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Cookeville Depot Museum Receives Grant For Steam Engine Work

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Cookeville Depot Museum Receives Grant For Steam Engine Work

The Cookeville Depot Museum has received some $65,000 to restore the museum’s steam engine.

Cookeville Museums Manager Beth Thompson said the city is looking for an organization to complete the maintenance by spring. Thompson said the state legislature set aside $5 million for the Tennessee State Museum to disperse to museums across the state. The Friends of the Depot board lobbied successfully to have some allocated to Cookeville.

“This 1913 Baldwin Steam Engine that we have outside is really a feather in our cap,” Thompson said. “Not just for the city of Cookeville as the government or the Leisure Services Department, but for our community. It’s something we can all just really be super proud of and once she’s all shined up and looking spiffy, it’ll be even more so.”

Thompson said the steam engine has been on museum grounds for over 20 years. The cosmetic restoration of the steam engine will include full pressure washing, rust mitigation, priming, painting, and graphics.

“These landmarks like this one are irreplaceable and we’re so lucky to still have our depot,” Thompson said. “So many of them were destroyed during the 1970s. It was kind of a rough time for preservation in this area and really all of the United States so we’re so lucky to have this gem.”

Thompson said being awarded a substantial sum of money not dedicated to a major project offers the museum an opportunity to make the most of the things it already has. Thompson said grants like this one are not particularly common. Thompson said the city is thrilled to give the community the chance to see the museum’s prized possession at its most pristine.

“I think it’s pretty darn important to see the look on a kid’s eyes when they come in for a field trip from school and they’re seeing things that they would never see in any other way,” Thompson said.


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