Kingsport historic sites offer glimpse of Christmas past

Two Kingsport historic sites, Netherland Inn and Hammond House, will celebrate the Christmas holidays with traditions that date back to the 1800s when Richard and Margaret Netherland hosted their family and friends for a lavish party complete with beautiful decorations, candlelight, delicious food and lively music.

An 1818 Christmas at Netherland Inn will take place from 6 to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Dec. 8-9, and from 2 to 4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 10 at the inn, located at 2144 Netherland Inn Road.

Performers will include Nina Ketron Plus Two on Friday, Poplar Hill Reunion Band on Saturday and the Ben Ellis Band on Sunday afternoon.

On both Friday and Saturday evenings, Civil War re-enactors from the John S. Mosby Camp 1409, Sons of Confederate Veterans, will portray historical characters from the area and will interact with guests as they tell about the area’s part in the war, including The Battle of Kingsport. Dick and Jill Burdette will arrive in character as Richard and Margaret Netherland, along with their friends Bill and Charlette Pettis of Rogersville.

Local artists will be on hand exhibiting their work for sale. Robin Hillman will have her work for sale in the Schoolhouse Cabin. Some of her artwork is painted on wood from the flatboat, “The Charlotte.” Vicki Pinto will be in the Boone Cabin with her Tennessee artwork for sale.

Guests who attend the celebration will have an opportunity to enjoy the beautiful natural decorations designed and provided by Kingsport garden clubs and local volunteers, sample delicious food, hear festive holiday music and visit with the living history characters as they celebrate Christmas past.

Tickets for the 1818 Christmas event are $10 per person (children 6 and under free with a paying adult) and are available at the door or in the visitors’ center cabin at the parking lot during the event. All proceeds from the 1818 Christmas events go toward maintenance and restoration of the Netherland Inn and Boatyard Complex, as well as adding to the historic campus.

In addition to being the birthplace of Kingsport, the Netherland Inn is the only site on the National Register of Historic Places to have been both a boatyard and a stagecoach stop. To learn more about the 1818 Christmas or The Netherland Inn, call (423) 677-3263 or visit www.TheNetherlandInn.com.

The historic Hammond House, located close to Netherland Inn, will also be hosting its Victorian Christmas Open House from 2 to 4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 10. Costumed carolers from the LampLight Theater will perform on the front porch as visitors arrive. In one parlor, John and Joy Mullen will provide music and lead Christmas carols around the foot pump organ. Victorian era refreshments will be served in the dining room, and a paper ornament craft event will be available for the children. This two-story, eight-room Victorian (1892) house will be decorated for Christmas inside and out and open for tours.

The Hammond House event is free, but donations are welcomed. The Hammond House is located at 121 Shirley Street, just 0.2 miles from the Netherland Inn. To learn more about Hammond House, call (423) 245-5523 or visit www.hammondhouse.org.