Old Town stands today, as proudly as ever, showing few scars… It is a place of legend and a place of romance, a union of the traditions of yesterday and the promises of tomorrow… It is hoped that Old Town will stand for the use and happiness of generations yet unborn… Henry and Virginia Goodpasture, 1950.
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Places on the landscape are imbued with meaning by those who experience and interact with them – and by those who remember and pass on their past stories. The Old Town Heritage Project is about remembering, celebrating, and preserving one very special place on the landscape that has served as a point of contemplation for many dozens of generations – from the earliest Native American settlers of Middle Tennessee over 12,000 years ago to the more recent peoples of the American historic era.
Located at the confluence of Browns Creek and the Harpeth River, Old Town lies in the center of one of the original branches of the Old Natchez Trace – one of the most important travel routes from the interior South to the lower Mississippi River valley for at least 2000 years. The Old Town Bridge, built by federal soldiers in 1801, is one of the oldest surviving bridges in Tennessee and reminds us of the many thousands of travelers who crossed this very spot for over a century.
Even older are the earthen platform mounds built by native people over eight centuries ago – less visible today are the archaeological remains of the fortified 10-acre Mississippian era town that housed as many as 100 families between A.D. 1100 and 1450.
The Thomas and Margaret Brown House, built about 1846, has also played host to many generations of Middle Tennessee families, their slaves, servants, and employees.
To this day, Old Town offers what it has for many generations – a place to find peace and serenity while contemplating the past, present, and future.
Join us in exploring the many facets of this unusual historic place by exploring the links to people and places – and check back often for news and updates.
Old Town Heritage Project l MTSU Box X112 l 1301 East Main Street l Murfreesboro TN 37132-0001 l firstname.lastname@example.org