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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Where will Tennessee Walking Horse Museum land?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

This display at the Tennessee Walking Horse Museum in Lynchburg will be moving to a new home soon.
(Submitted photo)
In less than a month, the Tennessee Walking Horse Museum in Lynchburg will be closed, and its board of directors are still searching for a new home. The current location is a building owned by Jack Daniel's Distillery. Jack Daniel's didn't charge any rent, but now needs the space for commercial use, said Doyle Meadows, CEO of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.

Meadows stressed the fact that the relationship between the distillery and the Celebration is a good one and the loss of the museum site is simply due to economics.

"In economic times like this, every asset needs to be used," he said. "We have enjoyed an excellent relationship with Jack Daniel's in the past and will continue to do so in the future."

In the meantime, the hunt for a new home goes on. A committee was formed to elicit, then review proposals for the museum.

"We've gotten one from people in Lewisburg, one from Wartrace, and some others," said Meadows.

The Fly Arts Center in Shelbyville has also expressed an interest.

Despite rumors, Meadows said no decision has been finalized.

"I'd like us to go on record as supporting the Tennessee Walking Horse Museum exhibits being in Lewisburg," Marshall County Commission Chairman Tom Sumners said in late March, according to a report in the Marshall County Tribune. "I think it would be a plus for the county, and it would let the people in Shelbyville know how we feel."

Meadows said the entity that receives the museum would take possession of its contents, but the owners of these items that were on loan for display would be notified.

Originally located in Shelbyville, the museum was moved to Lynchburg when a location was made available and because members of the museum board felt there would be more tourist traffic to the free venue. The museum features exhibits on the history of the breed, including the formation of the breed registry, foundation bloodlines, World Grand Champions, Celebration history, versatility, and the care and training of the Tennessee Walking Horse.

Additionally, there are regularly updated exhibits covering the current World Grand Champion, a selected breeder, and a selected trainer.

Specific artifacts of interest include the saddle used by Floyd Carothers on the very first world grand champion, Strolling Jim.