One of the Tennessee State Museum’s most important artifacts, a 1750 dugout canoe, made its way on Thursday from the Museum’s old Polk Center location to its new location at Bicentennial Capitol State Park.
The move required months of planning by the Museum, Design and Production Incorporated (D&P) and Bynon Art Services, and required the use of a fork lift, a flatbed truck and a crane.
It was hoisted up by crane and installed in the new building through the doors of the second floor veranda on the southwest side of the building that looks out on to the park and the State Capitol.
The dugout canoe, one of only two known to exist in Tennessee, was pulled from the Cumberland River at Holleman’s Bend, near present day Granville in Jackson County, in the late 1700s. The second canoeis at the McLung Museum of Natural History and Culture in Knoxville. Dugout canoes were a principal mode of transportation in Tennessee for the Cherokee and for early white explorers, traders and settlers. Made from a single yellow poplar tree harvested on nearby Canoe Hill, it remained in the same family and was preserved by being used as a feeding trough for farm animals. It was recently carbon dated to 1750.
The New Tennessee State Museum opens on Oct. 4.