Sycamore Shoals is more than just a state park, it is a state historical area that celebrates the frontier spirit and the courage of the early settlers of the United States. Now, this area lets you relive that era in history and explore the outside areas that the settlers of this region of the country fell in love with, in the 18th century.
The historic significance of Sycamore Shoals is twofold. Number one, it was the site of the first major land purchase in the US. In 1775, this land purchase – called the Transylvania Purchase – added 20 million acres between the Cumberland River and the Kentucky River. Later, during the Revolutionary War, the Overmountain Men of the Sycamore Shoals area defeated the Loyalists at the Battle of Kings Mountain. The victory of this militia from the Tennessee area over the British at King’s mountain is considered by many scholars to be the turning point of the Revolutionary War.
To celebrate the history of Sycamore Shoals, they put on a number of special events throughout the season. Here are just a few of the events that the put on each year at this great historic site:
Colonial Kids at Fort Watauga – Designed for kids of all ages, this gives you an idea about the life of small children during the heyday of Fort Watauga and Sycamore Shoals. Games, kid’s activities and of course some black powder fun will be had by all.
Annual Siege at Fort Watauga – During the Revolutionary War the community that existed around Fort Watauga prepared for war. This event allows you to see that preparation and even a few skirmishes throughout the weekend.
Sycamore Shoals Native American Festival – This is a two-day celebration of the people that called this place home before the European settlers arrived. There are demonstrations of Cherokee arts and crafts, discussions and guest speakers.
Liberty: The Saga of Sycamore Shoals – this is the presentation of Tennessee’s official outdoor drama. Come see this taste of the life of Tennessee during the pioneer days, as the saga of the Sycamore Shoals area unfolds in play form.
Civil War Camp at Carter Mansion – Visit the recreation of a Civil War camp as it might have existed in the Sycamore Shoals area in the 1860s. Walk around the camp see demonstrations of weapons and camp life.
Sycamore Shoals Celtic Festival – Celebrating the Celtic heritage of the people that settled this area, the Celtic festival at Sycamore Shoals has been going on for over a decade, drawing in thousands of visitors each year.
Overmountain Victory Trail – Two events that celebrate the muster of the troops that made up the Overmountain Men and their march through Sycamore Shoals toward the battle of King’s Mountain.
Fort Watauga Knap-In – learn how the Native Americans that called this area home made their stone tools before their introduction to steel and iron. Demonstrations of these primitives toold take place throughout the day.