When it comes to historical events, September promises to be a very busy month with plenty to do and see at the historic sites in our region.
The Battle of Blountville takes place September 24-26 at Old Hawley Farm, 1173 Hawley Road, near the Tri-Cities Airport.
This event has attracted over 7,000 visitors in recent years. Last year’s event was a reenactors only event due to COVID-19, but now the public can experience the cannon boom again. The main reenactments of the Civil War battles will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. But there is so much more to see.
Union and Confederate Reenactments will perform ongoing demonstrations of living history, including infantry, mounted cavalry and artillery exercises. Also be sure to browse the camps to get a feel for the life of the soldiers, and ask questions of the reenactors. Then head to the Surgeon’s Tent and check out the equipment used by medics during the war.
Is the surgeon’s tent too bloody for you? There will be a vintage ladies tea this Saturday at 11:00 am. It is open to visiting ladies as well as pageant ladies. If you have a cup of tea, please bring it. Food will be provided by the UDC sections. Vonda Dixon will present a program on “Famous Horses of Confederation”. Chairs will NOT be provided, so be sure to bring your own. Sunday morning there will be an outdoor worship service at 9:00 a.m.
Admission on Saturday and Sunday is $ 3 for adults with children under 6 admitted free. For more information, contact the Sullivan County Archives and Tourism Department at (423) 323-4660.
Exchange Place Fall Folk Arts Festival is scheduled for September 25-26. The festival focuses on harvesting activities on an 1850s farm, emphasizing traditional arts and crafts as well as demonstrations of fall activities that might have been found in a northeastern part of the mid-19th century. Tennessee farm, such as sorghum and apple butter making, spinning and weaving, blacksmithing and cooking in the traditional kitchen. Regional musicians will play throughout the weekend.
The Tri-City Civil War Roundtable is hosting a conference titled “Citizen General: Jacob Dolson Cox and the Age of Civil War”. Presented by Gene Schmiel, the event will take place on Monday, September 13 at 7 p.m. at the Renaissance Center Theater, 1200 E. Center St., Kingsport.
General Cox was one of the Union’s defenders at the Battle of Franklin and found himself embroiled in a long-standing dispute with General Emerson Opdycke over the main merit of repelling the bloody Confederate attack.
Schmiel is a retired United States Department of State Foreign Service officer who was an Assistant Professor of History at St. Francis University in Pennsylvania and holds a doctorate. from Ohio State University.
This event is free and open to the public.
The folks at the Tipton Haynes Historic Site in Johnson City are having two big events in the first half of the month.
On September 4 and 5, the East Tennessee Celtic Festival & Highland Games will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily. The annual festival will feature a Highland game competition, vendors, clan performance, music and more. Admission is $ 10 per person per day with a weekend pass available for a reduced rate of $ 15. Children 12 and under will be admitted free.
This will be followed by the Sorghum Festival on September 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Join the folks at Tipton Haynes as the Sorghum Team teaches how sorghum is made and watch them cook the juices into sweet sorghum. The team will show the process step by step. Admission is $ 5 for adults and $ 2.50 for children 12 and under. Children 3 and under are admitted free.
Sycamore Shoals State Historic Site
There’s always a lot going on in Fort Watauga at Sycamore Shoals in Elizabethton, and September shouldn’t disappoint.
Join the Tennessee Society of Sons of the American Revolution on September 11 for the “Gathering at Sycamore Shoals”. It is in honor of the men of Overmountain and their victory over Loyalist forces at the Battle of Kings Mountain. This year will be the 241st anniversary of this “gathering”.
On Saturday, September 25, around 2 p.m., the Overmountain Victory Trail Association will recreate the historic walk to King’s Mountain with a river crossing at Sycamore Shoals. Also throughout the day of September 25-26, the Overmountain Gathering will be held in Fort Watauga. Join the historical reenactments for a weekend of living history demonstrations at the Overmountain Militia Encampment before the Battle of King’s Mountain in 1780.