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.

Country Music Topic for Virtual History Happy Hour August 20th

Join us online on August 20th at 6:30 pm as we welcome back Dr. Rene Rodgers from the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. The presentation will be free and can be accessed either through Zoom or on the Chester Inn Museum’s Facebook page. The Zoom login information is also available on Facebook in the description for the event.

Dr. Rodgers will be speaking about different guitar styles that were used during the Bristol Sessions, a series of influential recordings that were integral to the early development of country music. Recorded in Bristol, the sessions featured local artists and prominent figures such as the Stoneman Group and the Carter family. The program will begin online at 6:30 pm and participants can join the Zoom meeting or stream live on Facebook at that time. Participants who use Zoom are encouraged to keep their microphones muted, and viewers can relay questions on Zoom or Facebook to the chat during and after the presentation. 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.

Topic: History Happy Hour: 1927 Bristol Session Guitar Styles
Time: Aug 20, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 825 0910 2750
Passcode: history

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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

Washington County Mask Mandate and the Heritage Alliance

In observance of Washington County Executive Order No.2, a Face Covering is REQUIRED inside the Chester Inn Museum and our office at the Duncan House for all visitors who can safely wear one and are 12 years of age and older.

The Chester Inn Museum and Duncan House are enclosed spaces where six feet of distance cannot be guaranteed. If you do not have a Face Covering, we have Masks available inside the Museum and our office for a $1.00 donation to the Museum and our educational programs. If you do not have a Face Covering and want to purchase Town/Cemetery Tour Tickets, call the Museum at 423-753-4580, and we can meet you outside to complete the transaction.

Since the tours take place outside where adequate distancing can be achieved, a face covering is recommended  but optional. At this time, all tours are limited to ten people. You can contact us in advance to reserve your spot for a tour.

This mandate is in effect from July 14 – August 3, 2020.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to keep our staff, volunteers, and visitors safe.

CANCELLED Online History Happy Hour: Women’s Roles in Post-WWII Food Production

Due to technological difficulties, this event has been cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

The July History Happy Hour, originally scheduled to be held at the museum on July 16th, has been rescheduled as an online presentation for July 23rd at 6:30 pm.

Join speaker Dr. Angela Keaton for her presentation “Women’s Roles in Post-WWII Food Production.” Dr. Keaton is a history professor from Tusculum University and longtime friend of the History Happy Hour program. She will be discussing how World War II changed food production and how those changes intersected with the postwar emphasis on gender roles. Which processed foods emerged, which ones did not succeed, and what role did women play in the process? Join us online on Thursday July 23rd at 6:30 pm and find out!

The program will be offered through the Zoom platform and will also be streamed live on the Chester Inn Museum’s Facebook page. Go to the Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum’s Facebook page for the link to the meeting room and for the password to login. You can also find this info at under events. The program will begin online at 6:30 pm and participants can join the Zoom meeting or stream live on Facebook at that time. Participants who use Zoom are encouraged to keep their microphones muted and relay any questions during the presentation to the chat. The program is free and open to the public!

Topic: History Happy Hour
Time: July 23, 2020 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting…

Meeting ID: 874 1056 0423
Password: History

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

Historic Jonesborough Main Street Strolling Tours Resume on July 4th

The Heritage Alliance’s Main Street Strolling Tours will resume on Saturday, July 4th. The Tours were stopped in March while the Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum was closed. During this time, the Heritage Alliance hosted virtual tours online. Now the in person tours of Tennessee’s Oldest Town are back.

Guests can enjoy a Town Tour with a costumed guide on Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. The Mythbusting Tour, which puts guests’ history detective skills to the test, will be available the second Saturday of the month at 1:00 p.m. The Old Jonesborough Cemetery Tour will also return on July 4th. The Cemetery Tour will be available the first and third Saturdays of the month at 2:30 p.m. Tickets for the Town Tour and Mythbusting Tour are $5 per person. Tickets for the Cemetery Tour are $3 per person. Combo tickets for both tours are available for $7 per person. During the month of July, tours will be limited to groups of ten. All tour tickets are available at the Chester Inn Museum. Guests can call ahead of time to reserve their space for a tour.

Jonesborough TN Town Tour – photo by Whitney S Williams

The Chester Inn Museum is open on the following schedule: Friday, Saturday, and Monday 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, Sunday 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm, and Tuesday-Thursday closed. If you or a small group would like to visit the Museum during an off day contact the Heritage Alliance directly and we will try to schedule a time that works. Here are some tips for visitors to the Museum. Currently, 25 people are allowed in the Chester Inn Museum at one time. Anyone entering the museum is suggested to wear a mask. Visitors are asked to follow social distancing guidelines. This plan is subject to changes. If you have any questions please call us at (423) 753-4580 or (423) 753-9580. You can also email us at or message us here on Facebook.