You will be astonished at the authentic construction of chestnut logs and native limestone in the oldest building in Tennessee's oldest town. The original kitchen now serves as a Great Room for storytellers big and small or for sipping a warm cup of hot cider. In the summer, you can sit on the veranda while you overlook our quaint little town. Furnished with period antiques and American Folk Art, it has been featured on HGTV’s Restore America, highlighting the stellar restoration of the property.
Choose from three spacious bedrooms with private bathrooms (furnished with handcrafted poster beds and Antique textiles) or the Butterfly cottage nestled in a secluded spot on the hillside overlooking town. Enjoy your breakfast while taking in one of the best views in town.
On January 19, 1779, an enabling act of the Assembly of North Carolina called for subscriptions to be taken at $75.00 each for 64 lots in Jonesborough. The act further stipulated that when all lots were subscripted, they were to be awarded by ballot. James Rees (1747–1839) was awarded lot number 1 on the ballot in 1781. The Rees-Hawley House is situated on lot number 1. In 1790, James Rees, was appointed Solicitor for the Territory South of the River Ohio and so he began construction in May 1793. Construction dates were confirmed by the Department of the Interior using carbon dating techniques. Thus, the Hawley House is the oldest standing structure in Jonesborough.
The heart of the house is chestnut dovetailed logs built on native limestone rock foundation in the Pennsylvania style. The first floor houses the original kitchen complete with cooking fireplace and access to the well still standing on the west side of the house. In 1818, Dr. Spencer E. Gibson added an addition to the east side of the house duplicating the size of the west side.
Over the years architectural styles changed with ownership. From 1890 to 1917, the house saw extensive modernization complete with a veranda, enlarged windows, full length back porch, symmetrical enhancements and the addition of board and batten siding.
Restoration started in mid-1989 with removal of all crumbled plaster, windows and the termite-destroyed back porch. Foundation work and construction of an addition completed the new kitchen, three bedrooms, and three baths. Also added were zoned heating and cooling, new plumbing and electrical service. Even the addition appears as if it is a part of the original structure. Our construction, therefore, left the addition as an independent yet integral part of the house. Most material removed during the repair phase was saved and reused during the restoration. Most notably are paneling and pine flooring used in the original two houses.
Hawley House and Butterfly Cottage
Innkeeper: Marcy Hawley
114 East Woodrow Avenue
Jonesborough, TN 37659
Toll Free (800) 753-8869