When You Visit Historic Rugby
Historic Rugby is a heritage treasure listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1972 and pursuing National Landmark Status for the Thomas Hughes Library, believed to be the oldest completely preserved public lending library in America. The National Trust for Historic Preservation calls Rugby one of the most authentically preserved historic villages in America.
Historic Rugby continues a 42-year quest to restore, preserve and protect this unique village and interpret its fascinating history to visitors from all over Tennessee and the world. Unlike many historic communities and neighborhoods in America, 19th century Rugby is remarkably preserved in the 21st century-- unspoiled by incompatible development, and surrounded by protected woodlands and streams.
Begin at the Rugby Visitor Centre & Theatre with its 32-foot wall mural of Rugby in its heyday. Relax in comfortable Johnson Theatre seats for a 22-minute showing of the award-winning Rugby history film - The Power of a Dream
Then take the guided walking tour to the 1882 Thomas Hughes Free Public Library, 1884 Kingstone Lisle (the founder's home), 1887 Christ Church Episcopal and 1906 Schoolhouse Exhibits.
Historic Rugby hosts several special events each year including the May Festival of British & Appalachian Culture, Halloween Ghostly Gathering, and Christmas at Rugby. The Pilgrimage of Rugby Homes is held the first Saturday in September. Due to the popularity of all Historic Rugby events, early reservations are recommended.
Unique overnight lodging is available year-round at restored Newbury House B & B, Pioneer Cottage and Percy Cottage all built in 1880. Walk-Ins are welcome, but reservations are always a good idea. Pioneer has Dish TV w/DVD; Percy Cottage has free Wifi.
Larger lodging groups can be accommodated by including nearby private lodging facilities.
Historic Rugby sponsors a wide variety of traditional craft and outdoor workshops as part of its efforts to preserve the arts and craft traditions and the diverse natural resources of the Cumberland Plateau. Workshop instructors are highly experienced and classes are geared to both beginners and more advanced students.
Today you can enjoy a variety of moderately priced British Isles and Appalachian food selections at the Harrow Road Cafe, named after Rugby's first eating establishment.
The cafe is open daily for breakfast and lunch and on Fridays and Saturdays for dinner. Prices are moderate. The Harrow Road Cafe serves a selection of wine and ale from the British Isles.
The historically reconstructed Rugby Commissary features Rugby history wares, regional traditional handcrafts, British Isles products, heritage food products, spices and much more.
Next door, the historically reconstructed Board of Aid to Land Ownership Building houses the Spirit of Red Hill Nature Art shop; across the street is Carriage House Gallery.
When you visit, be sure to bring your camera to capture some of the most beautiful scenery you can imagine.
Clean, sparkling rivers - deep, mysterious gorges - crystal clear waterfalls and some of the most spectacular views from towering bluffs surround Rugby. Many village trails, one dating from the 1880's to "The Gentlemen's Swimming Hole" and "Meeting of the Waters", wind through heavily wooded areas where deer, wild turkey and wild flowers are waiting to be revealed.
In the Tennessee Cumberlands near Rugby, you'll discover Tennessee's last frontier--a region of intriguing history, scenic beauty, cultural diversity and boundless recreation--and no crowds.
Some area attractions include Highland Manor Winery, Colditz Cove State Natural Area, Pickett State Rustic Park, The Big South Fork Recreation Area, Historic Stearns and the Big South Fork Scenic Railway, Blue Heron Historical Museum, Muddy Pond Mennonite Community, the Obed Wild and Scenic River, and much more...