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Current Exhibits

History speaks through the Museum of East Tennessee History's permanent and changing exhibits! At the heart of the museum is the award-winning signature exhibit, Voices of the Land: The People of East Tennessee, a moving, artifact-rich journey through more than 300 years of life in East Tennessee. Popular, too, is the East Tennessee Streetscape, a true step back in time, wherein visitors can peruse the Corner Drug Store or climb aboard Island Home-bound Streetcar No. 416. Several times a year, changing exhibits installed in the Rogers-Claussen Feature Gallery highlight special stories from East Tennessee's past.
 
So, come explore the region's history and heritage! The following exhibits are currently on display:

  • April 23, 2021 to January 30, 2022

    “There are two ways of understanding portraiture–either as history or as fiction.”–Charles Baudelaire, 1846

    Portraits were the “social media posts” of the American colonial and antebellum periods. 

    Today, social media allows users to not only visually document and share life’s moments but also curate how...

  • East Tennessee Remembers 9/11
    August 23, 2021 to October 31, 2021

    Following the events of September 11, 2001, East Tennesseans contributed more than $940,000 to purchase and equip a 95-foot tower ladder truck for Harlem-based Ladder Company 14, helping the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) replenish the largest vehicles in the city's firefighting fleet. The so-called “Freedom Engine,” built by Seagrave...

  • History Headquarters (History HQ) is the East Tennessee Historical Society’s exhibition experience for young historians and their families. Come learn the key skills of a historian’s detective-like work: investigating sources, such as artifacts, images, and documents, to better understand history’s mysteries! 

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  • Section 2: The Land Beckons
    The Land Beckons Their vallies are of the richest soil…. Should this country once come into the hands of the Europeans, they may with propriety call it the American Canaan. —J. W. Gerard DeBrahm, Fort Loudoun engineer, 1756   The great God of Nature has placed us in different situations…. He has given each their land…he has stocked yours with cows...
  • Section 3: A Land Divided
    A Land Divided East and west Tennessee will, in the end … form two separate states … by the limits which nature herself has formed … in separating them by the high mountains of Cumberland, and … by the total difference in their commercial relations. —F. A. Michaux, M. D., traveling botanist, 1805

     

    With the frontier behind them, East...