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Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park to Hold Anniversary Event April 23

Friday, April 20, 2012 | 12:44pm

Celebration Will Help Commemorate Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary


MANCHESTER, Tenn. – The year 2012 marks Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary and to help commemorate this important milestone, Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park will hold a special community event on Monday, April 23, beginning at 2 p.m.   The event coincides with Old Stone Fort’s own 46th anniversary of the park’s dedication in 1966. 


“We are very excited to celebrate Tennessee State Parks’ 75th Anniversary this year,” said Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau.  “As one of only two archaeological state parks in Tennessee, Old Stone Fort is certainly a fitting backdrop for one of the many statewide celebrations we will be holding throughout the year.  It’s also a great opportunity to thank the park’s many patrons and the entire local community for all their hard work and efforts in support of this unique state park.” 


There will be a series of short presentations and a tour of the Old Stone Fort entrance complex area, followed by light refreshments.  The park also will unveil its plans to open up the former golf course property on April 30 as a day-use hiking, biking and fishing area. 



Mayor of Manchester Betty Superstein

Mayor of Coffee County David Pennington

Manchester Chamber of Commerce President Bill Nickels

Coffee County Emergency Management Director John Cathey

Interim Director of Tennessee State Parks Mike Robertson

Park Manager Keith Wimberley

Chief Historian and Former Park Manager Ward Weems

Members of the Coffee County Historical Society

Members of the Old Stone Fort Archaeological Society

Local elected officials and community members



75th Anniversary Event at Old Stone State Archaeological Park

There will be a series of short presentations and a tour, followed by light refreshments.  



Monday, April 23, from 2 - 4 p.m.



Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park – Museum

732 Stone Fort Drive

Manchester, Tenn.  37355

The Tennessee State Parks system was established through legislation in 1937, and those laws – with modifications and additions over the years – remain the framework for park operations today.  As in most states, Tennessee began in cooperation with federal programs that instigated individual parks. Later, Depression era recovery programs gave a boost to the idea and the possibility of creating parks. The Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Progress Administration worked on land conservation, but also delved further into the actual planning and construction of what would become the first of 53 Tennessee State Parks.


Today, there is a state park within an hour’s drive of just about anywhere in Tennessee.  A 2009 University of Tennessee study highlights the positive economic impacts that state parks provide local communities, particularly in rural areas of the state.  The study found that for every dollar spent on trips to Tennessee State Parks, an additional $1.11 of economic activity was generated throughout the state.  When the direct and indirect expenditures were combined, the impact of Tennessee State Parks to the state’s economy was $1.5 billion in total industry output, supporting more than 18,600 jobs.


“Our vision statement highlights the inherent value of our natural environment, along with the value of the many physical reminders of Tennessee’s past,” added Deputy Commissioner Brock Hill.  “Tennessee’s state parks have played such an important role in our history, and they play a critical role in our health and quality of life, which will benefit Tennesseans well into the future.”


Tennessee’s state parks deliver a rich fabric of natural landscapes, wild places, preserved ecologies, outdoor recreational opportunities and protected historic scenes and resources – together representing the heritage of Tennessee in the landscape.


Tennessee's 53 state parks and 82 state natural areas offer diverse natural, recreational and cultural experiences for individuals, families or business and professional groups.  State park features range from pristine natural areas to 18-hole championship golf courses.  For a free brochure about Tennessee State Parks, call toll free at 1-888-867-2757. For upcoming events in connection with the 75th Anniversary of Tennessee State Parks, please visit the state parks website at


The Old Stone Fort is a 2000-year-old Native American ceremonial site, which consists of nearly 4,000 feet of low, wall-like mounds enclosing nearly 50 acres. The mounds and walls connect with cliffs and rivers to form an enclosure measuring one-and-a-quarter miles around.  The hilltop enclosure was used for approximately 500 years as a gathering area for people living in and around the eastern Highland Rim. 


The state archaeological park and museum are located on U.S. Highway 41, about halfway between Nashville and Chattanooga, in Manchester.  From I-24, take Exit 110 and follow the signs to the park entrance, which is approximately 1.5 miles   For more information about Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park, visit the website or call (931) 723-5073.



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