Today is Saturday, June 24, 2017

Granville Museum hosts state exhibit

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The Jackson County community of Granville will host a Tennessee State Museum traveling exhibit, "Slaves and Slaveholders of Wessyngton Plantation," through June 3 at the Granville Museum.

The exhibit was developed by Rob DeHart, curator at the Tennessee State Museum. John F. Baker Jr., an ancestor of the Washington family who called the plantation home as slaves, served as exhibit consultant. The goal of the exhibit is to create an interactive display of the coming together of people to tell their stories.

"'Slaves and Slaveholders of Wessyngton Plantation' honors the memory of my ancestors and of the African-Americans who were enslaved on Wessyngton and other plantations in Tennessee," Baker explained.

Baker will visit the Granville Genealogy Festival as a guest speaker on Saturday, April 8, and the Granville Museum plans to have a grand opening for the exhibit with a ribbon cutting ceremony tomorrow at 5 p.m.

The Wessyngton Plantation was located in Robertson County and consisted of some 11,000 acres with some 187 slaves. The plantation was founded by Joseph Washington in 1796. It became the largest plantation in Tennessee and was the largest producer of dark-fired tobacco in the United States. The exhibit has a Granville connection, as Col. James W. Smith, who had a 1,600-acre tobacco plantation in Granville with some 65 slaves.

The Granville Museum has also developed an exhibit to honor the African-American families of Granville. On April 8, as part of the genealogy festival, those families as well as the Ragland family of Jackson County will be honored.

The exhibit will be open Wednesday through Friday of each week from noon until 3 p.m. and on Saturdays from noon until 5 p.m. with no charge for admission. The museum is also currently featuring special exhibits on the 1940s as it celebrates those years during 2017. The Sutton Home opens today with "Maneuvers: They Came as Strangers and Left as Friends," and the Granville Antique Car Museum is currently featuring "Automobiles of the 1940s."

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