Chester Inn Museum Seeking Volunteers

The Heritage Alliance is in need of volunteers to help out at the Chester Inn Museum this coming summer. We’ve added a new day to the 2015 season, and the museum is now open on Mondays. We’re looking for volunteers to help out with two-three hour shifts on Sundays and/or Mondays starting in May.   Volunteers would serve as docents and would help welcome guests, work at the front desk, answer questions, online casino and lead visitors upstairs on tours of the Inn’s original parlor and dining room. Anyone interested in volunteering will take part in a docent training session at the museum. If you’d like to be a part of local history in Jonesborough’s oldest commercial building, please contact the Heritage Alliance at 423.753.9580, or email us at

Chester Inn 7  banner-museumChester

The Chester Inn Museum is a State Owned Historic Site Operated by the Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. The operation of the Chester Inn is partially funded under an agreement with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation – Tennessee Historical Commission. For more information on the Heritage Alliance and the Chester Inn Museum, please visit our website at


Winter 2015 Newsletter

The Winter 2015 edition of The Link is now available for viewing.  Check it out to learn more about the latest A Military Life display, the historic trench mortar in the Jonesborough/Washington County History Museum, preservation progress in the College Hill casino online African-American cemetery, and a new photo project for the old Jackson Theatre.  All this and more in the Winter 2015 edition!  Click here to view it now.


New Veterans Display and Upcoming Programming

The latest edition of “A Military Life”, a rotating exhibit honoring Washington County Veterans, is now on display in the Jonesborough/Washington County History Museum. The newest installment features radio equipment used by First Sergeant (Retired) Douglas Bonnot during his time with the 265th Radio Research Company (RRC) in Vietnam. Mr. Bonnot will be demonstrating the equipment and talking about the history and role of the 265th RRC on Sunday, March 1 from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. in the Jonesborough/Washington County History Museum located inside the Jonesborough Visitor’s Center.

The 265th RRC was stationed in Vietnam from 1967-1972, but very few people know they best online casino even existed. Their wartime designation, meant to keep their mission disguised, lasted long after the Vietnam War was over and kept most information about them out of the history books. Over the past decade, Mr. Bonnot has worked to correct this, gathering the stories and memories of his fellow soldiers and publishing them in a book, The Sentinel and the Shooter. Learn more about the 265th RRC and their role in Vietnam during Mr. Bonnot’s presentation. The program is free of charge and suitable for a wide range of ages.

Chester Inn Museum Hours Change

The Chester Inn Museum will open for the 2015 season on Friday, February 27th.  This year will bring new exhibits, a new lodging room on the third floor, and first and foremost, new hours!

Feb 27 – April 30 – Open Monday, Friday, and Saturday from 11:00-6:00 and Sunday from 1:00-5:00

May 1 – Oct 31 – Open Monday, Wednesday-Saturday from 11:00-6:00 and Sunday from 1:00-5:00

Nov 1 – Dec 28 – Open Monday, Friday, and Saturday from 11:00-6:00 and Sunday from 1:00-5:00

The Chester Inn Museum is closed for all major holidays.  For more information, please contact the Heritage Alliance at 423-753-9580.

Town Tours Return March 2nd!

Historic Jonesborough, Main Street walking tours are back this Spring!  Tours will depart every Monday and Saturday at 1:00 from the International Storytelling Center beginning Monday, March 2nd.  Guides will talk about the history of Jonesborough and the people who lived and worked in the buildings that continue to line Main Street.  Tours are $5.00 per person and last from 45 minutes to an hour.

Starting May 1, tours will be held every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at 1:00.

To schedule a separate tour, please contact the Heritage Alliance directly at 423-753-9580.

Holiday Office Hours

The offices of the Heritage Alliance will be closed starting Monday, December 22nd.  We will reopen on Monday, January 5th at 9:00 a.m.  Town Tours will casino still take place on 12/22, 12/26, 12/27, and 12/29 at 11:00 p.m., depart from the International Storytelling Center.  The Chester Inn museum will also be open the next two weekends from 11:00-6:00 on Friday and Saturday and on Sunday from 1:00-5:00.  We hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!

Jonesborough Town Tour Schedule through Dec 31st

Town Tour schedule for the rest of 2014, all tours depart from the International Storytelling Center. After December 29th, Town Tours will be available by request. We’ll start back up with a regular schedule in Spring 2015. All dates below are subject to change in cases of inclement weather.

12/13 – 11:00
12/15 – 11:00
12/17 – 11:00
12/19 – 11:00
12/20 – 11:00
12/22 – 11:00
12/24 – No Tour
12/26 – 11:00
12/27 – 11:00
12/29 – 11:00
12/31 – No Tour

Chester Inn Museum Open Dec 26-28

By popular demand, the Chester Inn Museum will be open after Christmas on Friday, December 26th and Saturday, December 27th from 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., and on Sunday, December 28th from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.  The museum will close for the season on the 28th.  Bring your friends and family to visit.  Learn about the oldest commercial building in Tennessee’s oldest town, and view a Victorian Christmas in the upstairs parlor and dining room.

Chester In Xmas 2013 #2 +1 prs Shrp small file

Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee project in Hawkins and Carter Counties

Folks from TSLA will be in Rogersville and Elizabethton next week for the Looking Back: The Civil War in Tennessee project ( This may be their last trip to the northeastern corner of Tennessee, other than the final “signature event” in Knoxville April 30-May 1, 2015.  Items will be digitized and not taken from the owners.  TSLA will protect identities of the owners, and will send them copies of the digital images they use.

Dec. 3, 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (eastern) – Hawkins County Archives, Rogersville.  Press release:

Dec. 4, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (eastern) – Elizabethton-Carter County Public Library. Press release:

Attached are the registration forms for each event, found online here: You can also access the online casino Carter County form by clicking here and the Hawkins County form by clicking here.  Generally, it’s best if people call or email their reservations, and do it by Tuesday, Dec. 2, since the team will be on the road on Wednesday and Thursday. Walk-ins are welcome, but they”ll see folks with appointments first.

Just a note about what’s eligible for the project . . . TSLA asks that people bring in original items. Photocopies of their research, including Civil War Service Records, cannot be scanned for the project.  They can make photocopies for vertical files. Items do not have to be Tennessee-related, though we do focus on Tennessee. They’ve had a lot of interesting items from other states, brought in by people whose descendants now live in Tennessee.

Share your history today!

Progressive Dinner: Focus on the Volunteers

Plans Underway for Sold Out Jonesborough Progressive Dinner

All  seating times are now sold out including 3 p.m., 4:10 p.m., 5:20 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:40 p.m.

The magic of Tennessee’s oldest town comes alive during the annual Progressive Dinner hosted by the Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. This year’s dinner takes place on the evening of Sat., Dec. 6 with a variety of seating times including 3 p.m., 4:10 p.m., 5:20 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:40 p.m.  However, all seating times are now sold out due to an overwhelming response from folks across the region.

Now in its 37th year, the Progressive Dinner provides an enchanting evening of great food, good friends, holiday music and an insider’s look at some of Jonesborough’s spectacular historic structures. Begun as a way to celebrate Tennessee’s Oldest Town’s historic preservation efforts, the event is still the main fundraiser for the Heritage Alliance, this region’s local partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Jonesborough’s preservation specialists.

_DSC3620RC  DSC_0402

Guests will be escorted to five historic structures during the evening as each location features a different course, live holiday music and the signature warmth and hospitality of Jonesborough. Structures are chosen to highlight the diverse architectural styles and periods represented by Jonesborough’s beautifully preserved Historic District. Three of the structures include private homes. By combining public and private buildings with various styles and periods, the Progressive Dinner takes you back to holidays past and offers a calming atmosphere from the hustle and bustle of today’s holiday season.

The main event begins at the state owned Chester Inn Museum and ends at a private home located in Jonesborough.  The meal is provided by locally owned Main Street Café & Catering with the dessert by Embree House Wedding Cakes, Patricia nbso online casino reviews Stern and Ginine Argueta.

The Progressive dinner has become a traditional start to the holidays for many people throughout East Tennessee and surrounding states. Seasonal music by several of our area’s finest musicians, including the ever popular Jonesborough Novelty Band, gourmet food, memorable camaraderie and great fun are the hallmarks of this popular event.

_DSC3569 _DSC3665

Another aspect that makes Jonesborough’s Progressive Dinner a memorable tradition is the volunteers.  Executive Director of the Heritage Alliance Deborah Montanti estimates that in order for the event to run smoothly, nearly 80 volunteers are needed in a variety of forms.

“We are so grateful for the support that comes from the community as they step forward to assist in numerous roles,” Montanti said. “Volunteers are what really make the Progressive Dinner personal and fun for the guests.  They assist in decorations, food preparation and presentation, serving and in many other ways.”

“I’ve been involved with the Progressive Dinner since 1988,” Marcy Hawley said.  “It’s just wonderful, and I look forward to assisting with the event each year.”

Hawley has been involved with the Progressive Dinner in a variety of capacities, including hosting the dinner in her home, washing dishes, serving food and cooking several of the courses.

DSC_7549  _DSC3504

“I love sharing Jonesborough with people, it is so special and many folks from the area are not familiar with the Progressive Dinner and what Jonesborough has to offer,” Hawley said. “The Christmas season showcases Jonesborough at its best; there have been some of the same groups attending the Progressive Dinner for nearly 25 years.”

Volunteers are still needed for the 37th Annual Progressive Dinner on Dec. 6.  Anyone interested in supporting the event may contact the Heritage Alliance at 423-753-9580.  2015 Progressive Dinner tickets will become available to the public in late August 2015. To be added to a contact list for Progressive Dinner ticket sales, contact the Heritage Alliance at 423-753-9580 or email