Celebrate an old-time Christmas at Carter Mansion

Published 11:15 am Thursday, December 4, 2014

Photo by Brandon Hicks For more photos visit www.elizabethton.com

It’s time for an old-fashioned Christmas celebration at the Carter Mansion.
Visitors are invited to the Carter Mansion Friday and Saturday to take part in the annual Christmas at the Carter Mansion tours.
During the tours, visitors will be treated to holiday customs of the 1780s.
Activities will be set up in each room of the Carter Mansion to give visitors a variety of options, historic interpreter Chad Bogart said.
“When visitors step into the Carter Mansion, they will be transported back to the 1780s,” Bogart said. “They will get an idea of what Christmas was like in Colonial times.”
A re-enactor portraying Col. John Carter will greet visitors in the front room. Greenery, candles and fresh fruit will adorn the home, but there will be no Christmas tree because those did not become popular in America until the 1800s.
In the parlor, women will gather to make Christmas ornaments and share the stories of the day, Bogart said. In Carter’s office, a re-enactor playing Col. John Sevier will discuss the recent victory at King’s Mountain.
“The Battle at King’s Mountain occurred in October 1780, so it still would have been fresh on their minds at Christmas 1780,” Bogart said.
Upstairs in the home will be examples of children’s games, storytelling and possibly some musical performances.
“There will be a few surprises along the way,” Bogart said.
Tours will start every 20 minutes for groups of 15 people from 6 p.m. until the last tour starts at 8:40 p.m. Tour reservations are required this year.
“In the past, there were times when there were just too many people in the Carter Mansion,” Bogart said. “For their safety, and for the home’s safety, we started the reservations. When there are too many people in a group, not everyone can hear and have a pleasant experience. We hope this helps personalize their experience a little.”
To make a reservation, call Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park at 543-5808.

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