The second History Harvest will take place in the spring semester as part of the ETSU Department of History’s plans to continue preserving the legacy of Johnson City. The harvest was originally started by a history course at ETSU taught by Kim Woodring with a focus on the history of tobacco farming.
This year’s harvest will be different from the inaugural event held in the 2016-17 school year because it places a focus on receiving new information and obtaining new artifacts pertaining to the heritage already found in the Carroll Reece Museum on campus and the Archives of Appalachia located on the fourth floor of Sherrod Library.
This year’s event is called “Johnson City’s History Harvest: Preserving Our History” and will run in conjunction with Johnson City’s Sesquicentennial Celebration honoring Johnson City’s 150 years of history.
“When ETSU began work on how it could contribute to Johnson City’s Sesquicentennial celebrations, the idea of a History Harvest seemed like a tremendous way to engage the community in reflection and to showcase the relationship that has existed between Johnson City and East Tennessee State University for a hundred years of Johnson City’s existence,” said Dr. Tommy Lee, a professor in the history department.
Historical pieces and mementos will be on display with stories recorded about them. Participants who submit pieces for the harvest are also requested to share a small summary of their tales and descriptions of the pieces. Pieces can be physically donated to either the Reece Museum or the Archives of Appalachia. Individuals that bring items will receive digital copies, even if they do not donate their items to the harvest.
“As a researcher very much interested in Johnson City and this region, I know from experience what documents and artifacts are currently in repositories and available to researchers, but I also know that much material remains scattered in the community,” said Lee. “Too often, these materials are lost. A harvest is an opportunity to preserve materials that are not already preserved.”
The public is urged to contact the Department of History by Feb. 1 to participate in the harvest, share information, documents and photographs to be scanned and preserved digitally. The department can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 423-439-4222.