Interesting events take place at Carter Mansion

Published 10:49 am Friday, April 12, 2024

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In addition to two state parks – Roan Mountain and Sycamore Shoals – in Carter, some interesting events take place off-site such as tours almost monthly of the Historic Carter Mansion and Taylor House and Sabine House, which are operated by Sycamore Shoals State Park as historic house museums

The historic John and Landon Carter Mansion, located on Broad Street Extension, is Tennessee’s oldest frame house, constructed between 1775 and 1780. For almost 200 years the Carter Mansion was a thriving farm and family home. Originally, it was the home of Col. John Carter, an early leader of the Watauga Settlement. Later, it was the home of his son, Landon Carter, who was instrumental in the state of Tennessee. Carter County was named for Landon Carter and Elizabethton for his wife, Elizabeth Maclin Carter.

Each season, a number of events take place at the Carter Mansion, in addition to almost monthly tours. Each Christmas holiday, a Yule celebration is held at the Carter Mansion in addition to activities in the summer and fall. A new event, the 1850 Trade Fair, was held last year at the Mansion, and is planned again April 20. The event focuses on life in the mid-1800s and is the brainchild of Michael Hardy, who with his wife, volunteers as living history interpreters at the park. 

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An accomplished author with over 20 published books and numerous articles to his credit, Hardy in 2010 was honored as North Carolina’s historian of the year.

The 1850s fair highlights the period after the Carter Mansion had passed through four generations of the family to Landon Carter’s grandson, Alfred Taylor.

The weekend will feature skilled heritage interpreters, who showcase some of the common skills, trades, and professions from the mid-19th century and to demonstrate aspects of daily home life of that period.

The 1850s Trade Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 20, at the Carter Mansion. The event is free of charge and visitors are encouraged to take a trip into the past to learn more about the time that is usually not the focus of one of Tennessee’s most historic sites.

Among events scheduled at Sycamore Shoals State Park this month is a plant auction on April 20, which is sponsored by the UT Extension Service and the East Tennessee Nursery Association. It is an excellent opportunity to bid on flowers, plants, and shrubs of all kinds, and is a great opportunity to add to your garden and landscaping.

Sunday, April 21, will feature Fellowship English Country Dancing at the park from 1:30 to 4 p.m. The event sponsored by the Sabine Hill Historical Society will feature 19th Century dances.

And, coming up April 28 is the monthly Old Time Music Jam at the Park.

Our state parks are one of the finest investments made by the Tennessee government and the public. Tennessee’s 56 state parks provide something for outdoor adventurers of all interests and pursuits.

Best of all, Tennessee has one of only seven state park systems in the nation that is free to access and no citizen is more than an hour’s drive from one of these unique parks. Established by the General Assembly in 1937, these places embody what it means to be a Tennessean.  

However, it is sad that so few Carter Countians take advantage of the many sights and wonders of our two state parks, and do not participate or visit any of their activities.

We hope that will change this summer, and local residents will take time out of their busy schedule to visit both Sycamore Shoals State Park and Roan Mountain State Park and  learn about the parks and the opportunities that they provide. They’re not to be taken for granted.