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HERITAGE DAYS RETURNS: Town-wide event kicks off Friday


Staff Writer

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The heritage that runs through the roots of Jonesborough is deep, buried within the land and minds of the community.

To showcase that history, the Jonesborough Genealogical Society’s Heritage Days will fill the streets of Tennessee’s Oldest Town this weekend with everything from crafts to historic costumes. The event will be held on both Friday and Saturday, Sept. 3-4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There will also be demonstrations at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center, including an old-fashioned quilting bee by the Boones Creek Christian Church Quilters, East Tennessee Historical Society and Kings Mountain Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution.

“Will Vogt be doing an 18th Century forge in blacksmithing; Scott Thompson will be there doing woodworking and spoon crafting and Cathy Broyles from Broyles’ Oak Rockers will demonstrate basket weaving and chair weaving,” said Chad Bailey, historian and president of Heritage Days.

Heritage Days got its start in 2019 and was only one day. COVID-19 killed 2020’s plans, and this year the event was moved from May to September.

“We will also have presentations and talks at the International Story- telling Center Plaza throughout the event,” Bailey said.

Included in these talks are Rev. Samuel Doak, Dr. Patrick Stern and Dr. Brenda G’Fellers. There will be a pre-registration for the talks on the website at, to get an accurate headcount for the presenters.

“Tables and posters will be set up inside the Visitors Center, and masks are requested,” Bailey said. “There will be no vendors or food trucks. We want the event to support Jonesborough, so we are telling our demonstrators to eat out in the town and shop in the town to support local merchants. It is a good way to see downtown, get a good meal and have a dose of history.”

The event had around 200 in attendance for the 2019 year, and Bailey is hoping for more this year.

“This area has a lot of history, genealogy and tradition,” Bailey said. “It is heritage tourism. It is to bring awareness to small museums and private organizations all in one spot. It’s a great way to get a taste of the heritage and history, then to visit the sites at a later date. Don’t stop there.”