Monteagle Assembly arch

The entrance to the Monteagle Assembly. On Friday, the Cottage Tour and Bazaar at the Monteagle Assembly Grounds will include guided walking tours of the Assembly’s most historic and utilized public structures, including the Winfield House (1904), the Auditorium (1927), the Gymnasium (1884) and Warren Chapel (1951).

If you are looking for an easy and fun day trip, this Friday’s Cottage Tour and Bazaar at the Monteagle Assembly Grounds is a good bet.

Last year, the organizers (the Women’s Association of the Monteagle Sunday School Assembly) had to cancel the longstanding event because of COVID. And with lingering COVID concerns, this year’s tour will be different from past tours, offering a look at the Assembly’s historic public structures, but not featuring the inside of the cottages as in years’ past.

What you will see on the $5 per person guided walking tours are the Assembly’s most historic and utilized public structures, including the Winfield House (1904), the Auditorium (1927), the Gymnasium (1884) and Warren Chapel (1951) as well as the Cabbage Patch, the section of the Assembly where the oldest cottages are located.

This is the 57th year for this event at the step-back-in-time compound in Monteagle, just 80 miles from Nashville.

Ann Ewing, spokeswoman for the event, said the guided tours, which last about 45 minutes, are limited to 10 people per tour and must be reserved ahead of time on the website or by calling.

If the guided tour slots are full, visitors can take a self-guided tour to see these public buildings on the Cottage Tour day.

Either way, comfy shoes are advised.

In addition to the tour, there will be the always-popular Assembly bazaar with fine art, jewelry, home décor and much more; a white elephant sale with a plethora of preloved items; shopping at Cottage 116 gift shop, lunch options from the Corner Market; and the bake sale, featuring items made by Assembly residents.

Ewing said these annual tours are designed “to share the Assembly’s unique history and to showcase the turn of the century structures as well as to highlight the Chautauqua Movement and the Assembly’s relationship to it.”

“One thing we want to be clear about is that there are no tours inside homes this year due to continued COVID concern,” she said, adding that the hope is that the 2022 tour will return to the original format featuring inside tours of several cottages, as well as a look at the public buildings.

About the Assembly

The Monteagle Assembly, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, dates back to 1882 and was patterned after the Chautauqua Sunday School Assembly of Lake Chautauqua New York which began in 1874.

Nowadays, the compound includes about 160 homes and about 300 acres of grounds. The summer “season” in the Assembly, which has served generations of owners and guests, offers a variety of recreational, social, religious, outdoor and educational programs for all ages. The schedule includes everything from pickleball, oil painting, hiking, bridge lessons, lectures, concerts, tennis, swimming and more.

About the July 23 Cottage Tour and Bazaar

Guided walking tours are offered through the day but timed tickets must be reserved in advance at https://monteaglesundayschoolassembly.org or by calling 931-924-2286

You can also take a self-guided tour of the grounds and historic buildings, without a reservation.

The bazaar will be open 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. with local arts and crafts and “splurge worthy” fine art and jewelry from more than 40 local and regional artisans.

If you want a box lunch from Corner Market, they are $15 and must be pre-ordered to be picked up between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. There will also be a lunch buffet in Harton Hall, priced at $15.

Parking passes are $5 at the North Gate entrance.

Visitors are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes since it is a walking tour.

This is a rain or shine event.

The Monteagle Assembly is located on Assembly Street in Monteagle.

Details: reservations and other information can be found at https://monteaglesundayschoolassembly.org or by calling 931-924-2286

The 62nd Annual Mountain Market for Arts and Crafts is July 24-25.

Another reason to take a trip to Monteagle is the 62nd Annual Mountain Market Saturday and Sunday. This annual market, which typically draws 3,000 to 5,000 attendees, will feature more than 100 artisans and crafters and their art, stained glass, pottery, furniture, folk art, quilts, wood crafts, jewelry, cigar box art, metal art, soaps and lotion, and local honey. Plus, there will be chain saw carving demonstrations, blacksmith demonstrations and lectures, and a variety of food offerings.

The market will take place in Hannah Picket Park, at 16 Dixie Lee Ave. in Monteagle, behind the Monteagle City Hall. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 24 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 25. Parking is free.

Details: Info@southcumberlandchamber.com or call 931-924-5353

Mary Hance, who has four decades of journalism experience in the Nashville area, writes a weekly Ms. Cheap column. She also appears on Thursdays on Talk of the Town on NewsChannel5. Reach her at mscheap@mainstreetmediatn.com and follow her on Facebook as Facebook.com/mscheap