Journey Stories, a Smithsonian Experience on the Cumberland Plateau
The Cumberland Homesteads Tower Association/Homesteads Tower Museum in conjunction with Humanities Tennessee is hosting Journey Stories, a Museum on Main Street project organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services and funded by the United States Congress. The exhibition will be open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. through February 20 at the Homesteads Tower Museum, located at the junction of highways 127 S and 68 in Crossville. The price of admission is $4 for adults, $2 for students ages 6 through 12 and free for younger children. The Homesteads House Museum located on Pigeon Ridge Rd. is also open and included in the price of admission to the Tower Museum. Weather related closures are reported daily on the CHTA website, www.cumberlandhomesteads.org, Snowbird Report.
Journey stories – tales of how we and our ancestors came to America – are a central element of our personal heritage. From Native Americans to new American citizens and regardless of our ethnic or racial background, everyone has a story to tell. Our history is filled with stories of people leaving behind everything – families and possessions – to reach a new life in another state, across the continent, or even across an ocean. The reasons behind those decisions are myriad. Many chose to move, searching for something better in a new land. Others had no choice, like enslaved Africans captured and relocated to a strange land and bravely asserting their own cultures, or like Native Americans already here, who were often pushed aside by newcomers. Journey of Hope, a companion exhibit presented by the CHTA, tells the stories of Depression era homesteaders who brought their families to the Cumberland Plateau in search of a better life.
Our transportation history is more than trains, boats, buses, cars, wagons, and trucks. The development of transportation technology was largely inspired by the human drive for freedom. Journey Stories examines the intersection between modes of travel and Americans’ desire to feel free to move. The story is diverse and focused on immigration, migration, innovation, and freedom. It is accounts of immigrants coming in search of promise in a new country; stories of individuals and families relocating in search of fortune, their own homestead, or employment; the harrowing journeys of Africans and Native Americans forced to move; and, of course, fun and frolic on the open road.
The story of the intersection between transportation and American society is complicated, but it tells us much about who we are – people who see our societal mobility as a means for asserting our individual freedom. Journey Stories uses engaging images with audio and artifacts to tell the individual stories that illustrate the critical roles travel and movement have played in building our diverse American society.
Plan an outing to the Tower Museum to learn from and to enjoy this marvelous exhibit.