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Fun and learning at Tipton-Haynes Historic Site

Fun and learning at Tipton-Haynes Historic Site • Jun 13, 2018 at 12:00 AM

Adam Nivens,13, leans back in his chair in a meeting room of the Tipton-Haynes State Historic Site and watches as his younger brother, Paul, puts the finishing touches on his coil pottery project. Paul, 10, notes his bowl needs “a little more smoothing,” and continues his work.

This is the third summer that the Johnson City brothers have participated in Tipton-Haynes’ Summers Past History Program, but it is the first for their 6-year-old sister Vivan, who was getting help with her pottery creation from Matthew Frye, the co-director of the historic site.

Frye said the siblings are among 18 children between the ages of 5 and 13 taking part in the program’s Native American Week.

He said 19 students have signed up for next week’s program, which focuses on the pioneer and Colonial history of Tipton-Haynes, and 11 have enrolled so far for the final week of the summer camp, which will feature the history of the Civil War era. Each week’s program includes history-based crafts, storytelling and outdoor activities.

“During the Civil War week, students will make hardtack, make their own pillows and we’ll play a little baseball, which was created during that time,” Frye said.

Other activities will concentrate on Landon Carter Haynes, who owned the property during the Civil War and was elected from Tennessee to serve in the Confederate Senate.

Still Much to Learn 

Adam said the Tipton-Haynes summer program continues to be educational and fun. He said he particularly keen on learning more about the Cherokee and other Native Americans in the region.

“We are seeing some new activities this year,” he said. “We are learning what Native Americans did for fun, and how they made things.”

Paul said past lessons from the camp still resonate with him, such as learning of things Native Americans took as omens.

“We learned last year that an owl is a sign for death,” Paul said.

Fun For All

Tipton-Haynes volunteer Myrna Bush lent a hand to Natalie French, 6, who was struggling to string beads for her Native American bracelet. Bush said this is her first summer volunteering for the program, and was so excited Tuesday to be involved that she brought her granddaughter along with her.

 “This is an amazing place,” said Bush, who lives in Blountville. “I love history, and this is a marvelous place to enjoy it.”

To learn more about the Tipton-Haynes State Historic site and the Summers Past History Program, call 926-3631 or go to tipton-haynes.org.

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