Rocky Mount Museum
"Where History Comes Alive"
Rocky Mount Museum is a living history site, taking visitors back in time to 1791. It was the first capital when the area was part of the Southwest Territory. For more information on the special events and educational programs visit the Rocky Mount website.
The Master Gardener Project at Rocky Mount has been growing since it became a Master Gardener Project in 2005. It started in the vegetable and the Kitchen/Herb Gardens, which have been greatly enhanced the past few years.
The first thing was to move the comfort station (outhouse) from the middle of the garden, which was totally refurbished in 2017, including three new seats. Next we cut down the trees surrounding the garden to allow more sunlight, added tons of compost and sand to the clay, designed a more formal layout, which was more in keeping with the wealthy, and enclosed it with a period fence, which was rebuilt in 2018.
Next, we built a combination compost pile and cover up for the dumpster. A hot box was built to extend the growing season.
We started a cutting garden for Mrs. Cobb, which was destroyed when the new American Disability Act sidewalks were installed in early 2018. It is so much easier to push baby strollers or individuals in wheelchairs than it was on the old stone walkways. A new cutting garden has been started and it will be an enhancement to the Cobb house.
Then we brought the orchards back to a productive feature and removed the overgrowth on the rocks so that they were now a focal point at the entrance of the museum. We repaired fencing and continue to fight the kudzu. We enhanced the entrance and exit to the museum by adding beds, updating the sign and trimming trees.
We have added many native plants and have established a native plant trail. We have completely redesigned the front of the museum adding paver paths and numerous flower beds.
We discovered a dried up pond that was overgrown. We put down a very large liner and filled it up. We added a fence around it, added more native plants, got rid of the poison ivy, built a waterfall, and added a fire pit and picnic area.
We then enhanced the existing picnic area next to the museum.
We provide garden interpreters for the summer children's camp and for special events at Rocky Mount.
We grow flax that is used to spin linen, broom corn to make brooms, cotton and tobacco. The vegetables and herbs are used in the kitchen for demonstration of cooking in 1791 and the staff and visitors are welcome to our harvest.
The retaining wall and fence is the latest project done at Rocky Mount. Those blocks are 42 pounds each. So who needs to go to a gym? You can just do gardening at Rocky Mount!
We have several new projects planned. These include creating Nature Trails thru our woods and meadows. We are working with a naturalist to include Pollinator Gardens in various areas. We also plan to restore the original spring in new land across the street.
The scheduled work day at Rocky Mount is Monday, the day we are closed to the public. Thus we can work in the historical area, without being in period dress, and can use modern tools. However, the tools of 1791 are excellent. There are groups and individuals that take care of non- historical areas, on other days, or in the evening, again when the museum is closed.
Rocky Mount is a great place to work if you, like many of us working there, are gardeners and lovers of history. .