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.
Cannonsburgh Pioneer Village is officially open from May to September, 10:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M., Tuesday through Saturday and 1:00 to 4:30 P.M. on Sunday. The tractor museum is open all year and there is no admission charge. Anyone interested in making a financial or tractor donation should contact Dr. N. Omri Rawlins, Director, Historical Museum, Box 555, MTSU, Murfreesboro, TN 37132 or call (615) 898-2300, Ext. 2421
FARM EQUIPMENT INVENTORY-1984
Cannonsburgh Historical Museum
C C Case
S C Case
D C Case
(2) V A C Cases
W-30 McCormick Deering
15-30 McCormick Deering
(3) F-20 Farmall
John Deere D
John Deere D
John Deere B
Russell Portable Steam Engine
McCormick-Deering Wheat Thresher, Birdsell Clover Huller, Corn Husker-Shredder, Husker-Shredder-Silo Loader, McCormick & J. D. Wheat Binders, and Numerous horse-drawn items.
An unusual tractor in the Cannonsburgh Historical Museum collection is this restored Co-op model C tractor built in 1945. These tractors were built by the Indiana Farm Bureau in Shelbyville, Indiana, and it is believed that only 66 were made. (See GEM, May/June 1978.)
This particular tractor is on permanent loan to the museum, but is owned by the Tennessee Farmers Cooperative. The tractor was restored by Joe Drinnon, of Russellville, Tennessee, who had exhibited it in shows in Tennessee, North Carolina and Kentucky.
Drinnon purchased the tractor from John Cox, an antique tractor dealer in Lebanon, Kentucky. It also was owned at one time by Andrew Goodman of Lincoln, Nebraska.