no charge for admission to the museum or guided tours, and the museum operates on donations. The museum will be closed from December 21st through December 31st, and will be open by appointment only in January and February.

 

This project is funded under an agreement with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Tennessee Historical Commission. For more information on the Chester Inn Museum or the Heritage Alliance please call our office at 423.753.9580 or the Chester Inn Museum at 423.753.4580.  You can also contact the organization via email at info@heritageall.org.  Additional information about the Heritage Alliance and its mission can be found online at http://www.heritageall.org/. Be sure to follow the Chester Inn and Heritage Alliance Facebook pages for updates about events at the Chester Inn and other Heritage Alliance programs.