ET ‘First Family’ descendant settling in with Historic Resources

For the first time in 15 years, Farragut has a new Historic Resources coordinator.

Kodak native Jesse Williams started his new role in March and already has been very busy, working with two Town committees and overseeing initial steps on preparing the museum in advance of Town Hall’s closure for renovations later this year.

“I’m in the process of contacting everyone who has loaned us items, to return them, and also working to temporarily relocate our permanent museum collection to the new off-site facility,” Williams said. “I am very impressed with it — it is about as nice as you can get.”

Williams has a degree in hospitality and tourism from Pellissippi State Community College and has worked in a variety of related positions, including Curator for Belle Meade Historic Site and Winery in Nashville, and was curator of Collections for The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in Frankfort, Kentucky.

He said he is “very excited” to be working again in his field, as he experienced some displacement during COVID.

“Everyone has been very welcoming, and I’m just very glad to be here,” he added.

A self-described “history nerd,” Williams said his interest and passion for the subject is “life-long” and is embedded in his own family’s historic lineage.

“My family has been in East Tennessee since the 1790s, starting out in the Great Smoky Mountains,” he said, noting they were ultimately displaced as the Park was established.

“I’m really proud of the fact my family has been here for so long, and is among the official First Families of Tennessee.”