Sunday, July 16, 2017

Newsletter Articles from the Summer 2017 issue of the Marble Springs Gazette. 

School Tours
By Samantha Burleson 

The spring school tours were another tremendous success! Our great group of volunteers really stepped up again this spring to help with the increasing number of large groups; many schools bringing 100 students or more! As always, their knowledge and experience are what help make these tours so enjoyable for the students. Many teachers expressed that they wish to return next year and parents as well as students can be heard expressing their delight. I have said it many times, but it never fails to be completely true: we simply could not have the success we do without this great group of people.
Some of the favorite topics and activities are the militia drill, seeing the spinning wheel spin wool, the story of how John Sevier meets Bonny Kate, and, believe it or not, doing chores in the tavern. We are hoping to be able to add some clothing that the children can try on and maybe even writing with quill and ink or making butter. We are looking forward to the same success in the fall but to add these new activities we will need more help. If you think you would like to help with anything from sewing children’s clothes, running our trading post, or even interpreting a building with the students, don’t hesitate to let us know. We are always happy to have new volunteers.

Storytelling Festival
 By Samantha Burleson 

The storytelling festival is a culturally rich event that we were able to bring back this year. Storytellers Millie Sieber, Cuz Headrick, Susan Fulbright, and Sheri Liles from the Smoky Mountain Storytellers Association were able to join us Saturday, May 6th with Civil War stories, funny stories, and some Native American stories. All of these folks are wonderful storytellers and had their audiences hanging on every word. This year also incorporated some music. The Knoxville Dulcimer Club came and played a few tunes in the morning. As always, the music was beautiful. Chip Bailey was another addition this year and his talk and performance of Stephen Foster’s music was truly a delight.
The performances and storytelling had to be moved into the tavern because of the rain and the cold, but that only added to the cozy feel of many of the stories. Many visitors that attended were not deterred by the rain either. The audience, storytellers, and musicians enjoyed sitting around the fireplace and enjoyed the older traditions together. The Tennessee Arts Commission grant we received is how we were able to bring this event back this year. We are truly grateful for the grant award.

Statehood Days
By Samantha Burleson 

Every year the Historic Homes of Knoxville put on an event at each site to celebrate the anniversary of Tennessee being admitted as the 16th state.  The official date of Tennessee’s statehood is June 1st, so Marble Springs chooses Memorial Day weekend to celebrate. This year we brought back the living history event for statehood and it turned out to be a great success. Many of our typical living history demonstrations were present such as the militia, the open camps, and blacksmithing, but we were also able to introduce a couple of new demonstrations. Our volunteer Madeline was able to demonstrate dying with indigo and Fran and Nani made cheese on Saturday. We had over 400 visitors that weekend! 
The weather, something that we always need to be concerned about, stayed beautiful for us all weekend. Despite the big storm on Saturday evening, during the event there was no rain and the heat was down. Everything that we could have asked for went great that weekend.

Farmer’s Market
By Samantha Burleson 

This year is looking to be a great year for produce. There has been so much rain already that gardens are growing like, well, weeds. Our first couple of weeks in May started out a bit slow for our vendors since the produce hadn’t quite grown yet, but things are picking up more and more every week. Our vendors have great produce every week with tomatoes, kale, beets, and even some berries starting to appear.
I’m pleased to see some new vendors this year along with some of our tried and true such as the Cantrells and the Hitchs. One such family, the Ziebols, have fresh eggs that they bring every week also. I have also heard from Mr. Stutts and will be attending again this year with his local honey. We are happy to see his honey bees happily buzzing around Marble Springs, making some of the best honey around.
The farmer’s market is a great addition to the community here and the produce is so wonderful. We greatly enjoy being able to provide this area for the local farmer’s and see people from South Knoxville able to enjoy some delicious fresh food. We hope to see it grow throughout the season with more vendors and more great vegetables. Make sure to stop by on Thursdays from 3 pm to 6 pm and see what is available. You can follow our Facebook page as well, Marble Springs Farmer’s Market, for updates on what is here every week.

Director’s Message
By Anna Chappelle


Within this issue you will hear about upcoming and past events, our mission accomplishments (we love our school tours!), and details about ongoing projects such as our Pollinator Project.

Summer is officially here! This is a great time to start looking for locations for your family reunion, birthday, or other celebration. We have a brand new roof on our pavilion, so if you would like to use Marble Springs for your special event, please contact us today. We have a small rental fee for up to 30 guests, in addition to flexible fees for larger events. Every rental helps Marble Springs raise funds to reach our mission of education and preservation.

If you would like to keep up to date with the latest news, programs, receive discounts on rentals, and free site tours, please consider a membership with Marble Springs. Details about giving levels and benefits can be found on our website We can accept payment through PayPal on our webiste, or you can mail a check to us at PO Box 20195, Knoxville, TN 37940.

We got the Knoxville SOUP! On April 27th we presented our Marble Springs Educational School Tour Project that was awarded $830 to go towards supplies for hands on activities that will be used for our school tours. Funds will be used to purchase wooden muskets for militia drills, child sized period clothing, wool cards, and more. Children learn more with hands on learning opportunities and we are VERY grateful that we can provide this experience for the students. More details about Knoxville SOUP can be found here

I wish to express my deepest gratitude to the volunteers who have worked tirelessly with Marble Springs to help us facilitate our events and school tours that educate the public about John Sevier, in addition to grounds maintenance, and other projects. We are a small staff, but we are made stronger through the help of our passionate volunteers. Thank you.


Anna Chappelle

Pollinator Garden Update
By John Gammon 

Summer has begun and a lot of progress has been made towards competing the new pollinator garden.  In spring the list of plants that we wanted for the project was sent to a local organization called the Native Plant Rescue Squad.  They specialize in going around the area saving native plants from lands that are schedule for development.  We acquired over 50 different species to be planted in four different beds around our main camping area just south of where we have our Thursday farmer market.  We had so many plants coming that we had to spread out delivery over a three week period!   We were making some good progress but because spring is one of the busiest times of the year at the site, we had to wait until the boy scouts came to help finish planting.  We’re now in the stage to start landscaping the pollinator beds by making a natural boundary between the garden and camping area.  To accomplished this we will be using a cache of pine logs that were looking for a purpose. Also on this list includes the need to build two rain barrel stations to provide water for insect and plants if needed, as well as to install some plant signage that our volunteer Nani Brabson made to help people know what they are looking at. Our Pollinator Garden is coming along and should be done by this July.

Annual Meeting
By Samantha Burleson 

This year’s annual meeting for the Governor John Sevier Memorial Association went spectacularly. It was an intimate gathering this year but we were pleased to see some familiar faces such as our lifetime member, Clara Haggaman, and Past President of the Board of Directors, Mike Toomey. The weather was also kind to us with the rain having finished up that morning and a delightful breeze that kept everyone cool.
 This year we will be saying goodby to Board member Jan Brown who is stepping down. We will still get to see her at the Farmer’s Market every now and then and she has agreed to continue to help with the Sevier Soiree. We are thankful to have been able to work with such a go-getter like Jan and we will miss your enthusiasm. Martha Whiley has also had to step down because of her new position that has relocated her to Virginia. Martha has been a great asset to our team, helping with finding and submitting grants for Marble Springs. Martha will also be missed but we wish her the best with her new position. We also got a change to welcome the new Board member, Martha Yoakum. She has been volunteering and helping with school tours and events for the past year and has been a much needed and greatly appreciated helping hand. She has a wonderful range of skill sets and we are excited to have her join us for this next coming year.
This coming year will also see new executive officers with Brooke Maner as Board President, Michael Lynch as Vice President, Adam Alfrey as Treasurer, and Katherine McPhaul as Secretary.

We have a great group of people on our Board of Directors and we are all looking forward to making this year another great one at Marble Springs.   

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