The new home of the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville offers artifacts, interactive stories and history from Cheatham County in its free exhibits, which are now open to the public.
The museum, which opened Oct. 4, is 137,000 square feet and includes a grand hall, a “Tennessee Time Tunnel” exhibit, six permanent galleries, six temporary galleries, a children’s gallery, an education suite and a digital learning center.
From Cheatham County, a 1954 door from Stratton’s Restaurant and Soda Shop in Ashland City can be found in the “Tennessee Transforms” exhibit. There is also a lunch counter stool from the restaurant in the exhibit.
From more recent years, there is gear used by volunteers to clean up Kingston Springs after the 2010 flood.
Another item from Cheatham County can be found in the “Tennessee Art from 1900” exhibit. The piece from 1990 was inspired by the okra plant and was made in the form of a traditional tilt-top candle stand.
On one of the museum’s interactive tables, in the “Tennessee Transforms” exhibit, touching the Cheatham County icon shares the story and image of a piece of iron from Montgomery Bell Pattison Forge.
There are 2,200 artifacts on display alongside documentary films and other interactive display screens.
In 2015, the Tennessee General Assembly approved $120 million for the museum’s new home, which had been housed for more than 30 years at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center.
The new site is located at 1000 Rosa L. Parks Blvd on the corner of Jefferson Street next to Bicentennial Capitol Mall near the Nashville Farmers’ Market. The museum is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursdays from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free.