Fort Loudoun State Historic Park will present an 18th century Christmas celebration on Saturday, Dec. 6. Titled “Christmas at Fort Loudoun,” this annual event blends a festive holiday spirit with both educational opportunities and traditional entertainment. The event is free and open to the public.
“While Christmas in the 1750s was a simpler time, it was a very festive occasion,” said Park Manager Eric Hughey. “This is a great opportunity to get a jump start on the holiday season, while stepping back in time to herald in the holidays.”
The 18th Century Christmas event begins with a “roll call,” summoning re-enactment soldiers to their posts just as it would have been done 250 years ago. Throughout the day, costumed living history re-enactors will go about their garrison duties, while taking time to interact with visitors. Demonstrations of both crafts and skills also will be conducted, including cooking, laundering, blacksmithing and artillery drills.
Park visitors will get to see an 18th century infirmary, as well as soldiers’ barracks, the commander’s quarters and a Cherokee encampment. Throughout the day, soldiers will be commanded to sing Christmas carols and guests are encouraged to add their voices.
The daily schedule includes a Christmas church service, wassail tasting and a special candlelight tour of the fort. On this special occasion, the soldiers will perform a rare nighttime firing of the fort’s cannon. The Visitor Center and Museum at Fort Loudoun will be open throughout the program and light refreshments will be served just before the candlelight tour commences. The Fort’s gift shop and bookstore also will be open for visitors to find that unique Christmas gift.
Fort Loudoun State Historic Park is a 1,200-acre site on the location of one of the earliest British fortifications on the western frontier, built in 1756. Nearby were the principal towns of the Cherokee Nation including Tenase, namesake of our state, and Tuskegee, birthplace of Sequoyah. Today the fort and the 1794 Tellico Blockhouse overlook TVA’s Tellico Reservoir and the Appalachian Mountains and are located one mile off Highway 411 on Highway 360 in Vonore.
For more information about the park or a complete schedule of events for Christmas 1757, please contact the Fort Loudoun State Historic Park office at (423) 884-6217
Fort Loudoun State Historic Park will come back to life on Saturday, November 1 and Sunday, November 2 as the park hosts its Living History Garrison and Museum Grand Reopening.
Free and open to the public, educational opportunities and family-friendly activities will be offered at 10 a.m. each day, ending at 5 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday.
Due to a generous grant from the Grubb-Sumner Fund for Monroe County, the park’s museum has undergone several renovations. In the past year, park staff and contractors have added new displays in the park’s powder magazine, armory, and a new diorama
of the Tellico Blockhouse. Join the park staff at the visitor center on Saturday at 12:30 for a tour of the new exhibits and discussion on future projects you can expect to see at the museum.
At the fort, a “roll call” summoning re-enactment soldiers to their posts, just as the troops did 250 years ago, will signal the beginning of the living history weekend. Additionally, musket and artillery firing demonstrations will take place several times throughout the two-day event.
Park visitors will have the opportunity to view an 18th century infirmary, as well as soldiers’ barracks, the commander’s quarters and a Cherokee encampment. Demonstrations will include a variety of tasks and skills common to a frontier fortification, including cooking, laundering and blacksmithing. Costumed living history re-enactors will go about their garrison duties throughout the weekend, taking time to interact with visitors.
“Living history presentations will be presented in the reconstructed Fort Loudoun, recreating the event that led up to the surrender of the fort,” Park Manager Eric Hughey said. “Demon
strations and re-enactments will transport visitors back in time to life at historic Fort Loudoun.”
The visitor center and museum will be open both days. Visitors can view the new interpretive film, Fort Loudoun: Forsaken by God and Man, that gives a short history of Fort Loudoun, along with some of the artifacts recovered from the historic site. The Fort’s gift shop and bookstore will also be open for visitors to find that unique souvenir.
After a meeting of the fort’s officers last week, it has been determined that in the interest of commerce next years Trade Faire will be moved to October 17-18. Lieutenant Gray has asked me to make this announcement now so as to allow ample time for the public to make preparations. The hours for the faire will remain the same with the gates opening to the public at 10:00 AM for both days, and the grounds remaining open until 5:00 PM. Additionally, he has told me that he will continue to add updates here as next year’s date nears.
Produced by Nolichucky Pictures, a cinematic media company based in Knoxville, who began filming the documentary in August 2010 with Buck Kahler, Chris Albrecht, Debra Dylan and the documentary’s cast and crew of 198 volunteers, including five scholars and two educational consultants. The documentary’s title derives from a quote attributed to Captain Paul Demere, commander of Fort Loudoun at the time of the surrender of the fort.
A 30-minute version of the documentary will be broadcast on East Tennessee PBS in early August. At that time, a DVD of the documentary and a special feature about the archaeology of Fort Loudoun and the Tellico Reservoir Project will be available for purchase. The documentary is made possible by Pellissippi State Community College, Humanities Tennessee, Nolichucky Pictures, East Tennessee PBS and the Fort Loudoun Association.
Prior to this new documentary, The Fort Loudoun Story debuted at the visitor center in the fall of 2004. Buck Kahler and Chris Albrecht also produced this documentary, which won awards from the Tennessee Association of Museums and the Oak Ridge Film Festival. The 2004 film was a welcome update to an dated audiovisual program that had been shown at the visitor center since 1983.
Fort Loudoun State Historic Area is a 1,200-acre site on the location of one of the earliest British fortifications on the western frontier, built in 1756. Nearby were the principal towns of the Cherokee Nation including Tenase, namesake of our state, and Tuskegee, birthplace of Sequoyah. Today the fort and the 1794 Tellico Blockhouse overlook TVA’s Tellico Reservoir and the Appalachian Mountains and are located one mile off Highway 411 on Highway 360 in Vonore.
For more information about the park or a complete schedule of events for the Living History Program 2013, please contact the Fort Loudoun State Historic Area office at 423-884-6217.
Fort Loudoun staff are excited to have the ability to offer their award-winning educational programs to students of all ages. Participants in the program will see parts of the reconstructed fort, witness demonstrations of the soldiers’ equipment and interact with interpretive staff dressed in period attire. Teachers also have the ability to introduce students to the complex diplomatic relationships between the English and Native people of the Southeastern U.S., using the story of Fort Loudoun. Students and educators will learn about the different people who lived at the fort during its four-year existence and the life of the solider in the king’s service during the French and Indian War. To participate or for further information, visit the Skype in the Classroom website at the park’s Skype in the Classroom partner page, or contact the park at 423-884-6217, email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.