MTSU History Department and Tennessee State Parks Partner to Develop Museum

March 10, 2016  |  Permalink

March 10, 2016

MTSU History Department and Tennessee State Parks Partner to Develop Museum

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Thanks to a recent partnership with Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park and Murfreesboro’s Middle Tennessee State University, graduate students from the university’s Public History Program are getting a unique opportunity to put their education and skills to use. Along with the Park’s rangers and professional consultants, the students are currently updating, designing and building new exhibits for the Park’s visitor center and museum in Manchester.

“This has been a project that had been in the works for some time,” said Dr. Brenden Martin, Director of the MTSU Public History Program and senior project developer. “We are updating and modernizing the current exhibit, and it’s allowing students to use their skills on a real-world project. It’s a great way to train them for their future careers.”

Teams of graduate students, specializing in museum studies, have been working on the project since last year. This semester, twelve students have completed the exhibit planning and have started construction on the new exhibits. It is scheduled to be finished and open to the public in May 2016.

“We have been planning to update our museum for a long time,” said Josh Waggener, a Park Ranger at Old Stone Fort. “The last time the museum received a major renovation was in 1992.”

The park was originally created as the state’s first archaeological park in 1966 with the museum built in 1975. According to Waggener, “The partnership with MTSU will greatly improve the museum’s interpretation and will modernize the facility. I’m thankful that we are working together to make a better experience for our visitors.” 

Tennessee’s Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park is the home to a prehistoric earth and stone hilltop enclosure built about two thousand years ago by Native Americans. Archaeologists believe it was used for nearly five hundred years as a ceremonial site until it was abandoned. For more information about Old Stone Fort and other Tennessee State Parks, visit  



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