PUBLISHED:

It was the year 1780. The tide of the Revolution had turned against the colonists.  The British, forced out of New England, gained new allies in the divided South and won victory after victory in a bloody civil war.  Charleston had fallen, and American forces had crumbled at the battle of Camden. But then the impossible occurred…The frontiersmen of the western mountains began a long march, gathering an army along the way, from the highlands of Virginia to the hills of South Carolina.  At a place called King’s Mountain, they destroyed British forces and opened the way for the final American victory at Yorktown.

The route they took from Virginia to South Carolina, we now know as the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail.  Come celebrate with us as we recreate the muster of the Overmountain Men, which occurred here at Sycamore Shoals over two hundred years ago. Re-enactors in period clothing will be on hand throughout the weekend to share stories and demonstrations of that exciting and tumultuous time.

The weekend long celebration runs 10am to 4pm Saturday, September 23 and 10am to 3pm Sunday, September 24, and is a must for the whole family.  The park’s host living history organization, the Washington County, NC Militia, will present 18th century demonstrations and activities in and around Fort Watauga.  Discover the vital role Sycamore Shoals played in the early frontier community, and how its significance would impact our nation’s history. Hear the story of the Overmountain Men and their historic gathering at Sycamore Shoals.

While enjoying the activities of the weekend, be sure to visit the award winning museum and interpretive center, and don’t miss the park’s interpretive film “Sycamore Shoals – Story of the American Spirit”. Also visit the Eastern National Book and Gift Shop to take home a special souvenir or a gift for the history buff or avid reader in your family.  It will be a fun filled and action packed weekend sure to entertain and educate all ages. Admission is free so bring the entire family and relive some of the most crucial days of the American Revolution.

On September 25th, 1780 Col. William Campbell and 400 mounted militiamen from present day Abingdon, VA crossed the Watauga River at Sycamore Shoals and joined Colonels Isaac Shelby and John Sevier in response to a threat from British Major Patrick Ferguson. At 2:00 pm On Monday, September 25th, 2017 the Overmountain Victory Trail Association will recreate the historic river crossing. For the past 42 years Members of the OVTA have recreated this historic occurrence since 1975, following the same route and timetable as their legendary forebears from Abingdon, VA to Kings Mountain, SC. This event is also free of charge and is open for all to enjoy this memorable experience.

EVENT SCHEDULE

 

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23rd

 

10:00 – “Raising the Colours”Join the Overmountain Men inside Fort Watauga as they assemble for morning instructions, militia inspection and posting the flag. (Fort Watauga)

 

11:00 – “Life on the Homefront” – Come to the Talbot House for a look at the woman’s role on the 18th century frontier. See how the women and children fared after the militia had marched off in search of Patrick Ferguson and the Tory army.

 

11:30 – “Echoes of Revolution” – Join the Watauga Valley Fifes and Drums and learn about martial music of the 18th century. (Fort Watauga)

 

12:00 – “Every Seventh Man” – Oral tradition states that the Overmountain Men left behind one in seven to guard the settlements as they went in search of the tory army. Witness the Watauga Home Guard drill and hone their skills as defenders of the frontier. Learn about the different firearms used in Colonial America.

 

1:00 – “Trail Talk: Walking in Frontier Footsteps” – Join historic interpreter Chad Bogart for a guided walk through the park grounds as he recounts the story of the Overmountain Men, the historic militia muster at Sycamore Shoals, and the victory at Kings Mountain. Program begins at Fort Watauga.

 

1:30 – “Echoes of Revolution” – Join the Watauga Valley Fifes and Drums for an exciting glimpse into the musical world of the 18th century.

 

2:00 – “Keep Yer’ Powder Dry” – Join historic interpreter Lisa Bennett to hear the story of Mary Patton and learn about the making of gunpowder on the colonial frontier. (Talbot House)

 

3:00 – “Every Seventh Man” – Learn about the different firearms used in Colonial America.

 

4:00 – Camps Close – Join us tomorrow for another exciting day of life on the colonial frontier!

 

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 24th    

 

10:00 – “Raising the Colours”Join The Overmountain Men inside Fort Watauga as they assemble for morning instructions, militia inspection and posting the flag.

 

11:00 – Worship Service – Feel free to join the militia for Sunday morning service held in the courtyard of Fort Watauga. Following the service witness the Washington County Militia fall in for inspection of arms, and orders are given for the day.

 

11:30 – “Echoes of Revolution” – Join the Watauga Valley Fifes and Drums for an exciting glimpse into the musical world of the 18th century.

 

12:00 – “Every Seventh Man” – Oral tradition states that the Overmountain Men left behind one in seven to guard the settlements as they went in search of the tory army. Witness the Watauga Home Guard drill and hone their skills as defenders of the frontier. Learn about the different firearms used in Colonial America.

 

1:00 – “Keep Yer’ Powder Dry” – Join historic interpreter Lisa Bennett to hear the story of Mary Patton and learn about the making of gunpowder on the colonial frontier. (Talbot House)

 

2:00 – “Echoes of Revolution” – Join the Watauga Valley Fifes and Drums for an exciting glimpse into the musical world of the 18th century.

 

3:00 – Retiring the Colors – Camps Close – Thank you for joining us for a great day of frontier living history. Join us next time!

 

ONGOING ACTIVITIES FOR BOTH DAYS INCLUDE:

Open Hearth Cooking – Flintlock Musket & Rifle Demonstrations – Militia Drill

Colonial Music – 18th Century Laundry – Colonial Games – 18th Century Camp Life

And Much More!!!

All activities are weather dependent. Schedule is subject to change or cancellation.

 

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 25th

 

2:00 – “OVTA Watauga River Crossing” – The Overmountain Victory Trail Association will recreate the historic river crossing of 1780. For the past 42 years Members of the OVTA have recreated this historic occurrence following the same route and timetable as their legendary forebears from Abingdon, VA to Kings Mountain, SC.

 

Immediately Following the Crossing – Join State and National Park Service staff, OVTA members, and reenactors for a dedication of the new entrance to the Sycamore Shoals Visitors Center featuring the newly installed Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail commemorative marker. (Program will take place at the Overmountain Man Statue in front of the park’s visitors center)

 

 

 

 

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park

1651 W. Elk Avenue

Elizabethton, TN 37643

 

Historic House Museums:

The John and Landon Carter Mansion

Sabine Hill