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July 19, 2024

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“King Iron” Exhibit Opens at Franklin Library

The Tennessee African American Historical Group presents an exhibit sharing the history of furnace workers in Tennessee before the Civil War.

The Williamson County Public Library has unveiled a brand-new exhibit created by The Tennessee African American Historical Group and funded by a grant from Tennessee Humanities. 

The “King Iron:  The Untold Story of the Enslaved Furnace Workers of Tennessee” exhibit delves into a previously little-known aspect of Tennessee state history, as well as the iron industry of the 19th century. The exhibit is free and open to the public and will be on display in the upstairs lobby of the library for three weeks, from January 28 – February 18, 2024.

The exhibit includes iron industry artifacts on loan from museums and archives throughout Middle Tennessee, interpretive panels expounding upon the lives and trials of the workers, and a detailed diorama of a 19th-century iron furnace scene.

The Tennessee African American Historical Group is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to sharing the rich and varied history of Tennessee.

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About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 4-year-old Ezra and baby Norah.