Dimple of the Universe

Trip Start Mar 07, 1997
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Trip End Dec 25, 1998


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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Friday, June 27, 1997

Go with me? Let's get into the middle of the past in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. In fact, it is the geographic center of the state. In fun, the locals call it "the dimple of the universe." A stone obelisk marks the spot about a mile from downtown on Old Lucassas Pike.

Murfreesboro is a college town, home of Middle Tennessee State University. And it's a city that appreciates its past, as you'll see. I like to begin at Cannonsburgh, downtown on Front Street. The Chamber of Commerce is here, so we'll grab maps and information first.

Cannonsburgh is a rural Southern pioneer village of the 1800's. We can experience old-time living in the one-room schoolhouse, several residences, a beautiful chapel, a general store, and a blacksmith shop. It's creekside and quiet except for the clucking of a chicken or two.

Next stop is Murfreesboro's downtown square. The Rutherford County Courthouse is one of only six pre-Civil war buildings still operating in the state. Along the flower-dotted streets we'll find bookstores, shops, and restaurants. Hungry yet?

Main Street leads to the college campus and makes me want to be a history professor or grandmother of twelve. The white-columned houses with wide front porches invite reminiscing. This town even has sidewalks, and spreading oaks.

We can go inside one of the homes at Oaklands Historic House Museum. It was once a 1,500-acre plantation, occupied by both sides during the Civil War.

There is more Civil War ground to walk at Stones River National Battlefield, just on the edge of town. This 250-acre park was the site of a crucial Civil War battle involving more than 80,000. An audio tour-tape from the visitor center gives the details.

Want to stay the weekend at nearby Cedars of Lebanon State Park? They have campsites, cabins, an Olympic-sized pool and playground, and hiking and horseback riding trails. And for really ancient history, here's where we'll find the largest red cedar forest remaining in the country. See you there.

Murfreesboro, Tennessee
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