Worth a Visit: Tennessee’s Jonesborough Historic District
Jonesborough, Tennessee The oldest American town west of the Appalachians, Jonesborough was established in 1779 and later became the portal
The oldest American town west of the Appalachians, Jonesborough was established in 1779 and later became the portal to the Southwest prior to the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. The picturesque community, filled with restaurants, unique shops, and bed-and-breakfasts, is the first town in Tennessee listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is intent on preserving its 200-year-old legacy of history and architecture.
Daily guided tours of historic Jonesborough, the central part of the town, begin in the visitors center at the History Museum, where the community’s development is charted by displays featuring pioneer tools and building techniques, early trades, commerce, transportation, religion, education, and recreation.
One can enjoy the rich variety of architectural styles, with Victorian homes predominating on and near Main St. Among other highlights are the Chester Inn, the town’s oldest commercial building (1797), and the Christopher Taylor House, a two-story log house where President Andrew Jackson once lived as a young lawyer. You’ll pass the Mail Pouch building, formerly a saloon, and the Salt House, where salt was rationed to the townspeople during the Civil War. Also to be seen are some very fine pre – Civil War churches.
Jonesborough is home to the annual National Storytelling Festival, which draws some 10,000 visitors.
— Museum open year-round.