Get to know Fiddlers Grove: Pulley Train Museum

Fiddlers Grove Historical Village is keeping history alive, and The Lebanon Democrat helped the cause by featuring weekly stories and photos on several of the historic buildings. This will be the last installment in the series.
Aug 13, 2013
(Submitted to The Democrat) Fiddlers Grove Foundation Board member David Brooks shows off an immense collection of model trains donated by the Benjamin T. Pulley Jr. family for the new Train Museum at Fiddlers Grove.
(Submitted to The Democrat) The new Train Museum will be dedicated Saturday at 2 p.m. at Fiddlers Grove during the Wilson County Fair.


The late Benjamin T. Pulley Jr. loved trains and worked for 40 years with the L&N Railroad in its clerical division. The line is now known as CSX. Mr. Pulley was passionate about model trains, and following his death April 6, 2012, his family donated his entire model train layout and some of his trains to Fiddlers Grove.

There will be a train museum located in Fiddlers Grove thanks to these donations, and it will be dedicated Saturday at 2 p.m.

“During the fair, we plan to have several model train enthusiasts that will bring their own trains to run on our layout,” said Randall Clemons, the fair board’s public relations officer.

The museum will be housed in an old portable classroom donated to the fair board by the county school system.

The fair board has also planned to have representatives from railroad preservation groups to answer historical questions regarding railroads.

“Terry Coats of NC&StL Preservation Society, who also came last year and signed copies of his history book, will be here,” Clemons said.

Our model train museum will be a constant work in progress with additions to layouts and educational exhibits, added Clemons.

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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