The current exhibit at the Robertson County History Museum celebrates the 225th Anniversary of Tennessee and of Robertson County.
The lobby is inviting with its array of six flags and its red, white, and blue buntings.
On the glass display shelves can be seen examples of the Tennessee official plants, animals, and so on. Box turtles, the passionflower, and a variety of information make up this part of the exhibit in the lobby.
Inside the doors of the Museum can be found more artifacts than it is possible to see in one visit.
One page on display, Robertson County’s Marriage Book #1, 1839-1861, was mentioned in last week’s column. On the same table can be found copies of pages from the 1st County Court Written Records, 1796-1807, and from Will Book #1, 1796-1812.
Nearby is a copy from Deed Book A, 1796, which includes the first recorded deed in Robertson County.
In each of the three window spaces in this large area of the Museum can be seen a different aspect of Tennessee/ Robertson County.
One case features the three United States Presidents from Tennessee – Jackson, Polk, and Johnson. Stamps and postcards focusing on these men may also be seen.
A second case offers a host of books about Tennessee and Robertson County. Some are fairly recent, such as the reprinted edition of “Across the Plains.” Other books on display are a bit older, such as “Red River Settlers.”
One case showcases an unbelievable number of “Firsts.” The first Register of Deeds, for example, was Bazel Boren, 1796-1809. The first physician in Springfield was Levi Noyes, 1800.
The first church was Sulphur Fork Baptist (1786), and the first movie theater was located in Springfield on April 23, 1907.
The first county ranger was John Phillips, 1796 - October, 1826.
Across the top of the three cases can be seen the lyrics to the 10 songs that have been called official State Songs. “The Tennessee Waltz” and “Smoky Mountain Rain” are two of these. “Rocky Top” is included as well as the “Bicentennial Rap.”
For those Museum visitors who enjoy old maps, there are plenty to “peruse.”
A copy of an 1814 Tennessee map shows the Mero District separated from the Washington District by Cherokee lands.
One map, published as the “Aboriginal Map” in 1886, shows the Military Reservation of 1783 and the Western Purchase of 1818. Stations and settlements of East Tennessee are also noted on this map.
On one 1795 map, the State is labeled as “Tennassee.” It was published for “emigrants” coming into the frontier.
Not to be missed on this visit is the old Postmaster’s Office. Here is a large, brightly colored display of tractors, trucks, and farm animals. Whether viewed as children’s toys or part of a collection, this is an upbeat section of the exhibit. It is great fun to see.
Kevin Ragland, Curator of the Museum, and Lisa Ragland have created this fascinating 225th Anniversary exhibit. It will probably be open until late fall. That is fortunate because there is too much to see for only one visit.
In the Eagle’s Eye is sponsored by the Robertson County Historical Society. Call 615-382-7173 for more information.