Ph.D. graduate research assistant Meggan McCarthy researched and wrote exhibit panels to be displayed at the Sadie Ford House, a historic farm property that is now part of Cedars of Lebanon State Park. The panels consider the Ford House as a witness to important historic events, including the building of the park during the Great Depression and the Tennessee Maneuvers during World War II.
We are currently working with the Auburntown Historical Society in Cannon County, Tennessee, to nominate the historic Auburntown Gym to the National Register of Historic Places. The Works Progress Administration helped fund the building’s construction in 1936 using local labor.
The Heritage Center of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County has opened a new exhibit about farm women. The exhibit was made possible through the generosity of Mr. Lloyd Lewis, who donated the butter-making tools and implements in memory of his wife, Bonnie Lewis. Bonnie, an avid local collector and antique dealer, created the collection, which helps us better understand and appreciate the hard work of farm women and families through time. The Heritage Center is open Tuesday-Friday, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Our latest issue looks at our move to Peck Hall in the historic core of the MTSU campus and the ongoing legacy of the Dorothy Williams Potter Scholarship in Historic Preservation. And, our “Formers’ Corner” features Marquita Reed-Wright, now collections manager and archivist for the National Museum of African American Music.
The Center will be offering a Fall cemetery preservation workshop at Mt. Nebo Cemetery in Maury County on Saturday, October 16. The workshop will include a presentation in the morning and an on-site tombstone cleaning in the afternoon. If you plan to attend, please e-mail Dr. Stacey Graham at Stacey.Graham@mtsu.edu.
With the start of a new academic year, the Center for Historic Preservation recently kicked off the fall semester with student orientation. This semester we have a wonderful group of nineteen graduate students working with us, including Meggan McCarthy, shown here at a Tennessee Historical Commission workshop at Nashville’s Greenwood Cemetery. Students play a key role at the Center, working closely with faculty and staff on multiple projects. To learn more about our students and their research interests, check out https://www.mtsuhistpres.org/about/students/.
Recently, Center staff met with local officials and community stakeholders in McMinnville, Tennessee, to discuss the future of the Blue Building. The Blue Building, named for former mayor Franklin P. Blue, began its life as a nineteenth-century mansion before being converted to a school in 1915. It was later used for municipal offices for several decades but has sat vacant for many years now. Community members hope to find a way to bring new life to the structure, which is an important part of McMinnville’s historic landscape.
Discover Tennessee History will offer a seven-part webinar series for the 2021-2022 school year. Each month one of the consortium’s partner organizations will offer a one-hour session exploring topics in Tennessee history, with related primary sources and educational resources for use with students. Recordings of this series and last year’s are available, and PD credit can be earned for each session. Click here for more information and to register.
We certified fifteen new Tennessee Century Farms this summer. Their founding dates ranged from 1832 (the Welch Farm in Grainger County) to 1921 (FFF Farms in Jefferson County). Shown here is a historic image of the Windy Hill Farm (1906) in Warren County. Nelson Grissom (on right) would become the farm’s third owner in 1965.
Enjoy this new history of the Fiddlers’ Jamboree and Crafts Festival, written by Center graduate research assistant Jennifer Ruch. The illustrated booklet looks back at the origins of this popular tribute to traditional music and the town of Smithville’s dedication to the Appalachian sound.