Visit Tipton Haynes Historic Site

Visit Tipton-Haynes Historic Site

Tipton-Haynes Historic Site in Photographs

So yesterday we found a time portal. It sent us back through time to 1784. There was a beautiful emerald forest, there were long whimsical trails weaving through the trees, there were cabins and gardens, and even a cave to climb through. At the end of the cool darkness within the limestone cave, shining like a jewel, was a triangle of light that was too beautiful not to be magical. It was the best portal we’ve found so far! 🙂 That’s how I would tell it to my baby niece, anyway. Actually, we just found this charming little bench setting inside a corn crib at Tipton-Haynes but really it was the same thing. Such a cool historic site to visit.

T and I took a field trip to Tipton-Haynes Historic Site located at 2620 South Roan Street in Johnson City, TN. We decided to take the self-guided walkthrough tour to discover the  45 acres, eleven historic buildings, the Tipton/Gifford/Simerly cemetery, a limestone cave, a natural spring, a buffalo trace, a nature trail, and a Visitor Center. We had an amazing day together.

Running over Catbird Creek, this little bridge leads to the cave and the trails. It’s charming.

Inside this limestone cave at Tipton-Haynes, it is rumored that the legendary Daniel Boone once slept. It is cool and dark inside. Your voice echoes, bouncing from wall to wall. The sun spills through and the trees peek into a small jagged opening. An interesting fact about this cave: a Dire Wolf tooth was recovered here. The Dire Wolf is now extinct (it lived during the Ice Age). In its day, it was a fierce predator, even hunting buffalo! So much History is waiting to be explored at Tipton-Haynes!

Jewelweed! One of my favorite flowers that I always thought was called a snapdragon! These lovelies were growing in waves around the old Spring House!

Out front of the Visitor’s Center, we found these Millstones on display.

Tipton-Haynes offers so much Tennessee history! Colonel John Tipton who served in the Virginia Conventions with Thomas Jefferson moved his family here in 1783. This is the very property where the battle that ended the State of Franklin took place. The property also contains ten other buildings, including a lovely main house, a smokehouse, a law office, and the slave cabin pictured here which belonged to George Hayne’s. Beside it sits a garden wrapped in a fence of twigs and grapevines. The sunflowers bow their heads, their season almost over.

“When you leave a beautiful place, you carry it with you wherever you go.” ~Alexandra Stoddard

The Park Phaeton Horse Carriage at Tipton-Haynes is lovely! This was manufactured by the Columbus Buggy Company between 1875 and 1905. Model No. 326 with “Brewster Green” cushions! I’m in love!

There are benches beside the pond and we found this inscription on one.

I love details like the handles on the doors. We discussed the difference between this one and the one on our door which has a keypad. Things have changed so much!

The “Necessary,” belonged to the Simerly family and was actually used all the way up until 1962. T found it especially amusing.

This law office, built after 1857 belonged to Landon Carter Haynes and was the first free-standing law office in what is now Johnson City.


I found this wagon inside the barn which was used as stables for the horses. I love the wooden wheels and ever since this visit I have been visiting antique stores in hopes of finding some to put outside our house.

So now I have shared our adventure at Tipton-Haynes Historic Site! I encourage you to gather your family and take a trip back in time. You can learn so much about the history of our area. You only need a few hours to explore it but you could definitely spend the whole day. We are blessed to have so much History so close to home. As homeschoolers, we are always anxious to find places that offer so much hands-on, real life, learning. Tipton-Haynes is a treasure!

Visit their website here to learn more and keep up to date of their special events.


Check out these posts to learn about other great local attractions to learn about our History.

Rocky Mount

Homeschool Days at Rocky Mount

Sycamore Shoals Historic Site

Sycamore Shoals Walking Trail