We were looking for things to do that were more homeschool related. I located Cannonsburgh Village in Murfreesboro and the best part? It was FREE! I was sold we headed in with very little knowledge of what this place was about and boy did we learn a lot!
This village features buildings from 1800 – 1925 and shows you a step back in history. Cannonsburgh was the original name for Murfreesboro and the village allows you to take a stroll through 125 years of southern rural life.
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Cannonsburgh Village Murfreesboro, Tennessee
I love that my kids got a history lesson and art lesson and had fun. Homeschool win! While the church, Leeman house, and pavilion were closed due to a wedding we still had lots to see.
As you first enter over the iron bridge (the first one ever erected in Rutherford Country) you first see how an old toll bridge worked. Called a Tollgate, from 1804 until the first world war, every road out of Murfreesboro was a turnpike and had a Tollgate. They were operated by local families who lived in the tollgate house.
The next building you see is the Gristmill. This one is a scaled down replica of the 19th century Elam’s Mill and is powered by water.
Next, we saw the one-room schoolhouse. This building shows even the 19th-century settlers were determined to teach their kids. All grades were taught in the one room and girls sat on one side and boys on the other.
There is a plaque that explains classes would last about 15 minutes each and there were 2 or 3 recesses per day.
Then on to the one building (besides the church), I was excited to see! The Early 1900’s Telephone Building.
The operator had to be available all hours of the night to connect calls so they would have a switchboard in their house next to their bed!
Here is the plaque inside as well.
I wish we could have seen the church, and we will try again during the week to stop in and see it. It was closed for the wedding, but we were told that the Church in Cannonsburgh Village was named one of the best wedding venues in Tennessee.
Next is the University House that shows what a 1800s house with a dog trot would look like. Dogtrots were popular in the south from 1780-1830 because connecting log structures were to difficult when more room was needed they would make two room with a basic walkway connected by one roof.
Generally, one room would be the kitchen and eating area and the second room would be the bedroom living quarters.
We visited the town hall, which would also be used at the courthouse. The room had a table and chair some books and the bare basics.
We visited the Art Gallery, there are so many great pictures hanging and got a great dose of Southern Hospitality.
There are some ladies painting while we were there and my kids took an interest in what they were painting and the ladies set them right up to draw as well!
The ladies even hung their artwork on the gallery walls for them! My kids felt so special and had a blast! My youngest was so sad to leave!
We also picked up a picture of a local historic house and even got to meet the artist of it!
Then we visited the Haynes Museum which had tons of great items from the history of the south.
Right outside the museum is the L&N Caboose from on old train.
Next to the church is the original steps to the courthouse.
Next, you pass by the well and windmill. This is one of 3 wells on the Cannonsburgh Village property that are original to the site.
Then you come to the Doctor’s Office.
Related: 189 Free Things to do in Tennessee
If you have ever seen Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman (I love that show!) it reminds me of her office. This is back in the day when doctors still did many house calls.
Next was the country store or general store. (you can see the garage behind it but we didn’t go over there because there was a group taking pictures and my kids were ready for lunch!)
The inside is furnished as it might have been back in the day. It was a great lesson to my kids on how they used to make most of their own food and even clothes. This is also where many people would get their mail. If you remember in the Waltons some would even get their phone calls here too.
Then, we headed to the blacksmith shop it was set up perfect to explain how everything worked.
Other buildings, and points of interest you can see.
The Ash Hopping for soap making. The other 3 wells. The Leeman House where you can see how a typical house would look prior to 1870, including period décor.
There is also a one-room log cabin, built in the early 1800’s. They also have the world’s largest cedar bucket, and the Stone’s River Garage. They also have a turn of the century fire engine and a Conestoga Wagon.
With so much to see, Cannonsburgh Village makes a great history lesson!