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What is happening at LivingHistorySites this summer?

Several new and exciting things! We are looking forward to exploring history on our summer 2014 trip to South Carolina where we will be reviewing various sites in Columbia, the capital of South Carolina and coastal Charleston.....

We are also switching LivingHistorySites.com to a WordPress site that will allow you to search our content easier. Recategorizing information for historical sites, great dining locations and all the cool things to do in a particular location. We will have lists by city and by state, with suggested "things to do" and "things to see" packed with interesting tidbits and a realistic timeline!

National Park Service to offer FEE FREE weekends Summer of 2009!

We love bringing you the best of American history and what could be better than FREE days at our National Park System! So many of them have great swaths of history, take advantage of this great money saving way to vacation or staycation this summer!

All 147 National Park Service sites that charge entry fees will waive them for June 20 and 21, July 18 and 19, and August 15 and 16. Those fees range from $3 to $25.

Enjoy! We will certainly take advantage of visiting our National Parks FREE during FEE FREE days in the summer of 2009!

Civil War Battle of Jonesville ~ Jonesville VA

Just got off the phone with Jerry Parsons of the "Southern Guards Brigade" with questions on this weekend's 18th Annual Battle of Jonesville coming up June 6-7, 2009. They are expecting 500 Civil War reenactors, 15 sutlers (13 of have period correct items. A tin-type artist taking period photographs using the colloidal techniques of the Civil War.

Jerry said to make sure we attend the Meet the Generals session, as they are phenomenal! Generals Lee, Armistead, and many more. Also at 1:30, "Slavery in the Mountain States" which should be a terrific living history segment on what slavery was like in the mountains, much different than it was in the coastal areas.

Schedule of Events June 6-7, 2009 “Battle of Jonesville”

Saturday June 6

8:00 A.M. Officers Call

9:00 A.M. Gates Open/ Post Colors & Special Ceremony

10:00 A.M. Confederate Memorial Service

12:00 (Noon) Union Memorial Service

1:00 Slavery in the Mountains/ Luke Gilley

1:30 Meet The Generals

3:00 Skit

3:30 Troops form for Battle

4:00 Battle of Jonesville (1st day)

6:30 Dinner for the Troops (Big Tent)


8:00 P.M. Music (Big Tent)

10:00 P.M. Night Fire Artillery

12:00 (Mid-Nite) (ALL QUIET PLEASE)

Sunday June 7th-

8:00 A.M. Officers Call


9:00 A.M. Gates Open to the Public


9:30 A.M. Period Church Services

11:30 A.M. Speaker/Luke Gilley

12:00 (Noon) Meet the Generals

1:00 P.M. (Skit)

1:30 Troops Form for Inspection

2:00 Battle of Jonesville (2nd Day)

3:30 Pass & Review

Sycamore Shoals Native American Festival

Straight from their website - more info here.

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area is proud to announce our schedule of events for our annual Native American Festival to be held Saturday and Sunday, June 6 & 7, 2009. This educational event provides the opportunity for our visitors to experience many facets of Native American culture, particularly that of the Cherokee.    The event opens on Saturday the 6th, running from 10 am until 9:30 pm; and from Noon ? 6 pm on Sunday.   Most activities are held at Fort Watauga, unless it rains. In the event of rain the show will relocate to the Visitors Center.   The Saturday evening program will be held in the Visitors Center Theater; the campfire will take place near the picnic shelters.

This two-day long festival will feature traditional and contemporary arts and crafts, traditional Cherokee song and dance, Cherokee storytelling and legends, Native American flute, and craft demonstrations and sales.

Our featured speakers and programs include:

Dr. Michael Abram of the Cherokee Heritage Museum and Gallery in Cherokee, NC will provide a glimpse into Cherokee history and legend. He will give two lectures per day, “Cherokee Beliefs about Frogs” and “Cherokee Gambling through the Ages.”

At 6:30 pm on Saturday night in the theater of the Visitors Center, Dr. Abram will present a lecture on “Cherokee Views of the Night Sky: Stars, Constellations, and the Moon.”

On Saturday evening at 8:30 pm a traditional campfire program will be presented by Mark and Sherry Finchum. The Finchums will be joining us from Jefferson City, Tennessee and will also present the program, “Indian Givers,” on Saturday afternoon, in the fort.   Mark and Sherry are both educators and teach middle and elementary school children near their home.  Mark has earned a Bachelor's Degree in communications and a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction.  He is currently working on a Doctorate in Social Studies Education. Sherry earned her Master's in Educational Administration from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2002.  During the summer of 2007, she earned her Pre-K endorsement from Tennessee Wesleyan College.

Vicki Standingdeer and her husband Dale will direct the Traditional Cherokee dancing and music; MGD or “Mighty Good Drum” will provide the drum and singers.  The dancing demonstrations will include the Fancy Dance and Hoop Dance, the Jingle Dance, the Men’s Traditional, Grass and Straight Dances, and many more. All are invited to dance, so bring your regalia.   Vicki and Dale make their home in Cherokee, North Carolina

Our featured Cherokee traditional storyteller will be Freeman Owle, of Cherokee, NC, who will also be demonstrating the carving of Cherokee stone pipes along with other stone carvings.   Freeman is a noted lecturer, historian, and member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee.   He has traveled all over the eastern United States lecturing to various groups, which include churches, military units, and  schools.   Freeman Owle has told stories and presented programs on Cherokee history and culture throughout the Southeast for more than ten years.

Well known in the Cherokee community, Freeman Owle serves on the board of directors of the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual and is a coordinator for the Cherokee Heritage Trails project of the Blue Ridge Heritage Initiative. He is one of the featured storytellers in the book Living Stories of the Cherokee, and he also appears in the video documentary Cherokee: The Principal People, which aired on public television in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Kentucky.

Daniel Bigay of Greeneville, TN will entertain with traditional flute music in addition to having his handmade, traditional Cherokee style flutes for sale. Daniel is a flute maker, Artist, Performer/Recording Artist, and demonstrator, who lives with his wife, Kay, in the mountains of Tennessee.  He has released two CD’s, the most recent being nominated for best flute recording at the 2005 Indian Summer Music Awards.  Daniel and Kay are passionate about education and sharing of the Cherokee culture in the school system, at Pow-Wow’s, and various shows and festivals.

A unique feature of the Native American Culture festival is our educational/demonstration area, located within Fort Watauga.  The dance circle is located in the center of the fort, where the popular traditional dance and drum performances take place.  In addition, flute music, storytelling, lectures, and so much more take place within the circle, which share native culture and history with our visitors

The interior of the fort will also host a variety of excellent demonstrations, which include beadwork, pine needle basketry, Cherokee language, wood carving, flint-knapping, atlatl (primitive spear  throwing), cornshuck dolls, gourd art, stone carving, native rivercane flutes, an 18th century canoe camp, blowgun, toy making, and 18th century life skills.

Just outside the fort, exceptional Native American arts and crafts will be featured, in addition  to ethnic Cherokee food, and a Lakota Tipi exhibit.

Schedule of Events

Saturday, June 6       10 am – 9:30 pm

In the Fort  (Visitors Center if raining)

10:30 am –         Native American Flute

Daniel Bigay – Greenville, Tennessee

11:00 am –        “Cherokee Beliefs about Frogs”

Dr. Michael Abram – Cherokee Heritage Museum and Gallery-  Cherokee, North Carolina

11:30 am –      Cherokee Storytelling –

Freeman Owle, Cherokee, North Carolina

12:15 pm          Native Cultures – East versus West

Mark & Sherry Finchum, Jefferson City, TN

12:45 pm –       Native American Flute

Daniel Bigay, Greeneville, TN

1:00 pm            Cherokee Dance & Drum Demonstrations

Blowgun Demonstration

Vicki Standingdeer -  Cherokee, North Carolina

2:30 pm -           Native American Flute

Daniel Bigay

3:00 pm –         “Cherokee Gambling through the Ages”

Dr. Michael Abram

3:30 pm –         Cherokee Storytelling

Freeman Owle

4:15- 6 pm  -     Native American Dance & Drum Demonstration

Blowgun Demonstration

Vicki Standingdeer

In the Theater of the Visitors Center

6:30 pm –   “Cherokee Views of the Night Sky:

Stars, Constellations, and the Moon”

Dr. Michael Abram

At the Campfire Circle – Picnic Shelter Area

8:30 pm         Traditional Campfire Program

Mark & Sherry Finchum

Sunday, June 7        12 – 6 pm

In the Fort  (Visitors Center if raining)

12:00 pm–       Native American Flute

Daniel Bigay

12:15 pm –      Cherokee Storytelling

Freeman Owle

1:00 pm –      “Cherokee Gambling through the Ages”

Dr. Michael Abram – Cherokee Heritage Museum

and Gallery- Cherokee, North Carolina

2:00 pm –      Cherokee Dance & Drum Demonstrations

Blowgun Demonstration

Vicki Standingdeer – Cherokee, North Carolina

3:30 pm -      Native American Flute

Daniel Bigay

4:00 pm –     Cherokee Storytelling

Freeman Owle

4:30 pm –    "Cherokee Beliefs about Frogs”

Dr. Michael Abram

Admission is $4.00 per adult, $1.00 for children. All proceeds from admissions go to Friends of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area, to support this event. This event is made possible by the support of Friends of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area, Americourt Hotel, and Vicki Shell.

For information contact Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area in Elizabethton at (423) 543?5808.

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area

1651 W. Elk Avenue

Elizabethton, TN  37643

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.sycamoreshoalstn.org www.tnstateparks.com/SycamoreShoals

Why DID the chicken cross the road? A donut?

We are exceptionally particular about O.N.L.Y. featuring places we have actually been to, eaten at, stayed at, and experienced at LivingHistorySites.com. If we haven't been there, we are not writing about it!

But this quick video from CNN grabbed my attention and gave me a chuckle!

While we cannot technically recommend ScrumDiddilyUmptioius Donuts, but it has a GREAT story! A chicken that lives across the busy street from a doughnut shop in Otis Orchards Washington, crosses the road every day....for a doughnut! Does that not beat all!?

Siege at the Blockhouse Schedule ~ Natural Tunnel State Park

Natural Tunnel State Park Event To Feature Re-enactors, Battle

LivingHistorySites.com will be covering the “Siege at the Wilderness Road Blockhouse” on May 30-31, 2009 at Natural Tunnel State Park in Southeast Virginia. Join us at this event, and get a taste of pioneer life, the Kentucky Road and the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail. The event features reenactors, merchants and craftsmen, plus a battle re-enactment at the park, located in Scott County along U.S. Highway 23/58, between Clinchport and Duffield.

Natural Tunnel State Park
1420 Natural Tunnel Parkway
Duffield, VA 24244


A huge thanks to The Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Association for all of the information below! I searched everywhere to find schedule for the Siege at the Wilderness Road Blockhouse and here it is! 

Saturday, May 30, 10 AM – 9 PM, Sunday May 31, 11 AM – 4 PM
Natural Tunnel State Park

The story that unfolds Saturday and Sunday , May 30-31 at the Blockhouse is set in the year 1775. Captain John Anderson of the Holston Militia has built a fortified home near the North fork of the Holston River. Daniel Boone has recently marked a path into Kentucky that will, over the next thirty years, be followed by hundreds of thousands of frontiersmen seeking to settle on America's frontier. Some of those travelers are camped near Anderson's home; and, nearby, some members of the Cherokee nation have come to trade. Throughout the day, please visit these areas to see life as it would have been in 18th century America west of the Appalachian mountains.

Saturday' s Schedule

10 Over Mountain Men Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution ceremony honoring Scott County patriots

11 Kentucky-bound settlers on horseback arrive Portrayed by members of the Scott County Regional Horse Association

11:30 Horse Race Frontiersmen and women ,and Native Americans gather to see who has the fastest horse. During this jollification, a hot-headed settler, Isaac Crabtree, murders one of the Cherokee with no cause. Turmoil erupts.

12 Daniel Boone instructs the settlers headed to Kentucky -The horse riders, upset and fearful because of the morning's events, decide to head on West. Boone gives them a talk about what to expect, and Rev. Samuel Doak offers prayer before they set out.

12:30 Atta Kulla Kulla, Cherokee Peace Chief (Inside the Interpretative Center) Robert Rambo, sponsored by the Kentucky Humanities Council, appears as Atta Kulla Kulla, also called Little Carpenter. He will interpret the Cherokee viewpoint of America's frontier in 1775, and the events unfolding today at the Blockhouse.

2 PM Siege!
The frontier encampment has settled into a mood of relaxation. A musician is playing, folks are dancing, eating, visiting. Some children slip off to pick berries. The angry and affronted Cherokee snatch one of them. Once again all is in an uproar. Shooting breaks out between the two camps, and a Native woman is captured. Captain Joseph Martin, who is present with the militia forces from Martin's Station, and Captain Boone conduct a parlay with Atta Kulla Kulla, Oconostota, and others. They agree to swap t he captured child, a sister of Goodwife Rebecca Anderson, for the Indian woman. At the last moment, the young girl states her intent to remain with the Cherokee, who treat her well. Once again, the frontier camp and the Anderson family are in a disturbed and violent mood.

3 Tomahawk Throw 18th Century Medicine French and Indian War Memories -Viewers can see a contest with tomahawks. A surgeon treats a wound inflicted during the earlier violence. A veteran of the late conflict with the French relates his experiences from the early 1760s

4-7:30 Visit the two encampments for a taste of life on the edge of civilization in 1775

7:30 Campfire Stories - Mark and Sherry Finchum, and Ron Short entertain visitors with stories, music, and dance from the two cultures that met on the frontier of 1775 Virginia

8:30 Night Battle - Oconostota (Mark fFnchum) has explained that he must return to the Native encampent for a special ceremonial occasion. Frontiersmen gathered around the story tellers at the campfire mistake the sounds from the ceremony for an attack and another battle erupts between the two camps.

Sunday's Schedule

11:00 Frontier Worship Service -Join a typical 18th century worship service next to the Blockhouse.

12:00 Sunday Social - The Anderson Family, the encamped frontiersmen, and Captain Joseph Martin and his Militia from Fort Blackmore to the West will give the visitors a good look and taste of life on the edge of civilization in 1775.
Goodwife Crouch prepares bread, using the bake oven.

1 :00 Children's Activities  -Children will enjoy participating in games and playing with toys from the period. Ron Short will provide stories and music.

2 :00 Frontier Justice and Freedom - See a militia drill. Isaac Crabtree, the instigator of Saturday's violence will be brought to justice. Captain Martin's talk, “Freedom,” expresses the attitudes found west of the mountains concerning the colonies' present conflict with Great Britain and its unreasonable demands.