Its Humble Roots

A hay wagon was pulled in the shadow of the Courthouse in 1973 and a day filled with bbq, live music, and storytelling followed. Its roots are simple, but that’s what’s so beautiful about its foundation. The Storytelling Festival was a bold dream by Jimmy Neil Smith, a small-town journalism professor. On that fall day in 1973, not one of the merely 60 in attendance would have guessed this would be the beginning of the storytelling revolution.

Tennessee’s Oldest Town


The background of Tennessee’s Oldest Town paints the scene of log cabin front porches in the days of David Crockett and Daniel Boone. It couldn’t be a more scenic setting to perform one of the world’s oldest art forms, spoken word. Housing the Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough continues to pay homage to this region’s history and rich culture.

Crossing Cultures

Listening to South American ghost stories of the Chupacabra or the age-old tales of Irish fairies on the lawn of Mill Spring Park with a slight flicker of tiki torches is just one of the ways that the Storytelling Festival takes a dip into other cultures. Jonesborough is home to the first abolitionist newspaper and has always proven to be a progressive town by crossing cultures since the beginning.

Between the Mountains

Nestled near the Tri-Cities and dipped between the sweeping Appalachia mountains Jonesborough does not only have the downtown out of a storybook, but also the landscape of one. Spend the afternoon strolling through downtown or gazing at the tree-covered ridges. When in Jonesborough it is easy to see why so many call it home.

Friendly Faces

The Appalachia comfort which comes along with town residents might possibly be the best feature of Jonesborough. No matter why you’ve come to town or where you’re from, Jonesborough locals are sure to make you feel right at home. A few may even offer to buy you a coffee, share their story and hear yours.