Jonesborough, located in northeastern Tennessee, is widely recognized as the oldest town in the state. Its history is rich, dating back to the late 18th century. Here are some key points about the historic Jonesborough:
Founding and Early Years: Jonesborough was founded in 1779 by a group of settlers led by William Tatham. The town was initially named "Jonesborough" in honor of North Carolina legislator Willie Jones. In 1784, the area became part of the Southwest Territory, a United States territory that later evolved into the state of Tennessee.
State of Franklin: Jonesborough played a significant role in the short-lived State of Franklin, an independent state that existed from 1784 to 1788. The State of Franklin was an attempt by settlers in the region to create a separate state before Tennessee became part of the Union.
Early Statehood: Tennessee became the 16th state in the Union in 1796, and Jonesborough was part of the new state. The town served as the capital of the Washington District of North Carolina, the Southwest Territory, and the State of Franklin at various points in its early history.
Historical Architecture: Jonesborough is known for its well-preserved historic architecture. The town boasts numerous 18th and 19th-century buildings, including the Chester Inn, which was a popular stop for stagecoaches in the 19th century. The Jonesborough Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and includes a variety of structures that reflect the town's history.
Storytelling Tradition: Jonesborough is famous for its storytelling tradition. The International Storytelling Center, located in the heart of the town, hosts the National Storytelling Festival annually, drawing storytellers and enthusiasts from around the world.
Civil War Era: During the Civil War, Jonesborough was occupied by both Union and Confederate forces at different times. The town witnessed several skirmishes and was near the site of the Battle of Blue Springs in 1863.
Modern Day: Today, Jonesborough is a charming town that attracts visitors with its historic ambiance, cultural events, and festivals. It is a popular destination for those interested in history and storytelling.
Jonesborough's rich history, coupled with its commitment to preserving its heritage, makes it a unique and noteworthy town in the state of Tennessee. The town's contributions to the early history of the region and its cultural significance continue to be celebrated by residents and visitors alike.
Top Tourist Attractions
Jonesborough is a town with a rich history and numerous attractions that draw tourists seeking a glimpse into the past. Here are some of the top tourist attractions in historic Jonesborough:
- International Storytelling Center: The International Storytelling Center, located in the heart of Jonesborough, is a major attraction. It hosts the National Storytelling Festival annually and promotes the art of storytelling through various events, workshops, and performances.
- Jonesborough Historic District: Stroll through the Jonesborough Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The district features well-preserved 18th and 19th-century buildings, including the historic Chester Inn.
- Chester Inn State Historic Site and Museum: The Chester Inn, built in 1797, is a historic inn that now operates as a museum. Visitors can explore exhibits showcasing the history of Jonesborough, including its role in the State of Franklin and early statehood.
- Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center: The Visitors Center provides information about the town's history, attractions, and upcoming events. It's a great starting point for visitors looking to explore Jonesborough.
- Jonesborough Repertory Theatre: Enjoy live performances at the Jonesborough Repertory Theatre. This community theater presents a variety of productions, including plays, musicals, and other entertaining shows.
- Christopher Taylor Cabin: Visit the Christopher Taylor Cabin, the oldest standing structure in Jonesborough, dating back to 1777. It offers insights into the early pioneer life in the region.
- Jonesborough/Washington County History Museum: This museum showcases the history of Jonesborough and Washington County, featuring artifacts, documents, and exhibits that highlight the area's development and significance.
- Old Jonesborough Cemetery: Explore the Old Jonesborough Cemetery, which dates back to the early 19th century. The cemetery is the final resting place for many notable figures from Jonesborough's history.
- Tennessee Hills Distillery: For those interested in spirits, the Tennessee Hills Distillery offers tours and tastings of locally crafted spirits, providing a modern touch to Jonesborough's historic charm.
- Events and Festivals: Check the town's events calendar for various festivals and events throughout the year. In addition to the National Storytelling Festival, Jonesborough hosts events like the Jonesborough Yarn Exchange and Days of Old Jubilee.
These attractions collectively offer a blend of history, culture, and entertainment, making Jonesborough a delightful destination for tourists interested in exploring the heritage of this charming Tennessee town.
The town experiences a humid subtropical climate, characterized by four distinct seasons. Here's an overview of the climate in historic Jonesborough:
- Summer (June to August): Summers in Jonesborough are warm and humid. Average high temperatures range from the upper 80s to low 90s Fahrenheit (around 30-35°C). Humidity levels can be relatively high, contributing to the overall warmth.
- Fall (September to November): Fall brings milder temperatures and changing foliage. Average highs in September start to decline from the high 80s to the mid-70s Fahrenheit (around 24-29°C). October is often characterized by pleasant temperatures, with average highs in the 60s and 70s Fahrenheit (around 15-25°C). November sees a further decrease in temperatures, with average highs ranging from the upper 50s to mid-60s Fahrenheit (around 13-19°C).
- Winter (December to February): Winters in Jonesborough are cool, with occasional cold snaps. Average high temperatures in December and January range from the mid-40s to mid-50s Fahrenheit (around 7-13°C). Overnight lows can dip below freezing, and snowfall is possible but tends to be light.
- Spring (March to May): Spring is characterized by a gradual warming trend and blooming vegetation. Average high temperatures in March start in the 50s Fahrenheit (around 10-15°C) and increase to the 60s and 70s Fahrenheit (15-25°C) in April and May. Spring is a relatively wet season with increased precipitation.
Overall, Jonesborough experiences a diverse climate throughout the year, allowing residents and visitors to enjoy the changing seasons. It's advisable to check the local weather forecast when planning a visit, as temperatures and conditions can vary.
Jonesborough is a historic town located in northeastern Tennessee, and its geography is influenced by the Appalachian Mountains and the surrounding landscape of the southeastern United States. Here are key aspects of the geography of historic Jonesborough:
- Location: Jonesborough is situated in Washington County in the northeastern part of Tennessee. It is located in the eastern part of the state, near the borders with North Carolina and Virginia.
- Topography: The town is set in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, contributing to the hilly and varied topography of the region. The Nolichucky River flows to the south of Jonesborough, adding to the natural features of the area.
- Appalachian Mountains: The Appalachian Mountains, a major mountain range in eastern North America, have a significant impact on the geography of the region. While Jonesborough itself is not directly in the mountainous areas, the town is located in proximity to the foothills of the Appalachians.
- Nolichucky River: The Nolichucky River, a tributary of the French Broad River, flows south of Jonesborough. The river has played a role in the historical development and transportation of the region.
- Rich Agricultural Land: The surrounding region features fertile land, contributing to a history of agriculture in the area. Agriculture has been an essential part of Jonesborough's economy, and the town's early settlers engaged in farming activities.
- Historical Layout: The historic district of Jonesborough reflects the town's layout from its early days. The streets are laid out in a grid pattern, and many of the buildings in the historic district date back to the 18th and 19th centuries.
- Green Spaces: The town and its surroundings include green spaces and parks, providing areas for recreation and relaxation.
- Accessibility: Jonesborough is accessible by various highways, making it a convenient destination for visitors interested in exploring its historic sites and cultural attractions.
Overall, the geography of Jonesborough combines the natural beauty of the Appalachian foothills, the presence of the Nolichucky River, and the historical layout of the town, creating a distinctive and appealing setting for residents and visitors alike. The combination of natural features and historic architecture contributes to the town's unique charm.