The Mission of the Smith County Heritage Museum is to foster an appreciation for the the rich history of Smith County, Its land, people, and industry.
As a public, not-for-profit institution, the Smith County Heritage Museum will strive to provide a museum in which to collect and preserve the history of all the communities of Smith County.
STATEMENT OF VALUES
- Fair and accurate representation of all of the communities that make up Smith County.
- Achieve the highest professional standards in all that we do.
- A spirit of cooperation and diversity within ourselves and our community.
PROGRESS TO DATE
From the opening of the museum doors in 2004, the converted W.E. Stephens Building, located on Third Avenue, just off the main city square, continues to display fascinating exhibits on the history of Smith County and the Middle Tennessee area: prehistoric to early Native American artifacts; photographs of some of Smith County’s architectural gems; items of traditional, local farming and home-making history; authentic schoolhouse and church sets; and Smith County’s military legacy, with a strong focus on its role during the Civil War. The museum continually receives and conserves a treasure of historical documents from Smith County’s citizens, allowing for a fresh offering of historical interest for all to enjoy.
Famous Tennesseans exhibits have graced the museum space, such as that of Tommy Bridges, of the Detroit Lions; DeFord Bailey, one of the original Grand Ole Opry legends; William Walton; Cordell Hull; and former Vice President Al Gore. A special exhibit is scheduled for Spring 2015 featuring Senator Al Gore, Sr.’s political career through photographs.
The museum houses a foyer and front room which act as a retail center with main bathrooms and fully-functional kitchen. This zone also encompasses the museum’s administration and operations area, and serves as the main entrance to one of two large display floors. These then lead to a newly formed PERFORMANCE HALL, a rental venue that holds up to 400 seated guests, with additional private entrance from Ward Street. (please see “Home Page”).
The museum remains a free resource to the community, and great effort is made to provide an atmosphere that is free of intimidation, but rather one that nurtures a feeling of personal ownership by its citizens.
SHORT TERM GOALS
The continuation of developing the PERFORMANCE HALL area, to include a set of bathrooms and an additional kitchen and food preparation area.