Venue Change for Friday (5/26) Trivia Night

Our May 26th has changed venues to the Visitors Center instead of the McKinney Center. If you haven’t registered in advance, we will be selling tickets at the door. Game starts at 7:00 pm. It’s $5.00 to play.



Chester Inn Museum Extends Town Tours for Summer 2023

The Chester Inn State Historic Site & Museum is currently on its summer/fall hours and is open Monday and Wednesday-Saturday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm and on Sunday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.


The Historic Jonesborough Town Tour is also expanding its hours for summer. In addition to the regular, Saturday afternoon (1:00 pm) tours, you can also take a Town Tour on Sundays at 3:00 pm starting Sunday, June 4th. Sunday Town Tours will be available every Sunday through the end of September to correspond with Brews & Tunes. Take a tour and then stick around for the music, food truck, and libations in front of the International Storytelling Center.


The Chester Inn Museum is also thrilled to announce the return of Thursday evening tours. These tours are perfect for a summer evening. Thursday evenings will take place at 7:00 pm on June 1st, 8th, and 22nd. All tours are $5.00 and tickets are available at the museum. Children eight and under are free.


The Old Jonesborough Cemetery Tours will be back, too, on Saturday, June 3rd. Cemetery Tours are available the first and third Saturdays of the month through October at 2:30 pm. Tickets for Cemetery Tours are $5.00. Proceeds from the Cemetery Tour help with the restoration of the historic tombstones. You can get a combo ticket for the Saturday Town Tour and the Cemetery Tour for only $8.00.


There’s not a bad time to tour Tennessee’s Oldest Town and learn about the people who built their lives here.


The Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum 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  Additional information about the Heritage Alliance and its mission can be found online at 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.


History Trivia Nights Are Back!

The Heritage Alliance’s riotously fun history trivia nights are back this summer on May 26th, June 16th, and July 14th at the McKinney Center.

Join us on those Friday evenings at 7:00 pm for some summer fun. Not a “history buff?” Don’t worry! Trivia questions cover a wide range of topics and categories (music, literature, pop culture) and include something for everyone.

Teams (of up to eight people) can register up until the evening of the event, which kicks off at 7:00 pm and lasts approximately two hours. You can sign your team up for trivia at The link to sign up for the event is at the top of the page. The cost to play is only $5.00 per person. Every team member must pay to play, but your money goes to a great cause. All of the proceeds assist with the educational programs of the Heritage Alliance. Joe Spiker and Anne Mason with the Heritage Alliance will host the event, tallying points and administering prizes to the top three teams. The event is family-friendly and open to all ages.

For more information on the Heritage Alliance, please call our office at 423.753.9580. You can also contact the organization via email at Additional information about the Heritage Alliance and its mission can be found online at Be sure to follow the Heritage Alliance Facebook page for updates about events and programs.

May History Happy Hour is all about Stress and Early, American Presidents

Join us on May 18th at 6:30 pm as we welcome Dr. Timothy Holder, radio host of The Leading Edge with Dr. Tim Holder on WRJZ Joy620 Knoxville and author of Devotions with Presidents.


Dr. Holder is a former dean of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Professor of History at Walter State Community College. He will be speaking about the tough situations early presidents faced in their lives and what we can learn from how they handled it. The program will begin at 6:30 pm in the Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum’s Board Room. 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. For more information on the Chester Inn Museum, History Happy Hour, 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  Additional information about the Heritage Alliance and its mission can be found online at 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.

Now Hiring: Collections Manager and Museum Coordinator

Company Name: Heritage Alliance of Northeast TN & Southwest VA, Jonesborough, TN

Title of Position: Collections Manager and Museum Coordinator

Position Type: Part Time – Up to 28 hours per week, includes some evenings and weekends

Compensation: $12.50 an hour, Vacation Time

Description of Responsibilities: Wide variety of museum-related responsibilities, including, but not limited to:

  • exhibition planning and development (research, writing/editing, etc.), building, and installation;
  • educational programming for visiting and local children, adults, school groups, and families;
  • guiding visitors through downtown Jonesborough on historic tours;
  • coordinating with and training volunteers with various backgrounds, skill sets, and interests;
  • planning and coordinating community programs and workshops associated with exhibits and town activities;
  • facilitating and/or assisting with existing museum programming and exhibitions, and contributing ideas for new initiatives;
  • researching and developing program and exhibit related materials (lesson plans, rubrics, publicity items, etc.);
  • collaborating with various other like-minded organizations, networks, and groups to create, develop, and facilitate heritage-based educational programming;
  • caring for archival collections including proper preservation and display techniques;
  • monitoring historic structures for potential maintenance issues and coordinating with appropriate persons to schedule/request maintenance;
  • writing press releases for exhibits and exhibit-based programming;
  • posting appropriate, museum-related content on Social Media;
  • contributing articles to the Heritage Alliance’s quarterly newsletter;
  • completing various administrative tasks related to ongoing educational programming;
  • planning and implementing one fundraiser a year for the museums;
  • assisting with other projects and programs as assigned by the Executive Director

Qualifications: An advanced degree or course work in Museum Studies and/or Public History is desirable. Work experience should include museum employment (at least one year) and familiarity with standard museum operation procedures, particular collection care. Desirable skills: carpentry, word processing, database entry, writing/editing, public speaking, and grant writing.

Required Skills: Work experience should include museum employment (at least one year) and familiarity with standard museum operation procedures, such as exhibit development and collection care. Applicants should possess experience providing educational programming to families and children, especially in a museum setting. A Bachelor’s degree in history, Museum Studies, Education or a related field is required; Master’s degree preferred. The successful candidate will possess excellent organizational and communication skills, as well as strong writing and editing abilities. Applicants should be comfortable executing original historical research based on primary and secondary sources. Proven people and problem solving skills are a must, as is the ability to interact with the public, including public speaking (such as public events, via media outlets, etc.). General computer skills, including database and spreadsheet applications, are a necessity. Familiarity with other programs, such as Canva and/or museum software (Past Perfect, MIMSY, etc.) considered a plus. Carpentry skills desired, but not required.

For a full scope of the position, click HERE.

How to Apply: Email resume, cover letter, and two letters of reference to Anne Mason at Application window closes at 5:00 pm on May 16, 2023.

No phone calls please.


The Heritage Alliance is an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.

History Happy Hour 2023 Season

Join us for History Happy Hour every third Thursday at 6:30 pm from April-November. We’ve got a great slate of programs lined up!

History Happy Hour: ”I’ve Endured: Women in Old-Time Music” with Birthplace Country Music Museum

Join the Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum on April 20th at 6:30 pm as we welcome Dr. Rene Rodgers and Erika Baker from the Birthplace of Country Music Museum as they kick off the 2023 season of History Happy Hour!


The Birthplace of Country Music Museum is no stranger to History Happy Hour, and this time they will be sharing about their brand new exhibit “I’ve Endured: Women in Old-Time Music.” This exhibit was years in the making.  Dr. Rodgers explains, “Old-time music is described and experienced in different ways and for different purposes, but at its heart, old-time is mountain folk music with strong ties to Appalachia and the diverse peoples who have called it home. Women have always been central to old-time music — in the home and on the stage, and as instrumentalists and singers, preservationists, activists, promoters, and cultural memory keepers. Join the Birthplace of Country Music Museum staff as they introduce their new special exhibit and explore the stories of the women who have been integral to old-time music.” The program will begin at 6:30 pm in the Chester Inn Museum’s Board Room. The program is free and open to the public!


The 2023 season of History Happy Hour will run from April through November with a new program every third Thursday of the month. The full lineup includes Presidential history, Jonesborough’s historic front porches, deed research, and much more. The full schedule is available on the Chester Inn’s Facebook page and the Heritage Alliance’s website. If you can’t attend History Happy Hour in person, each program will be livestreamed to the Chester Inn Museum’s Facebook page.


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

“Displaced not Placeless” on Display at the Chester Inn Museum

By: Joshua Dacey, Chester Inn Site Manager

Our new exhibit “Displaced, Not Placeless” is an attempt to explore and reconcile with the difficult history of Indian removal here in Eastern Tennessee. From the earliest European settlers to the first generation of U.S. citizens, a prejudice against indigenous peoples proliferated. Ignorance, greed, and the belief that God meant for them to inhabit every corner of the Americas, led to the eradication of thousands of tribes. By the 1830s, another aspect of colonialism came to the forefront of public discourse concerning the “Vanishing Redman.” The federal government subsequently adopted policies based on paternalism. Indigenous people had always been cast as lesser than their European and American counterparts. They needed guidance in order to integrate with the modern world. A culture war was waged against the Cherokee and numerous other tribes that had been marched along the “Trail of Tears.”

From their new reservations in the west, thousands of Indigenous children were placed in Indian Boarding Schools. Forbade from even speaking their native languages, children were assimilated into the Christian world and then sent back to their reservations to further convert their tribes. The reality of these boarding schools has come to light in recent years. The abuse, starvation, and neglect the children endured stands in stark contrast to the paternalistic nature the U.S. and Canadian governments professed. It is still not known how many children died in the boarding schools. In recent years, a push to investigate the true nature of the Indian Boarding Schools has gained momentum, largely championed by the Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland, the first Indigenous person to occupy the office.

Working with indigenous peoples has been a corner stone in my career as a historian. My original interest developed during my undergraduate studies at Spartanburg Methodist College. It started small, very small in fact. As a research assistant, I had regular access to the college archives. Rooting around in the dust one day, I found a small clay figure. It was a bluish gray with what looked like scorch marks striping the effigy. After studying the object for a moment, I realized it was a turtle sculpted by a member of the Catawba tribe of South Carolina. I spent the next several years immersing myself in the history of the only federally recognized tribe in South Carolina as well as theirs neighbors, the Cherokee.

What made these groups so interesting to me was their adaptability and determination. Both the Catawba and Cherokee refused to leave their ancestral lands in the 1830s. While only a small band of the Cherokee remained in the east, they proved to be resourceful, employing legal tactics such as litigation over the treaties made in the past with the U.S. government. The tribe also purchased from the government 57,000 acres now known as the Qualla Boundary. With the ratification of a tribal constitution, the Cherokee became a sovereign nation within the United States. Similarly, the Catawba people created a treaty with the government of South Carolina during the Removal Period.

Unlike the Cherokee, the Catawba were dwindling in numbers. So much so, that the governor of South Carolina didn’t see the point in removing the remaining tribal members. Instead, the tribe ceded their 144,000 acres in exchange for a designated 700-acre reservation on the banks of the Catawba River. Unfortunately, the names listed on the tribal roles continued to be fewer and fewer. Yet, they endured. An emphasis on preserving traditional Catawba culture became a focal point for tribal members throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A tribal constitution was drafted to ensure the status as a federally recognized tribe. Most notably for the Catawba, their art of pottery continued to be passed down by tribal mothers generation to generation. The location of the clay deposits they use as material for their art is still closely guarded, as is the unique firing methods they use to bake the raw clay. That one little piece of pottery I had found years before became even more important as I worked with tribal elders to document the history of the Catawba tribe in their words. Turtles were sacred animals to the tribe. I was told their hearts are closest to the ground ensuring their connection with the earth.

In our new exhibit, we celebrate these stories of resilience and preservation. The focus is decidedly placed on the Cherokee tribe. The earth that Jonesborough and other eastern Tennessee towns now occupy has long belonged to the people of the Cherokee nation, despite the hardships they have endured.

Homeschool Days at Oak Hill School

ALL OF OUR DATES FOR SPRING 2023 ARE FULL. You are welcome to add your name to the waiting list.


The Heritage Alliance is excited to offer four homeschool days this spring at the historic Oak Hill School. 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.  The dates for this experience are April 17th and 18th and May 1st and 2nd.


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 April 17th, 18th, and May 1st, and 2nd. This program is limited to 26 students, grades 1st – 12th, so sign up now!


Registration information is available at The cost is $5 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.


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, please call our office at 423.753.9580, or contact the organization via email at  Additional information can also be found online at

Now Hiring Research Worker for Black History Tour of Johnson City, TN

New Special Project: Black History Walking Tour of Downtown Johnson City

Now accepting applicants!

The Langston Centre and LEAD are partnering with the Johnson City Convention & Visitors Bureau and The Heritage Alliance to develop a Black History Walking Tour of Downtown Johnson City. We are seeking an independent researcher to help conduct original scholarship on local Black history, as well as contribute to the tour’s development, with a completion date of December 1, 2023. The contract award is $5,000.00.

The successful candidate will:

  • Have experience working independently and meeting deadlines
  • Possess excellent writing, editing, and communication skills
  • Be familiar with conducting original research, including primary and secondary source research on-site at archives, libraries, etc. as well as online
  • Is knowledgeable about community engagement processes, including oral history practices
  • Possesses a B.A., or equivalent combination of education and related experience

RFP & Details

The RFP with detailed information on eligibility requirements, timeline, the application process, and application questions can be accessed HERE.

Application Timeline

Applications are due by 5:00 PM on Monday, April 10, 2023. The selected candidate will be confirmed by Friday, April 28, 2023.

Additional Information

Visit the Heritage Alliance’s website to view the full application package along with additional information and resources.

Questions? Email or