Monday, October 4, 2010

Tennessee State Museum

Visited the Tennessee State Museum over the weekend with a plan to just make a 1 hour stop.  Wow, it is quite a bit of material from the state's past (15,000 years to about the present).  Admission is FREE though I did pay to park out front using their quite modern parking system.  Once you park you go to the parking terminal and enter your parking space number and then insert a payment.  It then presents you with a receipt showing how much you paid and when your spot will expire.

The museum exists on multiple levels plus and another museum in a nearby building dedicated to the wars that Tennessee troops served in.  The museum has an impressive collection of native American artifacts which then transitions to tools of early European settlers to the area.  Next sections profiled prominent settlers and then a tribute to President Andrew Jackson.

The section on the Antebellum period (time before the American Civil War) was of special interest since I study the early American scientist Gerard Troost.  He lived during this period in Tennessee.  Things I found interesting in this section are the poster showing the Jeffersonville, Indiana to Nashville railroad and the unwrapped Egyptian mummy.

The portrait gallery was nice showing some nice painted images.  The section on schools of higher learning had a portrait of Gerard Troost, one of his state geological surveys, and a daguerreotype of him.  In a later section, a agriculture journal he helped edit is on display.  The lower section stairs access from the picture gallery led to displays of Tennessee guns and silverware.  One can then see Tennessee agriculture tools and a section showing how slavery was used for crop production and domestic help.  Off to the side is a nice quilt showcase.

The extensive American Civil War display shows weapons, attire, models, and accessories used.  A large display of Confederate money is also shown.  Reconstruction is next highlighted along with Tennessee industries.  All and all a very nice museum to visit.  Check out the museum store loaded with items made in or about Tennessee.  I bought a book about geology seen on I-40 that goes through Tennessee.

Do not forget to see the World War I memorial with its limestone columns, fountains, and amazing statue nearby the museum building.

There are no fossils on display unless you count these American Mastodon (Mammut americanum) pieces.