Gratis. On the house. Free of charge. At no cost. Without charge. Complimentary. In other words—FREE! It’s not often that you get anything free, let alone the admissions to six grand experiences. Mark your calendars now to spend Saturday, May 19th in Rutherford County for “Free Day in May.”
The Rutherford County Convention and Visitors Bureau is again coordinating a special “Free Day in May” event for all Rutherford County residents and visitors. Attractions such as Bradley Academy Museum and Cultural Center, Discovery Center at Murfree Spring, The Heritage Center of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County, Oaklands Historic House Museum, Sam Davis Home and Museum and the Stones River National Battlefield will be open free of charge for the day on Saturday, May 19, 2012. Those attractions that are regularly open to the public free of charge will have special events taking place on that day.
Bradley Academy Museum and Cultural Center, located at 415 South Academy Street in Murfreesboro, will be open for tours from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The Bradley Academy Historical Association restored this historic building, which was the site of the first school for African-Americans in Murfreesboro. Come explore the traditions and activities experienced in the Heritage Classroom Exhibit and the Murfreesboro/Rutherford County room of the 1800s. Visitors can also view the exhibit of The 150th year Celebration of the Civil War and the USCT soldiers’ involvement in the Civil War.
Discovery Center at Murfree Spring, located at 502 S.E. Broad Street in Murfreesboro, will be open for visitors from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Visit this hands-on museum and nature preserve designed for kids of all ages. Come explore the wetlands, dabble in the arts, climb a fire truck or slide down the two-story slide. Celebrate Murfreesboro arts and architecture as you create a screen print with guest artists Erin Anfinson and Meghan O’Conner, or make your own ceramic tile with guest artist Jonathan Griffith.
Oaklands Historic House Museum is located at 900 North Maney Avenue in Murfreesboro. During the Civil War, the plantation was used as a camp by both the Union and Confederate armies. Tour guides in period dress will conduct free limited tours of this graceful antebellum home. The 19th Alabama Civilian Corp will present extensive living history demonstrations on the lawn. There will be plenty of fun for all. Join in the festivities from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
The Heritage Center of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County, located at 225 West College Street in Murfreesboro, will be open from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., with guided walking tours of the square available on the hour. The Heritage Center explores the county’s past and present through exhibits, programs and tours—setting the storylines for Rutherford County’s many historic sites, buildings and museums. The exhibit, The Time that Changed Everything: Murfreesboro’s Civil War Era, is sponsored by the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area and focuses on the Battle of Murfreesboro which was fought on the courthouse square in July, 1862. In celebration of Murfreesboro’s Bicentennial, a new exhibit entitled Wish You Were Here: Postcards of Murfreesboro provides glimpses of the city throughout its 200-year history.
The Sam Davis Home and Museum, located at 1399 Sam Davis Road in Smyrna, will be open to the public for free tours from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. The Sam Davis Home, circa 1810, features original furniture and homespun décor enjoyed in the 19th century. Also available to tour is the Herb Garden, with historical plants, and the Outbuildings including a 19th century Kitchen, Smokehouse, Privy, Overseer's Cabin, and Slave Quarters. Museum Exhibits include, but are not limited to, the Civil War in Middle Tennessee, Sam Davis Memorial Gallery, Slavery in Middle Tennessee, and Life After the War.
The Stones River National Battlefield, located at 1563 North Thompson Lane in Murfreesboro, is free and open to the public every day (except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day) from 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Be sure to stop by to see the 650-acre national park and cemetery dedicated to preserving the memory of those who fought and died at this crucial Civil War battle. A bicycle tour of the battlefield will take place at 9:00 a.m. The tour is limited to 15 cyclists. A ranger will lead a 1/2 hour long talk on the battlefield at 11:00 a.m. A 1 ½ hour driving tour will take place at 2:00 p.m.