Clement Railroad Hotel Museum
Clement Railroad Hotel Museum
|Location||100 Clement Pl., Dickson, Tennessee|
|Architectural style||Early Commercial|
|NRHP Reference #||90000915|
|Added to NRHP||June 14, 1990|
The Clement Railroad Hotel Museum, housed in the Hotel Halbrook State Historic Site, is one of the few remaining examples of a railroad hotel in a small Tennessee town. It is located in historic downtown Dickson, Tennessee. Since opening on June 2, 2009, the hotel has hosted thousands of visitors locally, regionally, and internationally. The museum is often referred to as "our biggest artifact" by local people.
The hotel was constructed in 1913. The museum features exhibits and programming involving the Civil War, railroading, and local and regional history. The museum is fortunate to have many artifacts and items that once belonged to Tennessee Governor Frank G. Clement and his family. museum visitors will see the rooms where the Clements' lived while managing the Hotel Halbrook as well as be able to view exhibits featuring Governor Clement's early years, campaigns, and accomplishments.
Owned by the State of Tennessee, the Hotel Halbrook is one of the Tennessee Historical Commission's State Historic Sites, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The museum receives a partial annual operating grant from the Tennessee Historical Commission. The museum is located at 100 Clement Place, or 100 Frank G. Clement Place, in Dickson.It was restored and opened to the public in 2009.
The colorful and dynamic heritage of railroading is showcased with artifacts including an oilcan, brake wheel, whistle marker, lantern, maps, postcards, and books. A folk art model of an engine and tender are almost miniature examples of an NC&St.L engine and Vanderbilt tender captured in a 1920s photograph in Dickson. This exhibit has been expanded to include a touch-screen panel of the Dickson rail-yard and downtown area. A hands-on display of a steam engine cabin, and a NC&St.L engine headlight are also showcased.
The Clement family
The Clement family rooms are furnished to represent the early 1920s when Belle Goad and Maybelle and Robert Clement lived in the managerial suite of rooms on the first floor. Room #5, where Governor Frank Clement was born, is furnished with several pieces of furniture from the Clement family including a bed, trunk, and cradle.
Dickson County industries
The Dickson County Commerce exhibit has interpretive panels on several early businesses and industries. This exhibit includes the display of a Dixie Swatter baseball bat which was used by major league teams during the 1920s and a Commodore youth bat, a 1930s Coca Cola bottle impressed with 'Dickson Tenn.' on the bottom, and the 50-millionth shirt made by Red Kap.
The Dickson County History exhibit tells the story of the iron ore industry in the county as well as highlighting each of the incorporated communities: Burns, Charlotte, Slayden, Vanleer, White Bluff, and Dickson. Interpretive panels introduce visitors to the utopian community of Ruskin and Promise Land, a community founded by freed blacks.
The triumph and tragedy of the Civil War tells the story of the 13th and 14th U.S. Colored Infantry and the building of the railroad during the Civil War. This exhibit now includes a touch-screen that relates Dickson County family stories and memories of the Civil War. An interpretive panel of the Irish Shanty incident in Dickson County has also been added to the exhibit.
Dickson Model Railroad display
The Dickson Model Railroad Club has partnered with the Clement Railroad Hotel Museum to establish a permanent display of model trains, landscaping, and buildings. The display is manned by volunteer "engineers" who maintain the trains as well as both entertain and educate visitors in the art of model railroading. This exhibit recreates the Dickson Rail-yard during the 1920s and 1930s. Interested in helping build this new and exciting model railroad exhibit? The Model Railroad Club is recruiting new members! Drop by the museum and talk with one of the "engineers" in the exhibit.
Hampton High School
Eight principle areas have been created to bring the Dickson County Civil Rights experience to visitors. First and foremost, the exhibit will share the evolution of education for African-Americans in Dickson County. The exhibit discusses the one room school houses that were spread across the county and eventually led to the founding of Hampton High School with its strong history of excellence. Panels will showcase the scholars, students who graduated as valedictorian and salutatorian from 1936 until integration in 1965. View four donated yearbooks, the only ones produced in that time period, plus uniforms and other memorabilia bringing the exhibited School Life of Hampton High into the present.
On the second floor of the museum, trace Governor Clement's high school, college, and early career days. Follow his campaigns in the 1952, 1954, and 1962 gubernatorial elections. Learn about his many accomplishments, including peaceful desegregation of Tennessee public schools, free text books for Tennessee school children, establishment of the first department of mental health, and expansion of roads and the Interstate system through Tennessee. The property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990 as Halbrook Hotel.