Fort Campbell, KY Image 1
    Fort Campbell, KY Image 2

    Fort Campbell, KY Museums


    Historic Collinsville was opened by JoAnn and Glenn Weakley in 1997 to give the community and visitors a glimpse of what life was like in the 19th century. Featured are authentically restored homes and buildings from 1830-1870, like log houses with separate kitchens and outbuildings. During this time, sheep and cotton were raised on the land and then sent by boat along the Cumberland River. This area was also historically linked to Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek, Iroquois and Shawnee Indians traveling through, and nearby battlefields of the Civil War.

    The Customs House Museum and Cultural Center is the 2nd largest general museum in Tennessee and part of its current structure was built in 1898 for a Federal Post Office and Customs House, due to the city being an international tobacco trading business which received copious amounts of mail. The now 35,000 square foot building features art galleries, rotating exhibits, sculpture gardens, model trains, and a floor of puzzles and games for the whole family. Among the permanent collections are the Lucy Dunwoody Boehm porcelain collection, one of the largest in the southeast, and the Bubble Cave where visitors can learn and play with bubbles.

    The L&N Train Station was built in 1870 and remodeled in 1890 and houses a steam locomotive and small museum with the original floor plans and other train memorabilia. It is referenced in the Monkees 1966 hit, "Last Train to Clarksville".

    The Wilma Rudolph Statue commemorates Clarksville native Wilma Rudolph, the fastest woman in the world during the 1960s. She won 3 gold medals at the 1960 Olympics and was a big supporter of civil and women's rights. After the Olympics, she requested that celebrations in her honor in Clarksville be racially integrated, leading to the first ever non-segregated municipal events in the city. She won the Associated Press Woman Athlete of the Year in 1960 and 1961, was voted into the National Black Sports and Entertainment Hall of Fame in 1973, the Olympic Hall of Fame in 1983, and the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1994. Her statue is located in Liberty Park in front of a new events center also named in her honor.

    The Fort Defiance Interpretive Center is the site of a former Confederate Army outpost until the fall of Fort Donelson allowed Union troops to overtake it for the rest of the war. What was once Fort Defiance is very well preserved today and visitors can walk a mile-long trail to see what remains of the gun platforms and powder magazines.

    The Don F. Pratt Memorial Museum is currently located on post at Fort Campbell and was established in 1956 to honor the 101st Airborne Division, the "Screaming Eagles". The museum features their history from 1940 to the present and now contains other airborne warfare elements and honors other divisions unrelated to the 101st. Exhibits include memorabilia of Brigadier General Don F. Pratt, a restored CG-4A Cargo glider that served in World War II, a Dutch manuscript describing the 101st's involvement in liberating Holland during WWII, and a restored C-47 "Brass Hat". A new facility is in the works for a Wings of Liberty Museum and Fort Campbell Historical Complex to honor all Fort Campbell soldiers and provide direct access without a base pass.

    Fort Donelson National Battlefield contains Fort Donelson and Fort Heiman, both captured by Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant and Flag Officer Andrew Hull Foote, which led to the Union's first victory early in the Civil War. Donelson falling to the Union meant the North took control of Nashville, the state's capital and center of industry, and therefore most of Tennessee, until the end of the war. It was designated a national battlefield in 1985, after being transferred from the War Department to the National Park Service in 1933. The Fort Donelson National Cemetery is also on the grounds and has nearly 700 Union soldiers buried in its 15 acres.

    Smith Trahern Mansion - This elaborate Greek revival and Italianate style mansion was designed in 1858 for wealthy tobacconist Christopher Smith. According to local legend, Smith died of yellow fever while traveling and the boat carrying his body was never recovered; his widow, in denial of his death, waited for his return every day at the window, even after she died herself. Many visitors claim to have seen her ghost. Today, the mansion is host to "Trees of Christmas", where over 20 decorated trees are on display throughout the home during winter.


    The Pennyroyal Area Museum was established in 1976 in what had served as Hopkinsville's post office from 1915-1967 and was the town's first museum. It features permanent exhibits that reflect and showcase the area's history, including an exhibit on Edgar Cayce, renowned 20th century psychic and the "father of holistic medicine" and a native of Hopkinsville. It is the only town museum to also feature local African American history with items and photos from Attucks High School and Brooks Memorial Hospital, both segregated institutions until the 1960s. Military history is also represented and displays uniforms from World War II, a Triplett Scott Carbine from the Civil War, a saddle from the Philippine-American War, and photographs of soldiers.

    The Woody Winfree Museum opened in 2008 in the old Hopkinsville fire station to display the historic collection of transportation and firefighting vehicles belonging to local resident Woody Winfree. His collection ranges from early buggies to horse-drawn vehicles, gas pumps from the 1930s and 40s, several classic cars and a 1928 LaFrance firetruck.

    The Charles Jackson Circus Museum is the only circus museum in the state of Kentucky. It was opened in 2011 after Charles Jackson died and left his extensive circus memorabilia collection to the Pennyroyal Area Museum. Exhibits include Barnum & Bailey and Ringling Brothers toys, trains, posters, and clowns dating back to the 1920s.

    The Tobacco War Pilgrimage is a commemorative celebration of the tobacco industry crisis in the early 20th century in Western Kentucky. A rebellion started among tobacco farmers, rising up to demand buyers pay more money for their crop by starting an association of angry workers. The events of the pilgrimage include a street fair with live music, food, and games, a documentary, Farming in the Black Patch, and a Tobacco Bus Tour of the surrounding counties that were involved in the rebellion. A hayride reenacts the night in 1907 that association members, called Night Riders, burned tobacco warehouses in Hopkinsville.

    The Kentucky Veterans Cemetery West was established in 2004 and holds over 2,300 veterans, dependents, and service members killed in action.

    The Robert Penn Warren Birthplace Museum is the house in which famed poet and writer Robert Penn Warren was born in 1905. Warren was the first poet laureate in the country and the only person to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and poetry. His book, All the King's Men, won the prize in 1946, and two poems won in 1958 and 1979. Though he lived elsewhere for most of his life, the house has been turned into a museum with memorabilia from his childhood, rare original, signed works, and some history of the area.

    The Jefferson Davis Historic Monument is the largest monument dedicated to the President of Confederate States, Jefferson Davis. The 351 foot tall obelisk marks the site where Davis was born, just outside Hopkinsville, on June 3, 1808. It is the 5th tallest monument in the country; construction was begun in 1917 and finished in 1924. In addition to leading the Confederate states, Davis was a West Point graduate, soldier during the Mexican-American War, and Secretary of War under President Franklin Pierce.