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Historic Places Tour adds another stop

Jared Felkins [email protected] • Updated Nov 27, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Historic Lebanon will feature its sixth annual Historic Places Tour on Dec. 7 from 5-8:30 p.m. and will have yet another stop on the route.

The addition will be the Wilson County Museum at the Fessenden House at 236 W. Main St.

The Wilson County Museum is housed in the two-story federal-style brick house built about 1870 by Dr. James Leonidas Fite, who began practicing medicine in Lebanon before the Civil War. In 1862, he was appointed surgeon of the 7th Tennessee Infantry Regiment in Virginia under the command of Gen. Robert Hatton. In 1891, Dr. Fite’s daughter, Margaret Harsh, opened an elementary school in her parents’ home. Virginia Wooten continued a school in the house from 1917-20. In 1928, Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Fessenden acquired the property for their home. Their daughter, Sallie Barry Fessenden, who died March 6, 1983, directed in her will that the house be used as a museum. It is operated by the History Associates of Wilson County to preserve and educate about Wilson County’s heritage.

The Historic Places tour highlights several of Lebanon’s historic homes and structures. By shining a light on these local treasures, Historic Lebanon hopes to increase awareness of Lebanon’s history and stress the importance of local preservation efforts.

In light of the recent approval of a historic zoning ordinance by the Lebanon City Council, Historic Lebanon will continue to showcase areas of the city that deserve preservation efforts and zoning.

Other stops on the tour previously announced include the Capitol Theatre at 110 W. Main St., 1949, the Foutch Home at 708 W. Main St., the Bonner Home at 126 Castle Heights Ave., the Strawbridge/Hayton Home at 111 Caruthers Ave., the Winfree Home at 508 W. Spring St., Proequities, Inc. at 104 E. Main St., Wilson County Election Commission and former federal post office at 203 E. Main St. and the Lebanon Public Square.

Limited shuttle transportation to the tour sites will be available. Pick up will be at the Capitol Theatre box office with vehicles provided by Wilson County Motors. Patrons are welcome to drive themselves on the tour. Parking is available on the Lebanon Public Square, Wilson Bank and Trust Main Office and on S. Tarver Ave. and Cumberland University. As an added feature, this year’s tour ticket will offer a discount on admission to the Festival of Lights at the James E. Ward Ag Center.

“Historic Lebanon is proud to bring the tour to the community each December,” said Historic Lebanon director Kim Parks. “This would not be possible without the support of our generous sponsors Cumberland University, title sponsor Tressler and Associates, Ligon and Bobo Funeral Home, CedarStone Bank, Thackston Family Foundation and Wilson Bank and Trust. 

Tickets are $10 and are available at the Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce office at 149 Public Square, Wilson Bank and Trust Main Office at 622 W. Main St. and Historic Lebanon’s office at 315 West Spring St. or by calling 615-547-9795. Tickets are available the night of the tour at the Capitol Theatre box office and any of the tour sites.

The Capitol Theatre’s lobby and upstairs area only will be part of the tour. The theatre’s auditorium will not be open to tour goers as a local play will be holding a performance.

The Lebanon Public Square will be featured on the tour as the square merchants and the Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce hold the annual Christmas on the Square

event. A live nativity scene, merchant open houses, and holiday activities are planned for the evening. For more information, contact the chamber at 615-444-5503.

Sweet Thing Bakery at 233 W. Main St. will also be open during the Historic Places tour. The bakery is housed in a classic 1890s Queen Anne-style house.

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