Cedars of Lebanon could expand

Staff Reports • Updated Jun 30, 2018 at 9:00 AM

State Sen. Mark Pody and Rep. Clark Boyd announced Thursday the Tennessee Building Commission’s executive subcommittee voted unanimously Wednesday afternoon to buy 73 acres adjacent to Cedars of Lebanon State Park.  

The land purchase will allow Tennessee to increase the protection of cedar glades and provide a land bridge from Cedars of Lebanon State Forest to the park.

“This is great news,” said Pody, R-Lebanon. “This piece of property will help protect the Cedar of Lebanon State Park landscape and expand opportunities for Tennesseans and visitors to enjoy the beautiful land within our own state. It also ensures that the delicate cedar glades located on the property are preserved in the park for future generations to enjoy.”

Pody and Boyd supported the purchase of the property and were in communication with members of the executive subcommittee regarding its positive impact on the community. The executive subcommittee consists of Finance and Administration Commissioner Larry Martin, Secretary of State Tre Hargett, state Treasurer David Lillard and state Comptroller Justin Wilson.

The property is adjacent to Cedars of Lebanon State Forest and across Highway 231 from the entrance to the park. The structures on the property include a single-family home that dates back to the 1920s, which retains much of its historical character. It includes its intact chimneys, original wood windows, a shed roof dormer and stone foundation, which are symbolic of an early 20th-century working farm. Pody said state officials anticipate a conversion of the house for use as a museum and interpretative center using operating funds from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. 

The property also has outbuildings, including a milking barn, livestock barn and corncrib. The farm could be used to create a space for children, school groups and the public to learn about early- and mid-20th-century farming practices.    

“This property, it’s museum and historical farm will greatly enhance the experience of visitors to the park, draw new tourists to our community and provide people of all ages with information about our unique heritage,” said Boyd, R-Lebanon. “I look forward to seeing the completed project and appreciate the favorable action taken by executive subcommittee members to move this project forward.”

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