An opening of historic sites and two more with events earlier in the month highlight the May history happenings in our region.
The Netherland Inn will open for its 2022 season on Saturday 7th May from 11am to 3pm. Tours of the inn and Pioneer Transportation Museum are at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Tours are half-priced at this time, with adult admission $3 and $3 for children aged 7 to 17 is $2. Live music performances by the Hillbilly Hippies (formerly known as the Poplar Hill Reunion Band) take place from 1pm to 3pm. Discounts can be purchased. For more information, call (423) 483-0932 or (423) 677-1640.
The Exchange Place Living History Farm is once again celebrating spring and the planting season with their Spring Garden Fair. The event will take place on Saturday, April 30th from 10:00am to 5:00pm and Sunday, May 1st from 12:00pm to 5:00pm for its 36th season. The 1850s homestead is located at 4812 Orebank Road, Kingsport.
Thousands of plants will be on sale at the fair, from old favorites to rare and hard-to-find varieties. Growers will offer perennials, annuals, trees and shrubs, with an emphasis on herbs, native and ancient plants. Gardening experts will be available throughout the weekend to share their knowledge of plant selection and care. There is also music, children’s activities and the annual sheep shearing event. Admission is $5 for those 12 and older, free for those under 12.
Springtime in Haynesville, a Civil War re-enactment, will be held April 30 and May 1 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Tipton-Haynes State Historic Site in Johnson City
What many people in this area don’t know is that Johnson City was once called Haynesville in honor of Landon Carter Haynes, the Confederate Senator who lived in the historic house on the site. Haynes represented this region with tenacity during the war and even sided with his homeland after the region fell to Union forces. Come see the Department of East Tennessee Reenacting reenactors who represent the tenacity shown by both sides during the war.
Walk through the camps of Confederate and Union troops as they prepare for battle. Camps open at 9am with a battle re-enactment at 2pm. Admission is $5 for adults and $2.50 for children under 12.
swarms of plane trees
The 28th Annual Siege of Fort Watauga takes place on May 21-22 from 10am to 4pm. This event takes you back to the summer of 1776 when there was war in the settlement of Watauga. Join 200 colonial and native reenactors as they present this dramatic retelling of the Cherokee attack on the settlers of the Watauga Valley. Visit the living history camps, shop at historical vendors and witness battle re-enactments both days. Hear the crackle of muskets, smell the campfire smoke, and see history come to life at the Siege of Fort Watauga. Contact the park for a detailed schedule.
If you are interested in historic homes, take the Carter Mansion tour on May 17th and the Sabine Hill tour on May 18th. Both sites are affiliated with the Sycamore Shoals State Historic Site.
Join park ranger Jason Davis on May 17 from 1:00-2:00 p.m. for a tour of Tennessee’s oldest frame home, the Carter Mansion. Enjoy the intricately detailed 18th-century interiors, hand-carved moldings, and canopy paintings as you visit this elegant frontier home, built by Col. John Carter between 1775 and 1780.
The John and Landon Carter Mansion is located at 1031 Broad St. in Elizabethton and access to the house includes steps and an internal staircase. Admission is $9 for adults, $5 for children 7-17, and free for children under 6.
Then take a guided tour of Sabine Hill with Park Ranger Cory Franklin on May 18 between 1pm and 2pm. This stately home was built by Mary Patton Taylor, widow of Brigadier General Nathaniel Taylor. The site has been described as one of Tennessee’s finest examples of federal architecture. During your tour, you’ll have the opportunity to admire the colorful and architecturally detailed interior while learning about the influential Taylor family who called Sabine Hill their home in the early 19th century.
Sabine Hill is located at 2328 West G St., Elizabethton. Please note that only portable toilets are currently available. Access to the house includes steps and an internal staircase. Admission is $9 for adults, $5 for children 7-17, and free for children under 6.
Registration is required for both tours. Go to https://tnstateparks.com/parks/events/sycamore– shoals/#/?park=sycamore-shoals and click on the event to see where to register. Both tours can be canceled in case of very bad weather.
If you enjoy bird watching then the folks at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Site have you covered. The park is offering a bird walk with Lee and Lois Herndon of the Tennessee Ornithological Society on Saturday, May 7 at 8:00 am.