Enter through the hotel’s original lobby. Furnished much as it would have been from the 1920s through 1940s, the lobby has the original Hotel Halbrook registration desk and a letter from the 1920s/30s. A registration book from 1921 is on display along with the original registration call bell and room keys.
The colorful and dynamic heritage of railroading is showcased with artifacts including an oil can, brake wheel, whistle marker, lantern, maps, postcards and books. A folk art model of an engine and tender are almost miniature examples of an NC & St.L engine and Vanderbilt tender captured in a 1920s photograph of Dickson. This exhibit has been expanded to include a touch-screen panel of the Dickson rail yard and downtown area. A hands-on display of a steam engine cabin and a NC & St.L engine headlight are also showcased. All aboard!
The Clement family rooms are furnished to represent the early 1920s when Belle Goad, Maybelle, and Robert Clement lived in the managerial suite of rooms on the first floor. Room #5, where Governor Frank G. Clement was born, is furnished with several pieces of furniture from the Clement family including a bed, trunk and cradle.
The Dickson County Commerce exhibit has interpretive panels on several early businesses and industries. This exhibit includes the display of a Dixie Swatter baseball bat, which was used by major league teams during the 1920s, and a Commodore youth bat, a 1930s Coca Cola bottle impressed with ‘Dickson Tenn’ on the bottom and the 50-millionth shirt made by Red Kap.
The Dickson County History exhibit tells the story of the iron ore industry in the county as well as highlighting each of the incorporated communities: Burns, Charlotte, Slayden, Vanleer, White Bluff and Dickson. Interpretive panels introduce visitors to Promise Land, an unincorporated community founded by formerly enslaved people in rural Dickson County, soon after the American Civil War.
The triumph and tragedy of the Civil War tell the story of the 13th and 14th U.S. Colored Infantry and the building of the railroad during the Civil War. This exhibit now includes a touch-screen that relates Dickson County family stories and memories of the Civil War. An interpretive panel of the Irish Shanty incident in Dickson County has also been added to the exhibit.
The Dickson Model Railroad Club has partnered with the Clement Railroad Hotel Museum to establish a permanent display of model trains, landscaping and buildings. The display is manned by volunteer “engineers” who maintain the trains as well as both entertain and educate visitors in the art of model railroading. This exhibit recreates the Dickson Rail-yard during the 1920s and 1930s. Interested in helping build this new and exciting model railroad exhibit? The Model Railroad Club is recruiting new members! Drop by the Museum and talk with one of the “engineers” in the exhibit.
Eight principle areas have been created to bring the Dickson County Civil Rights experience to visitors. First and foremost, the exhibit will share the evolution of education for African-Americans in Dickson County. The exhibit discusses the one room school houses that were spread across the county and eventually led to the founding of Hampton High School with its strong history of excellence. Panels will showcase the scholars, students who graduated as valedictorian and salutatorian from 1936 until integration in 1965. View four donated yearbooks, the only ones produced in that time period, plus uniforms and other memorabilia bringing the exhibited school life of Hampton High into the present.
On the second floor of the Museum, trace Governor Clement’s high school, college and early career days. Follow his campaigns in the 1952, 1954 and 1962 gubernatorial elections. Learn about his many accomplishments, including peaceful desegregation of Tennessee public schools, free text books for Tennessee school children, the establishment of the first department of mental health and expansion of roads and the Interstate system through Tennessee.