Netherland Inn-Exchange Place hosts annual dinner with food from earlier era

Published 8:07 am Monday, February 17, 2020

The 19th Century gave us the telephone and telegraph, the internal combustion engine, four new Constitutional amendments, and the birth of professional baseball. It also gave us some interesting food, some of which we are still enjoying today, and when the Netherland Inn-Exchange Place Association hosts its annual dinner Sunday, March 1, food from that era will be explored, and sampled in a lively evening guaranteed to whet one’s appetite.

The three sites that make up the Association — the Netherland Inn, Exchange Place, and Hammond House — will provide a guided gastronomic tour of the 19th Century. Janet Gillenwater from the Inn will examine the very early years, when salt was being ferried down the Holston River from Saltville, Virginia. Heather Gilreath (assisted by Emily Myers and Megan Grisenti) from Exchange Place will look at the middle years, when far too many homes had meals cooked and served by slaves. And, Mary Fanslow from Hammond House will close the century with the Victorian era, when a meal could be enjoyed by the light of the new electric light bulb. Each site will pass out yummy, bite-sized samples of treats that were fashionable in its time period, and recipes popular in all three eras will be found as part of the colorful table settings.

There will also be music! The Junior Apprentices Old-Time Band, made up exclusively of members of Exchange Place’s unique students who are learning about history and restoration at Kingsport’s living history farm, will demonstrate their talent by playing “between courses.”

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The dinner will be held at the Press Room on Roller Street in Kingsport, behind Food City on Clinchfield Street, beginning at 5:30 p.m. A 21st Century buffet meal will be provided by Food City.

While a small portion of the meeting will be devoted to association business, including the election of officers for the new year, one does not have to be a member of the Netherland Inn/Exchange Place Association to attend, and so this gathering is quite open to the general public. Please note that reservations are required, and must be received no later than Wednesday, Feb. 26. You may contact either Sara Selby (423-349-8372 or, or Marshall Adesman (423-357-5352 or, or send in a check for $20 per person to: NI/EP Association, P.O. Box 293, Kingsport, TN 37662.