History Happy Hour

History Happy Hour is back with a summer season for 2024. A full lineup will be posted in the near future.

Help us kick off this year’s program on Thursday, May 23, at 6:30 pm with guest speaker Dr. Robert Turpin. He’ll be talking about famous Black cyclists and their race for inclusion.

History Trivia Night is Back!

The Heritage Alliance’s riotously fun trivia night returns this summer with two in-person dates!

Join us at the Jonesborough Visitors Center on Friday, May 31st and Friday, June 28th at 7:00 pm for general history-based trivia questions, friendly competition, and a ton of fun!

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 start at 7:00 PM and last until around 9:00 pm. We request that teams check in with the hosts prior to the event. Joe Spiker of 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 $7 per person, although additional donations are appreciated.

You can purchase your tickets online through the town of Jonesborough’s website: https://townofjonesborough.thundertix.com/events/229857  or through the Heritage Alliance Facebook page.


Heritage Alliance Celebrates Preservation of Duncan House

The Heritage Alliance is excited to announce the completion of work on its offices, located in Jonesborough’s historic Duncan House. A generous grant from the Tennessee Historical Commission allowed the Heritage Alliance to install a new, standing seam metal roof on the left side of the building.

The original portion of the house still has a Victorian tin-punched roof from the late 19th century. However, these grant funds replaced a metal roof dating from the 1970s. This project was supported in part by the Historic Preservation Fund, administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, and the Tennessee Historical Commission.

“We’re grateful for the continued opportunity to take care of this town’s historic treasures,” says Board President Mr. Gordon Edwards. “It’s a privilege to get to care for the buildings that came before us and represent so much important local history.”

The Duncan House represents a Jonesborough landmark, built in the 1840s by John Naff, a tailor who also kept a workshop onsite. Two additions expanded the home, and ownership transferred to the Duncan Family in the early 20th century, who named the surrounding land “Duncan’s Meadow.” The Town of Jonesborough acquired the land in the 1970s. Today, the Heritage Alliance, based in the Duncan House, engages in historic education and preservation work throughout the region.


Change in Leadership at the Heritage Alliance

Regrettably, the Board of Trustees announces that Dr. Megan Cullen Tewell will be leaving her role as Executive Director of the Heritage Alliance effective March 29, 2024. Dr. Tewell has received an exciting new opportunity at another institution, allowing her to spend more time with her family. Although we are saddened by this loss, we wish her the best with this new chapter, and part on good terms.

Dr. Tewell previously worked as Programming Coordinator at the Heritage Alliance from October 2019 to March 2023, and has served as Executive Director since January 2024, following Mrs. Anne G’Fellers-Mason. She will continue with the Heritage Alliance in a limited capacity through April 2024, as the organization searches for a new Executive Director. That search will begin in April 2024; we are confident that we will recruit the right candidate to lead our organization into the future.

The Heritage Alliance would also like to announce that Mr. Gordon Edwards has been appointed President of the Board of Trustees, effective March 2024, replacing Mr. Fred Counts, who remains a board member in good standing. Mr. Edwards has served on the Board, and as President, prior. He has been recognized for his continued commitment to the organization since 2011, and the Heritage Alliance welcomes his experience and leadership. Mr. Edwards will serveas the new point of contact for Heritage Alliance partners and stakeholders, as well as the public, until a new Executive Director has been selected.

Although this is a time of change, the Heritage Alliance remains strong and viable, offering important services and resources to the community. Our organization will continue operations as usual; as ever, we are committed to our mission and to our partnerships. We welcome questions and are glad to provide additional information upon request. Exciting things are truly ahead!

Gordon M. Edwards, President
The Heritage Alliance Board of Trustee

Now Hiring: Three Positions Available at the Heritage Alliance

We are now hiring for the full-time positions of Executive Director, Museum Manager, and the part time position of Museum Specialist. Job descriptions and application information available at the links below.

Executive Director

Museum Manager

Museum Specialist

Chester Inn Museum opens for 2024 Season

Chester Inn Museum opens for 2024 Season with new exhibit and town tour times

The Chester Inn State Historic Site & Museum is now open for its 2024 season. The museum is currently on its spring hours and is open Monday and Friday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Hours will increase for the summer in May.

The museum offers permanent and rotating exhibits about the history of Jonesborough and the surrounding area. Visitors can participate in a site tour, which includes two restored floors depicting what the inn might have looked like as a functioning hotel in the late 19th century.

“The Chester Inn is truly one of Jonesborough’s historic gems,” says Dr. Megan Cullen Tewell, executive director at the Heritage Alliance. “The site is a favorite for all kinds of visitors, including local residents, K-12 school groups and out-of-town guests. We love that the museum enables a wide range of people to connect with and learn more about the town’s past.”

There is no admission price for the Chester Inn Museum, but there is a suggested $2 donation per visitor. The museum is also seeking new volunteers to serve as hosts, docents, and tour guides. 

Historic Jonesborough Town Tours returns on Saturdays starting on Saturday, March 16. Town Tours are available every Saturday at 1 p.m. Tickets are $6. The tour leaves from the Chester Inn and costumed guides share the history of Tennessee’s Oldest Town and the people who called it home.

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, call the office at 423.753.9580 or the Chester Inn Museum at 423.753.4580. Follow the Chester Inn and Heritage Alliance Facebook pages for updates about events at the Chester Inn and other Heritage Alliance programs.

Chester Inn Museum Open for Chocolate Fest

The Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum will be open from 11:00-5:00 on Friday, February 9th and Saturday, February 10th as a part of Chocolate Fest in Jonesborough. We will have a Town Tour at 1:00 pm on Saturday. The museum is free of charge, but the tickets for the Town Tour are $5.00 and can be purchased at the museum. Come and tour the museum, see vintage Valentine’s, and check out the restored rooms.

Now Hiring: Chester Inn Site Manager


Under the supervision of the Executive Director, the Site Manager is responsible for all aspects of running the Chester Inn State Historic Site & Museum (CISHSM). Such responsibilities include visitor relations, volunteer training, collections management, exhibit development, and program administration. The Site Manager is responsible for managing the collections, maintaining proper collections record keeping, and accessing, cataloging, inventorying, and monitoring additions to those collections. Additionally, the Site Manager is responsible for researching, planning, and developing regular, rotating exhibits on pertinent historical topics. Coordinating with the Executive Director and relevant museum personnel, the Site Manager will participate in concepting, developing, and initiating educational and outreach programs for the museum, including traveling exhibits. The Site Manager shall inform and advise the Executive Director and the Board of Trustees on the current state of the collection and historical site, including conservation needs, 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 manage scheduling. The Site Manager will also be responsible for regularly cleaning the museum and for preparing the space to participate in Town of Jonesborough events. Furthermore, the Site Manager will create educational programs and materials based around the artifacts in the museum, for school groups and general visitors. K-12 programs and materials will be appropriate for various grade levels and align with state and local history education standards, as well as museum best practices.

Please note, this job involves weekend working hours and working hours that extend after 5:00 pm. Regarding physical demands, this position requires regular standing, walking, sitting, talking, and hearing while performing the duties of this job. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.

Work is seasonal with 20 hours a week from January to February, 25 hours a week from March to April and from November to December, and 28 hours a week from May to October. Compensation begins at $11.50 per hour, with the possibility of additional future compensation based on performance and the organization’s budget.



  1. Responsible for collections management and care;
  2. Responsible for security and maintenance of the historic site;
  3. Responsible for training volunteer docents;
  4. Responsible for coordinating with volunteer docents to create a monthly; calendar/schedule for the Chester Inn State Historic Site & Museum;
  5. Responsible for appropriately cleaning artifacts on display, as well as the museum’s public spaces;
  6. Responsible for working with school groups, visitors, and the general public;
  7. Responsible for collaborating with other organizations and institutions.
  1. Plan and implement all permanent and temporary exhibits, as well as interpretative programs, in alignment with the Chester Inn State Historic Site & Museum’s mission;
  2. Responsible for research activities;
  3. Provide tours of Chester Inn Museum and, when possible, the town of Jonesborough;
  4. Write articles pertaining to exhibits and events at the Chester Inn State Historic Site & Museum for the Heritage Alliance’s quarterly newsletter, The Link, and website;
  5. Write press releases and other materials for new exhibits and programs;
  6. Create and share appropriate written content for the museum’s Facebook page;
  7. Create and promote appropriate videos for the museum’s YouTube channel.


An advanced degree or course work in museum studies, history, heritage tourism, and /or Public History is desirable. Work experience should include museum employment and familiarity with standard museum operation procedures, as well as exhibit development, interpretive principles, material culture principles, and collections care. The ideal candidate will be self-motivated and creative, able to maintain existing programs as well as conceive, develop, and execute new ones.  We seek a creative, outgoing candidate who possesses strong writing and people skills. It is essential that the Site Manager have experience and skill interacting with the general public, as they are often the first face that many people interact with when visiting Jonesborough, TN.



Send your resume, cover letter, and two letters of reference to Mr. Fred Counts, Board President, at info@heritageall.org. Application materials are due by 5:00 pm EST on Thursday, February 17, 2024. For more information, you may call the office of the Heritage Alliance at 423-753-9580 or visit our website at www.heritageall.org.

Link to PDF application here.


The Heritage Alliance is an equal opportunity employer. We will not discriminate and will take affirmative action measures to ensure against discrimination in employment, recruitment, advertisements for employment, compensation, termination, upgrading, promotions, and other conditions of employment against any employee or job applicant on the bases of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

Annual Meeting Postponed to February 1st

Due to another impending winter storm system, we’ve decided to postpone the Annual Meeting until Thursday, February 1st at 6:00 pm at the Visitors Center. It will NOT be tomorrow evening, January 18th.

Stay in, stay safe, and stay warm. If you’ve already cooked a dish or picked up a dish, consider it a trial run. Also, the date change ensures that our new Executive Director will be in attendance.

Annual Meeting on January 18th


Thank you for supporting the Heritage Alliance in 2023. We look forward to more history and preservation adventures in 2024. Our Annual Meeting will take place on Thursday, January 18th at 6:00 pm at the Visitors Center. Details are below.