Jonesborough business owner handcrafts wooden truck

Paul Morin, small business owner of Jonesborough’s Paul’s Pens Odds and Ends, created a drivable wooden truck. It was first driven on Tuesday, May 31, and was parked in front of Morin’s store, located at 105 1/2 Fox Street in downtown Jonesborough.

The truck took over 2 years to create. Morin had a friend help with wiring and mechanical work, but otherwise did everything himself. The truck body was built from scratch with no instructions or plans, it was entirely free-handed.

Morin plans to bring the truck back to downtown Jonesborough this Friday, June 3 after 5 p.m. for Music on the Square, Jonesborough’s live music series.

“It was a labor of love,” Morin states. “I did it for no other reason than just to see if I could create it.”

Paul’s Pens Odds and Ends contains unique handcrafted pens and household items all created in store by Paul Morin. They are open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


For more information contact Paul Morin at 423.612.1500 or

Jonesborough Volunteer Appreciation Proclamation & Celebration

The Jonesborough Community Chest and the Community Chest’s Volunteer Committee invite the press to join them for a reception on Monday, April 11 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, located at 117 Boone Street. This event will be followed by the Board of Mayor and Alderman (BMA) meeting at 7 p.m. in which a proclamation honoring Jonesborough’s volunteers and acknowledging April as Volunteer Appreciation Month will be read. This BMA meeting will take place at Jonesborough Town Hall, located at 123 Boone Street.

Town of Jonesborough officials, department directors and leaders from 30 local organizations that use volunteers are invited to the event. At the reception the Jonesborough Community Chest will announce and recognize Jonesborough’s 2021 Outstanding Volunteers–three adults and two youth. The Outstanding Volunteers were selected by the Community Chest Volunteer Committee from nominations solicited from the community.

The proclamation will establish April as Jonesborough Volunteer Appreciation Month and will recognize the value of volunteers to the quality of life in Jonesborough. The Jonesborough Community Chest is initiating this first month-long recognition of the volunteers from over 30 Jonesborough organizations, agencies and schools that engage volunteers to fulfill their mission and service to the community.

The Jonesborough Community Chest was incorporated in 2008 and reinstated in 2012 to lead a collaboration with other community-based organizations to respond to current and unmet needs within the Jonesborough community including encouraging volunteerism. For more information, please contact Lynda Harris at or 703.388.6060.

Historic Jonesborough hosts two-night concert featuring storyteller Donald Davis       

Donald Davis, one of America’s favorite master storytellers, is coming to the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center on Tuesday, April 12 and 13 at 7:30 p.m. The two-night concert will feature Davis telling different stories each evening.

Davis was born in a Southern Appalachian Mountain world that was rich in stories. “I didn’t learn stories, I just absorbed them,” Davis says as he recounts tales learned from a family of traditional storytellers who lived on the same Western North Carolina land since 1781.

Davis’ resume boasts numerous experiences including Davidson College, Duke University Divinity School, a retired Methodist minister and former chairperson of the board of Directors for the National Storytelling Association. He is a favorite at the National Storytelling Festival and has also served as a featured teller at the Smithsonian Institute, the World’s Fair as well as festivals and concerts throughout the United States and the world.

For Donald Davis, storytelling is a way of giving and living life. He invites each listener to come along, pull deep inside for one’s own stories and personally share the common experiences that celebrate the creative spirit. For Donald Davis, storytelling “is not what I do for a living, but it is how I do all that I do while I am living.”

Enjoy two nights of stories from Donald Davis with general admission each evening being $15. A special group rate for 15 or more people is available for $12 per person. For tickets or more information, call 423.753.1010 or visit

McKinney Center to host Ernest McKinney Day of Giving

The McKinney Center will host their inaugural event, Ernest McKinney Day of Giving, on Monday, April 4 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the McKinney Center. There will be musical and poetry performances, interviews with students and teachers and a personal tour of an exhibition.

The namesake of the McKinney Center, Ernest L. McKinney, was the first African-American elected to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen of the Town of Jonesborough. He was elected on April 4, 1968.  It has been over 50 years since Ernest McKinney’s initial election to the Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Aldermen, yet it is important to remember the dedicated efforts of Ernest L. McKinney in uniting and serving all the citizens of Jonesborough and Washington County regardless of race, ethnic background or color. Since the election of Ernest McKinney Sr. in 1968, Jonesborough has had a person of color serving on the Town Board continuously for five decades including one of Ernest McKinney’s sons, Kevin B. McKinney, who served as Mayor from 1988 to 1997.

The McKinney Center and the Town of Jonesborough is proud to honor Ernest McKinney’s legacy through the artistic and cultural programming provided for the region at the McKinney Center.

View the activities on the McKinney Center’s Facebook page throughout the day.

Donations will go toward the scholarship program and cultural programming at the McKinney Center, and their goal is to raise $1,000. Donate online anytime during the year at The McKinney Center also accepts checks or cash. Donations can be mailed to:

The McKinney Center

103 Franklin Avenue

Jonesborough, TN 37659

McKinney Center’s Conversations That Matter to host March event

Conversations That Matter will host its third event of the year on Thursday, March 10 at 7 p.m. via Zoom. In this upcoming “Conversation,” hear from Brittany Butler and Dr. Cerrone Foster. This conversation will be moderated by McKinney Center Advisory Board Member and volunteer Michelle Treece, and the McKinney Center’s Community Program Specialist Skye McFarland. Register for this program at

Dr. Cerrone Foster is a native of Newark, NJ where she completed her undergraduate training in Biology at The College of New Jersey. She is an Associate Professor and Assistant Coordinator for the Honors in Discipline Program in the Department of Biological Sciences at East Tennessee State University (ETSU). Foster earned a Ph.D. Biomedical Sciences from ETSU, followed by a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Cardiovascular Physiology at ETSU. Foster’s research examines the role of estrogen deficiency and aging in cardiovascular disease. She also teaches Introductory Biology and Biochemistry Laboratory and has interest in metacognition and increasing students’ science literacy skills. Foster has received research grants from the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health to fund her work. She also serves on several STEM initiatives to improve undergraduate and K-12 education, including the South Eastern Regional Partnership in Undergraduate Life Sciences, an initiative that assists undergraduate life science departments with curriculum reform. Foster’s life passion is mentoring and preparing the next generation for success.  She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

A favorite past guest and current moderator, Brittany Butler will be a featured guest. A Gray, TN resident, originally from New Orleans, LA, Butler is married, has 3 kids, ages 10, 6 and 5. She works at ETSU in the Department of Chemistry as a lecturer. Butler is the past president of the junior league of Johnson City and has served as the organization’s chair of their first-ever Diversity, Equity and Inclusion task force. She is also an active member of the Holston Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Gray.

Supported by a grant from the East Tennessee Foundation, “Conversations that Matter” is a monthly series produced by the McKinney Center in Jonesborough, Tennessee. In each “Conversation” two local guests from different backgrounds (age, race, religion, culture, etc.) explore their own culture and perspective, and talk to each other about what makes them unique, discover their similarities, and explore their differences. They will look at where their lives might intersect personally and in the community. The goal of each “Conversation that Matters” is for guests and participants to hear real stories, from real neighbors. This month will feature personal experiences along with real history questions about local Black History and Black History throughout American history.

This monthly series is inspired by the Diversity & Equity Subcommittee at the McKinney Center, and their desire to highlight the experiences of all voices in Washington County, Tennessee, with an intention to include marginalized groups. By showcasing these conversations, the Diversity & Equity subcommittee hopes to open doors to new ideas and perspectives amongst our very own neighbors.

After hearing from one another the moderators and guest conversationalists will give insight on how to move forward.

History Happy Hour is back for its 6th season

The 6th season of History Happy Hour kicks off on Thursday, March 10 at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. This program will also be livestreamed on the Chester Inn Museum’s Facebook page. The Zoom link is available on the Heritage Alliance’s website,, and on the Chester Inn Facebook page. This is a free program.

Mr. Charles D. Crowe, a student from Langston High School and a graduate of Science Hill High School will speak during this program about his time at Langston and his perspective on being the “Lost Class of 1965” – a name given to those students who were high school juniors when school integrated. Crowe served as Director of Procurements and Contracts for the Department of Energy.

The Langston Centre was built in 1893 as the Langston Normal School. A 1925 renovation, made possible by Rosenwald funding, added a gymnasium to the school.  Named after Virginia congressional representative John Mercer Langston, it served as a school for African American students from 1893 to 1965. The Langston Education and Arts Development organization worked with the community and other groups to help restore Langston as a functioning community center for arts and education. Today, the Langston Centre offers a variety of classes and programs. They most recently launched the Langston Experience in February.

“We’re excited to welcome Mr. Crowe and share more stories from Langston,” says Heritage Alliance Executive Director Anne Mason. “They are such an important part of the community, and their students have so many stories to share.”

Starting in April, History Happy Hour will be the third Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m. Topics for this season include Shaker Dance, “Edison and the Origins of Recorded Sound,” traditional, wooden spoon making, historic bricks in architecture, and much more. A full line up for the season will soon be available at the Heritage Alliance’s website,, and on the Chester Inn Museum’s Facebook page. History Happy Hour provides a space for the community to gather and engage with a variety of topics. Over its six seasons, the program has established a platform to showcase the many regional organizations that are engaged in historical work and research.

This project is funded under an agreement with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Tennessee Historical Commission. For more information on the Chester Inn Museum, History Happy Hour, or the Heritage Alliance please call 423.753.9580 or the Chester Inn Museum at 423.753.4580.  You can also contact the organization via email at  Additional information about the Heritage Alliance and its mission can be found online at Be sure to follow the Chester Inn and Heritage Alliance Facebook pages for updates about events at the Chester Inn and other Heritage Alliance programs.

Jonesborough Senior Center to host cancer education workshops

The Jonesborough Senior Center will offer a free Cancer: Thriving and Surviving workshop starting on Wednesday, March 9 from 1 3:00 p.m. The six-week program is designed for people with cancer and caregivers to learn basic skills necessary to self-manage their disease and work effectively with their health care professionals. Classes will be held every Wednesday from March 9 until April 13.

A self-management approach to cancer education gives cancer patients/survivors the knowledge, tools and confidence to take day-by-day control of their health and treatment decisions.

The Cancer: Thriving and Surviving Program is conducted by two leaders certified by the Self-Management Resource Center Cancer: Thriving and Surviving Trainers. This is a partnership between the Jonesborough Senior Center, UT extension office, First Tennessee Area Agency on Aging and Disability and the Washington County Health Department.

Space is limited. Contact the Jonesborough Senior Center at 423.753.4781 to sign up.

McKinney Center to host artist Charles Jones exhibition

The McKinney Center will host painter Charles Jones on Friday, March 18 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Jones will be present for questions during the opening night of his exhibition. This series of paintings is entitled “Time to Feed the Zebras”. After opening night, the exhibition is free and open to the public, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the McKinney Center. All artwork will be for sale.

“In my artistic life, I have tried to express my experience of that multifarious reality rather than to explain it as one of a more scientific and philosophic temperament might do,” Jones explained referring to this series. “In pursuit of that, I have tried to be influenced by everybody, have tried to live in each and all of their visions, not to appropriate their insights, but in order to try to experience all and put that all in painting so that one might catch just a glimpse, the tiniest little peek at the merest hint of the unfathomable and appreciate our own grand good fortune to be here in the middle of it all for a while.”

Jones grew up in Wayne and Greene Counties in North Carolina. He attended East Carolina University where he studied sculpture, painting and received a BFA in 1968. After a stint in the army, Jones studied painting at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he received an MFA in 1974. From that time until 2003, he lived and worked in Seattle. He showed extensively, primarily with Kimsey-Miller Gallery, as well as in numerous competitions, group shows and invitationals. Since moving to East Tennessee in 2003, Jones’ work has appeared at the 27th and 28thAnnual First Tennessee Art Shows at the Reece Museum at East Tennessee State University, the Mary B. Martin School of the Arts Mountain Visions show in 2010, the 2013-2018 Jonesborough Open Juried Art Shows (winning Best in Show in 2015), the 2013 Grade AA Cage Free show at Slocumb Galleries and presenting a two man show with ceramicist Jim Oxandale December 2016-January 2017 at the McKinney Center in Jonesborough. Jones also had paintings in the 2018 and 2019 Kingsport Arts Guild’s Appalachian Art Show, winning prizes both years. His work was featured in a solo show at the Kingsport Art Guild main gallery in the Renaissance Center in October of 2019.

Jones’ work can currently be seen at Impressions Fine Art in Kingsport and also on Instagram @c31jones.

For more information, email Theresa Hammons at or call 423-753-0562.

Railroad Pop Culture Exhibit at the Chuckey Depot Museum

The Chuckey Depot Museum in Jonesborough will host a reception for its newest exhibit “Good Morning, America, How Are Ya?: Railroad Americana, A Pop Culture Phenomenon” on Saturday, March 5 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. The railroad has been a part of American history, culture and society since the mid-1800s. It has worked its way into books, music, toys, clothes, movies and art.

The exhibit includes pop culture artifacts from multiple decades. How have toy trains changed through the years? How many movie plots are focused on trains? What does a train lover take their lunch to school in? A train themed lunch box, of course, complete with matching spoon and fork. See all these items on display in the museum. Visit between 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on March 5 to view the new exhibit, enjoy railroad songs performed by local musician Scott Wild and listen to a story from railroad historian Gary Price.

The Railroad Americana exhibit will be on display at the museum through August of 2022.

The Chuckey Depot Museum is free of charge, but donations are greatly appreciated.

Attendees can visit the museum in person on Thursday, Friday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information on the exhibit or the Chuckey Depot Museum, visit, follow the Chuckey Depot on Facebook or call the Jonesborough Visitors Center at 423.753.1010.

A new jewelry shop, the Silver Raven, opens in Jonesborough

The Silver Raven, a new jewelry business in downtown Jonesborough, will host a grand opening & ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, February 19 at 11 a.m., located at 125 East Main Street.

The Silver Raven sells elegant jewelry at affordable prices, meant for everyday use. The owners work with artisans from around the world. This allows them to insure that their customers receive the highest quality jewelry at the lowest possible price.

“My wife Carla and I opened Crystal Raven in May of 2019. We chose downtown Jonesborough as the store location, not only for its closeness to home but for its beautiful history and small town welcoming vibe,” stated Jerome Bowers, co-owner of the Crystal Raven and the Silver Raven. “This town and our wonderful customers have been kind to us. We look forward to opening another store in this beautiful town and serving such a great community.”

Jerome Bowers is a member of the Jonesborough Main Street Board, and Carla Bowers is a member of Jonesborough Area Merchant & Service Association (JAMSA).

“Jerome and Carla have really grown their business in the past few years, and the Town is excited they are expanding. They bring a lively energy to downtown and have been a big asset to the community from volunteering time at events, serving on numerous boards, and raising funds for several charities. We are thrilled to see what they’ll do next,” stated Town of Jonesborough’s Tourism & Main Street Director Cameo Waters.

The Silver Raven is a spin-off of the Crystal Raven store. The Crystal Raven offers crystals, jewelry and meta-physical items, and is located at 103 East Main Street.

The ribbon cutting ceremony is open to the public and will be held in front of their business. For more information about the ribbon cutting call the Silver Raven at 423.767.1515.