Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Marble Springs Cats

Anyone who has visited Marble Springs in the last few years has probably had a run-in with at least one of the cats (Boots, Cinnamon, and John Sevier). They love attention and really enjoy visitors being around to pet them. 

Just recently, the cats started their own Twitter account, to share their experiences at Marble Springs. So far, it seems like Boots likes to take artistic photos of himself, John Sevier is confused why the humans keep talking about him when he doesn't remember doing any of those things himself, and Cinnamon doesn't like rain (or the vet).

We look forward to seeing what else the cats want to share about the Marble Springs site!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Marble Springs Welcomes New Assistant Director

Ashleigh Oatts has recently joined Marble Springs State Historic Site as the Assistant Director. She previously worked as a Program Assistant for the Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State on their partnership with the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources program and as the Education Coordinator at Blount Mansion. She has also worked with several other museums in the state, including the East Tennessee Historical Society, the Tennessee State Museum, Oaklands Historic House, the Don F. Pratt Military Museum at Fort Campbell, among others.

Ashleigh graduated from Maryville College (majoring in History) in 2007, and received her Master’s degree (with a concentration in Public History) from Middle Tennessee State University in 2009. She looks forward to expanding the educational opportunities at Marble Springs.

Ashleigh driving a HMMWV as part of her internship at Ft. Campbell.

Friday, April 6, 2012

BSA Venture Crew 1796

Scouting and Marble Springs has had a long friendship over the years.  Helping to continue this friendship is Marble Springs’s sponsorship of BSA Venture Crew 1796.  

Established in 2009, this crew is a specialized unit whose mission has a distinctly historical emphasis.  Crew members learn about life in the Tennessee Valley from the mid-1700s to early-1800s.  Topics regularly covered at meetings include: clothing of the period, life skills required to survive, and typical housing & eating habits of this period.  Visiting other historic sites also provide unique insight – Fort Loudon State Park in Vonore, TN & Martin’s Station in Ewing, Virginia – both served as British outposts during the French & Indian War and serve as valuable educational destinations for learning about this unique period of history.

Learning how to be an effective leader is important to scouts of all ages. Teaching younger scouts those survival skills you have learned is just as an important part of the experience for the members of Venture Crew 1796.  From pitching historic wedge tents to learning how to cook over an open fire, practicality and survival go hand-in-hand for these resourceful teenagers.

The BSA Venture Crew 1796 is open to boys who are age 14 & up. 

If you are interested in becoming a part of the Venture Crew, either as a member or adult volunteer, please contact Marble Springs at 573-5508 or by email at

Friday, March 30, 2012

2012 Marble Springs Storytelling Festival

April 14, 2012 will herald the return of the Storytelling Festival at Marble Springs.  This all day Dogwood Arts Event features some of East Tennessee’s premier storytelling artists. 

Types of stories include: Quilt stories, Women's stories, Children's tales, Fairytales and folklore, traditional and historic tales, Animal stories, and Native American stories. If you are in the mood to get spooked there will be Around the Bonfire Ghost Stories at 6pm & 7pm.

Bring your own chairs & blankets.

Donation: $5 all day, $3 student, under 6 FREE.  Parking is free.

Discounts for groups of 10 or more prior to April 4 with reservations 865-429-1783 or

All activities will take place at: Marble Springs State Historic Site,1220 West Governor John Sevier Highway
Knoxville, TN  37920

This event is co-sponsored by the Governor John Sevier Memorial Assoc. & 
the Smoky Mountain Storytellers Association. 

The Smoky Mountain Storytellers Association
More information can be found by calling (865) 573-5508 or email 

We look forward to seeing you there!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Marble Springs Chosen to Participate in the 2012 Conservation Assessment Program

Marble Springs State Historic Site has been awarded $7,190 by the Conservation Assessment Program of Heritage Preservation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The money will be used to hire two assessors to evaluate the museum buildings and collections. After their visits, detailed reports will be provided to the museums staff.

This grant provides a great opportunity for us to learn more about the health and preservation of our structures and collections. It could also help in the quest for grants in the future.

We are honored to have been chosen to participate in the 2012 CAP and look forward to learning how we can improve the management of our structures & collections care.


Friday, March 16, 2012

The End of a Season, not Good-bye...

The excitement of winning a door prize at the 2011 TAM Conference was almost overwhelming!  
From the Assistant Director/Trading Post Manager (Rebecca): It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing my days at Marble Springs are coming to a close. Since my coming on staff in May 2010, I have fallen more & more in love with this site & the legacy of John Sevier. It has been my privilege to work with the fantastic staff, dedicated volunteers & supportive board members of the Governor John Sevier Memorial Association (GJSMA). It has also been my honor to have had the opportunity to become acquainted with the folks at the Tennessee Historical Commission. And, of course, all of the friends I made in the Tennessee Association of Museums from fine institutions across our great state.

This is by no means a good-bye from me - I plan to continue my relationship with Marble Springs - it is simply the end of a season of my life. We will begin homeschooling our daughter in the fall & I feel that my focus, time & energy is now best spent on preparing and implementing her education.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Executive Director, Anna Chappelle, for allowing me to use this medium to say goodbye. She is an excellent director & I know that Marble Springs will continue to thrive under her capable leadership. I would also like to express my gratitude to John Gammon for being such a wonderful co-worker &, more importantly, such a great friend. I will miss seeing you & your family on a regular basis. I would like to thank Dr. Michael Toomey for always being such a strong supporter of my professional endeavors - your support has meant more to me than I can adequately express. And, finally, I would like to say Thank You to Ethiel Garlington & all of the board members of the Governor John Sevier Memorial Association - thank you for all the opportunities you afforded me during my tenure at Marble Springs. It is because of your support & encouragement I have grown more professionally than I could ever have expected.

My last day on site will be Sunday, April 1st. In the meantime, there is a lot to be done - a lot of loose ends to tie up, so let's get to work!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Nashville Trip Fosters Relationships with Legislators

On January 25 & 26, 2012, Executive Director Anna Chappelle & Assistant Rebecca Sardella traveled over the plateau to Nashville. The purpose of this trip was two-fold: to make contact with key state legislators & to conduct important research at the Tennessee Historical Commission offices.  While Anna met with State Representatives & Senators, Rebecca was able to tour the gorgeous Tennessee Capitol Building & the Tennessee State Museum, discovering many treasures related to John Sevier along the way!  

 A silver watch presented to John Sevier by William Blount in 1796.  The inscription reads
 “To my esteemed and trusted friend John Sevier—William Blount”  Tennessee State Museum

 Sword presented to John Sevier by the state of North Carolina in honor 
of his role at the Battle of Kings Mountain. Tennessee State Museum

 Bust of John Sevier in the Tennessee Capitol Building

Portrait miniature of Catherine Sevier on display in the Tennessee State Museum

Martha Akins, Director of State Historic Sites at the Tennessee Historical Commission, was kind enough to allow us access to all of her records regarding Marble Springs State Historic Site.   These records provided a unique perspective on the history of the historic site & how the management has changed over the years. We also discovered key documents relating to archeological efforts that were completed in 2002. Only a small dent was made into the drawers full of information relating to Marble Springs.  We hope to make another trip to Nashville in the near future to continue our research efforts.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Knoxville Symphony League presents Reeds to Oboe at Marble Springs

On Tuesday, February 28, 2012 Marble Springs was once again a host site for the Elegant Dining Series, presented by the Knoxville Symphony League.  At a lunch of Southern vittles in the quaint cottage on the property, Dr. Michael Toomey, noted educator, author & historian, (& immediate past GJSMA Board President) talked about life and times in the region during the 1790s.

Scheduled special guest artist KSO oboist Ayca Yayman was unable to attend the luncheon. In place of her scheduled demonstration; Executive Director Anna Chappelle, Grounds Manager John Gammon & Dr. Toomey spoke to guests about the historic structures, the mission of the GJSMA & expanded on the topic of John Sevier’s life.  A guided tour of the historic structures was led by John Gammon.

Southern Vittles were prepared by Abner’s Attic, Rex Bradford Jones, Caterer.  The hosts for this luncheon were Elizabeth Koester, Patsy Ellis,  Yellie Greebe, Rochelle Veum, Terry Finnerty &  Charlotte Walden. 

We always enjoy serving as a host site for these unique community events.  Thank you to everyone that attended that luncheon - we look forward to seeing you again soon!

Friday, February 24, 2012

'Shopping at the Farm' Farmers Market to Begin April 26th

Marble Springs State Historic Site is proud to present the 2nd Season of ‘Shopping at the Farm’ – the Marble Springs Farmer’s Market for our South Knoxville community. 

The market will be held Thursdays from 3-6pm, beginning on April 26 & continuing weekly through November 15, 2012.  

All vendors must grow, make or produce the products they sell.  No resale is allowed.  Vendor booth rates are $5 per week - if a booth is reserved for one month (4 weeks), the rate will be $15. 

We are currently recruiting volunteers to help with the upcoming season of the ‘Shopping at the Farm’ Farmers Market. Volunteer Opportunities include (but are not limited to): Vendor Recruitment, Data gathering at weekly markets, Information table attendants, Set up & clean up assistance and Marketing & Advertising assistance. 

We are excited about the continuation of this service to our local community & look forward to having many of our local farmers & artisans participating!

For more information or to request a vendor packet, please contact:
865-573-5508 or

Friday, February 17, 2012

New Brochure Unveiled

2012 started off with excitement over the new &  improved Marble Springs brochure.  We worked closely with the design team at Robin Easter Design to ensure the  “Pamphlet on the Last Home of John Sevier” perfectly captures the historic & rustic nature of our site, all while concisely conveying important information about John Sevier, the historic site, the Governor John Sevier Memorial Association (GJSMA) & facilities information.  

The brochure also features a QR code which, when scanned, will take smart phone users directly to our Facebook page.
                           Image from Robin Easter Design website: 

This publication was made possible by the Arts & Heritage Fund.  We are grateful to the Haslam Family Foundation, the Clayton Family Foundation, 21st Mortgage, the Cornerstone Foundation, the Knoxville Tourism & Sports Corporation, and Scripps Networks for contributing to this new community resource, which supports a wide range of arts organizations and historic sites in our area and is managed by the Arts & Culture Alliance of Greater Knoxville. 

Thank you Arts & Heritage Fund!