The newest museum in Tennessee's oldest town, the Chester Inn Museum is housed in the historic Chester Inn, a state owned historic site operated by the Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.
Dr. William Chester built his Inn on the Stage Road in Jonesborough in 1797, where it quickly became "the finest Inn on the Western Frontier." Through the years, the Chester Inn has had many names including the Bell Tavern, the Union Hotel, the Planters' House and the Jonesborough Inn. In the late 1940's the Inn was converted to apartments. The state purchased the historic site in 1989 and restored the building to its 1880-1890 facade in keeping with its signature Italianate portico. The museum opened in late 2011.
Exhibits focus on the Inn and its history, as well as the historically commercial downtown section of Jonesborough, home to the Inn, the Washington County Courthouse and the setting for such significant stories as the creation of the State of Franklin, westward expansion of both the nation and its uniquely American institutions of government and education, as well as Jonesborough's role as commercial hub for the rapidly expanding over-mountain region.
Where Jonesborough tells its story, the Chester Inn State Historic Site & Museum provides visitors with a glimpse into the history of the oldest commercial building in a town known for its cherished architecture.
Hours of Operation:
January - February by appointment only
March - April - Mon and Fri - Sat 11 am-6 pm and Sun 1 pm - 5 pm
May - Oct - Mon and Wed - Sat 11 am - 6 pm and Sun 1 pm - 5 pm
Nov - Dec - Mon and Fri - Sat 11 am-6 pm and Sun 1 pm-5 pm
116 West Main Street
No admission fees but donations are welcomed!