Lost and Found

Trip Start Mar 07, 1997
Trip End Dec 25, 1998

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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Friday, May 29, 1998

Go with me? We're touring twelve of the state's most intriguing gardens in Jonesborough, The Oldest Town in Tennessee. The gardeners will be on hand to brag and advise, and after we've filled the car with plants we'll take tea at Poplar Hill, in decidedly English style.

Now, if your thumb isn't green and you prefer to leave the gardening to Contrary Mary, focus on history! "Historic" is part of the Jonesborough masthead and the entire town is on the National Historic Register. Staked out in 1779, it was the first town west of the Appalachian Mountains.

No haphazard straggle of lean-to's, it developed according to building restrictions. The lots were laid acre by acre and the pioneers were required to build "a brick or stone...house, 20 feet long and 16 feet wide..." or forfeit their land. When North Carolina ceded the land to the U. S. government in 1784, the enterprising citizenry declared themselves the State of Franklin. Franklin was never admitted to the Union, though it did have a constitution.

In 1796 it became Tennessee, and the "Lost State of Franklin" is but one of many stories you'll hear around Jonesborough. It is, after all, home of the National Storytelling Center. You may hear of Andrew Jackson, who was admitted to the bar in the little log courthouse; you may hear of the world's first periodicals devoted to the abolition of slavery, published in Jonesborough.

Get the schedule for the Storytelling weekends, or sign up anytime for a Times and Tales Tour which wanders you in and around more than 40 historic buildings. Stay in a historic B & B, dine in a century-old church, stroll the brick sidewalks. And look at the gardens? See you there.

Jonesborough, Tennessee
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