FULL: Homeschool Day at Oak Hill School on Sept 19th and 20th

THESE DATES ARE FULL. We are happy to add you to a waiting list.


Registration form HERE.


The Heritage Alliance is excited to offer a homeschool day at the historic Oak Hill School on September 19th and 20th. The award winning Oak Hill School Heritage Education program is the only experiential learning program of its type in this region, and homeschool students are encouraged to come and experience history with the Heritage Alliance in Tennessee’s Oldest Town.


Oak Hill School was built in 1886 to serve the community of Knob Creek. The building served local residents until it was closed in the 1950s. The school building was moved the seven miles from Knob Creek to Jonesborough and placed in its current location behind the Visitors Center. Today, Oak Hill School invites students to come for a day-long experience and enroll in school in 1893. Reading, writing, arithmetic, history, geography – even the pledge of allegiance – are all as they were prior to the turn of the last century.



School will last from 9:00am – 2:00pm on Monday, September 19th and Tuesday, September 20th. This program is limited to 26 students, grades 1st – 12th, so sign up now!


Registration form for September 19th and 20th is available here. The cost is $5.00 per student for the day at Oak Hill School. Students must register in advance. We cannot accept registration the day of the event. This event has a minimum registration of 12 students in order for it to take place.

A Spot on the Hill Shares New Stories in the Old Jonesborough Cemetery in October

A Spot on the Hill, the original, research-based play returns this October to the Old Jonesborough Cemetery. Now celebrating its eighth season, this edition features new characters. New stories include Ella Ford Freeze who ran the Dew Drop Inn Restaurant in Bristol, Zachariah Lyle Burson who donated the bell to the First Baptist Church, and James Edward Shipley who died in a tragic and bizarre accident.  You’ll meet them and many more! Guests are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs to sit on. Seats are not provided at the cemetery. Come and listen to real stories of real lives among real tombstones.

Performances for A Spot on the Hill will take place at 6:30 p.m. on October 14th, 15th, 21st, and 22rd. There will be a 2:00 p.m. matinee performance on October 15th in the Jonesborough Visitors Center and a 2:00 pm matinee in the cemetery on October 22nd. The indoor performance on October 15th is ADA accessible. Tickets are limited, and sell out fast, so make sure you buy yours today. Tickets are $10.00 and proceeds benefit the Heritage Alliance’s educational programs and initiatives, including ongoing programming in Jonesborough’s historic cemeteries.


Audience members should arrive 15 minutes prior to show time. Parking is available at the First Baptist Church and downtown. It is a short walk up East Main Street to the cemetery from the First Baptist Church lot. A golf cart courtesy shuttle will be available for guests who need it. This program is not suggested for children less than 10 years of age. In case of inclement weather, the show will be canceled and audience members will be notified in advance.

To purchase tickets, please call the Jonesborough Visitor’s Center at 423.753.1010. Tickets can also be purchased online at jonesborough.com/tickets.

Ninth Annual Constitution Week Bell Ringing at Oak Hill School on September 11th

On Sunday, September 11th, the State of Franklin Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR), are hosting their Ninth 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 focus on the history of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution that reads, The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”


The program will include music, speeches, and observance of the 21st anniversary of the September 11, 2001, national tragedy. Several heritage groups will be participating, including the Kings Mountain NSSAR, the Overmountain Victory Trail Association, and participation from other local chapters of the NSDAR.


Please bring your own chair and a 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.

Jonesborough’s 19th Century Brick Buildings: Handmade Beauties

After a record breaking History Happy Hour in July 2022 with Dr. William Kennedy, he agreed to record an encore presentation of his program. Follow this link to the YouTube video on the Chester Inn Museum’s channel.


Here is a list of resources he used for his presentation.

Birthplace of Country Music Museum to Talk About “Mountain Airwaves” at History Happy Hour

The Birthplace of Country Music Museum returns to History Happy Hour on Thursday, August 18th at 6:30 pm to talk about “Mountain Airwaves.”


History Happy Hour favorites Dr. Rene Rodgers and Scotty Almany will be on hand to share a new and exciting topic. “Mountain Air Waves: Stories of Local and Regional Radio” will explore the history of early country radio, especially the local and regional stations that have been part of that music history. Radio impacted the development of musical genre and shared a wide variety of popular “barn-dance” shows that aired cross the United States, and it has been integral to the careers of many country and bluegrass musicians, past and present. From WLS and WSM to WCYB and WBCM – and beyond – radio was and continues to be a vibrant center for music making.


The program will be in-person in the board room of the Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum, and it will be streamed live on the Chester Inn’s Facebook page. The program will begin at 6:30 pm. The program is free and open to the public!


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

Nancy’s Story at Telford Ruritan Rescheduled for Sept 10th

In 1820, Elihu Embree published his newspaper The Emancipator on Main Street, Jonesborough. The seven edition paper is the first publication dedicated solely to the cause of abolitionism. Embree passed away in December of 1820. Even though the paper was short-lived, The Emancipator had over 2,000 subscribers and its reach went all the way to Boston and Philadelphia. In spite of his abolitionist beliefs, Embree himself was an enslaver. Nancy was an enslaved woman owned by Elihu Embree, and her story will be shared at the Telford Ruritan Club on Saturday, September 10th in the original play entitled “Nancy.”


Written by Anne G’Fellers-Mason, Executive Director of the Heritage Alliance, “Nancy” follows a year in the woman’s life, from January 1820 when Elihu Embree wrote his will to January 1821 when his will was read before the Washington County court. In his will, Embree tried to free Nancy and her five children, but were his wishes carried out? What was Nancy feeling and thinking during this time? The play is based on primary research relying heavily on documents from the Washington County Archives. The role of Nancy will be performed by local actress Ubunibi-Afia Short. “Nancy” won an Award of Excellence from the Tennessee Association of Museums and an Award for History in the Media from the East Tennessee Historical Society. The show has been performed twice in the region to sold-out crowds. Do not miss your chance to see this powerful performance. These performances were originally scheduled for June 25th, but they had to be postponed due to health reasons.


“It is an honor to bring the show to the stage at the Telford Ruritan Club,” Mason says. “The Heritage Alliance is all about making connections with our community, and we are so glad we can do that through Nancy’s story. We have performed this play in the Sarah Sevier Memorial Chapel at the Embree House Historic Farm and on a stair landing at Harris Hall at Washington College Academy. Nancy’s story can be shared just about anywhere. This time, we’re taking to the stage in the old, school auditorium. ”


There will be two performances on September 10th at 2:00 pm and 6:30 pm. The show is a fundraiser for the Telford Ruritan Club and the Heritage Alliance. The show will be performed onstage in the old Telford School located at 101 Telford School Road. Tickets are $15.00 and can be purchased directly through the Town of Jonesborough’s ticketing system at Jonesborough.com/tickets or by calling the Jonesborough Visitor’s Center at 423.753.1010. Seating is limited to only 50 people per performance, so make sure you purchase your tickets in advance.


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. For more information, visit our website at heritageall.org or call our office at 423.753.9580.


The Telford Ruritan Club has been serving their community since 1961. They host a BBQ supper on the second Friday of every month. They support various organizations including Wreaths Across America, Tilted Tavern Animal Sanctuary, and St. Jude’s Second Harvest Food Bank. They maintain a Little Lending Library, a Community Produce Stand, and a roadside food pantry box at their site.

Heritage Alliance Wins Awards!

On Thursday, June 9th, the Heritage Alliance received Partner of the Year at the Pinnacle Awards hosted by the Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association. Every year, the Pinnacle Awards recognize the best in regional tourism. We were nominated by the Town of Jonesborough’s Tourism Department. It’s an honor to work so closely with the Town and its staff. The Heritage Alliance is very thankful for the partnerships we have throughout the region. We are beyond grateful for this award and we share it with our Members, our volunteers, our dedicated staff, and our community. We hope we can continue to be a good partner for the next twenty years and then some.

That same week, the Heritage Alliance received an award for the original play “Nancy” from the East Tennessee Historical Society. The performance piece won a History in the Media Award. This is the third award for “Nancy,” which tells the story of a woman and her children that were enslaved by abolitionist Elihu Embree. Unfortunately, we had to miss the ceremony, but we look forward to a future award presentation from ETHS Director Dr. Warren Dockter.


Executive Director Anne Mason with the Partner of the Year Award.

SOLD OUT: History Trivia Night on July 22nd

This event is now SOLD OUT!


The Heritage Alliance’s riotously fun trivia night is back on Friday, July 22nd at the Olde Towne Pancake House!


Join us at the Olde Towne Pancake House in Jonesborough on Friday, July 22nd at 7:00 pm for general history-based trivia questions, friendly competition, and a ton of fun! The restaurant will open at 6:00 pm that evening with a limited dinner menu for trivia participants. Now is your chance to try a pancake and breakfast inspired charcuterie board.


Not a “history buff?” Don’t worry! Trivia questions cover a wide range of topics and categories and include something for everyone. Previous topics have included Odd Jobs, Pop Culture, Food & Drink, Sports, 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 approximately two hours. We request that teams check in with the hosts prior to the event. Joe Spiker and Megan Cullen Tewell with 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 $10.00 per team, although additional donations are appreciated.



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.

History Happy Hour Talks Historic Buildings with Dr. Kennedy on July 21st

History Happy Hour is exited to feature a program with Dr. William Kennedy on Thursday, July 21st.


Dr. Kennedy has been instrumental in the Jonesborough historic preservation movement since the 1970s, and he was one of the founders of the Historic Jonesborough Foundation which went on to form the Heritage Alliance.


His session on July 21st is entitled “Jonesborough’s 19th Century Brick Buildings: Handmade Beauties.” He will show how skilled artisans mixed locally available raw materials to form the beautiful brick buildings that we continue to enjoy. He will also show the art of design in the patterns of walls and specialized structures of buildings. He’ll show you beautiful, close-up details you probably have never noticed and tell you the meanings of those details.



The program will begin at 6:30 pm in the Chester Inn Museum’s board room, and participants can join in-person or stream live on the Chester Inn Museum’s Facebook page. The program is free and open to the public!


History Happy Hour takes place on the third Thursday of the month through November at 6:30 pm. The full schedule for the year is available at heritageall.org and on the Chester Inn Museum’s Facebook page.  This program 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.


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

Olde Towne Pancake House Serving Dinner for Trivia Night

The Olde Towne Pancake House will be serving a limited dinner menu this Friday, June 24th before our Trivia Night. Dinner service will start at 6:00 pm. The menu is included below. Trivia will start at 7:00 pm. There’s still time to sign up through our website. We hope to see you there!



Enough for 4 to share:  Chicken tenders with honey mustard or ranch dressing, mozzarella sticks with marinara sauce, and your choice of Spinach artichoke dip or guacamole with tortilla chips.



Choose one of the following:

Chicken Tenders (3) Breaded chicken tenders, deep fried to a golden crisp, served with Ranch or Honey Mustard Dressing                                                                                                                                                                $6.99

Olde Towne Sliders (2) Mini cheeseburgers topped with bacon, ketchup, mustard and grilled onions on brioche buns.                                                                                                                                                                   $4.99

Club Sandwich – Turkey, Ham, Bacon & Cheese with lettuce, tomato and mayo on toasted bread  $5.99

Choose your sides (1 for $1.99, 2 for $3.79):  Fries, Okra, Onion Rings, Bacon and Ranch pasta salad loaded with veggies, in ranch dressing or Corn Salad (Whole kernel corn, onions, peppers, cheese in a mayonnaise dressing with season salt and topped with Chili Cheese Fritos).



Mini Pancakes:  A smaller portion of our delicious pancakes, baked, in mini muffin cups and topped with berries and whipped cream.  Served with margarine and your choice of maple flavored, blueberry, raspberry or strawberry syrup.  A serving of 3.                                                                                       $3.99

Mini Cheesecake Bites:  3 mini cheesecake bites – New York Style, Caramel Chocolate Chip, and Strawberry Swirl (one of each)                                                                                                                     $3.99



All with free refills

Proudly serving Pepsi Products – Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist, Dr. Pepper, Lemonade                                                                                       20 oz                $1.99

Coffee: (In-house ground beans) Regular or Decaf                                                   $1.99

Tea:  Sweet or Unsweet                                                                      20 oz                $1.75