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Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton live at the International Storytelling Center

Although only in his twenties, Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton has earned a reputation for transporting audiences back to the 1920’s and making them wish they could stay there for good. An amazing multi-instrumentalist, his ability to transform traditional jazz, blues, folk, and country into the here and now – coupled with his humor and storytelling – makes for a uniquely engaging performance. Paxton was nominated this year for the International Folk Music Artist of the Year.

“Paxton seems to effortlessly embody the spirit of early music including ragtime, ‘20s jazz and Dust Bowl-era blues, delivering them through a dizzying display of virtuosity on guitar, piano, banjo, and fiddle.” – Living Blues

Ticket Prices: Adult $12 Senior $11
Time: 2 PM – 3 PM Daily Tuesday – Saturday

Mountain Music Museum to Unveil Roy Acuff Fiddle

Fiddle on loan to museum for one year unveiled.

A rare fiddle, once owned by the late country music legend Roy Acuff, will be unveiled at the Mountain Music Museum in Kingsport, Tennessee on Tuesday, May 1. Members of the Acuff family will be present, and there will be live music and free admission during the celebration, from 11:00-1:00.

The fiddle is on loan to the museum for one year, courtesy of its owner, Lamar Peek, in memory of his late brother, Bobby Peek, who purchased it at a pawn shop in Alabama. The fiddle received national attention last January, when a family member of Peek’s family donated it to Goodwill in Kansas City, without realizing its historical significance.

Peek discussed the fiddle during an interview with former Arkansas Governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee on his weekly program “Huckabee” on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). The interview can be seen here:

The Roy Acuff fiddle was made in 1945 by the singer’s uncle, Evart Acuff, in Maryville, Tennessee, just south of Knoxville. Evart was an acclaimed fiddle maker in the region.

Birding Kingsport Logo

Birding Kingsport meeting with presenter Gary Bailey

Interested In Birds?

Birding Kingsport, a club formed to connect area birders with all things birds, will meet Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at Toy F. Reid Eastman Employee Center, 400 S. Wilcox Drive, Kingsport, at 7:00 in Room 225. Gary Bailey, well-known area birder, will present the program ‘Alaska Adventures in Birding’. For more information see

Spring Garden Fair 2018

Spring Garden Fair 2018 at Exchange Place Living History Farm

In a time-honored area tradition, Exchange Place Living History Farm will once again celebrate spring and the planting season with its annual Spring Garden Fair. Turning 34 this year, the oldest garden fair in our region will be held on Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., and Sunday, April 29, from noon until 5 p.m., at the 1850s farmstead located at 4812 Orebank Road in Kingsport.

Eagerly anticipated by area gardeners — from beginners to experts – the Fair will feature thousands of plants for sale, from old favorites to rare and hard-to-find varieties. Growers will offer perennials, annuals, trees and shrubs, with an emphasis on herbs, natives and heirloom plants, including a wide assortment of heirloom tomatoes. Gardening experts will be available throughout the weekend to share their knowledge about plant selection and care, and folk and yard artisans will also be found throughout the farmstead with unique plant and garden-related arts and crafts.

True to its mission, Exchange Place will offer slices of 19th century life in almost every corner. Over on the Roseland side, the Burow Museum will be eagerly welcoming visitors, while just a few feet away, in an area between the Museum and the barn, our sheep will be getting their hair cut! Historically known as shearing the sheep, this will take place on Saturday, April 28, between 11 am and 3 pm. The Overmountain Weavers Guild will then take that wool and continue their long “Sheep to Shawl” tradition of carding (cleaning, separating and straightening) the wool, spinning it into yarn and weaving that yarn into scarves and, perhaps, other beautiful and wearable items.

A new component this year will be a Fiber Fair, to be held on the back porch of Roseland. Textile artisans skilled in spinning, weaving and wool felting will on hand to demonstrate their skills and offer hands-on instruction to anyone interested in having a go at these venerable arts.

Across the road on the historic farm side of Exchange Place, the hearth kitchen will be filled with wonderful aromas supplied by the Eden’s Ridge Hearth Cookery Society, while our Junior Apprentices will be seen in a variety of places, including the kitchen and the garden, performing their chores and offering insights about how life was lived on an antebellum Northeast Tennessee farm. And the blacksmith’s shop will be active all weekend as our very own Catherine Shook will be demonstrating the importance of a blacksmith in the years before the Industrial Revolution.

A wide variety of hands-on children’s activities will be found all around the grounds, and young’uns will certainly want to say hello to our resident animals, including Delilah (our cow), Jenny (our donkey), and our three horses, plus our sheep and pigs.

Two other popular features of the Garden Fair will be back again. Retired World Champion Whimmy Diddler Will Hines of Greeneville will be on hand to direct the 9th Annual Edens Ridge Whimmy Diddle Competition at 3 p.m. on Sunday. Open to all ages, Mr. Hines and others will be under the main tent, just a few yards away from the Preston House, starting at 2 p.m., to offer valuable pointers and practice time prior to the contest. And there is a reward, as the winners will receive trophies made by local woodworker Gary Albertson! Meanwhile, the joyous Maypole decoration and dance will take place at 2 pm on Sunday. Brought to this country by our European ancestors, it is a traditional and colorful celebration of spring.

As always, music will fill the air during the Spring Garden Fair, as an overabundance of local talent is scheduled to perform throughout the weekend. A complete schedule will be posted on the music tent and the front gate each day. And don’t worry, if you get hungry or thirsty, baked goods, lunch, drinks and snacks (including the ever-popular funnel cakes and kettle corn!) will be available.

The Spring Garden Fair strives to be as environmentally friendly as possible with recycling, composting, and re-using. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own plant carriers and to bring used nursery pots for recycling/reusing.

Admission is $5 for adults and is free for children under the age of 12. Proceeds from the event helps keep our animals fed and with the restoration and upkeep of the site, which is proudly listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Exchange Place is a non-profit, volunteer-run living history farm, educational facility and regional attraction that seeks to preserve, protect, interpret, and manage the history, heritage, and artifacts pertaining to mid-19th century farm life in Northeast Tennessee. For more information, please call
423-288-6071, or visit our website:

Bill Lepp

Bil Lepp as Teller-In-Residence

Bil Lepp is an internationally-known storyteller, author, and recording artist whose style has been described as a satisfying blend of Bob Newhart and Jeff Foxworthy. A five-time champion of the West Virginia Liars’ Contest, his outrageous tall tales and witty stories are a signature of his repertoire.

Lepp has been featured at venues nationwide, including the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and Comedy Central’s Stage on Hudson in Los Angeles. He is a recipient of the NSN ORACLE Circle of Excellence award, and his picture book, The King of Little Things, won a Parents’ Choice Gold award.

“[Lepp] goes for the funny bone. He stuffs his hands in his pockets and leans back as he nonchalantly lets drop the zinger to his tale.” – The Boston Globe

Netherland Inn-Exchange Place

Netherland Inn-Exchange Place Association Annual Dinner-Guest speaker Tom Galloway

Netherland Inn-Exchange Place

It was century in which all things seemed possible – it was the 19th Century, and it is when the Netherland Inn, Exchange Place and Hammond House all began. How they fit into this new world will be explored when the Netherland Inn-Exchange Place Association hosts its annual dinner on Sunday, March 11, 2018 at the Press Room on Roller Street in Kingsport, beginning at 5:30 pm.

Our guide for the evening will be noted local history researcher Tony Galloway. A graduate of Dobyns-Bennett High School, he was awarded a Bachelor’s Degree from King College and a Master’s Degree from East Tennessee State University, and has taught local and regional history, advanced American history and AP Government at Dobyns-Bennett; was co-director of the Governor’s School for Tennessee Heritage; and has served in an adjunct faculty position at ETSU, King College, Northeast State Community College, Walters State Community College, Virginia Intermont College, and Tusculum College. He has served as a board member for a variety of local historical groups, including the Heritage Alliance TAH Advisory Board, Tipton-Haynes, Rocky Mount, and our own Netherland Inn/Exchange Place Association.


Tom Galloway Mr. Galloway will be ably supported by members of the Appalachian Express Chorus. Entertaining throughout the Mountain Empire since 1968, the AEC is a member of the Barbershop Harmony Society and will be providing period-appropriate music. (For more information on the chorus, please see their website –

And since this is a dinner meeting, food, of course, will also be provided. Food City will be serving their always-excellent dinner of oven-fried chicken, potatoes, mixed vegetables, assorted cake slices, sweet and unsweetened tea, and soft drinks.

All guests are welcome! Please RSVP by Thursday, March 8, by contacting either Sara Selby (423-349-8372 or, or Marshall Adesman (423-357-5352 or, or by sending in your check for $18 per person to:

NI/EP Association, P.O. Box 293, Kingsport, TN 37662

The Netherland Inn/Exchange Place Association is a non-profit, 501(c)3, volunteer-run organization, whose purpose is to contribute to the better understanding and appreciation of the early history of this region, and to preserve the important landmarks (which also includes the Hammond House), antiques, relics, and documents as a part of our local, state, and national heritage.