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Seasonal rangers presenting programs at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park

John Thompson • Updated Jun 12, 2018 at 7:32 PM

ELIZABETHTON — The summer seasonal ranger program has returned for another season at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park.

Park Manager Jennifer Bauer said this year the park will have two seasonal rangers. She said Stuart Shelton will be returning for a second year. This will be the first year for Jared Brandt.

The program is designed to give college students experience as state park rangers. It has been in existence for many years in differing forms. Bauer said she began her career in the park system by working in the program.

As with seasonal rangers from past years, Brandt and Shelton will be presenting their own interpretation of 18th- and 19th-century culture and life on the frontier in the Southern Appalachians.

Bauer said one improvement this year is that there will be daily tours of both the Carter Mansion and Sabine Hill. Brandt and Shelton will be leading the tours.

The schedule of seasonal ranger programs for the next two weeks is as follows:

Wednesday, June 13.

9:30 a.m.: An interactive nature hike led by Brandt covering the trail and surrounding areas of Sycamore Shoals. The group will meet at the ramp behind the visitors center.

11 a.m.: A tour of Carter Mansion. This home is the oldest wood frame house in Tennessee and was built by Watauga Settlement leaders John Carter and his son, Landon Carter. The cost of the tour is $7 for adults; $3 for children aged 7-17 and children 5 and under admitted free.

2 p.m.: Sabine Hill House tour. Shelton will lead the tour of the recently restored Federalist-style home of the Taylor Family. The cost of the tour is $7 for adults, $3 for children between 7 and 17 and free for children 6 and under.

Thursday, June 14.

9 a.m.: Tomahawk throwing, Brandt will be at Fort Watauga to demonstrate how the tomahawk was used in the lives of the settlers and the lives of the Cherokee.

11 a.m.: Carter Mansion Tour.

2 p.m.: Sabine Hill Tour.

3:30 p.m.: Riddles from Appalachia, come try your luck at guessing the answers to historical Appalachian riddles, as countless Appalachians did before you. Meet at Fort Watauga.

Friday, June 15.

10 a.m.: Carter County’s American Civil War Experience — Meet a Union Civil War soldier and hear about how the Civil War affected this area. Participants can also see what a typical Civil War soldier would have had in his haversack. The presentation will begin inside Fort Watauga.

11 a.m.: Carter Mansion Tour.

12:30 p.m.: Daniel Boone. Brandt will meet participants at the Carter Mansion to talk about Boone’s life, travels and equipment as he made his way through the wilderness.

2 p.m.: Sabine Hill tour.

3:30 p.m.: Musket firing demonstration: Shelton be at Fort Watauga to demonstrate the loading and firing of the Brown Bess musket.

Saturday, June 16.

9 a.m.: Nature walk: Brandt will conduct an interactive nature hike that covers the trail and surrounding areas of Sycamore Shoals. The group will meet at the bottom of the ramp behind the visitor center.

11 a.m.: Carter Mansion tour.

2 p.m.: Sabine Hill tour.

3 p.m.: Pelt program. Brandt will be at Fort Watauga to demonstrate the wonders of the mammals that inhabit the East Tennessee environment.

Sunday, June 17.

11 a.m.: Carter Mansion tour.

Noon: Life in the Fort — Brandt and Shelton will be in Fort Watauga to demonstrate the daily occupations of settlers taking refuge in the fort during the 1770s.

2 p.m.: Sabine Hill tour.

3:30 p.m.: Enslaved people at Sabine Hill — Shelton will be at the historical Sabine Hill House to share how the Taylor Family’s slaves lived and worked.

Wednesday June 20.

10:30 a.m.: Games and diversions. Shelton will be inside Fort Watauga, where he will allow you to try your hand at 18th-century children’s games.

11 a.m.: Carter Mansion tour.

12:30 p.m.: Fur trade: Learn how early settlers in Fort Watauga traded furs between the Native Americans and visitors in the community. Shelton will present the program outside the Carter mansion.

2 p.m.: Sabine Hill tour.

3:30 p.m.: Tomahawk throwing. Brandt will be a Fort Watauga to demonstrate how the tomahawk was used in the lives of the settlers and the lives of the Cherokee.

Thursday, June 21.

9:30 a.m.: Brandt will be at Fort Watauga for a morning demonstration on how to load and fire the Brown Bess musket.

11 a.m.: Carter Mansion tour.

2 p.m.: Sabine Hill tour.

Friday, June 22.

9:30 a.m.: Brandt and Shelton will once again be in Fort Watauga to demonstrate the daily occupations of settlers taking refuge in Fort Watauga during the 1770s.

11 a.m.: Carter Mansion tour.

1 p.m.: Pelt program. Brandt will be at Fort Watauga to demonstrate the wonders of the mammals that inhabit the East Tennessee environment.

2 p.m.: Sabine Hill tour.

3:30 p.m.: Weapons of the 17th century. Shelton will present a program on how soldiers of the 1600s fought and what weapons they used on battlefields in Europe.

Saturday, June 23.

9 a.m.: Nature hike. Brandt will conduct an interactive nature hike that covered the trail and surrounding areas of Sycamore Shoals. The group will meet at the bottom of the ramp behind the visitor center.

10 a.m. Long Hunters — Shelton will be in the wooded area next to the fort gates for a talk on how 18th century Long Hunters lived in the Appalachian frontier.

11 a.m.: Carter Mansion tour.

2 p.m.: Sabine Hill tour.

3:30 p.m.: Pelt program, Brant will once again be at Fort Watauga to discuss the wonders of the mammals that inhabit the East Tennessee environment.

Sunday, June 24

11 a.m.: Carter Mansion tour.

2 p.m.: Sabine Hill tour.

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