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Experience the traditions of Christmas past

Staff • Dec 3, 2018 at 12:17 PM

KINGSPORT — Two historic sites in the Model City offer visitors an opportunity to experience a bit of Christmas past with special celebrations featuring traditions that date back to the 1800s, when Richard and Margaret Netherland treated family and friends to a lavish party complete with beautiful decorations, good food and lively music.

This year’s 1818 Christmas at the Inn will take place from 6 to 8 p.m., Dec. 7-8, and from 2 to 4 p.m., Dec. 9. The event is the culmination of the year-long 200th anniversary celebration of Richard Netherland’s purchase of the inn in 1818.

Dick and Jill Burdette and Bill and Charlotte Pettis of Rogersville will arrive in character as Richard and Margaret Netherland and friends. On Friday and Saturday evenings, Civil War re-enactors from the John S. Mosby Camp Sons of Confederate Veterans will portray living history characters from the area and will interact with guests as they tell about the area’s part in the war.

There will be live music each day with performances by Paul Brummitt and Alexander Creek on Friday night; Poplar Hill Reunion Band on Saturday night; and harpist Christa Wenger on Sunday afternoon. Local artist Sherry Drumwright will display her handmade wooden quilt squares for sale in the schoolhouse cabin, and Susan Adesman will have her hand-painted greeting cards for sale in the reproduction Bank Barn.

Admission is $10 per person with children 6 and under admitted free with a paying adult. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in the visitors’ center cabin at the parking lot during the event.

On Sunday, Dec. 9, as an added bonus, guests can take a short journey to nearby Hammond House from 2 to 4 p.m. to enjoy a Christmas celebration with Victorian era decorations and refreshments. John and Joy Mullen will provide the music and lead Christmas carols around the organ. Bill Dunn will provide the history of Hammond House, and costumed carolers from LampLight Theater will also entertain guests. There is no charge for admission to Hammond House. However, donations will be gratefully accepted.

Each of the site’s celebrations will feature natural period decorations designed and provided by Kingsport garden clubs and volunteers, food, seasonal music and an opportunity to visit with living history characters from Kingsport’s past.

All proceeds from the events go toward maintenance and restoration of the Netherland Inn and Boatyard Complex and the Hammond House, as well as any additions to the historic campuses. Netherland Inn, the only site on the National Register of Historic Places to have been both a boatyard and a stagecoach stop, is located at 2144 Netherland Inn Road. Hammond House is located at 121 Shirley St. To learn more, call (423) 677-3263 (Netherland Inn), (423) 245-5523 (Hammond House), or visit www.thenetherlandinn.com or www.hammondhouse.org.

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