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.

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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.

Chester Inn Museum Closed for New Lighting System

The Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum is temporarily closed to install and test a new lighting system.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.  In the meantime, stay tuned for Pop-Up Museums!  We’ll post updates about our Pop-Up Museums and status reports on the Chester Inn.



Now Hiring: Lead Docent for Chester Inn Museum

The Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia is now hiring for the position of Lead Docent at the Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum.  This position offers a wide variety of museum related responsibilities, including visitor services, exhibition planning, installation, maintenance and interpretation.  Museum related experience is required, course work in museum studies and public history is desirable.  For a job description and info on how to apply, please click here.

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.

Historic Town Tours Resume March 4

Historic Tours Return to Weekly Activity Schedule in Jonesborough

Jonesborough’s Historic Walking Tours will resume on Friday, March 4 at 1 p.m., and there are some exciting changes coming this season.

Implemented in the fall of 2014 by the Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia and Main Street Jonesborough, these tours have shared Jonesborough’s rich history and heritage with more than 1,000 people thus far.

This season, guests can purchase their tickets, still only $5 per person, directly at the Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum located on Main Street in downtown Jonesborough.  Tours will depart from the Museum and costumed guides will lead guests on an hour long journey through Jonesborough’s storied past.

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Historic Walking Tours will be available Monday, Friday and Saturday from March through April.  The schedule will change to include Wednesday beginning the first of May and run through the end of October.

All tours start at 1 p.m. and last approximately an hour to accommodate guests partaking in the International Storytelling Center’s Teller in Residence program that begins at 2 p.m.

For more information on Jonesborough’s Historic Walking Tours, please contact the Chester Inn Museum at 423.753.4580. To schedule a tour for a larger group, or another day/time, please contact the Heritage Alliance directly at 423.753.9580.

Not Your Ordinary Dinner Party – Exciting New Event!

What do you get when you mix legendary southern style bar-b-que with a historic cemetery set in Tennessee’s Oldest Town?  “Not Your Ordinary Dinner Party.”

Jonesborough Cemetary Fundraiser exp35 +9crp Shrp+1

The Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia presents an outdoor drama theatre on June 11 at 6:30 p.m. outside the historic Old Jonesborough Cemetery and Carriage House Bed & Breakfast located on East Main Street in Jonesborough.

A fundraiser for the region-wide preservation organization, “Not Your Ordinary Dinner Party” will consist of Washington County Commissioner Joe Grandy’s much talked about bar-b-que as the main course, complimented with southern sides and a savory dessert as guests are treated to a production created specifically for the evening by local playwright Anne Mason.  The production is entitled “With These Hands” and will only be available for public audiences during the Not Your Ordinary Dinner Party fundraiser hosted by the Heritage Alliance.

Mason describes the three act production as a “dramedy” that takes a look into the lives of several Washington County residents that are buried in some of the oldest cemeteries in the area. Stories will be portrayed by local actors in period style clothing.  The stories will include tales of folks buried in Maple Lawn, Rocky Hill and College Hill Cemeteries.

Not Your Ordinary Dinner Party is a fundraising effort to benefit the preservation and heritage education work of the Heritage Alliance, a not-for-profit organization whose region-wide work includes the award winning Oak Hill School Heritage Education program, the Chester Inn State Historic Site and the Jonesborough Washington County History Museum and Archives.

The event will take place on June 11 at 6:30 p.m.  Tickets are offered at a pre-sale discount of $80 through April 16.  Beginning April 17, tickets are $85 per person and will be offered on a first-come-first serve basis.

To purchase tickets, visit or call 423-753-1010.

Chester Inn Museum Open for Chocolate Fest

The Chester Inn Museum will be open for Jonesborough’s first annual Chocolate Fest on Saturday, February 13 from 11:00-6:00.  We’ll have chocolatey goodness for festival ticket holders.  We’ll also have a Town Tour at 1:00.  Tickets for the tour are $5.00 and can be purchased at the Chester Inn Museum.  Tickets for the Chocolate Fest are available online until 5:00 pm on Tuesday, February 9.  After that, they’ll be available at the International Storytelling Center.

Follow this link ( for tickets.


Webinar: Tackling Collections Backlog for Small Museums

The Heritage Alliance is hosting an American Alliance of Museums (AAM) webinar on Wednesday, December 9, 1:30—4:30 p.m. The free webinar, titled “Tackling Collections Backlogs for Small Museums,” is a wonderful professional development and networking opportunity for colleagues at local and regional museums, archives, libraries, and cultural institutions. It is especially geared to staff and volunteers working in collections-related positions in small museums.

The webinar will share ways to approach a collections backlog, prioritize tasks, and implement practical solutions; presenters will also discuss how tackling a collections backlog fits within an overall collections management strategy. Time for pre-webcast networking and post-webcast discussion will also be included. The event will take place at the McKinney Center at Booker T. Washington School (103 Franklin Ave in Jonesborough).

This event is free, but attendees must RSVP through the AAM website to attend (you can reach the relevant page through our website).

Warrior's Canvas Veterans Art Center Exhibit in Jonesborough

The “A Military Life” exhibit in the Jonesborough/Washington County History Museum began in May of 2012 as a way to honor Washington County veterans and share their stories. The rotating exhibit is a collaborative effort between the Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia and the Veterans Affairs Committee chaired by Marion Light. Past exhibits have honored veterans from World War One through Operation Enduring Freedom, and have displayed uniforms, personal equipment and mementoes, medals, and much more. The goal of the exhibit has always been to focus on aspects of military service that people usually don’t think about, such as the food, down time, distance from family and friends, and training information. Aspects of the exhibits have touched on war time, but they’ve also discussed peace time service and what happens after a soldier returns home. The seventh installment of “A Military Life” features work from The Warrior’s Canvas and it is the first veterans’ art exhibit to be on display in the Jonesborough/Washington County History Museum.

Warriors Canvas Logo

We were thrilled when Marion Light approached us earlier this year and proposed a meeting between The Warrior’s Canvas and the Heritage Alliance. That initial meeting led to the exhibit currently on display, and we’re very proud to partner with The Warrior’s Canvas to share the artwork of local veterans and their powerful mission. Established two years ago by veterans David Shields and Jason Sabbides, the Warrior’s Canvas and Veterans Art Center is a 501C3 nonprofit organization whose “purpose is to build an artist community of military veterans, to provide a professional gallery for artist veterans to display and sell their work, and to be a rallying point and gathering place for veterans of all branches of military service.” In addition to providing studio space for veterans and their families, the Warrior’s Canvas also holds art classes in various media, from drawing and painting, to photography, and much more. They are currently organizing the first casino Northeast Tennessee Ruck and Roll on November 14th that will include a series of ruck marches and runs to honor local veterans.


Warriors Canvas 1  warriors canvas 2

The artwork featured in the exhibit includes paintings, ceramics, wood carvings, and more. The pieces display a wide array of color and themes, some depict scenes that deal with military service, and others show expression in the forms of flying fowl and ships at sea. The artists are diverse, and they span different genders, ages, branches of service, wars/conflicts, and artistic mediums. Information on their studio/gallery located at 320 East Main Street in Johnson City, and their upcoming programs and classes is also available in the museum. The “A Military Life” exhibit will be a part of Jonesborough’s 32nd tribute to veterans hosted on November 8th at 2:30 at the Jonesborough Visitor’s Center. If you can’t make it out on November 8th, the exhibit will be on display through the first months of 2016.


New Cooking Exhibit and Recipe Exchange at the Chester Inn Museum

Beef Rump, Gelatin, and Corn Dodgers: Cooking in Eastern Tennessee

Food is a necessity, an art, and has the power of bringing communities together. Our new exhibit at the Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum will transport you to some past cooking experiences from the region through kitchen items and recipes. Do we still use these same items? Is cooking online casino easier today? What was the obsession with gelatin dishes?  Visit the exhibit in the Museum and then check back with our Chester Inn Facebook page ( and Instagram ( to view weekly recipes from multiple eras.  When you visit the exhibit in the Chester, you”ll have the chance to share a recipe and memory of your own!  Come and cook with us in the Chester Inn this holiday season!

Canadian Bacon Wheels Jellie Tomato Soup Jellied Tomato Soup 2