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History Happy Hour

July 20, 2017 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


Our fifth History Happy Hour will be on July 20 and will feature the fascinating, tragic, and little known life of Washington County resident James Baxter Bean.  The official press release is included below and attached to this email along with a picture of Dr. Bean.
History Happy Hour, the Chester Inn Museum’s new monthly program for 2017, is off to a strong start! This month’s History Happy Hour features former ETSU History Department chair and professor Dr. Colin Baxter talking about the fascinating & tragic life of James Baxter Bean at 6:30 pm at the Chester Inn State Historic Site & Museum in Jonesborough. This History Happy Hour includes a special, artifact unveiling from the Heritage Alliance’s museum collection. The program is free and open to the public with free refreshments.
James Baxter Bean was perhaps the single most important dental surgeon of the Civil War, but chances are you’ve never heard of him.  He was the great-grandson of William Bean, the first European settler to settle permanently in what would become Tennessee.  A resident of Washington County, James Baxter Bean was educated at Washington College, and he married Hester M. Bovell in 1860.   During the Civil War, he worked for a Confederate hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, where he revolutionized the field treatment of facial wounds with the “Bean Splint.” After the war, Bean relocated to Baltimore where he opened a dental practice.
Throughout his life, Bean also enjoyed nature and adventure. He avidly collected wildlife and ornithological specimens, many of which are currently held at the Smithsonian Museum. His life of adventure led him to explore European mountains and excerpts from his travel journal were used by Mark Twain in his book A Tramp Abroad. In 1870, tragedy simultaneously struck both Bean in Europe and his family who had returned to Washington County to live with Hester’s family while Bean traveled.  According to Special Projects Coordinator Anne Mason, “We will also be showing a new, rare artifact at this program that was donated by the family of Hester Bovell.  The artifact is very interesting, somewhat macabre, and helps to tell the tragic story of James Baxter Bean and his family.”
History Happy Hour is a collaborative program that features speakers and researchers from various local organizations, museums, and schools. Presenters for 2017 include independent researchers, National Park Service rangers, and professors. The programs are usually on the third or fourth Thursday each month at 6:30 pm. All programs are free and open to the public.  For more information on the Chester Inn Museum, History Happy Hour, or the Heritage Alliance please call our office at 423.753.9580 or the Chester Inn Museum at 423.753.4580.  You can also contact the organization via email at info@heritageall.org.  Additional information about the Heritage Alliance and its mission can be found online at http://www.heritageall.org/.  Be sure to follow the Chester Inn and Heritage Alliance Facebook pages for updates about events at the Chester Inn and other Heritage Alliance programs.


July 20, 2017
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
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