Hank Snow’s Rainbow Ranch

Center director Dr. Carroll Van West and fieldwork coordinator Savannah Grandey have been working with the Metro Historical Commission in Nashville to acquire historic designation for Rainbow Ranch in Madison, Tennessee, the former home of country music star Hank Snow. Pictured here is the barn, where Snow kept his show horse Shawnee.

Researching Roller Rinks

Center graduate research assistant and Public History Program Ph.D. candidate Lane Tillner is studying the architecture of roller rinks for her dissertation. Most recently, her research and fieldwork took her to Ohio, where she photographed the Indian Lake Rollarena in Russells Point.

Traveling the State

Center staff members have been traveling across the state with staff from the Tennessee State Museum to develop partnerships and discuss future exhibit collaborations with such places as the Newport-Cocke County Museum, shown here. The new state museum in Nashville, at the corner of Rosa L. Parks Boulevard and Jefferson Street at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, opens to the public on October 4! Grand opening events will take place throughout the weekend.

Upcoming Cemetery Preservation Workshop

Join us for an MTSU Cemetery Preservation Workshop at the historic downtown Smithville Cemetery on Saturday, October 20th. Center research professor Stacey Graham will present information about historic cemeteries in Tennessee starting at 9:00 a.m. at the Smithville City Hall. Afterwards, participants will learn proper techniques for cleaning tombstones and then experience the hands-on portion of the workshop by scrubbing tombstones themselves. This event is free, but due to limited supplies, please contact Stacey Graham to register for attendance. Here, MTSU Public History graduate students Elizabeth Foster Morris (left) and Typhanie Schafer scrub tombstones in the historic Cane Ridge Presbyterian Church graveyard in March 2018.

Teaching with Primary Sources–MTSU to Offer Workshop at Dunbar Carver Museum

Teaching with Primary Source -MTSU (TPS-MTSU) and the East Tennessee Historical Society (ETHS), with support from Humanities Tennessee, are partnering to offer the workshop “Examining Tennessee’s Story: Resources and Strategies for Social Studies Teachers” on Saturday, September 29th, at the Dunbar Carver Museum in Brownsville. The workshop will explore resources, activities, and strategies geared to elementary social studies teachers and aligned with the new state curriculum standards in this subject area. Additionally, the workshop will include a tour of the historic African American school and a discussion about the resources available through the museum. Previously, TPS-MTSU and the ETHS, with support from Humanities Tennessee, have offered workshops at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center and the Milan Polk Clark Enrichment Center. For more information or to register, contact Kira Duke.

Welcome Back Students!

We are excited to kick off the 2018-2019 academic year with new and returning graduate student assistants! They will be working on a range of projects in Tennessee and beyond, and we look forward to learning what they discover.

Congratulations to Recent Graduates!

Warm congratulations to all Middle Tennessee State University August graduates! Special mention to former Center graduate assistants Annabeth Hayes and Sherry Teal (shown here with Center director Dr. Carroll Van West), who received their Masters of Arts in History with a concentration in Public History. We also congratulate newly-minted Public History Ph.D. Dr. Bob Beatty, who was hooded by Dr. West. We look forward to seeing what all of them will do in the next phase of their careers.

Visit from National Trails Intermountain Region Staff

The Center recently welcomed visitors from the National Trails Intermountain Region of the National Park Service. Director Dr. Carroll Van West, Trail of Tears historian Amy Kostine, and fieldwork coordinator Savannah Grandey showed our guests around some of the Trail of Tears witness sites and road segments throughout Middle and East Tennessee and Northwest Georgia. These sites are part of our ongoing partnership with the NPS to survey and document the existing Trail of Tears-era landscape in the region. Here, the crew is pictured walking along the National Register-listed Kelly’s Ferry Road and Crossing in Marion County, Tennessee.

Summer 2018 Common Bond

Our Summer 2018 newsletter, Common Bond, looks at several exciting projects that we recently completed in Memphis, explores our ongoing survey of historically black colleges and universities in Alabama, and celebrates the successes of our graduates. Contact us if you would like to know more about our projects and programs.

Exploring Citizenship with Teachers

Teaching with Primary Sources–MTSU branched out with a new partnership in July. Working with the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site in St. Louis, Missouri, staff members Kira Duke and Stacey Graham, along with graduate research assistant Colbi Layne Hogan, led a two-day workshop focused on citizenship. The workshop included a tour of the historic site, which is located at the former White Haven plantation where Grant met his wife, Julia Dent Grant.