Sycamore Shoals set to serve up History at Home
Published 9:56 am Thursday, May 29, 2014
It isn’t unusual to think of big things when you hear the word “history.”
The Battle of Chickamauga. Independence Hall. The Industrial Revolution.
An 18th century child’s list of chores.
Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area continues to mix the big picture with the realities of everyday frontier life with its History at Home programs, in the hands this year of new seasonal Interpretive Ranger Tanner Wells.
Wells will lead the summer’s History at Home programs with a look at a historic mansion, a historic firearm, historical characters and a bit of the everyday life that made up that history.
History at Home programs are scheduled from June 4 – June 15. Wells, a Tennessee Tech student majoring in history, will bring history home with:
• Carter Mansion Tour, 2 p.m., Wednesday, June 4: A visit to the oldest frame house in Tennessee for a look inside an elegant frontier home, along with the stories of the Carter family who built it. The Historic John and Landon Carter Mansion is on the Broad Street Extension at 1031 Broad St., and is open Wednesday through Sunday for a tour at 2 p.m., June 4 to Aug. 10;
• Tomahawk Throw, 11 a.m., Thursday, June 5: Children and parents are welcome to visit Fort Watauga to explore a favorite pastime of the frontiersmen during the Revolution — discovering the many uses of the versatile tomahawk;
• Carter Mansion Tour, 2 p.m., Thursday, June 5;
• Watauga Wandern, 10 a.m. Friday, June 6: Gather at the Sycamore Shoals Historic Area’s Visitor Center and join Wells for a walk along the Watauga River, with a focus on the life of a long hunter and the significance of their role on local and American history:
• Carter Mansion Tour, 2 p.m., Friday, June 6;
• Evolution of the Firelock, 3:30 p.m., Friday, June 6: The legendary Kentucky long rifle will take center stage in the Gathering Room at the Visitor Center, where Wells tells of the twists and turns through history that brought about the legendary firearm;
• To the Walls! Fort Defense, 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, June 7: Visitors can meet with the new interpretive rangers inside the fort and explore the history of Fort Watauga and how frontiersmen kept their families safe in times of conflict;
• Carter Mansion Tour, 2 p.m., Saturday;
• Musket Demonstration, 3:30 p.m., Saturday, June 7: Meet Wells and a historical figure named “Brown Bess” — the flintlock musket that provided the firepower for the British infantry during the Revolutionary War. Wells will show how a flintlock musket is loaded and fired;
• Carter Mansion Tour, 2 p.m., Sunday, June 8;
• Carter Mansion Tour, 2 p.m., Wednesday, June 11;
• Colonial Kids, Thursday, June 12, 10:30 a.m.: No iPhones. No phones. No electricity for phones. And few people to call if you had a phone. Wells will host visitors at the Talbot house inside Fort Watauga to provide a true look at history at home: frontier life for 18th century kids. Youngsters can try on colonial clothes, learn about their chores and schooling and play the games that made frontier life fun;
• Carter Mansion Tour, 2 p.m., Thursday, June 12;
• Garrison Life, 10 a.m. to noon, Friday, June 13: Wells takes to Fort Watauga’s courtyard for a living history tour and demonstration of 18th century militia life, clothing and equipment.
• Carter Mansion Tour, 2 p.m., Friday, June 13;
• Flint and Steel Fire Starting, 3:30 p.m., Friday, June 13: It will be a hot time in the old town this afternoon, as visitors gather at the oven inside Fort Watauga to learn from Wells how settlers made fire during the 18th century. This one should be fun for the whole family;
• Frontier Life, 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, June 14: A living history tour of the 18th century beginning in the Fort Watauga courtyard, where Wells will take visitors on a journey to life in the 18th century and a look at what it took to survive on a frontier settlement. Learn about how log cabins were built, what crops were grown, what clothing and equipment were worn and carried;
• Carter Mansion Tour, 2 p.m. Saturday, June 14;
• Carter Mansion Tour, 2 p.m. Sunday, June 15;
• Musket Demonstration, 3:30 p.m., Sunday, June 15: At the Visitor Center, Wells will discuss the ‘Brown Bess,’ the might behind the Infantry of the British Empire in the Revolutionary War. Discover how a Flintlock musket is loaded and fired.
The History at Home series isn’t all that’s going on at Sycamore Shoals in June.
Other events include:
• Watauga Valley Fife & Drum Corps, Saturdays 10 a.m. to noon;
• Carter Mansion Summer Tours with interpreter Ramona Invidiato, Tuesdays, noon to 3 p.m.;
• Sycamore Shoals Native American Festival, Saturday, May 31, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, June 1, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission charge;
• National Trails Day Hike with guide Pat Galliher, Saturday, June 7, 9:30 a.m.;
• Old Time Music Jam led by Art Lang, Sunday, June 22, 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.;
• An 18th Century Independence Celebration & Muster, Saturday, June 28, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, June 29, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.;
• Summer Art Show at Sycamore Shoals, Art show and sale, June 29 to July 27; Meet-the-Artist Awards Reception: Sunday, June 2, 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Traditional arts workshops will also be offered during June, including “18th Century Eastern Cherokee Style Trade Necklace;” “Learn to Play the Pennywhistle,” “Introduction to Chair Bottoms,” “Flint Knapping — Making Stone Tools” and “Making a Leather Shooting Bag.”
To join one or more classes, you must register in advance by calling 543-5808 and pre-pay.