Pictured above – Pioneer Hall when it was a dormitory.

Open Saturdays from 10 to 4 and Sundays 2 p.m. to 5 p.m

Pleasant Hill – Following the Civil War just before the turn of the twentieth century, the country was rebuilding. Schools sprouted up all through the south, and in 1868 Amos and Helen Wightman settled Pleasant Hill in Cumberland County. Well-eduated people, they wanted the same for their 11 children, but Pleasant Hill offered no such school. At least not yet.

After many letters and a solo trip to Boston by Helen to the American Missionary Association, the organization agreed to help the duo build Pleasant Hill Academy. In 1887, the school was complete. Following the completion of the first building (the Academy Building or “The heart of the school”) a second building was constructed. It was christened Pioneer Hall and used as the boy’s dormitory.

Located at 459 East Main Street the former dormitory is now known as Pioneer Hall Museum.

“Now it displays artifacts and histories of the Academy, the pioneering medical work of Dr. May Cravath Wharton, the wood carvings and crafts of early southern artists and the community life as it was in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s,” said the museum in a statement. “Come enjoy these historical treasures housed in the same building that students lived and learned.”

Museum – Pioneer Hall is now known as Pioneer Hall Museum and is open to the public.

According to the museum, families from across the Upper Cumberland have benefited from the early learning offered by Pleasant Hill Academy. Within the walls visitors are offered “multiple histories of the Pleasant Hill Academy and life as it was in late 1880’s and early 1900’s” including:

  • The early isolation and tough life in Pleasant Hill and around that showed a proud and stoic people;
  • The Pleasant Hill Academy (1884-1947) brought education and a new way of life, learning and working together using new home making and farming techniques;
  • The medical professionals and facilities brought good nutrition and medical care, making a better life even more possible.
  • The artistic touch in crafts and trades grew to be a strong influence in the southern arts and crafts endeavors in the states.

The museum invites everyone to take a trip down memory lane. They are open Saturdays from 10 a.m to 4 p.m and Sundays 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call 931-277-5313 or visit HERE.

Photos courtesy of uplandsvillage.com.

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