With a number of historic sites located in the region, officials with the Tipton-Haynes State Historic Site are hoping the site’s newest exhibit will encourage more people to visit in order learn more about the region’s history.
“We have had many people who will say to me, ‘I have driven by this place for 30 years on my way to work, and today’s the first day I’ve decided to drop in,’ ” Tipton-Haynes Executive Director Penny McLaughlin said.
The immersive permanent exhibit opened Sept. 23 after several years in the making. McLaughlin said the exhibit’s massive scope, which includes animals of the region, the State of Franklin, the Civil War, and figures like Col. John Tipton and Landon Carter Haynes, reflects the depth of history that’s located on the grounds of Tipton-Haynes.
Told through photographs, artifacts and informative videos, the self-guided exhibit is separated into various categories, which McLaughlin said makes it easy to take in each section’s information.
One of the things Tipton-Haynes is working on is creating activity boxes for children who visit the site, making the new exhibit a truly interactive experience.
The exhibit will feature about 10 boxes where children can focus on one section at a time, learning about subjects varying from French botanist André Michaux to the Dire Wolf.
Museum officials are also working on a guidebook for both children and adults that will feature a list of sources so people can leave the exhibit with the chance to do further research on the history covered in the exhibit.
“I like the idea of levels where if you want to know more about the Civil War in this area, then you can go ahead and get more information in our library, our archives or somewhere else,” McLaughlin said.
Tipton-Haynes also features a temporary gallery that McLaughlin hopes will enhance both the permanent exhibit and the rest of the historic site.
The new exhibit is part of a capital project funded through the Tennessee Historical Commission, which helped create both the Chester Inn Museum and a new exhibit at the Rocky Mount Museum.
In an area with such a rich history, McLaughlin said the new exhibits at each site will ultimately help all three places.
“We all have a different story and they do complement each other, so it’s kind of exciting having three new exhibits all at once,” she said.
Tipton-Haynes is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information, call Tipton-Haynes at 926-3631.