The 60th Annual Cottage Tour & Bazaar


The Woman’s Association of the Monteagle Sunday School Assembly, MSSA) will host its 60th Annual Cottage Tour & Bazaar on Friday, July 19. The much-anticipated event will include tours of five representative cottages; a self-guided tour of historic buildings; the always-popular bazaar with fine art, jewelry, plus home décor and plants, clothing and much more; The Butterfly Boutique (resale); box lunches from Mercantile Cafe; and the always popular Bake Sale.

The annual event is designed to share with the public the Assembly’s unique history and mission, to showcase its representative turn-of-the-century cottages and structures, and to highlight the Chautauqua Movement and the Assembly’s association with the Chautauqua Network. The cottages to be featured his year are: Jubilee Hill (No. 43), The Alabama House & Toad Stool (No. 61 and 61B), Hemlocks (No. 41), Twin Oaks (167) and 4Fitz (159).

The Bazaar, open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., welcomes old favorites and several new vendors who will bring local arts and crafts and splurge-worthy fine art and jewelry as well as paper, ceramics, art, clothes, plants, leather and more from more than 30 selected local and regional artisans. The nearby Butterfly Boutique sale of donated items from members and friends is a bargain-lover’s dream held in the Writers’ Grove located near the Woman’s Association Winfield House.

At 10:45 a.m., guests are invited to attend a special presentation by Stephen Smith and John Ramsey who will share information about the new McCarty Galleries book on jewelry. Before there was the famed pottery, there was internationally acclaimed McCarty’s Jewelry. “McCartys of Merigold, The Jewelry,” is a book celebrating the amazing and unique jewelry created by Pup and Lee McCarty from the late 40s through 2015. Stephen and Jamie Smith, godchildren of Pup and Lee and owners of McCartys, commissioned John Ramsey Miller to produce a volume that featured examples of the jewelry that the couple produced over their 65-year careers. Smith and Ramsey will be hosting a discussion of the jewelry and their relationship with Pup and Lee as well as the book’s production, which was photographed, designed, and the printing supervised by Ramsey.

Pre-ordered, pre-paid box lunches can be ordered from MSSA office for $18 by calling (931) 924-2286 and picked up on tour day between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Box lunches include three rolls (one ham and cheese, one pimento cheese and one chicken salad) with homemade chips and a cookie, and box lunches can be enjoyed in one of the Assembly’s green spaces.

Cottage tour attendees may also choose to dine at Harton Dining Hall, which features a hot food bar, a salad bar and grilled selections such as hamburgers and hotdogs.

Guests will also enjoy the annual bake sale where the Assembly’s best cooks bring their sweet and savory specialties, and the Snack Shop will be open for popcorn, chilled candy bars, bottled water and souvenir T-shirts.

Be sure to stop in at cottage No. 9A, Little Lexington, the new location of The Gallery (take in the first circular driveway as you enter the front gate), a mainstay of the Assembly history and a must-stop shopping destination during any visit! In addition to art and gifts, the Gallery is one of a select few to carry award-winning McCarty Pottery. Created by Assembly members, the late Lee and Pup McCarty, Mississippi-based McCarty’s has earned international recognition.

Advance tour tickets ($20, $25 day of) and box lunches ($18) must be reserved and paid for in advance on the MSSA website <MSSA1882.org> using PayPal or by calling the MSSA office at (931) 924-2286 or by stopping by the office. Parking passes ($5 per car) can be purchased on the day of the tour at the North Gate entrance.

Schedule of events

• Bazaar: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Butterfly Boutique and bake sale: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• “McCartys of Merigold, The Jewelry,” Lecture: 10:45 a.m., auditorium

• Cottage tours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Harton Dining Hall: Buffet available 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

• Mercantile Cafe Box lunch pickup 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Organized in 1887, the Monteagle Sunday School Assembly (MSSA) Woman’s Association has played a vital role in the development of the Assembly by providing hospitality, funds and meeting space for all aspects of the summer program. The Association’s cottage, “Winfield,” is the center for many activities during the Season, from Sunday School to parents’ meetings, workshops, children’s story hours, and card parties. It also houses the Assembly library and is staffed by a resident hostess/librarian. The MSSA Culinary Guild, a program of the Woman’s Association, celebrates and supports the local South Cumberland food and farming community and the production and enjoyment of great food. Members maintain the Assembly’s Humphreys-Martin Family Herb Garden and enjoy coming together for food, beverages, and fun several times during the program season. Woman’s Association Motto: Each for the other, all for Monteagle.

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