Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park

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1651 W Elk Ave Elizabethton, Tennessee 37643
(423) 343-8280


Along the Watauga Old Fields, the first democratic government on this continent came to pass - the Watauga Association in 1772. It is impressive knowing these early settlers developed a plan for law and order on the frontier, coupled with the concept that 'every free man would have a vote.' Their rules and regulations came to pass 4 years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

The Transylvania Purchase, deemed the largest private real estate transaction on this continent, between the Cherokee and Judge Richard Henderson, took place on the grounds of Sycamore Shoals in 1775. By 1776, Fort Watauga was constructed to protect the settlement from Cherokee attack as they resisted the influx of settlers to their lands.

Sycamore Shoals is also well known for the Muster of the Overmountain Men in 1780, during the American Revolution. From Sycamore Shoals, a militia moved forth in search of British Major Patrick Ferguson, in response to his threat to destroy their homes west of the mountains. Their successful defeat of Ferguson at Kings Mountain was deemed by many historians an event which ultimately 'turned the tide of the American Revolution.'

Throughout the year our interpretive staff presents festivals, militia musters, and programs for the entire family which tell these stories. Sycamore Shoals is also the home of Liberty! The Saga of Sycamore Shoals, the Official Outdoor Drama of the State of Tennessee, performed the last 3 weekends in July (Thursday - Saturday).

Our premier events include Olde Christmas in January, the Carter Mansion Celebration in April, the Siege of Fort Watauga in May, the Native American Festival in June, the Muster of the Over mountain Men in September, our Harvest Celebration in November, and Christmas at the Carter Mansion in December. Traditional Arts Workshops are taught throughout the year and programs for your class or group can be arranged in advance.

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  • Historical Sites


  • Attractions , Museums , Natural Attractions



Phone: (423) 343-8280





TUESDAY: 9:00AM - 4:00PM

WEDNESDAY: 9:00AM - 4:00PM

THURSDAY: 9:00AM - 4:00PM

FRIDAY: 9:00AM - 4:00PM

SATURDAY: 9:00AM - 4:00PM

SUNDAY: 1:00PM - 4:30PM

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