Cannonsburgh Village

| March/April 1985

Cannonsburgh Pioneer Village in Murfreesboro, Tennessee was developed in 1975 as part of the national effort to celebrate our Bicentennial in 1976. The Village attempts to recreate the environment of an average rural village in the 1800's. The village contains a wide variety of the type of buildings found in Murfreesboro (formerly called Cannonsburgh) in the early 1800's including a blacksmith shop, grist mill, school house, log house, town hall, church, general store, etc.

In September, 1982 the Department of Agriculture at Middle Tennesssee State University and the City of Murfreesboro began a cooperative effort to collect and preserve agricultural relics which have made a significant contribution to rural America namely farm tractors and related equipment. Cannonsburgh Pioneer Village seemed to be the ideal location with approximately 50,000 visitors annually, an open shed partially filled with farm equipment, and room for expansion. The city provides the facilities and the MTSU Agriculture Department provides the overall development including the collection, restoration, and display of the tractors.

An early 1900 Birdsell Clover Huller in excellent shape. Only one steam engine is listed in the Cannonsburgh farm equipment inventory, a 1915 Russell Portable.

There are several public agricultural museums in the South but most of them emphasize the horse era. Our objective is to emphasize the tractor era including steam and internal combustion engines up to 1950. We are not planning to restore the tractors to running condition although several do run. Our major effort is to clean and paint them as close as possible to their original color. All tractors are identified for visitors relative to type, year made and the donor.

Neither the City of Murfreesboro nor Middle Tennesssee State University provide financial support for the museum. Therefore, we depend entirely on private donations of tractors and funds to restore those donated. All donations are made through the MTSU Foundation and are tax deductible.

The public response to the museum has been outstanding. We started with about 40 items and now have over 100. In two years 23 tractors, a portable steam engine and numerous major pieces of equipment have been donated. An additional shed has been added and another one is planned for 1985. Currently, a 12' by 24' section is being enclosed display small tractor-related items such as toy tractors, belt buckles, pictures, books, etc. This should add a unique dimension to the museum.