February is crowded month at Sycamore Shoals

John Thompson • Jan 14, 2020 at 9:36 PM

ELIZABETHTON — While February may be too cold for some of the activities that take place at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park during the rest of the year, there are still a lot of activities taking place to make the shortest month of the year a busy time for the park.

Here’s a look at some of the activities that will be coming up in just the first half of the month:

As usual some events continue year around, including the Watauga Valley Fife and Drum Corps, a component of the Washington County Militia. The musical group performs at historical events, dedications, and parades. If you would like to join the corps, musical experience is welcome but not necessary, just come with a willingness to learn how to interpret history through music. Contact the park for further information.

Workshops get started on the first day of the month, with two being offered, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The workshop will focus on quill pens, writing, and letter posting in the early 19th century. The workshop will be hosted by the Sabine Hill Social Society. The instructor will be Chad Bogart. The morning class will be at 10 on Feb. 1 and the afternoon class will be at 1. The cost is $10.

Handwritten letters are almost a thing of the past, but things of the past are the specialty of Bogart, the park’s museum curator. He will demonstrate how to fashion feathers into writing instruments, learn about the different types of ink and paper used in early America and discover how posting a letter in the early 19th century was much different than today.

To register and pre-pay for the workshop, call 543-5808.

Ages 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult because the class will be using sharp tools. The accompanying adult is not required to pay the class fee. Not recommended ford children under the age of 10.

There will be one outdoor event on Feb. 1 to prepare for the coming of spring. “Raised Bed Gardening” with Ben Hunter will be offered from 9 a.m. to noon and is free. Registration is not required.

It’s not too early to be planning and building your spring garden. Hunter will share his experiences and techniques for growing the garden of your dreams. Sponsored by the Northeast Tennessee Master Gardeners.

The next workshop is on Feb. 5 from 12:30-3:30 p.m. It is “Zipper Magic” and will be taught by Donna Horowitz and is limited to students 16 and up. The cost is $25.

Take the fear out of sewing zippers. Students will learn to sew three types of zipper applications: centered, lapped and invisible in this hands-on workshop.

Students need to bring a sewing machine with power cord, pedal, regular and zipper foot, scissors and pins. Instructor will provide the needed supplies and handouts.

Register and prepay by calling 543-5808

Also on Feb. 5 at 1 p.m.will be a guided tour of The Sabine Hill House. Admission is $8 for adults, Students ages 7 to 17 is $4 and children 6 and under are admitted free. Registration is required. To register, visit www.tnstateparks.com/parks/events/sycamore-shoals. Choose “Upcoming Events” in the left=hand menu.

Join Bogart for a guided tour of this stately home built by Mary Patton Taylor, widow of Brig. Gen. Nathaniel Taylor. The site has been described as one of the finest examples of Federal architecture in Tennessee. During your tour you will have the opportunity to take in the colorful and architecturally detailed interior while learning about the influential Taylor family who called Sabine Hill home in the early 19th century. Sabine Hill is located at 2328 W. G St. Only portable toilet facilities are available at this time. Accessibility to the home includes steps and an interior staircase. Tour may be cancelled in the event of bad weather.

The Watauga Valley Art League’s monthly meeting will be held Feb 9 at 1:30 p.m. This monthly meeting is open to all. A unique program is planned that ranges from talks, to demos, to hands-on projects. The meeting will include each of the board members of the league highlighting their art.

The Carter Mansion Tour will be on Feb. 12 at 1 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $4 for students ages 7 to 17. Children 6 and under are admitted free. Registration is required. To register, go to: www.tnstateparks.com/parks/events/sycamore-shoals. Join Ranger Davis for a tour of Tennessee’s oldest frame house. Discover the secrets of this elegant frontier home and learn the history of the family who built it between 1775 and 1780.

The John and Landon Carter Mansion is located at 1031 Broad St..

Accessibility to the home includes steps and an interior staircase. Tour may be subject to cancelation by severe weather.