Reenactors bring ‘Independence on the Frontier’ to Sycamore Shoals


ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) – Elizabethton residents got the chance to see what the moment may have looked like when the American Revolution became real for settlers of the area during Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park’s ‘Independence on the Frontier’ on Saturday.

Living history actors and local historians spent the day in 18th-century clothing while manning the park’s Fort Watauga, and offered education on a variety of topics:

  • Medicinal Plants
  • Local History
  • Firelock, Rifle and Sword Demonstrations
  • Militia Drill Lessons
  • Historic Reenactment

Sycamore Shoals’ museum curatorial assistant, Chad Bogart, told News Channel 11 that independence wasn’t entirely cut and dry in the region, and that they hoped to reflect this in the 1 p.m. reading of the Declaration of Independence. News of the document reached the frontier long after it was initially released, and the reading featured reactions from those on both sides of the issue.

“We had a couple who might have been on the fence about some things,” said Bogart. “Living under the crown of England provided, you know you hear a lot about taxation without representation and the things that caused the separation from Great Britain, but living under the crown of Great Britain might have not been a very bad thing for a lot of people, I mean it was the most powerful country at the time and offered a lot of protection.”

While some holdouts may have been present at the time, Bogart said the area had already maintained an independent spirit at the time of the revolution.

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