Cordell Hull Birthplace State Park
The Cordell Hull Birthplace and Museum is a 55-acre historic park located on the Highland Rim, near Byrdstown, north of Cookeville, close to the Kentucky border.
The site includes a representation of Hull's log cabin birthplace and period gardens; the Cordell Hull Museum which displays a variety of photographs and artifacts; and an activities center. The park also includes the Hull Library and Archives that houses the entire Cordell Hull Collection consisting of more than 1,500 books and hundreds of original photographs, documents, and three-dimensional objects. The collection includes a replica of his Nobel Peace Prize.
The park also features the beautiful Bunkum Cave Loop Trail that leads to an overlook and the actual entrance to historic Bunkum Cave where Cordell Hull's father made moonshine in the 19th century. The trail is rated moderate due to many gentle hills. The hike to the overlook is 3/4 mile (1.5 miles roundtrip), and the hike to the cave entrance is an additional one-half mile (2.5 miles roundtrip). Meandering through the mixed deciduous forest, the hiker may be able to view a variety of plant and animal life. Spring wildflowers in late March—early May are exceptional. The view of the cave is most impressive, the entrance measures 100 feet wide and 50 feet tall. The Bunkum Cave is open to the public from May 1 to August 31.
Cordell Hull (October 2, 1871-July 23, 1955) was born in a log cabin in Pickett County, Tennessee, the third of the five sons of William and Elizabeth (Riley) Hull. His father was a farmer and subsequently a lumber merchant. The only one of the five boys who showed an interest in learning, Cordell wanted to be a lawyer. He obtained his elementary school training in a one-room school that his father had built in nearby Willow Grove; then for a period of about three years, he attended in succession the Montvale Academy at Celina, Tennessee, the Normal School at Bowling Green, Kentucky, and the National Normal University at Lebanon, Ohio. He received a law degree in 1891 after completing a one-year course at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee.
Elected to Congress from the Fourth Tennessee District in 1907, Hull served as a U.S. Representative until 1931. He was elected U.S. Senator for the 1931-37 term but resigned upon his appointment as Secretary of State by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on March 4, 1933. He was sixty-two. Ill health forced Hull to resign from office on November 27, 1944, before the final ratification of the United Nations Charter in San Francisco. President Roosevelt praised Secretary Hull as “the one person in all the world who has done the most to make this great plan for peace an effective fact.”
Nobel Peace Prize
Following nomination by Roosevelt, the Norwegian Nobel Committee presented the 1945 Nobel Prize for Peace to Hull in recognition of his work in the Western Hemispheres, for his international trade agreements, and for his efforts in establishing the United Nations.
Park Trail Maps
Looking for a trail map? Click the link below to see a list of the maps available at this park. The page includes all the trail maps we have available, organized by park. We have free and paid options that provide you the details you need to have your next great adventure in Tennessee.