A Visitor's Guide to Jonesborough's Southern Architecture

The oldest town in Tennessee boasts some of the oldest historic buildings to add to your Jonesborough Things to Do list.

Christopher Taylor House
124 West Main Street
Jonesborough, Tennessee 37659

Built in 1778, this two-story log cabin is believed to be the oldest home in Jonesborough. Christopher Taylor, who stayed in the cabin with his wife and 13 children, was sent here from North Carolina to help protect local residents from Indian attack.
 
The building is one of America's haunted houses. Despite being moved from its original location outside town to downtown Jonesborough, it is apparently haunted by former President Andrew Jackson's ghost. The 21-year-old Jackson had stayed in the house for five months before he became president. Definitely an interesting piece of southern architecture to see during your stay at your comfortable Jonesborough Bed and Breakfast.

Old Masonic Hall
129 East Main Street
Jonesborough, Tennessee 37659
 
This 18th century building, now known as The Old Sweet Shop, once housed the only Masonic lodge in America. It has an interesting feature - an entire cornice built of galvanized sheet metal. In the Old Sweet Shop Restaurant, you can indulge in all sorts of sweet delights such as malts, hand-dipped ice cream sodas, sandwiches and more, while an old-fashioned piano plays in the background. Originally, the building was a florist shop with the upstairs serving as a Masonic Hall. It was partly built by the Masons themselves. Old Masonic Hall is worth a trip from your Jonesborough Inn for the sights and for the sweets.

Washington County Courthouse
100 East Main Street
Jonesborough, Tennessee 37659

Five previous courthouses existed on this site before the present one was built in 1913. The three-story building with a domed clock tower is a stunning red brick structure. The first courthouse was a log cabin erected in 1779. Here the pioneers began to form "The Lost State of Franklin." Don't forget to add this historically significant building to your list of Jonesborough Things to Do.

The Chester Inn
116 West Main Street
Jonesborough, Tennessee 37659

Known as the first boarding house in Tennessee, and the oldest frame structure in town, this historic tavern was built by Dr. William Chester of Pennsylvania in 1797. Dr. Chester was the town's first physician. The Italianate style tavern on "The Great Stage Road" used to be a stop for stagecoaches. The inn has had many distinguished guests such as the US Presidents Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk and Andrew Johnson. Andrew Jackson was threatened with tar and feathering on the inn's premises. Today, Chester Inn houses the well-known National Story Telling Society. Definitely a must-see on your list of Jonesborough Things to Do.

Sisters' Row

205-209 West Main Street
Jonesborough, Tennessee 37659

Today this oldest brick structure in Jonesborough houses the Southern Exposure Antiques store. Sisters' Row, a Philadelphia style row house, was built in 1820 by Samuel D. Jackson for his three daughters. The building, a set of three independent apartments, was once the most impressive structure on West Main Street's south side.

The Blair-Moore House
201 West Main Street
Jonesborough, Tennessee 37659
www.blairmoorehouse.com

Now a Bed and Breakfast with beautifully appointed rooms, this 19th century two-story brick house shows glimpses of the Greek Revival style in its unusual brick detail work and stepped gables. You can still see the original boot scrape on the front steps. The restoration of the house took nearly six years. Tami Moore, the present owner says, "Legend is that the property was originally owned by the Bean family." She adds that, "Russell Bean was the first white child born in Tennessee." The Bean family manufactured Bean Rifles, which became collector's items.