Kids always rush to find the 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummy on display, but along the way maybe they will gain a better understanding of Tennessee history during a visit to this museum beneath the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. The museum showcases Native American artifacts as well as objects from 18th-century century pioneer life. You'll see Daniel Boone's rifle and a powder horn that once belonged to Davy Crockett, along with exhibits on presidents Andrew Jackson and James K. Polk.
Visitors may view pre-Civil War artifacts including full-scale replicas of old buildings and period rooms, a log cabin, a water-driven mill, a woodworking shop, an 18th-century print shop, and an 1855 parlor. Although the lower level of the museum is devoted mostly to the Civil War and Reconstruction, exhibits change; visitors are advised to call ahead to see what is currently on display. One block west on Union Street, you'll find the museum's Military Branch, which houses displays on Tennessee's military activity from the Spanish-American through Viet Nam wars. Allow 2 to 3 hours.
- © Frommer's 2013
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