Original portrait of Carter County’s namesake to be unveiled May 20

Published 1:08 pm Tuesday, May 9, 2023

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The staff of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park announces that the original portrait of early settler and Carter County namesake, Landon Carter, will be preserved and on display in the park’s interpretive exhibits and museum area. A special ceremony to dedicate the new exhibit and unveil the portrait will be held at the Sycamore Shoals State Park visitor center on Saturday, May 20, at 10:30 a.m.
At ten years of age Landon Carter came to what was then the frontier of the colony of North Carolina and settled with his father John Carter in the Watauga Settlement. Landon was present during the Siege of Fort Watauga, served in the Revolutionary War, and was involved in both civil and military affairs eventually rising to the rank of Brigadier General in the state militia and serving as a Tennessee State Senator. When Washington County was divided in 1796 the new Carter County was named in his honor. Three years later the county seat of Elizabethton was established and named for Landon’s wife Elizabeth Maclin Carter. Landon Carter died in 1800 at the age of 40 and is buried in the family cemetery on the grounds of their home, the Historic Carter Mansion, which is preserved as a historic house museum operated by Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park.
The original portrait of Landon Carter was completed some time in the late 1700s and was, until recently, in the care of the Seiler family who are Carter descendants. Through funds generated by the Gadsden Flag specialty license plate the Friends of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park was able to purchase the portrait and have it cleaned, repaired, and properly displayed.
The conservation of the portrait was performed by Kim Guinn, owner of the Essyx company of Johnson City which constructed and installed the exhibit case where the portrait will be displayed in the park’s museum.
The portrait unveiling and exhibit dedication will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 20, at the Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park visitor center. The event is free and open to the public. All are welcome to come and celebrate this special homecoming of the original portrait of Landon Carter.
Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park is located at 1651 West Elk Ave., Elizabethton.

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