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East Tennessee Historical Society and Museum

Stepping into this heritage haven at 601 S Gay St, Knoxville, TN 37902, visitors embark on a captivating journey through the annals of East Tennessee’s rich history, a treasure trove of stories etched in time — the East Tennessee Historical Society and Museum.

As one of the state’s most dynamic private historical organizations, the museum is a guardian of regional history, meticulously preserving its essence through a stunning array of permanent and visiting exhibits. Its halls echo with the whispers of the past, showcasing an eclectic blend of artifacts, art pieces, and poignant Civil War relics.

Open seven days a week, the museum beckons explorers from 9 am to 4 pm on weekdays, 10 am to 4 pm on Saturdays, and 1 pm to 5 pm on Sundays. Here, history isn’t confined to glass cases; it’s alive, pulsating through educational programs and tailor-made exhibitions that weave an immersive tapestry unique to this remarkable region.

Learn More about Knoxville here.

Witnessing Time's Mosaic

The museum’s crown jewel, “Voices of the Land: The People of East Tennessee,” through a captivating blend of artifacts, images, and technology tells the story of three centuries of life in the region. This signature exhibition paints a vivid portrait of life’s evolution in the region, inviting visitors to walk alongside the ghosts of yesteryears.

Moreover, the museum’s allure extends beyond its permanent exhibits. Its ever-evolving roster of changing exhibitions delves into diverse historical topics, ensuring that every visit promises a fresh perspective and a deeper understanding of the vibrant layers that compose East Tennessee’s history.

Beyond its walls, the museum extends an invitation to curious minds and history enthusiasts, encouraging a deeper engagement. For those eager to know more, a simple call to 865-215-8830 or a digital pilgrimage to opens the door to a wealth of information and upcoming events.

Educational Offerings

Beyond its captivating exhibits, the East Tennessee Historical Society is a vibrant hub of educational initiatives designed to ignite curiosity and foster a deeper connection with history. It offers diverse educational programs tailored to students teachers, and enthusiasts alike, these programs encapsulate a blend of innovation, hands-on learning, and a profound respect for the region’s unique heritage. These engaging initiatives, aligned with state standards, feature hands-on experiences like “Objects Over Time,” “Discovery Boxes,” and the interactive “HUZZAH!”. Embracing East Tennessee’s uniqueness, these programs honor its history, heritage, and geography. They form a vital part of the Society’s mission to preserve and interpret Tennessee’s history, welcoming all ages to discover and connect with the region’s rich tapestry. Additionally, the Society hosts lectures, tours, and special events, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of history beyond the classroom.


  • Student Programs

At the East Tennessee Historical Society (ETHS), a range of museum and outreach education programs is available for students. All our student programs:

  • Are centered around objects
  • Foster inquiry-based learning
  • Align with state social studies standards
  • Are tailored to suit different grade levels

You can now conveniently request an online reservation or get in touch with the ETHS Education Department to arrange your museum or classroom visit.


  • Teacher Workshops

For district-level workshops:

To arrange a district or faculty in-service linked to any of the programs listed below or for other social studies content or strategy needs, please get in touch with Dani Manley Hood, the education program manager, at (865) 215-8875 or


National History Day Teacher Workshops:

Stay tuned for the announcement of dates and locations for our upcoming NHD workshops. Are you interested in enhancing or introducing the National History Day program in your classroom? We can organize workshops for teachers or visit your classroom to discuss History Day logistics and delve into the current year’s theme. For more details to arrange a workshop or classroom visit, please reach out to Lisa Oakley. via email at or call 865-215-8828.

Tennessee History Day, affiliated with National History Day, provides workshops and teacher resources throughout the year. Explore Tennessee History Day for further information.


Discover Tennessee History Consortium’s Virtual and In-Person Programs:

The East Tennessee Historical Society collaborates with the Tennessee State Museum, Tennessee State Library and Archives, Tennessee State Parks, Tennessee Historical Society, and Teaching with Primary Sources MTSU as part of the Discover Tennessee History Consortium. Our joint efforts result in resources, webinars, workshops, and conferences tailored for educators statewide.

Access the 2023-2024 Webinar Schedule here. Visit the consortium’s YouTube Channel for previous webinar presentations, and refer to the group’s contact and calendar page for upcoming offerings from each institution. ETHS hosts numerous workshops in East Tennessee.

Final Reflections

The East Tennessee Historical Society and Museum stands not only as a guardian of the past but also as a bridge between generations, inviting all to partake in the intricate mosaic of history. It’s a sanctuary where the echoes of bygone eras harmonize with the present, inviting us to pause, reflect, and embrace the enduring legacy of this remarkable region.

So, why not step into this living archive? Allow history to unfold before your eyes, and immerse yourself in the vibrant stories that have shaped East Tennessee into what it is today.

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