One of the most beautiful buildings around is the Robertson County History Museum, formerly the United States Post Office.
It was demanded by the citizens in 1900 when whiskey and tobacco money was “gushing through” the town. The post office at that time was less than safe and a request was made for a new facility.
Finally, in 1915, the lovely building was completed.
And for close to 50 years, it was more than enough.
Eventually, a newer post office was constructed on Willow Street. “Energy concerns” caused the change, supposedly.
The old post office was used for the YMCA for awhile. Later county offices could be found there.
In 1998 the Robertson County Historical Society established itself there, moving the History Museum from a much smaller space in the Albion Building.
And today, 21 years later, it is a wonderful place to visit – especially at Christmas.
The trees are decorated by several non-profit organizations – the Greenbrier Historical Society and the Cedar Hill FCE with its Angel Tree, for example.
The Museum’s theme for Christmas this year focuses on Holiday Recipes. The lobby display has a variety of cookbooks and recipes for fruit and jam cakes. These begin with a facsimile of a Roman cookbook from the late 4th century.
There is a reprint of “The First American Cookbook, which was originally published in 1796. There is also a copy of a recipe for “Plumb Cake.”
Another display has around 30 cookbooks. These have come from churches and civic organizations in Robertson County. And with the kitchen display, there is a parade of Martha White brochures of recipes for Christmas.
Here you can see a collection of photographs of houses that have been part of the Christmas Tours of the past. The Beck Family Dollhouse has also been decorated for the holidays.
In the Museum parlor, near the Victorian Christmas tree, is a table with place settings from the Victorian era.
The Museum is, as always, on this year’s Christmas Tour. Many ticket-holders will leave it until last “in case they run out of time.”
Don’t do that!
Besides the Christmas decorations, there are many new things to see in the Museum, thanks to Curator Kevin Ragland.
New to the Museum are two old desks. One is a secretary’s desk donated by the family of Carl Brown Walling, a furniture maker from Coopertown. The other desk is from the store of Dick King in Orlinda. With it is a stool. One of the rungs is worn thin where someone always rested his feet.
If you love maps, downstairs can be found one with Rural Routes of the 1930’s and one of George Washington’s Land (Wessyngton) in 1868.
The Museum Gift Shop is also a place that welcomes the shopper. There is a variety of locally-made items – jewelry, tobacco twists, t-shirts, coasters, and so on. The long-awaited lighted buildings are also for sale.
The History Museum is the seventh site described for this year’s Christmas Tour of Homes, Dec. 8. Be sure that you see every one of them.
In the Eagle’s Eye is sponsored by the Robertson County Historical Society. Call 615-382-7173 for more information.