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HARDTACK and HARD TIMES: 1780's Carter Mansion Celebration this Weekend.

April 9th, 2014 11:37 pm by Ned Jilton

HARDTACK and HARD TIMES: 1780's Carter Mansion Celebration this Weekend.

Saturday, 10:00 am - Salute to the Carter Family - Posting the Colors followed by a grave decoration and mourning of arms to honor the Carter Family. Photo Courtesy of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area

Travel back to the 1780's this weekend, April 12-13 at the historic Carter Mansion Celebration at 1031 Broad Street in Elizabethton, a part of the Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area.

In the 1780's hardy frontiersmen have crossed the mountains in defiance of British law and have carved out homes in the wilderness. Conflict is rising between American Patriots, Loyalists who support the Crown, and native Indians who struggle to retain their way of life. But the people of this time still find cause for celebration, merriment, music, and the arts; so come out and see it all come together at the oldest frame house in Tennessee.

The Historic John and Landon Carter Mansion, built ca. 1775-1780, boasts beautiful over mantle murals, hand carved moldings and raised panels making it one of the most treasured sites in Tennessee history. The house is the only surviving link to the famed Watauga Association, the democratic government set up by the early settlers in the Watauga Valley. The home's builder, John Carter, served as a chairman of the Association.

The Washington County Regiment of North Carolina Militia, Sycamore Shoals' host living history organization, will be celebrating its five-year anniversary during this exciting celebration! The Militia will be encamped on the grounds of the Carter Mansion and will present demonstrations of the daily lives of 18th century backwoods settlers. As part of the activities a re-enactment of a small battle between Patriots and Tories will be presented each day.

Local craftsmen and artisans will be on hand throughout the weekend showcasing and demonstration traditional arts and crafts. Other activities throughout the weekend will include Tours of the Carter Mansion: Tennessee's oldest frame house, Militia Drill, Musket and Rifle demonstrations, Traditional and Old Time Music, Storytelling, Colonial Military Music by the Watauga Valley Fifes and Drums, and much more.

S A T U R D A Y, A P R I L 1 2 th
10:00 -- Militia Inspection & Salute to the Carter Family - Posting the Colors followed by a grave decoration and mourning of arms to honor the Carter Family.
11:00 -- Carter Mansion Tour - Take advantage of this guided tour of Tennessee's oldest frame house and witness frontier elegance first hand. Hear about the Carter family and their many contributions to the history of our community, state, and nation.
12:00 -- Militia Drill -- The Washington County NC Militia will demonstrate the tactics and firearms of an 18th century militia!
12:30 - "Echoes of Independence" - The Watauga Valley Fifes & Drums perform tunes from the American Revolution!
1:00 -- "Skirmish at the Mansion" -- It was the summer of 1781, John Carter and John Sevier, who had access to the settlement's deed books, confiscated the lands of all Loyalists living nearby. When these Tories learned of this, they plotted to kill Carter and Sevier; take the deed books; and restore their lands. The wife of one of the conspirators, however, was friendly with John Sevier and warned him of his danger. John Carter fled and took the true books with him, leaving fake copies in his office. He died of smallpox soon afterward; taking the location of this treasure to his grave...We will interpret this sequence of events as a skirmish at the home of John Carter
1:30 -- "Ladies' Liberty Tea" - Join the ladies of the settlement for some light refreshments. Who knows, they might even let the gentlemen join in as well!
2:00 -- Carter Mansion Tour
3:00 -- Traditional & Old Time Music -- Join James H. Garland and Chad Bogart for a delightful set of old time tunes played on old time instruments with a bit of wisdom and humor thrown in for good measure!
3:30 -- Carter Mansion Tour
4:00 -- Retiring the Colors -- The militia closes the day's activities by retiring the flag. Camps close to the public

S U N D A Y, A P R I L 1 3 th
10:00 -- Militia Inspection - The Militia kicks of the day's activities by Posting the Colours.
11:00 -- Worship Service - All are welcome to join us for Sunday Service on the grounds of the Beautiful Carter Mansion.
12:00 -- Carter Mansion Tour - Take advantage of this guided tour of Tennessee's oldest frame house and witness frontier elegance first hand. Hear about the Carter family and their many contributions to the history of our community, state, and nation.
1:00 -- "Skirmish at the Mansion" - It was the summer of 1781, John Carter and John Sevier, who had access to the settlement's deed books, confiscated the lands of all Loyalists living nearby. When these Tories learned of this, they plotted to kill Carter and Sevier; take the deed books; and restore their lands. The wife of one of the conspirators, however, was friendly with John Sevier and warned him of his danger. John Carter fled and took the true books with him, leaving fake copies in his office. He died of smallpox soon afterward; taking the location of this treasure to his grave... We will interpret this sequence of events as a skirmish at the home of John Carter.
1:30 -- Militia Drill -- The Washington County NC Militia will demonstrate the tactics and firearms of an 18th century militia!
2:00 -- Carter Mansion Tour - Take advantage of this guided tour of Tennessee's oldest frame house and witness frontier elegance first hand. Hear about the Carter family and their many contributions to the history of our community, state, and nation.
3:00 -- Retiring the Colors -- The militia closes the event by retiring the flag.


This event is sponsored by the Washington County Regiment of North Carolina Militia. The Carter Mansion is located at 1031 Broad Street Elizabethton, For more information about other exciting living history events call Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area at 423-543-5808 or visit us on the web www.sycamoreshoalstn.org

Additional Photos

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