U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and U.S. Representative Lincoln Davis (D-Tenn.4th) today announced $39,912 in funding for the White County Museum from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).
“Understanding where we come from is a very important part of being American and being proud of your country. This new museum will help residents in White County learn about their culture and history,” Sen. Lamar Alexander said. “ARC’s continued investment in our rural communities is bringing a better way of life to many Tennesseans.”
“White County possesses a rich history which deserves to be preserved for future generations. Converting the library into a cultural heritage museum will provide residents and visitors alike with a valuable resource for understanding the people and events that helped shape the history of the region,” Sen. Bob Corker said. “I thank the ARC for investing in the future of East Tennessee and all of Appalachia.”
“There are so many young people today that don't have a grasp on American history let alone local history,” said Congressman Lincoln Davis. “These dollars from the ARC will help educate and inform locals and visitors alike in the rich history of White County. I look forward to touring the museum when it is fully operational.”
This funding will help White County to convert its former library facility into a cultural heritage museum. The ARC funds, along with $33,413 from local sources, will provide resources for the creation of several exhibits including a Lester Flatt display, a bicentennial exhibit, a black history exhibit, and a Sparta/White County history exhibit. The project will result in 300 new visitors to the museum.
The ARC is a federal-state partnership that supports economic development and improved quality of life in Appalachia. Appalachia, as defined in the legislation from which the ARC derives its authority, is a 200,000-square-mile region that follows the spine of the Appalachian Mountains from southern New York to northern Mississippi. It includes all of West Virginia and parts of 12 other states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. About 23 million people live in the 410 counties of the Appalachian Region; 42 percent of the Region's population is rural, compared with 20 percent of the national population.
The Tennessee counties included as part of the ARC include: Anderson, Bledsoe, Blount, Bradley, Campbell, Cannon, Carter, Claiborne, Clay, Cocke, Coffee, Cumberland, De Kalb, Fentress, Franklin, Grainger, Greene, Grundy, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hancock, Hawkins, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Lawrence, Lewis, Loudon, McMinn, Macon, Marion, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Overton, Pickett, Polk, Putnam, Rhea, Roane, Scott, Sequatchie, Sevier, Smith, Sullivan, Unicoi, Union, Van Buren, Warren, Washington, and White.