Attractions


Civil War Heritage

The Civil War is forever linked with the history of Rutherford County — Murfreesboro, Smyrna, La Vergne and Eagleville. Stones River National Battlefield in Murfreesboro commemorates the fierce Civil War battle that began on New Year's Eve in 1862 and caused 23,000 casualties. Near the battlefield is Fortress Rosecrans, a 200-acre fortification used to supply troops as they marched to Atlanta. Oaklands Historic House Museum in Murfreesboro is an antebellum mansion that was caught in the crossfire of the Civil War, while the Sam Davis Home and Museum in Smyrna was the boyhood home of Sam Davis — a Civil War hero who was captured and executed at the age of 21. Come see where history was made in Rutherford County.

Fortress Rosecrans

  • Fortress Rosecrans was constructed in early 1863 by Union troops occupying Murfreesboro following the Battle of Stones River.


    This earthen fortification served as a 200-acre depot used to supply troops as they marched to Atlanta. Today the National Park Service manages the site.

  • Hours:
  • Open year-round to visitors on foot or bicycle (during daylight hours). Closed Thanksgiving and Dec. 25.
  • Admission:
  • No admission charged.
  • Location:
  • 1916 Golf Lane Murfreesboro, TN 37129
  • Directions:
  • From I-24, take exit 78-B toward Murfreesboro. Turn left at the fourth traffic light on Golf Lane. As you enter Old Fort Park (past Kids Castle) go through the gate and around the curve. Fortress Rosecrans will be on the right. Please call for more information (615)893-9501.

Oaklands Historic House Museum

  • Once the center of a 1,500-acre plantation, Oaklands was the home of the Maney family. The house was built in four phases during a 40-year period. Oaklands eventually was transformed into an Italianate mansion with the fourth and final addition in 1857, just a few years before the beginning of the Civil War.

  • Hours:
  • Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m.- 4 p.m. Closed Mondays (except large groups), Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, Easter Sunday and New Year's Day. Last tour begins one hour before closing.
  • Admission:
  • $10 for adults; $7 for AAA/AARP & MIlitary; $5 for children 6-17; free for children 5 and under; $5 for students with a college ID. Group rates available.
  • Location:
  • 900 N. Maney Avenue Murfreesboro, TN 37130
  • Directions:
  • Oaklands is located one mile from the Murfreesboro Downtown Square. When traveling on East Main Street from the square, turn left at the third traffic light onto North Maney Avenue. Follow North Maney Avenue directly to Oaklands. If on Broad Street, travel to South Maney Avenue. Turn onto South Maney Avenue and follow Maney to the extreme northern end to Oaklands. Please call for more information (615)893-0022.

Sam Davis Home and Museum

  • Sam Davis was a young Confederate Civil War soldier who, while acting as a courier, was tried and executed at the age of 21 for refusing to reveal the source of important information he was carrying.

    The Sam Davis Home, which was built along the banks of Stewarts Creek around 1810 by Moses Ridley and renovated in 1850 by the Davis family, rests on 160 acres of farmland. The two-story home is typical of a Southern, upper-middle-class family home of those times.

    A tour includes a documentary video about the life of Sam Davis and a tour through the nine-room main house, original kitchen, smokehouse, overseer's office and privy. Authentic Middle Tennessee slave dwellings can be seen on the site.

  • Hours:
  • June - August: Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m.-5 p.m. September - May: Monday- Saturday, 10 a.m. -4 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m.- 4 p.m. Last tour begins one hour before closing. We are closed on New Year's Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We also close for inclement weather when Rutherford County Schools are closed.
  • Admission:
  • $8.50 for adults, $6.50 for seniors, $3 for children 6-12
  • Location:
  • 1399 Sam Davis Rd Smyrna, TN 37167
  • Directions:
  • Take Highway 41-70 (Murfreesboro Rd.) to Smyrna. Go approximately 10 miles; turn right on Highway 102 East (Nissan Drive). Go 2 to 3 miles to Sam Davis Rd., turn left. Go 1/4 mile, and you'll see the Sam Davis Home and Museum on the right. Please call for more information (615)459-2341

Stones River National Battlefield

  • Stones River National Battlefield is a 650-acre national park and cemetery dedicated to preserving the memory of those who fought and died in this crucial Civil War battle. Living history demonstrations are presented on the weekends during the summer months with a special encampment featured in July. The visitor center offers a museum and orientation program.

  • Hours:
  • Open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
  • Admission:
  • No admission charged.
  • Location:
  • 3501 Old Nashville Highway Murfreesboro, TN 37129
  • Directions:
  • From I-24, exit 76, travel toward Murfreesboro until the first stoplight, which is Thompson Lane. Turn left on Thompson Lane. Follow the brown signs to the battlefield. The visitor center will be on your left, just past the National Cemetery. Please call for more information (615)893-9501

The Arts

Here in Rutherford County, we have a rich cultural environment that includes both visual and performing arts. The centerpiece of our arts scene is the Murfreesboro/Rutherford County Center for the Arts , which is dedicated to providing a variety of opportunities to experience visual and performing arts. In addition, Rutherford County is home to many other organizations that promote the local arts and artists. The Murfreesboro/Rutherford County Center for the Arts, a beautiful Italian Renaissance building, provides a variety of opportunities to experience visual and performing arts in its 168-seat performance hall and art gallery. The center offers the Celebration Series, a season of entertainment, from September through May, in addition to numerous single performances and touring productions. Operating Hours Tuesday – Saturday 10:00am – 5:00 pm and the Art gallery is open Tuesdays – Saturdays 1pm – 5pm. Gallery admission is free, and admission to performances varies. For more information, please call (615) 904-ARTS (2787). In addition to the Center for the Arts, several other Rutherford County organizations host visual arts exhibits and theatre, dance and musical performances:

Performing Arts

Lamplighter's Theatre

A ministry of Springhouse Worship and Arts Center, Lamplighter's Theatre presents a year-round slate of high-quality productions that appeal to the secularist as well as the believer. They also conduct summer drama camps for grades 1-12 and provide various educational opportunities for adults throughout the year.

Middle Tennessee Choral Society

Formed in 1969, the Choral Society, a community-based organization promoting and supporting artistic vocal and choral singing, brings together singers from throughout Murfreesboro and the Middle Tennessee area during its regular season from August through March to rehearse and perform the very best in choral music.

Middle Tennessee State University

Middle Tennessee State University sponsors numerous theatrical and entertainment events; orchestral, ballet and popular music concerts; and guest performers through its Tucker Theatre and Murphy Center .

The Main Stage Music & Dance Studio (La Vergne)

For nearly 30 years the Murfreesboro Symphony Orchestra has performed classical, contemporary and pop orchestral pieces for the community. Composed of professional musicians, the caliber of the MSO musicians and the quality of music that they perform continues to impress audiences, both connoisseurs and casual music lovers alike.

The Murfreesboro Symphony Orchestra

For nearly 30 years the Murfreesboro Symphony Orchestra has performed classical, contemporary and pop orchestral pieces for the community. Composed of professional musicians, the caliber of the MSO musicians and the quality of music that they perform continues to impress audiences, both connoisseurs and casual music lovers alike.

The Murfreesboro Youth Orchestra

Founded in 1997 with a roster of 17 young musicians, the Murfreesboro Youth Orchestra promotes the musical development of area youth through the study and performance of a diverse curriculum of ensemble music. Now in its 12th season, the orchestra has a roster of about 70 young musicians who perform in the community and in area schools.

Visual Arts

Visual Arts Frist Center for the Visual Arts (Nashville)

Rutherford County is conveniently close to Nashville's Frist Center for the Visual Arts, a nonprofit art exhibition center with approximately 24,000 square feet of gallery space dedicated to presenting the finest visual art from local, state and regional artists, as well as major U.S. and international exhibitions.

The Gallery at Murfreesboro Center for the Arts

The Gallery at Murfreesboro Center for the Arts has hosted works of art created by children and seniors, professionals and amateurs alike. They have hosted exhibits of photography, paintings, handcrafted art and sculpture, as well as an exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Live Music

Rutherford County is becoming a destination for live musical performances by local and regional bands. A few of the most popular venues include Blue Rooster Bar & Music Hall, Wall Street and The Boro , among many others.

In the summertime, check out Main Street's Friday Night Live concerts, with music on Murfreesboro's downtown square. Friday Night Live is held the first Friday of the month from June-September. Admission is free.

Another fun summer music series, Music at the Mill is held at Smyrna's Gregory Mill Park, 390 Enon Springs Rd., between May and August. Admission is free. For more information, call (615) 459-9773.

History

So many colorful stories have combined to create Rutherford County's rich history, and we're more than happy to share them with you! Take a walking tour of historic downtown Murfreesboro, visit the Heritage Center, Bradley Academy Museum & Cultural Center and the historic Rutherford County Courthouse (circa 1859). Another great stop is Cannonsburgh Village in Murfreesboro, a reconstructed Southern village that depicts Tennessee life in the 1800s. Come join us as we bring the past to life!

Bradley Academy Museum & Cultural Center

  • Bradley Academy was built in 1917 as a school for African Americans. A school by that name has been in Murfreesboro and on that site since 1811.

    President James K. Polk was a graduate of the original Bradley Academy in 1814. This National Register building serves as a multi-use cultural and heritage facility.

  • Hours:
  • Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Admission:
  • $5 adults, $3 seniors and students, $1 Children 12 and under
  • Location: 415 S. Academy St. Murfreesboro, TN 37130
  • Directions: From I-24, exit 81-B, travel toward Murfreesboro. Turn right on Broad Street. Turn left on Academy Street. Bradley Academy Museum & Cultural Center is located on the right.

For more information, please call (615) 867-2633

Cannonsburgh Village

  • Cannonsburgh, the original name of Murfreesboro, is a reconstructed Southern village. The village serves as a living history museum of early Southern life.

    Cannonsburgh Village includes:
    • Gristmill
    • One-room schoolhouse
    • Town hall
    • Log home
    • Little white country church
    • Large collection of antique farm equipment
    • General store
    • Museum
    • Blacksmith's shop

  • Hours:
  • The village is open May 1 through Dec. 1, Tuesday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sundays from 1 until 4 p.m. The village is closed December through April, although the grounds are open year-round.
  • Admission:
  • Guided tours are $2.50 for adults, $1.50 for children; School Groups are $2.00 per student and $2.00 per senior
  • Location: 312 South Front St. Murfreesboro, TN 37129
  • Directions: Located off Interstate 24, take exit 78B, Route 96 East. Head toward Murfreesboro approximately 2 miles; turn right onto Broad St. (Route 41 & 231 south). Stay in the right lane for one mile, then turn right onto South Front Street. Cannonsburgh Village will be in the first block on your right. Turn right into the parking lot.

For more information, please call (615) 890-0355

Geographic Center of Tennessee

  • In 1834, it was determined that the geographic center of Tennessee is located on Old Lascassas Road, one mile from the Middle Tennessee State University campus.

    The Rutherford County Historical Society marked the spot with an obelisk in 1976.

  • Hours:
  • Daylight use only.
  • Admission:
  • No admission charged.
  • Location: Old Lascassas Road Murfreesboro, TN
  • Directions: From I-24, exit 81 travel toward Murfreesboro. Take Church Street to Middle Tennessee Boulevard and turn right. From Middle Tennessee Boulevard, turn right onto Greenland Drive. Turn left on Old Lascassas Road. The obelisk is about a mile on the right. For more information, please call (615) 893-6565.

Main Street

Murfreesboro is a participant in the National Main Street program for historic preservation and economic development. Stroll the Murfreesboro downtown square with its specialty shops, restaurants and offices. Take a walking tour along East Main Street with its homes of neoclassical, Italianate and Victorian architecture. For more information, please call (615) 895-1887.

Rutherford County Courthouse

  • Located on the Murfreesboro downtown square, the Rutherford County Courthouse is one of only six remaining Tennessee courthouses built before the Civil War. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its significant architecture and its political and military history. The interior of the courthouse has been restored to its 19th-century appearance.

  • Hours:
  • Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Admission:
  • No admission charge.
  • Location: Public square in historic downtown Murfreesboro
  • Directions: From I-24, take exit 81-B. Go north on Highway 231 approximately 3 miles to public square.

For more information, please call (615) 898-7745.

The Heritage Center

  • Discover the stories of Murfreesboro's downtown square and the historic Rutherford County Courthouse through exhibits, public programming and guided tours of the square. Current exhibits include:

    The Time that Changed Everything

    Entering the Modern Era

    Place Names of Rutherford County

    Community Building Blocks

  • Hours:
  • Open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. Walking tours available on the hour. Group tours available Monday-Saturday by advance reservation.
  • Admission:
  • No admission charged.
  • Location: 225 W. College St. Murfreesboro, TN 37130
  • Directions: From I-24, exit 81-B, travel toward Murfreesboro to the public square. Go through the square to the next traffic light at College Street and turn left. The Heritage Center is located in the second block on the left, at the corner of College and Walnut.

The Rutherford County Archives

Located in the heart of Murfreesboro, the Rutherford County Archives is a jewel for genealogists and researchers. With collections pertaining to the permanent and historical records of Rutherford County, the Rutherford County Archives is the source for information on local families and history. We are always eager to assist patrons with their research requests. If we can't help you, we will point you in the right direction to find the information that you seek.


Come visit our new 10,000-square-foot facility, and be sure to visit our website: www.rutherfordcounty.org/archives

  • Hours:
  • Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Admission:
  • No admission charged.
  • Location:
  • 435 Rice Street Murfreesboro, TN 37130
  • Directions: From I-24, exit 81-B, travel toward Murfreesboro to the public square. Remain on North Church Street and go through the square. Turn left at Burton Street. Turn right at Rice Street. The Rutherford County Archives is located on your left. For more information, please call (615) 867-4609.