COVID-19 continues to plague our local historic sites, keeping many of them closed and canceling events. Among them is Exchange Place here in Kingsport.
The tours there are still suspended, and it will not be participating in Fun Fest this year. This means that the annual Farm Fest program scheduled for July 18 will not be taking place.
However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Netherland Inn resumed tours the first of May and is now open on Saturdays and Sundays. Tours start at 1, 2 and 3 p.m., and the cost is $6 for adults, $4 for students and free for children under 6.
In addition, there are several June events at Rocky Mount State Historic Site in Piney Flats and Sycamore Shoals Historic Site in Elizabethton.
Rocky Mount had two events big events on the schedule in June, but merged them into one even bigger event.
The first was to have been a Tennessee 225th Birthday Party on June 5, and Rocky Mount is still planning to debut a new video on that day, but the main part of that event will be included with the Timeline and Heritage Festival.
The Timeline and Heritage Festival, along with the Tennessee 225th Birthday celebration, is on June 12-13. This event is the chance to experience all of our history in one day, from the Revolutionary War onward. Plus, you get to sign one massive birthday card for the state of Tennessee.
Join the several groups of historic re-enactors who are gathering for this two-day event. The weekend is expected to have blacksmiths, militiamen, merchants and battle demonstrations from several different eras as well as children’s events. In addition, there will be opportunities to hear types of music ranging back to the 1700s.
Representatives from many of the local historic sites will be on hand, including Tipton-Haynes, Sycamore Shoals and David Crockett Birthplace. There will be lectures from various authors and tours of the Rocky Mount homestead and museum will be conducted.
You will also get the chance to see the processing of their Cotswold sheep wool.
There’s even more going on at Sycamore Shoals in Elizabethton, starting with the return of Tennessee’s official outdoor drama “Liberty: The Saga of Sycamore Shoals” for its 42nd year.
Presented in the Fort Watauga Amphitheater with the fort as a backdrop, “Liberty” gives you the chance to see the Revolutionary War through the eyes of the Overmountain Men, colonists who defied British law and settled west of the blue ridge. Here they formed an independent government, made treaties with the Cherokee and fought the British at the Battle of Kings Mountain.
There are performances on Friday and Saturday, June 4-5 and 11-12 at 7:30 p.m. and Thursday, Friday and Saturday, June 17-19 and 24-26, also at 7:30 p.m. Contact the park about ticket availability and price at (423) 543-5808.
On Monday, June 14, the free-of-charge Flag Day program “Flags in Colonial America” will be presented inside Fort Watauga. Museum curator Chad Bogart will share the history behind our nation’s most recognized symbol. Here is an opportunity to learn how our country’s flag was derived and see examples of other flags used in America during the 18th century and the War for Independence.
I have seen Bogart’s presentations through the years, and they are always entertaining.
The Carter Mansion, a related site to Sycamore Shoals, will be hosting “Death Comes to the Carter Mansion” on Tuesday, June 8, at 7 p.m. In June of 1800, the namesake of Carter County, Brig. Gen. Landon Carter, passed away. Near the anniversary of Carter’s death, you can join Bogart for a special after-hours tour of the Carter Mansion, Tennessee’s oldest frame house, and learn about the strange and sometimes bizarre customs, rituals and superstitions surrounding death and funerals in early America.
The John and Landon Carter Mansion is located at 1031 Broad St. in Elizabethton.
Tickets for this event are $10 for adults and $8 for those 17 and under. However, this event is not recommended for small children and registration is required.
Go to https://tnstateparks.com/parks/event_details/sycamore-shoals to register.