Old Oak Festival returns to Tusculum College April 17-19

Posted on 27 February 2015 by

The Old Oak Festival will feature a variety of craft vendors along with musical entertainment, theater, art exhibits, poetry readings and activities for children of all ages.
The Old Oak Festival is returning to the Tusculum College campus April 17-19.

Old OakThe arts and music festival will span across three days and will feature something for everyone, including crafts, music, art, theater, storytelling and area authors, as well as gallery and museum exhibits.

“I would describe this year’s Old Oak Festival to be bigger and better than last year,” said David Price, director of music at Tusculum College and festival coordinator. “There will be arts on every level and something to interest everyone.”

In addition to artist vendors and music performances throughout the day on Friday and Saturday, there will be three performances during the festival of “5X10,” presented by Tusculum students under the direction of Wayne Thomas, the interim dean of the arts and sciences, Frank Mengel, arts outreach technical director and instructor, and Brian Ricker, arts outreach and assistant.

Performances will be held in the Behan Arena Theatre in the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Center. Show times are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

The college’s Allison Gallery will be open throughout the weekend, featuring a faculty and family spotlight exhibition by Deborah Bryan.

The festival is being coordinated by a committee of college and community representatives who are working to promote arts and music in the East Tennessee region.

“We are expecting a wide variety of artists, including painters, craftsmen and sculptors, whose work will be available for purchase. Arts will include pottery, woodcrafts and folk art,” said Price. Demonstrations will also be conducted on pottery, blacksmithing and cooking.

There are limited spaces still available for artisan and crafter booths. Deadline for reserving a booth is April 8, 2015, or until all spaces are filled.

Throughout the weekend on stage, the festival will present the sounds of the region, with a wide variety of music from bluegrass to jazz to local vocalists and musicians.

Both the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library and the Doak House Museum will be open to visitors during the festival and will have special activities planned for adults and children from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 1-4 p.m. on Sunday.

BatikThe Doak House Museum will sponsor a batik workshop during the three days of the festival. Participants will learn how to make stunning designs on natural fiber cloth using the wax-resist dyeing method. Reservations and advance deposits are required. The workshop will be held in the heart of the festival on the main campus. Reservation and deposit are required. Contact Leah Walker at 423-636-8554 or for reservations and more information.

Fiddlin’ Carson Peter’s Band and the Old Time Travelers, a duo from Chattanooga Tennessee, will perform on the Doak House lawn on the Saturday of the festival. Picnic tables are available to the public to bring a lunch, tour the museum and hear great bluegrass and old-time music. Performance times will be announced at a later date.

For the length of the festival only, the museum will open its collections storage to display never before exhibited Appalachian chairs and other furnishings, titled “Sittin’ Pretty: Selections from the Doak House Furniture Collection.” Admission is free and donations are appreciated.

The President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library will sponsor a 19th Century Toys and Games booth in the children’s area. Come and play with traditional folk toys and make-and-take your very own toy as a souvenir.

From 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library will feature the “Reaper: Nettie Fowler McCormick and the Machine that Built Tusculum College” exhibit. This exhibit explores the changes wrought by the mechanical harvest and explores the context through which Mrs. McCormick viewed her philanthropic mission.”

The festival will feature children’s activities on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and again on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. There will be storytelling performances on stage and around the festival grounds.

The Walnut Ridge llamas, previous favorites of the festival, will visit the Tusculum College campus over the weekend.

Throughout the weekend, there will be everything from bed racing to surprise performances to craft workshops.

Food selection will include festival favorites, such as homemade strawberry shortcake, Philly cheese steak, and Mennonite doughnuts. Music and food will be available until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and until 4 p.m. on Sunday.

There is no fee to attend the festival. Art vendor hours will be Friday from noon until 6 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. For more information, contact Price at 423-636-7303.

Coolers and alcohol are prohibited during the festival.

For updates and more information, visit the website at or on Facebook at www.facebook/OldOakFestival.

Museums Bring Home Awards

Bragging time! We won two awards at the recent Tennessee Association of Museums Conference held in Jackson. We are particularly proud of the Award of Excellence our students won for their exhibit Reaper: Nettie Fowler McCormick and the Machine that Built Tusculum College. Our undergraduate students were competing against professionals! WAY TO GO!!

Doak House Museum to host ‘Mad Hatter’s Tea Party’ on Valentine’s Day

Posted on 05 February 2015 by

Experience a Victorian Valentine’s Day at the Doak House Museum as it hosts a “Mad Hatter’s Tea Party” on Saturday, Feb. 14.

The museum on the Tusculum College campus will be decorated for a Victorian Valentine’s Day and will be opening its doors for a “mad hat” tea party from 10 a.m. to noon.

Participants will enjoy delicious tea and cookies on decorative china and get to try on some of beautiful and whimsically fun hats. Participants can also bring their own fun hats to the tea party. Photos are encouraged to document all the fun with the hats, special treats and crafts in the museum.

The history of exchanging Valentines will be shared and participants will be able to make a special valentine to take home.

Admission is $5 per family. Please RSVP by calling 423-636-8554 or emailing

Doak House Museum prepares to celebrate holidays with two programs

Posted on 12 November 2014 by

Doak House Christmas Open HouseThe Doak House Museum is preparing to celebrate the holidays with a Christmas Open House on Dec. 6 and with its popular children’s program, “Storytelling and Gingerbread” through Dec. 18.

An open house will be held at the museum on the Tusculum College campus from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6. Free tours of the museum will be provided along with refreshments, crafts and games for the children, storytelling and specials in the museum’s gift shop with proceeds going toward the museum’s programs. A storyteller will perform at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and tours will offered throughout the event.

The museum, which is the 1830s home of Tusculum College co-founder the Rev. Samuel Witherspoon Doak, will be decorated in a charming 19th century style, as a home would be during that time period.

“Storytelling and Gingerbread,” the Doak House Museum’s most popular children’s program, will be continuing through Dec. 18. Molly Mouse is the guide for the children as they experience holiday customs that the Doak family enjoyed in the 19th century. They learn about holiday foods from the period, gift giving and decorating customs as people lived them 200 years ago.

The program is open to public and private school groups as well as home schooled children. The museum is also able to offer Title I schools a discounted admission.

On Friday, Dec. 12, the program will be offered for home school children. One adult per family will be admitted free of charge. The program will begin at 1:30 p.m.

For more information about the Open House, contact Leah Walker at the museum at 423-636-8554 or

To make a reservation for the “Storytelling and Gingerbread” program, please contact Dollie Boyd at 423-636-8554 or

‘Around the World’ history camp to be hosted by Doak House Museum July 21 – 25

Posted on 03 July 2014 by

Children will have a chance to discover what life was like 200 years ago during the “History Around the World” history camp July 21-25 at the Doak House Museum.

Reservations are still being accepted for the history camp at the museum, located on Erwin Highway and the Tusculum College campus.

The camp is open to children ages 6 -12, who will learn about different aspects of world history and explore through imaginative games, crafts and activities.

The deadline to register for the camp is Thursday, July 17. Tuition for the camp is $85, which includes the costs for all materials and a daily snack.

To make reservations or for more information, please contact the museum at 423-636-8554 or email

‘History Night at the Greeneville Astros’ on Saturday to feature Museums of Tusculum College

Posted on 16 July 2014 by

The Museums of Tusculum College will be featured as part of “History Night at the Greeneville Astros” on Saturday, July 19, during its game with the Danville Braves.

The evening will feature the two museums on the Tusculum campus, the Doak House Museum and the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library, and several other area museums and historic groups on the concourse at Pioneer Park, also located at the college.

In addition, the Tennessee Association of Vintage Baseball will promote living history by bringing the 19th century to life through baseball events that use the rules, equipment, costumes and culture of the 1860s.

The ball game will begin at 6 p.m. The evening will also feature a concert by Nikki Moulder at 4:30 p.m., and fans arriving early will receive a free Astros jersey of former Greeneville Astros MVP and MLB All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve as they enter the gates.

For more information, please visit the Greeneville Astros web site or contact the Museums of Tusculum College at 423-636-8554 or email

Doak House Museum to host art and history summer camps

Posted on 06 May 2014 by

The Doak House Museum is now taking reservations for its two summer campus for children.

“History Around the World” camp will be held June 16 -20 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. During the camp, children will discover the world as it was 200 years ago through fun activities, crafts and games. All materials and a daily snack are provided.

“Art Around the World” camp is scheduled July 7 -11, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. Participants will take a trip around the world with five days of projects inspired by the art of the Americas, Asia, Europe, India and Africa. All materials and a daily snack will be provided.

The two camps are open to children ages 6-12. The tuition is $85 per child with sibling and Tusculum College faculty, staff and student discounts available.

Space is limited and a deposit is required. Please contact Dollie Boyd at 423-636-8554 or to reserve a spot.

Museum exhibit opening reception, lantern tour part of Old Oak Festival

Posted on 21 April 2014 by


The reception for a new exhibit, a lantern tour and “Pickin’ at the Doaks” are among the events occurring at the Museums of Tusculum College during the Old Oak Festival on campus this weekend.

A new exhibit, “Reaper: Nettie Fowler McCormick and the Machine that Built Tusculum College,” will celebrate its opening with a reception at the President Andrew Johnson Museum and Library from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Friday, April 25, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 26.

While Nettie Fowler McCormick’s donations to Tusculum College have been well documented, the new exhibit explores the machine upon which the McCormicks built their fortune. Museum Studies students and Dr. Peter Noll, assistant professor of public history and museum studies, have created this exhibit to describe the McCormick mechanical reaper and the changes wrought in farming and manufacturing ensuing from the mechanical harvest. The exhibit also explores the context through which Mrs. McCormick viewed her philanthropic mission.

Both the Doak House Museum and the President Andrew Johnson Museum will be open for tours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

The museums will host at lantern tour of the Tusculum Historic District on campus from 4:30 – 6 p.m. on Saturday. Those wishing to take the tour are asked to check in at the Doak House for a tour map and instructions. Costumed interpreters will be stationed at each of the 10 structures on campus that make up the historic district. Visitors may take the tour at their own pace and visit the stops in any order. There is no charge for the tour, but donations are appreciated.

On Friday night, the Doak House will host the monthly “Pickin’ at the Doaks” traditional jam session.  A music stage will be set up at the Doak House on Saturday when Carson Peters will perform from noon until 1 p.m. and Lonesome Pine will perform from 1 – 2 p.m.

The museums will also have a booth with children’s activities in the children’s area from 10 a.m. to 3 .m. on Saturday.

Doak House Museum wins Tennessee Association of Museums award

Posted on 26 March 2014 by

The Doak House Museum was honored at the Tennessee Association of Museums annual meeting held recently in Greeneville. The museum won an Award of Commendation in the Temporary Exhibition category for its “Historic Textiles Popup Exhibit.” The exhibit was part of the 2013 Old Oak Festival.

The staff of the museum displayed virtually all of the Doak House’s textiles, quilts, hand-woven coverlets and fine embroidery work for the last two days of the festival. “Some of these pieces have never been viewed by the public due to their fragile nature,” said Leah Walker, site and events manager for the Museums of Tusculum.

“We were thrilled to be able to allow visitors to see the amazing handiwork of generations past.”

According to Walker, those who viewed the exhibit were astounded by the fine needle work and craft that went into the pieces of the collection.

At the conference awards dinner, Museums of Tusculum Director Dollie Boyd accepted the honor from the Tennessee Association of Museums President Adam Alfrey.

“We are very pleased to have been recognized in this way and want to thank the state association for all the work they do on behalf of Tennessee museums large and small,” said Boyd.


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