Get to know Fiddlers Grove: Telephone Pioneer Building

Halls of History Fiddlers Grove Historical Village is keeping history alive, and The Lebanon Democrat is helping the cause by featuring weekly stories and photos on 10 of the historic buildings.
Jul 30, 2013
 Photo: Submitted to The Democrat

The Telephone Pioneer Building at Fiddlers Grove in Lebanon also houses the Glenn Hightower Museum. 


In 1872, the Lebanon Nashville Telegraph Co. was organized. The Cumberland Telephone and Telegraph Company was organized in 1883.

In December 1889, Sam Anderson made a telephone call from his home. His telephone number was 1. 

The first telephone switchboard was installed in Anderson Drug Store, and the first operator was E.E. Adams.

Bellsouth Pioneers, an organization of retired telephone employees, under the direction of Glenn Hightower, collected early phones, phone booths, switchboards, phone books and other artifacts and opened the museum in 1998.

The Bellsouth Pioneer members offer tours and demonstrations during the Wilson County Fair and open the museum at other times on request. The building was relocated to Fiddlers Grove in 1998.

Fiddlers Grove Historical Village is on the grounds of the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon. It is the mission of Fiddlers Grove to preserve the history of the citizens of Wilson County by preserving buildings, artifacts and oral and written histories. The village reaches out to the public through preservation, interpretation, exhibitions, education, publications and hands-on experiences to increase a better understanding of the history of Wilson County and its way of life.

Groundbreaking ceremonies for the village were held April 17, 1991.

G. Frank Burns, a local popular historian, educator and publisher, named Fiddlers Grove. The name was chosen for one of the first settlers, Edward (Neddy) Jacobs, a legendary fiddler who often played his fiddle at his cabin at the town spring. 

To become a part of this historical journey and help keep the history alive in Fiddlers Grove, have a story relating to one of the buildings or for more information, contact Vickie Eads at the Fiddlers Grove office at 615-443-2626. The office is at the Agricultural Center in Lebanon. Self-guided tours are available Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.


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