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East Tennessee baskets to be documented

staff report • Feb 11, 2013 at 8:16 AM

If you have a basket made in East Tennessee in the 1940s or earlier — either a family heirloom or one purchased at a yard sale or auction — the East Tennessee Historical Society would like to know about it.

During the coming months, the East Tennessee Historical Society (ETHS) will document basketmakers who made their wares in the region’s 35 counties in the 1940s and earlier.

To aid in this project, ETHS will hold a Basket Documentation Day on Saturday, March 2, from 10 a.m. to noon.

Those who believe their basket was made in East Tennessee are encouraged to bring it to be recorded. East Tennessee baskets whose makers are known are the ideal.

However, all baskets that can reasonably be attributed to East Tennessee are welcome, even non-traditional ones — those of wire, Popsicle sticks, corn cobs, strips of tin — or ones having make-do repairs, are painted, or are not particularly noteworthy but have great stores connected to them.

From those inventoried, project staff will choose examples for inclusion in a feature exhibition at a later date. The society also is interested in related photos of old baskets and people with old baskets.

The Museum of East Tennessee History is operated by the East Tennessee Historical Society and is located in the East Tennessee History Center at 601 S. Gay St., downtown Knoxville, across from the Tennessee Theatre. For more information, call (865) 215-8829.

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