New Season Kick Off for Town Tours & Chester Inn Museum

The Historic Jonesborough Town Tours and the Chester Inn Museum both kick off their 2017 on Friday, March 3.  The Chester Inn Museum will feature three new exhibits and will also be launching a program called History Happy Hour that will start later in the month.  Stay tuned for more details!  The new exhibits showcase artifacts from World War I (2017 marks the centennial of America’s entrance into the war), history on the First National Bank and its transformation into the Washington County Archives, and a special sneak peek into the new archives with some of the most interesting documents the archivists have come across!  Make sure you check out these exhibits before they’re gone!  Exhibits in the museum will rotate quarterly.

The Historic Jonesborough Town Tours will depart from the Chester Inn at 1:00 on Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays during the months of March and April.  A full, extended schedule for the year, including summer evening tours, is pictured below.  Join our costumed guides as they tell the story of Tennessee’s Oldest Town and the people who built their lives here.  Tours are $5 per person, children under the age of 8 are free.

The Heritage Alliance will also be adding new tours this year, including a Railroad Tour and a Jonesborough Mythbusting Tour.  Stay tuned for more details on those exciting options!

Town Tour Poster 2017

Chocolate Fest Returns to Jonesborough and the Chester Inn Museum

Chocolate Fest is back this year in Jonesborough!  The festival will take place on Saturday, February 11 from 11-4.  The Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum will be one of the stops you can get chocolate from that day.  The Museum will be open from 11-4 with a Historic Jonesborough Town Tour at 1:00.  Tickets for the Town Tour are $5.00 per person and are available at the Chester Inn.  Tickets for Chocolate Fest are available by calling (423) 753-3819 or (423) 913-2663.  Learn some history while enjoying some delicious chocolate!

Annual Meeting Set for February 16

Our Annual Membership Meeting will be held on Thursday, February 16, at 6:30 at the Jonesborough Visitor’s Center.  Join us for the best potluck meal of the year. Bring a side dish or dessert to share and spend the evening with us as we celebrate the year that was and look ahead to 2017.  Heritage Alliance Members and Volunteers will receive a postcard invite in the mail.  The program for the evening will include a brief business meeting, success stories from 2016, and a special scene from With These Hands.  Please RSVP no later than Thursday, February 2 by calling 423-753-9580, or emailing

annual-meeting-invite-2017 befunky-collage

Fall/Winter Town Tour Schedule

As the seasons change, so to do the Town Tour days and hours.  Starting November 1st, Town Tours will be available on Mon, Fri, & Sat at 1:00 and on Sundays at 2:00!  We’re adding a Sunday afternoon tour.  Tickets are still $5 and are available at the Chester Inn Museum on Main Street.

The Old Jonesborough Cemetery tours are done for the season, but they will return in 2017.

The Chester Inn Museum will also be switching to winter hours and will be open from 11-6 on Mon, Fri, & Sat and from 1-5 on Sun.

Thanks for visiting with us in Jonesborough!

A Spot On the Hill Returns with ALL NEW Characters

A Spot on the Hill, the original, research-based play returns this October to the Old Jonesborough Cemetery.  This is the third season for the show, and this edition features all new characters.  If you’ve seen A Spot On the Hill before, you haven’t seen it like this.  New faces include Fanny Rhea Fain, who kept a very detailed diary during the Civil War, Amanda Bayless, who had personal ties to the Warner Institute, and Dr. Samuel Cunningham, who helped bring the railroad to Jonesborough.  You’ll meet them and many more!  Guests are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs to sit on.  Come and listen to real stories of real lives among real tombstones.

Spot on the Hill Publicity Shot

Performances for A Spot on the Hill will take place at 7:00 p.m. on October 14th, 15th, and 29th.  There will be a 2:00 matinee performance on October 29th.  Tickets are limited, and sell out fast, so make sure you buy yours today!  Tickets are $8.00 and proceeds benefit the Heritage Alliance’s cemetery preservation and tombstone restoration fund.  Audience members should arrive 15 minutes prior to show time.  Parking is available at the First Baptist Church on the corner of Main Street and Boone Street, or downtown.  It is a short walk up East Main Street to the cemetery.  A golf cart courtesy shuttle will be available for guests who park downtown.   This program is not suggested for children under 10 years of age.  In case of inclement weather, performances will be moved inside to the Jonesborough/Washington County History Museum.

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Tickets must be purchased ahead of time.  To purchase tickets, please call the Heritage Alliance at 423.753.9580, or the Jonesborough Visitor’s Center at 423.753.1010.  Tickets can also be purchased online at  On the day of the event, tickets should be purchased at the Jonesborough Visitor’s Center.

Third Annual Constitution Week Bell Ringing

This Sunday, September 18th, at 2:00 in the afternoon, the State of Franklin Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR), are hosting their Third Annual Bell Ringing in honor of Constitution Week.  The event will take place at Oak Hill School, located at 214 East Sabin Drive in Jonesborough across from the Washington County/Jonesborough Public Library.  Since the event is taking place at an historic schoolhouse, there will be plenty of history.  The program includes theatrical presentations on the fight for the 19th amendment in Tennessee, the David Crockett High School chorus, and the Over Mountain Men.  Bring your bells on Sunday and “make a joyful noise” as America celebrates the Constitution.

fullsizerender          constitution-week-2016

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.

Old Jonesborough Cemetery Tours Return on Sept 10

Old Jonesborough Cemetery tours will resume on Saturday, September 10 and run through the end of October.  Every Saturday at 2:30, take a tour of Jonesborough’s historic cemeteries.  Learn about the history of the burial grounds, their evolution, and the lives of some of the people buried there.  Tickets are $3.00 at the Chester Inn Museum.  Purchase a combo ticket for the 1:00 Town Tour and 2:30 Cemetery Tour for only $7.00.

2000.002.0009 Cadet Wm. H. Cox tombstone OJC

Jonesborough Days 2016

Jonesborough Days is here again!  The Festival will be Thursday, June 30 – Saturday, July 2.  For an entire weekend schedule, click here.  The Chester Inn State Historic Site & Museum will be open extended hours from 11-7 on Thursday, and 10-7 on Friday and Saturday.  We’ll have Historic Walking Tours with our costumed guides on Friday at 11:00 and 1:00 and Saturday at 1:00.  Tours are $5.00.  Tickets are available in the Museum.

In addition to all that, we’ll have activities for kids in the #OnlyInJonesborough Discovery Park behind the International Storytelling Center.  Oak Hill School will move outside, complete with desks and quill pens.  Join our Schoolmarm on Friday and Saturday at 12:00, 12:30, 1:00, and 1:30 for quill pen lessons.  We’ll also have Heritage Games from 12:00-8:00 in the park.  Learn to play a game of Graces, skip a rope, engage in a round of Nine Pins, and so much more!


Summer Events at Oak Hill School

Come back to school this summer at Oak Hill School!  Built in 1886 by the Knob Creek Community, Oak Hill School housed first through eighth grade students until 1952.  It was relocated to Jonesborough and preserved, and today it continues to welcome students. Guests will step back in time, hear the stories, write with a quill pen and experience history this summer with Oak Hill School’s summer programs for children and adults.

OHS int

The Heritage Alliance is hosting two special events in the historic schoolhouse this July.  On Saturday, July 16, from 1 to 3 p.m., kids of all ages are welcome to come hear stories from the Jonesborough Storytellers Guild.  These stories are perfect for families and the event will be led by Mother Goose herself.  The concert is free, and any donations will go to the continued care and maintenance of Oak Hill School.

Why should kids have all the fun, though?  On Friday, July 22, the schoolhouse will be open for a Big Kid Day, where students 18 and older are welcome to come and experience a school day in 1893.  The day will start at 9 a.m. and end at 1 p.m. and will include lessons in arithmetic, reading, penmanship using quill pens, history, geography and much more.  There will be recess, of course.  The cost for the day is $5 per student and reservations are required as space is limited.  The money will assist with the continued maintenance of the building and help support the Oak Hill School Heritage Education Program.  Through this program, students from across the region visit Oak Hill School for an experiential, hands-on learning experience.

Registration is required for both events by contacting the Heritage Alliance at or calling 423-753-9580.

Chester Inn Museum Reopens May 18

The Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum will reopen to the public on Wednesday, May 18.  The Museum will be on its summer hours.

Mon, Wed-Sat 11:00-6:00

Sun 1:00-5:00

If you have any questions about the Museum, please call 423-753-4580, or 423-753-9580.