It’s time to get tickets for the International Storytelling Festival, which will be held in Jonesborough, Tennessee, on October 7-9. This annual event attracts storytellers from around the world, so you’ll hear a wide variety of cultures and story genres represented, not only Southern mountain lore. The three-day event is entertaining and uplifting, well worth the trip in itself. However, more than two centuries of history are wrapped up in the little town of Jonesborough, so it deserves a visit any time of year.
Bronze plaques tell you this is the oldest town in Tennessee and capital of the lost State of Franklin, which failed to be admitted to the Union in 1788. You’ll find exhibits of artifacts from the Federal and Civil War periods of American history and you can tour buildings such as these:
- Sisters’ Row, a row house built in the 1820s by prominent Jonesborugh businessman Samuel Jackson for his three daughters. (Locals still call it “The Three Sisters.”)
- Chester Inn, an important lodging on the old stage road from Nashville to Washington, D.C. (Andrew Jackson stayed here on the way to his inauguration.)
- First Christian Church, originally built in 1870 and now the home to The Parson’s Table restaurant.
Small wonder that the National Trust for Historic Preservation chose Jonesborough as one of America’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations.”When you combine the spectacular natural beauty of the region with Jonesborough’s architectural and cultural heritage, it’s easy to see why this is such an ideal destination,” says the Trust’s president, Richard Moe.