See An Antique Printing Press In Action. And Take Home A Souvenir.

One of the first things the original settlers of Rugby did was to start their own newspaper, The Rugbeian. It was originally printed in Cincinnati and shipped in by train. But on July 2, 1881, Rugby started to print its newspaper locally, continuing for years.

Rugby has an operating print shop with volunteers demonstrating printing.

Rugby has an operating print shop with volunteers demonstrating printing.

Today, you can still see how printing was done in the early days of the colony, at the Rugby Printing Works.

The present day Rugby Printing Works is housed in a building built in 1887 in nearby Deer Lodge, Tenn., to house the local newspaper there, the Southern Enterprise. That paper and a successor lasted only until 1916, after which the building was used for a variety of unrelated purposes, mostly for storing animal feed and hay. Fortunately the interior was not altered nor was the ornate exterior, although a shed was added to the rear and a metal roof replaced the original wood shingle roof. In 1978, Historic Rugby acquired the building and in late 1979 moved it the 16 miles to Rugby, placing it on a sound foundation and taking steps to otherwise stabilize it. (The shed addition was removed prior to the move). The hand-cut foundation stones came from an 1880s store in nearby Allardt, Tenn., that were donated by Charles Choate.

Since then, The Historic Rugby Printing Works has been in operation printing thousands of pieces each year, including greeting cards, menus, bags, sales receipts, books, and other items. You can see the press in operation on Saturdays and Sundays from March through December. Watch as skilled craftspeople keep the art of printing alive, and learn how early newspapers were created. It’s a fascinating experience, and it’s free to everyone who visits.

And be sure to pick up your free souvenir printed in Historic Rugby.

Visitors can tour the Rugby Printing Works every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern time. 


Step back in time–with an actual issue of Rugby’s newspaper, The Rugbeian. 

rugbeianConnect to the link below and read the “Rugbeian” Newspaper about things going on in the town of Rugby in the 1880’s. <>

Read about the President’s Health. (NOTE: The article doesn’t tell you who the president was. You were expected to know who he was!)

So test your knowledge: Who was the president on August 13, 1881?

History of Rugby Printing Works
By Peter A. Merrill

Read The Story Here


Fall Operating Hours
Oct. 28 - Dec. 15

The Visitor Centre is open Thursday-Saturday from 10am until 5pm. Tours are held at 10am, Noon, 2pm, and 4pm. Sunday hours are from 11am to 5pm, with tours at noon, 2pm and 3:30pm.

The Commissary is open Thursday-Saturday 10am-6pm. Sunday hours are noon-6pm.

The Harrow Road Cafe is closed until January 5, 2019.

The Spirit of Red Hill Shop in the Village (nature art, vintage goods, oddities) is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10:30am to 5:30pm; and on Sunday from noon to 5:30pm. It is closed on Wednesday. The Missions Matter Shop in the village is open selective hours.

All Time Eastern

Donate Online