Chester Inn Museum Opens for 2022 Season with New Exhibit

The Chester Inn State Historic Site & Museum kicked off its 2022 season on March 4th. The museum is currently on its spring hours and is open Monday and Friday-Saturday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm and on Sunday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Hours will expand for the summer on Wednesday, May 4th.

 

The Chester Inn is excited to partner with the Cedar Grove Foundation again in 2022. Our newest exhibit shares more stories from the Cedar Grove Community, which was founded by formerly enslaved and free African Americans in Elizabethton, Tennessee. The stories in this exhibit focus on three churches in Elizabethton that are important to the Black community, members of the community who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, and the Douglas School. Did you know one of the Tuskegee Airmen lived in Elizabethton for a time? Come and see the exhibit and learn more about Lt. Dempsey Morgan, Brown’s Chapel AME Zion Church, and so much more.

 

 

“We always enjoy providing museum space for the Cedar Grove Foundation,” says Heritage Alliance Executive Director Anne Mason. “They have so many wonderful artifacts to share and so many wonderful stories to tell. Their Director Jacey Augustus is always bringing us something new. The exhibit keeps growing because we keep learning as we go.” The current exhibit will be on display through the first of July, so make sure you stop by and check it out. There is no admission price for the Chester Inn Museum, but there is a suggested $2 donation per visitor. Keep up to date with the museum by following the Chester Inn on Facebook and YouTube!

 

Town tours are also back in full swing. Jonesborough’s Historic Strolling Tour is available every Saturday at 1:00 pm. Tickets are only $5.00. 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.

History Happy Hour Sixth Season Announcement

History Happy Hour is back for its sixth season. Programs will take place the third Thursday of every month at 6:30 pm. This program is free and open to the public. What will we learn this year? Specific topics will be announced for some programs as we get closer to the date. Check back here for more information as it becomes available.

April 21st – Ashley Ratner, Tusculum University – “Shaker Dance at P.T. Barnum’s American Museum” at Chester Inn Museum

 

May 19th – William Isom, Black in Appalachia at Chester Inn Museum

June 16th – Curtis Buchanan – Traditional, Wooden Spoon Making at International Storytelling Center Plaza

 

July 21st -Dr. William Kennedy – Historic Bricks at the Chester Inn Museum and Eureka Inn courtyard

August 18th – Rene Rogers, Birthplace of Country Music Museum at International Storytelling Center

 

September 15th – Leonard Pipitone – “Edison and the Origins of Recorded Sound” at International Storytelling Center

October 20th – Roberta Pipitone -Victorian Mourning Customs at International Storytelling Center

November 17th – Spenser Brenner & Mara Reynolds, The Reece Museum – Exhibits and Digitization at International Storytelling Center

History Happy Hour Returns for 6th Season on March 10th

The sixth season of History Happy Hour kicks off on Thursday, March 10th at 6:30 pm.

 

Join us as we welcome Mr. Charles D. Crowe, a student from Langston High School and a graduate of Science Hill High School. Mr. Crowe will speak about his time at Langston and his perspective on being the “Lost Class of 1965” – a name given to those students who were high school juniors when school integration occurred. Mr. Crowe served as Director of Procurements and Contracts for the Department of Energy. This program will take place online via the Zoom platform. It will also be livestreamed to the Chester Inn Museum’s Facebook page. The Zoom link is available on the Heritage Alliance’s website and on the Chester Inn Facebook page.

 

Mr. Charles Crowe

 

The Langston Centre was built in 1893 as the Langston Normal School. A 1925 renovation, made possible by Rosenwald funding, added a gymnasium to the school.  Named after Virginia congressional representative John Mercer Langston, it served as a school for African American students from 1893 to 1965. The Langston Education and Arts Development organization worked with the community and other groups to help restore Langston as a functioning community center for arts and education. Today, the Langston Centre offers a variety of classes and programs. They most recently launched the Langston Experience in February.

 

“We’re excited to welcome Mr. Crowe and share more stories from Langston,” says Heritage Alliance Executive Director Anne Mason. “They are such an important part of the community, and their students have so many stories to share.” The program will start at 6:30 pm on March 10th. It is free to the public.

 

Starting in April, History Happy Hour will be the third Thursday of every month at 6:30 pm. Topics for this season include Shaker Dance, “Edison and the Origins of Recorded Sound,” traditional, wooden spoon making, historic bricks in architecture, and much more. A full line up for the season will soon be available at the Heritage Alliance’s website, heritageall.org, and on the Chester Inn Museum’s Facebook page. History Happy Hour provides a space for the community to gather and engage with a variety of topics. Over its six seasons, the program has established a platform to showcase the many regional organizations that are engaged in historical work and research.

 

This project is funded under an agreement with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Tennessee Historical Commission.

Heritage Alliance Awarded SHARP Grant from Humanities Tennessee

The Heritage Alliance is honored to be selected as a recent recipient of a Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan (SHARP) grant, made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities. SHARP grants are part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, and the stipends support and uplift humanities organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to this program, Humanities Tennessee, located in Nashville, was able to provide almost $950,000 to over 90 entities across the state. The Heritage Alliance is one of forty entities to receive a SHARP grant in the East Tennessee division.

 

     

 

The Heritage Alliance qualified for the grant as a nonprofit organization with a primary mission of public humanities education. Opened in 2001, the Heritage Alliance manages several historic sites and museums throughout Jonesborough, as well as offers historical and educational programs, exhibits, town and cemetery tours, and school group experiences. “We are grateful that Humanities Tennessee acknowledges the relevance and merit of our work, and we are eager to use these grant funds to continue our mission of historical education and preservation in our region,” says Anne G’Fellers-Mason, Executive Director of the Heritage Alliance. Grant funds will be used to develop future organizational plans and respond to some of the challenges created by the pandemic.

 

Learn more about the SHARP grant, as well as the Heritage Alliance’s programs and historic sites/museums, at Heritageall.org and like the organization on Facebook or Instagram for more information.

 

Exhibit Opening Celebration for Railroad Pop Culture Exhibit at the Chuckey Depot Museum

All aboard! Next stop, the railroad in pop culture! The Chuckey Depot Museum in Jonesborough will host a reception for its newest exhibit “Good Morning, America, How Are Ya?: Railroad Americana, A Pop Culture Phenomenon” on Saturday, March 5th from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm. The railroad has been a part of American history, culture, and society since the mid-1800s. It has worked its way into books, music, toys, clothes, movies, art, and much more.

 

The exhibit includes pop culture artifacts from multiple decades. How have toy trains changed through the years? How many movie plots are focused on trains? What does a train lover take their lunch to school in? A train themed lunch box, of course, complete with matching spoon and fork. See all these items and much more on display in the museum. Come out between 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm on March 5th to view the new exhibit, enjoy railroad songs performed by local musician Scott Wild, and listen to a story from railroad historian Gary Price. The Chuckey Depot Museum is free of charge, but donations are greatly appreciated.

 

You can visit the museum in person on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm and Saturday from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. The Railroad Americana exhibit will be on display at the museum through August of 2022. For more information on the exhibit or the Chuckey Depot Museum, visit Jonesborough.com, follow the Chuckey Depot on Facebook, or call the Visitor’s Center at 423-753-1010.

Useable Past Series of Workshops Returns on Feb 16th

Over 100 million visitors come to Tennessee each year, and the State typically earns over 20 billion dollars in revenue from tourists. The Usable Past Series returns in 2022 to explore the opportunities that exist in our own communities to meet the needs of our tourists, achieve the revenue and interpretive goals at our historic and cultural institutions, and create an environment where visitors feel safe and represented.

In historic Northeast Tennessee, heritage tourism is a large part of why people travel: they want to know their history. However, this is a field that has struggled to be inclusive and welcoming to visitors of all backgrounds. The Usable Past Series has engaged tourism industry leaders at all levels and from a variety of venues to discuss their best practices, their own challenges, and their successes in meeting their missions.

Speakers for the first session of the year include Beth Kelly, Vice President for Education, Research and Historical Interpretation at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; Kim Floyd, Site Manager at the Vance Birthplace Historic Site; and Gary Sandling, Vice President of Strategy & Chief Content Officer at Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello. The panelists will also participate in a question-and-answer session after their presentations.

Presenters for this first session, Useable Past: Sites of Reconciliation: Empowerment Through Challenging Histories, will specifically focus on showcasing efforts and examples in Northeast Tennessee and the surrounding region pertaining to inclusive tourism, difficulties faced, as well as action steps all organizations can take to continue to move forward as a region in providing more inclusive interpretations.

This free workshop will take place online from 10:00 am to 11:30 am on Wednesday, February 16, 2022. Dr. Daryl Carter, Director of the Black American Studies program at East Tennessee University and Jules Corriere at the McKinney Center will moderate the Q&A session following the presentations. Participants can register for the event through the McKinney Center’s website at McKinneyCenter.com Participants must register in advance to receive the Zoom link. More information can be found at the Useable Past Facebook page, or by contacting info@heritageall.org.

This workshop series is a collaboration between several organizations, including the McKinney Center, the Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, the Langston Centre, and the Black American Studies program at ETSU. The McKinney Center at Booker T. Washington School provides a comprehensive program through Jonesborough’s Mary B. Martin Program for the Arts which teaches various art skills to all participants through a quality program of instruction open to all segments of Jonesborough’s population. The Heritage Alliance is a non-profit 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. The Langston Centre is a cultural facility that promotes multicultural awareness and workforce development through arts, education and leadership activities. The Black American Studies program serves a critical role for the College of Arts & Sciences and ETSU by offering high quality academic course offerings, superb programming, and opportunities for personal growth through service.

You can find out more on our Facebook Event page  https://www.facebook.com/events/321714049811101

You can register here: https://bit.ly/3K4PPWk

Heritage Alliance Board of Trustees 2022

We are proud to announce our 2022 Board of Trustees.

 

Fred Counts, President

Terry Countermine, Vice President

Pat Wolfe, Treasurer

Hal Hunter, Secretary

Mike Floyd

Jack Van Zandt

Mark Edmonds

Cari Jarman

Kati Jenkins

Walter Buford

Charlene Cleveland

Meghan Kieta

 

We thank our outgoing Board Members Tom Krieger and Dan Eldridge for their leadership. We also want to say a big thank you to our former Board President Gordon Edwards for all his work these past six years. Thank you for keeping the ship on course while also expanding the organization’s horizons.

Job Posting: Site Manager Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum

This position has been filled. We are no longer accepting applications.

 

POSITION DESCRIPTION

 

SITE MANAGER/ CHESTER INN MUSEUM

SCOPE

Under the supervision of the Executive Director, the Site Manager is responsible for all aspects of visitor relations and for the inventory of the Chester Inn State Historic Site & Museum collections, including the update in PastPerfect of items relocated from museum storage or the JWC History Museum to the Chester Inn. Additionally the Site Manager is the point person for Chester Inn collections, management and care of the collections, establishment and maintenance of proper collections record keeping, and the accessing/cataloging/inventorying/monitoring of any and all additions to those collections. Additionally, the Site Manager is responsible for collection research, exhibit planning, and coordinates with the Executive Director and museum personnel with subject expertise on the development and initiation of educational and outreach programs for the museum, including traveling exhibits that may be exhibited in the Chester Inn Museum. The Site Manager shall advise the Executive Director on the current state of the collection and shall inform and advise the Board of Trustees regarding conservation needs including 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 coordinate scheduling the volunteers for museum shifts. The Site Manager will be responsible for cleaning the museum and for preparing the space to take part in Town of Jonesborough events. The Site Manager will create educational programs and materials based around the artifacts in the museum. These programs and materials will be appropriate for various grade levels. Programs should be designed for school groups and general visitors alike.

 

The Site Manager shall possess an understanding of the use of material culture to interpret history.

 

The Site Manager shall have good working relations with the general public. The Site Manager is the first face that many people interact with when visiting Jonesborough, TN.

 

This job involves weekend working hours and working hours that extend after 5:00 pm.

 

Work is seasonal with 20 hours a week in January-February, 25 hours a week in March-April and November-December, and 28 hours a week in May-October.

 

Compensation – $11.50 per hour

 

HEAD DOCENT RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. Responsible for collection security.
  2. Responsible for security of historic site.
  3. Responsible for registration and cataloguing of Chester Inn Museum collections.
  4. Monitors collection conservation needs and keeps Executive Director informed on exhibit and collection condition.
  5. Responsible for training volunteer docents
  6. Responsible for coordinating with volunteer docents to create a monthly calendar/schedule for the Chester Inn Museum
  7. Responsible for appropriately cleaning the artifacts on display
  8. Responsible for cleaning the public spaces of the museum
INTERPRETATION
  1. Plans and implements all permanent and temporary exhibits, and interpretation programs in conformance with the Chester Inn Museum mission.
  2. Responsible for collection research activities.
  3. Maintains a verifiable collection data base source.
  4. Provides tours of Chester Inn Museum and, if available the town of Jonesborough.
  5. Write articles pertaining to Chester Inn Museum exhibits and activities for the Heritage Alliance’s quarterly newsletter The Link
  6. Write press releases for new exhibits and programs
  7. Create appropriate posts for the Chester Inn Museum’s Facebook page
  8. Create appropriate videos for the Chester Inn Museum’s YouTube channel

QUALIFICATIONS

An advanced degree or course work in museum studies, history, and /or Public History is desirable. Work experience should include museum employment and familiarity with standard museum operation procedures, collection care. Desirable skills: word processing, data base entry, writing, public speaking, grant writing, and teaching skills. Candidate should be self-motivated and creative, able to maintain existing programs as well as conceive, develop, and execute new ones too.

 

HOW TO APPLY

Send your resume, cover letter, and two letters of reference to Executive Director Anne Mason at amason@heritageall.org. Application materials are due by 5:00 pm EST on Thursday, February 17th. For more information, you may email Anne Mason or call the office of the Heritage Alliance at 423-753-9580.

2022 Historical Photos Calendar Available Now!

The Heritage Alliance has partnered with the Herald & Tribune for their 2022 calendar. We now have copies of the calendar for sale in our office at the Duncan House (212 E Sabin Drive Jonesborough, TN 37659). They are only $1.00 and all proceeds go to our educational programs. Stop on by and say hi and get a copy or two. We’re usually in the office in January, but we do recommend you call first at 423-753-9580, just to be sure we’re not off in a museum or archive somewhere.

 

Head Docent Joe Spiker Says Farewell to the Chester Inn Museum

From Joe Spiker, Head Docent Chester Inn Museum:

Anne and I always joke that I am like Jack Torrance at the end of the Shining: that I have always been the caretaker at the Chester Inn. If history teaches us anything, however, it teaches us this: nothing is permanent.

I began at the Chester Inn in the summer of 2016. I had an awkward video call phone interview (before they were commonplace) and by the time I drove home from my second interview former director Deb Montanti somehow called to offer me a position. I am stepping away to accept a full time teaching position with Walters State Community College, a place I have been teaching part time since 2014.

To say that this job has been endlessly rewarding would be an understatement. I have had the chance to do what I love while being unashamedly myself. I have found levels of creativity I wasn’t sure that I still had while being equal parts ridiculous and serious. I am proudest of my work on the two digital series “Exhibit Extras” and “With the Victorians,” helping the Inn grow a more public profile, the History Happy Hour program, and perhaps my favorite thing: co-hosting trivia night with Megan!

Beyond the joys of professional accomplishments, the biggest thing I am taking from the museum is this: advice for what to look for in a job. Work with an institution that you are proud to be affiliated with. Find a staff that welcomes you for who you are and challenges you to become better. Work for leaders that are open to suggestions and that balance high expectations and encouragement. Work with colleagues that support each other and help pull towards common goals.

I have been blessed to be part of a small but amazingly talented staff that has basically become family. We get each other, and genuinely enjoy each other’s company. Deb was the executive director who took a chance on me, and I cannot repay that enough. Megan Tewell is like the other pea in my quirky history nerd pod. Jacob was someone who shared my love of crazy plans including the idea that no plan is too crazy, or unattainable. And I have been with Anne the whole time. She is a fantastic sounding board, strong leader, and above all an amazingly kind human. And all of our volunteers are exceptional, especially Charlene, Janice, Joe, Gordon, and Bob, who have also been here for my whole tenure.

Goodbyes are sad But, I am grateful for my time with the museum, and am excited to see what is next for both the museum and myself.