Second Floor
Hours
  • M-F: 8am - 5pm
  • Closed Dec. 24 & 25
  • Closed Jan. 1
865-215-8824, eths@eastTNhistory.org
First Floor
Hours
  • M-F: 9am - 4pm
  • Sat: 10am - 4pm
  • Sun: 1pm - 5pm
  • Closed Dec. 24 & 25
  • Closed Jan. 1
865-215-8830
Third Floor
Hours
  • M-Tu: 9am - 8:30 pm
  • W-F: 9am - 5:30 pm
  • Sat: 9am - 5pm
  • Sun: 1pm - 5pm
  • Closed Dec. 24 & 25
  • Closed Jan. 1
865-215-8801
Second Floor
Hours
  • M-F: 8am-4:30pm
  • Closed Dec. 24 & 25
  • Closed Jan. 1
865-215-8800

East Tennessee History Fair

Have a Blast with the Past! Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018
August 18, 2018
Downtown Knoxville

Join the East Tennessee Historical Society on Saturday, August 18, for an one-of-a-kind celebration of our region's history! Participants representing the people, places, and events that shaped our past spill out of the East Tennessee History Center and fill downtown Knoxville, making history truly come alive!

Walk the East Tennessee Timeline, replete with re-enactors interpreting time periods from early settlement to the Vietnam War. Participate in hands-on activities that keep cherished crafts alive. Board a bus and tour Knoxville's historic homes. Sit a spell in front of the Main Stage, listening to traditional music that has long been the soundtrack to our lives. All for FREE!

2018 HISTORY FAIR SCHEDULE- Subject to Change
In the East Tennessee History Center | In Krutch Park | At the Tennessee Theater | Special Tours | Antiques Fair | Art Market, Farmers Market, Food & Parking | Vintage Baseball

In the East Tennessee History Center

10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Free admission to the Museum of East Tennessee History

  • Signature Exhibit - Voices of the Land: The People of East Tennessee
  • Feature Exhibit - In the Footsteps of Sergeant York

Meet the Antiques Experts
Meet just past the trolley at the entrance of the Voices of the Land exhibit

10:00 and 11:00 -- Merikay Waldvogel is an internationally known quilt historian, author, and lecturer. In 1983 she was co-director in the two-year collaboration to document quilts across the state of Tennessee. She was inducted into the Quilters Hall of Fame in 2009 based on her expertise and extensive research on quilts and those who made them.

Ms. Waldvogel will talk on the Fancy and Make-do quilts that East Tennessee is known for and will show an example of each on display in the museum gallery. Both types—Linsey (the Make-do quilt made of home-woven Civil War era textiles) and the 1853 White-work Wholecloth (the fancy quilt whose surface is stuffed with original designs)—reflect the lives of East Tennesseans at the time these quilts were created. Expect some interesting stories.

10:00 and 11:00 -- James Hooper has 42 years of experience in antique furniture restoration and custom building. He’s the furniture conservator for Ramsey House, Blount Mansion, and the Museum of East Tennessee History, as well as other historic sites in the Knoxville area.

Walking amongst a secretary, pie safe, and chest of drawers on display, Mr. Hooper will give an overview of East Tennessee furniture and give hints to determine whether a piece has been altered or repaired. There will also be time for questions about care, cleaning, and moving of antique furniture.

10:30 and 11:30 -- Terry Faulkner is a long-time collector of East Tennessee baskets, furniture, and quilts as well as Knoxville memorabilia. She was a volunteer interpreter at Blount Mansion and Ramsey House and has documented the history of the Bearden community, publishing articles on the subject and designing and overseeing the installation of historic markers along greenways and sidewalks. She is presently co-authoring a book on the original Civil War Fort Sanders.

Ms. Faulkner will share information on the distinctive, drawn-oak baskets made by the Hickey family. Working variously from several East Tennessee counties, Rufus Hickey made his living from basket making and crafting chairs and brooms, with the help of his children.

10:30 and 11:30 -- John Case is the owner, founder and president of Case Antiques, Inc. Auctions & Appraisals. He has over 25 years experience researching and evaluating American antiques and art, with a specialization in early Southern decorative arts. John is an accredited member of the Appraisers Association of America (AAA). He is a graduate of Duke University, the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) course and exam, and a museum graduate course sponsored by the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) at Wake Forest University. John has given lectures on Southern material culture at MESDA and the William King Regional Arts Center, appraised for the television show Treasures In Your Attic, and served as a contributing editor for the Frist Museum’s 2006 Art of Tennessee exhibit in Nashville. In 2012 he was appointed to the board of the Tennessee Executive Residence Preservation Foundation. 

Mr. Case will discuss a chronology of events relating to the discovery of an important earthenware tradition in Greene Co. including Christopher Alexander Haun, J. A. Lowe, and other unknown skilled potters.  

Cutting Class Podcast
12:00 p.m.  Bilo Nelson Auditorium -- Join Jess Stockton and Joe Scarpino as they delve into stories of interest surrounding Oak Ridge, including the Prophet of Oak Ridge, John Hendrix. The veteran social studies teachers launcehd their podcast in December 2017 and are currently on their 40th episode, all of which are available online via their website, iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud, or Google Play.
 

WDVX's "Kidstuff" Music Show with Sean McCullough
1:00 p.m.  Bilo Nelson Auditorium -- A fun and interactive show with Sean McCullough, host of "Kidstuff," WDVX's weekly  children's radio show--guitar, banjo, and  mandolin, drawing on the music of Appalachia.
 

Davy Crockett's Birthday - Storytelling & Cake
  2:15 p.m.  Davy Crockett Party & Storytelling (Bilo Nelson Auditorium)
  3:00 p.m.  Davy's birthday cake from Food City (Clinch Ave, beside East TN History
                   Center
)
 

In Krutch Park

History Hound Dog Costume Contest

 9:30 a.m. - Free registration
10:15 a.m. - Contest on the WDVX Radio and Clayton Country Music Stage
Grand prizes awarded for the BEST HISTORIC COSTUME and for the MOST EAST TENNESSEE SPIRIT!
Emceed by Knoxville Councilman Marshall Stair with celebrity judges Dr. Dan Feller (UT history professor and director of the Papers of Andrew Jackson), Dr. Robert C. DeNovo Jr. (UT College of Veterinary Medicine), and Lori Tucker (WATE TV Personality).

         ♦Sponsored by:  PetSafe
 

WDVX Radio and Clayton Country Music Stage

Emcees:  Russ Jeffers and Freddy Smith

11 a.m.          Jimbo Whaley & Greenbrier
Noon             David West & the Cider Mountain Boys
1 p.m.            Jimbo Whaley & Greenbrier
2 p.m.            Russ & Becky Jeffers
3 p.m.            The Travelin’ Caudills
4 p.m.            Liza Jane & Curley Alexander

Friends of the Knox County Public Library Book Sale

10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.    Visit the Friends of the Knox County Public Library's book sale for various history-themed publications. Books for children and adults will be available for purchase.

Mast General Store Old Fashioned Tennessee Checkers Skirmish

Show off your checkers skills by competing in a tournament of one of the world's oldest games. Prizes provided by Mast General Store!

Children's Activities

Children are invited to experience the past through games, crafts, and an old fashioned "cookie walk" sponsored by Cafe Vicolo.  Among the crafts to enjoy are tricorn hats, Tennessee flag buttons, harmonicas, and more! Guests from the Muse and the Tennessee State Museum will be on hand with special hands-on activities.

Meet the Authors & Book Signing

  • Allen Coggins- Author of Place Names of the Smokies, Escape from Bone Cave: A Civil War Saga, and Tennessee Tragedies: Natural, Technological, and Societal Disasters in the Volunteer State

Woman Suffrage Celebration

Join the Suffrage Coalition for the unveiling of the final touches on the Burn Memorial. An ice cream social will celebrate with remarks at 11:00 a.m. at the Memorial.
 

Living History Timeline

  • French and Indian War & Cherokee - Fort Loudoun State Historic Area
  • 1790s - Regiment of Knox County Militia
  • Pioneer - The Daily Reenactors
  • William Thomas - Gary Holt
  • Mexican-American War - Ed Archer
  • Abraham & Mary Todd Lincoln - Tom & Sue Wright
  • General Robert E. Lee - Jim Young
  • Civil War - 79th NY Infantry, 8th TN Volunteer Infantry, and Gerald & Sandra Augustus
  • Civil War Era Baseball - Members of the Knoxville Holstons Vintage Base Ball Team
  • Suffragists - Woman Suffrage Coalition
  • World War I- Tennessee State Parks & "The History Campany" with the Southeast Veterans Museum
  • World War II - Citizens Soldiers
  • Cold War - Grenzregiment 35
  • Korean and Vietnam Wars - 35th Infantry Division Living History Group
  • Various - Tennesseans for Living History
  • Civil War uniform display

Participating History Exhibitors

Abraham Lincoln Library & Museum Knoxville Civil War Roundtable
Andrew Bogle Chapter NSDAR Knoxville Walking Tours
Andrew Johnson National Historic Site Major William A. McTeer Camp 39, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
Asian Culture Center of Tennessee Manakin Huguenot Society, John Sevier Branch
Birthplace of Country Music Manhattan Project National Historical Park
Blount County Genealogical & Historical Society Mayme Carmichael School Organization, Inc.
Blount County History Museum McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture
Bonny Kate Chapter NSDAR Mossy Creek Foundation
Cavett Station Chapter, NSDAR Museum of Appalachia
Center for Oak Ridge Oral History Old Smoky Railway Museum, Inc.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Sam Houston Memorial Association and Historic Schoolhouse
Cutting Class Podcast Sequoyah Birthplace Museum
Daughters of the American Revolution - Emory Road Chapter Sons of Confederate Veterans, Longstreet-Zollicoffer Camp 87
Ellen Renshaw House, UDC Chapter 2624 Suffrage Coalition
Fort Loudon State Historic Area Tennesseans for Living History 
Friends of the Knox County Public Library Tennessee Great Wars Commission & Sergeant York Patriotic Foundation
Grainger County Historial Society Tennessee State Library and Archives
Historic Homes of Knoxville Tennessee State Parks 
Historic Rugby The Captain W.Y.C. Hannum 1881, United Daughters of the Confederacy
Hola Hora Latina Festival University of Tennessee History Department
Jefferson County Genealogical Society
University of Tennessee Press
Jefferson County Historical Society
Upper Tennessee Riverboat Museum 
Jonesborough Genealogical Society UT Personal Development & Kids- U
Knox County Museum of Education Women's Basketball Hall of Fame
Knox Heritage & East Tennessee Preservation Alliance Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum
Knoxville 89, UDC  
Knoxville History Project  


Demonstrating Artists
 

♦Anne Freels - Cornhusk Dolls ♦Mark & Nancy Shedden - Spinning & 
   Powder Horns
♦Dale Liles, Carolyn Rogers, & Jenny
   Bennett - Spinning  & Fiber
♦Fox Hollow Creations - Chair Caning & Basket
   Weaving
♦Karen's Country Critters - Primitive  
   Items Made from Quilts
♦Serendipity Artist Gallery - Painting, Beaded
   Jewelry, Scarves
♦Peter Rose - Raku Pottery ♦Drake Tin and Copper - Tin & Coppersmithing
♦Wild Child Clay Works - Clay & Fiber /
   Natural Dying
♦Lillian Pearl Designs - Handmade Items & Jewelry
♦Sadie's Soaps - Soaps made the old fashioned way from natural products ♦Pop Adams Trade Company - Black Powder Accouterments
♦Happily Ever After Designs- vintage repurposed home decor  


Raku Pottery

10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Clinch Avenue / Activity Fee: $10 per raku pot)
Young and old alike are invited to decorate a piece of take-away raku pottery with local wood-fired potter Peter Rose

Antiques Fair

Downtown Knoxville's only antiques fair! Thirty of East Tennessee's best antiques dealers will be set up on Market Street behind the History Center with a sampling of quality items! Items include early-period furniture, pottery, quilts, firearms, rare books, primitives, tabletop items, glassware, and more. No admission fee, so come on down and browse! Sponsored by Building Systems Technology, Inc. and Case Antiques
 

Vintage Baseball

Warmups and Demonstrations 11 a.m., Game at 12 p.m. (658 Jessamine Street)
Join the Tennessee State Parks for an afternoon of America's favorite pastime with a a World War I baseball game between the Army and Navy, played at Ridley-Helton Baseball Field, originally part of Bill Meyer Stadium, the former home of the Knoxville Smokies. The game will commemorate July 4, 1918, when America’s Independence Day was celebrated in Britain. Those festivities included a baseball game at Chelsea Football Ground between the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy with the king and queen in attendance, along with 18,000 spectators. The game will begin at noon, is free and open to the public, and can be accessed by car or the History Fair buses.

At the Tennessee Theater

Join us for a cinematic celebration of the region's history!  Presented by the Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound and the Tennessee Theatre.

  • 11:00 a.m. - Open House and tours of the Tennessee Theatre
  • 11:30 a.m.- A Tribute to John Ward
    TAMIS remembers broadcasting legend John Ward, beginning with a 1974 film capturing a busy day in the life of the “Voice of the Vols.” The 15-minute film follows Ward as he travels to Nashville to call a Tennessee football game, returns to Knoxville to call a Vols basketball game, records the weekly Bill Battle Show for television at the WATE studios, and conducts several radio interviews in between. We’ll also be showing an extremely rare short film made by local advertising firm Lavidge and Davis in the 1950s, featuring Ward giving a behind-the-scenes look at the firm’s studios. Rounding out the program will be vintage Vols footage, featuring clips from archival films of UT football games from the 1920s through the 1950s!
  • 12:00 p.m. - Open House
  • 12:30 p.m. -The Films of Walther Barth: New High Definition Transfers
    The Dr. Walter Barth Collection of 16mm home movies feature some of the most unusual and interesting footage found at the TAMIS. Barth, a German native, began making 16mm home movies in 1927, capturing life in Germany and Europe before the rise of the Nazi regime. Barth emigrated to Binghampton, New York in the early 1930s, eventually moving to Knoxville. He continued filming into the 1960s, capturing fascinating footage of East Tennessee and the Smoky Mountains.
  • 1:00 p.m. - Open House
  • 1:30 p.m. - Theaters Segregated in All-America City: Knoxville Desegregation Protests of the early 1960s
    In the early 1960s, students at Knoxville College organized protests of segregated restaurants and movie theaters in Knoxville, which had recently been designated an “All-America City” by the National Civic League. In the spring and summer of 1963, one of the focal points for marches was the Tennessee Theatre, and for several weeks the Knoxville Police Department filmed protests there. Alongside WBIR news film, newspaper articles and archival interviews with Knoxville civil rights pioneers Robert Booker and the late Avon Rollins, this recently discovered footage provides a new view of crucial events in Knoxville’s history.
  • 2:00 p.m. - Open House
  • 2:30 p.m. - Happy Anniversary Tennessee Theatre!
    Patricia Neal: We Knew Her as Patsy
    TAMIS digs into the vault to find footage of the Tennessee Theatre throughout the years. Included will be news coverage of the premiere of “All the Way Home,” based on James Agee’s novel “A Death In The Family,” and a circa 1970 look at the workings of the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ!
    Produced by Heartland Series’ Bill Landry and Doug Mills, “We Knew Her as Patsy” explores actress Patrica Neal’s unique relationship with Knoxville. Created as a tribute to Neal for the 2010 Knoxville High School Class of 1943B reunion, this is the first time the film will be screened for a general audience.
  • 3:30 p.m. - A Face In The Crowd
    Join us for a special screening of director Elia Kazan’s 1957 classic film, in a rarely seen 35mm archival film print! The debut film of Andy Griffith shows a different side of the actor than what most audiences remember from “The Andy Griffith Show” and “Matlock.” Griffith stars as Lonesome Rhodes, a singing drifter who finds national fame and political influence through his charismatic appearances on radio and television. Rhodes is aided by a producer played by Knoxville’s own Patricia Neal, who eventually comes to see the dark side of such power. (In a 2003 interview with the Knoxville News-Sentinel, Neal stated that this was the favorite of her films.) Selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant,” the film’s reputation has continued to grow in the decades since its release.
    “A Face In The Crowd” film print preserved by the UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by the Film Foundation and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

Funding for this screening made possible by the Friends of the Knox County Public Library.

Special Tours

Historic Homes Bus Tours
11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
(Departs Gay Street at Krutch Park -  Last tour departs ~2:15 p.m.)
Board the bunted trolley at Krutch Park in front of the Holston Building. Destinations include free open houses at the following:
Blount Mansion: 1792 home of territorial governor William Blount
James White's Fort: 1786 home and fort established by Knoxville's founder
Mabry-Hazen House:  Antebellum home with all original contents and Civil War past
Bethel Cemetery & MuseumResting place of more than 1,600 Confederate dead, complete with corresponding museum
Women's Basketball Hall of Fame:  An internationally recognized museum dedicated to preserving the history of women's basketball.
WWI Vintage Baseball GameExperience America's favorite passtime while Army takes on Navy in WWI era uniforms at the historic field of the old Bill Meyer Stadium.
Old Knoxville High: This important historic landmark has been meticulously renovated and restored to honor its role in shaping the city of Knoxville. Now serving as an independent senior living facility, the building boasts many original architecutral details, exhibits, and the Doughboy statue, erected shortly after World War I to recognize the 117th Infantry Division soldiers, including a number of Knoxville High graduates, who died in the war.

Knoxville Walking Tours - "Misbehaving Women"
11:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m.   (Departs from the History Center Entrance)
East Tennessee women have never been known for keeping quiet, and this stroll through history will introduce you to those who spoke out, whether about Women's Suffrage, education, employment rights, or equal treatment for the handicapped. Meet the Knoxville women who weren't afraid to be the voice of change. 

South Knox Waterfront Walking Tour with Jack Neely
4:00 p.m. (Departs from the front of the History Center)
Jack Neely of the Knoxville History Project willl lead an unusual urban hike for the hardy. This year, the plan is to assemble at the History Center, walk across the historic Gay Street Bridge (the same one last seen by outlaw Kid Curry, when he rode the sheriff's stolen horse across it), and see some of the new preservationist development along Sevier Avenue, seeing why some people think it's close enough to be considered "downtown." Along the route will be the site of an 1880s horse and bicycle-racing track--which is, conveniently, now a public park.

         First Presbyterian Church Stained Glass & Historic Cemetery Tours  
         1:00 to 4:00 p.m. (Corner of State Street & Clinch Avenue)
        
Visit Knoxville’s first church, founded in 1792, for graveyard and stained glass window tours. 

Art Market Gallery

The Art Market Gallery on Gay Street will feature a memorial showing of works by Marjorie Horne, a long time, award-winning artist and member of The Art Market who passed away last year. Sales of Marjorie's paintings will benefit the Community School for the Arts. Visitors will also enjoy a reception with free refreshments.

Market Square Farmers' Market

9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Visit the Market Square Farmers' Market for a smorgasbord of local produce, free-range meat, herbs, baked good, artisan crafts, flowers, and more!

Food Vendors

Visitors will enjoy Holy Smokin' BBQ, burgers and sliders from Forks on the Road Food Truck, sweet treats from the Phoenix Pharmacy and Fountain, kettlecorn and fresh squeezed lemonade from Dynamite Kettle Corn, and much more!

Park or Ride

There are many parking garages to choose from in Downtown and many offer FREE parking on the weekends.  Check out the Downtown Parking guide to find your spot.

Another great alternative is to use KAT, a worry-free way to get straight to the History Fair.  Check out the KAT website or call 865-637-3000 to plan your trip.  The last bus leaves Downtown at 11:15 p.m. so you can stay all day!

 

Video: 
East Tennessee HIstory Fair 2013
Sponsors: 
Downtown Knoxville CBID
Seven Islands Foundation
City of Knoxville
PetSafe
WDVX
COMCAST
Food City
Partnerships: 
Tennessee Theatre