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“History & a friendly, helpful staff!”

Clement Railroad Hotel Museum
Ranked #1 of 15 things to do in Dickson
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: State Historic Site. Education. Events. Tours. Venue Rental. Membership. Community Center. All at the heart of Dickson. The Clement Railroad Hotel Museum's museum is to explore and celebrate the innovative leadership and values that have shaped the community, and to provide educational opportunities which connect the past to the present and enhance the quality of life. The Hotel Halbrook, the home of the CRHM, was constructed in 1913 and is one of the few remaining examples of a railroad hotel in a small Tennessee town. It functioned as a working man's hotel until 1954.
Reviewed August 12, 2012

This museum is only a short distance off Interstate 40, and well worth a visit! The building itself was once a hotel, and now houses room after room of fascinating exhibits - bound to hold the interest of young and old, alike. The staff is wonderful - everyone who works here demonstrates true Southern hospitality. This museum is reasonably priced, educational and entertaining.

2  Thank cryzw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 20, 2012 via mobile

This museum was worth our stop and an hour of our time. Being from out of state, we learned a lot about the area through this tour, as well as the history of the building.

Very intricate train room set up upstairs. Take the time to look closely at all the detail or you'll miss so many cute things in the exhibit.

2  Thank spasterski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2012

Went there once and was fascinated, I plan on going back and spending a lot more time.

1  Thank hardshell911
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2011

This museum was a big pleasant surprise. The outside doesn't give a fancy apperance, for this was a early 1900's railroad hotel, and not a modern-day resort. The name of it was Hotel Halbrook, but the birth of a Tennessee governor here gave it is current museum title of Clement Hotel Railroad Museum.

Inside you will find several rooms dedicated to both the history of the area, and the restored interior apperance of the hotel itself. You start in the lobby and work your way through rooms talking about Dickson's railroad history (it was a water stop for steam engines during the Civil War). There are touch-screen displays here for you to use. Also, there is the history of iron ore production in large furnaces that use to dot the county's landscape. Chunks of the iron ore used can be picked up and held. And then onto Tennessee Gov. Frank Clement. He was a popular governor who was literally born in the back room of this hotel.

On the second floor, you'll see more about Clement, including his governor's desk, and here, too, is where you will find the large HO-scale train. Finely detailed, it is a sight to see. Get one of the staff running it to point out how they are building it. The club here has around $50,000 in the layout, and about 9,000 work hours. It's work that is still going on.

A stop will take less than an hour to see the museum, and it will probably entertain your kids. It's located on the south side of the main railline through Dickson, across from the depot. Signs to the museum are small. The hotel is located west of Tenn. 46, and south of downtown Dickson, on Business U.S. 70. Neat place, inexpensive and worth a stop.

1  Thank DyersburgTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 18, 2011

Rolling east or west on I-40 about a 1/2 hour west of Nashville, when you get to Dickson, Tennessee, you'll see the brown interstate history signs for the "Clement Hotel Railroad Museum". If you have a few hours to spend, do your self a favor, and take the exit, and head for beautiful downtown Dickson. I got there about dinnertime (noon in the South), and ate at the Ace Diner (see review) before taking in the museum. I happened in while Derrick Webster, Operations Coordinator, and Tina Littleton, the Museum Coordinator, were working with Wanda Pendergrass, a docent. I was warmly greeted, and quickly became immersed in the most interesting history of the Clement Hotel Railroad Museum in particular, and the history of Dickson County, Tennessee in general. I found the juxtaposition of the political, cultural, and mechanical (or industrial) history found in this museum to be fascinating, and well worth the visit and time. Without giving everything away, note that the hotel building has a history, the railroad has a history, and the name Clement comes from the fact that a three term Governor of Tennesse was born in the building. You can stand in the very room where history was born. The name Clement probably doesn't mean much to a visitor that's not from Tennessee, but Governor Clement (the youngest Governor in modern history) made very significant contributions to the history of both his State, and his Nation, for which all Americans should be proud.
After visiting with Derrick, and Tina, Ms. Wanda gave me a tour, which kinda whetted my appetite to learn more about the entire town, and County. She did an admirable job of weaving together the threads of history and culture which comprise the museum exhibits. Did you know that the cannonballs used by Andy Jackson at New Orleans were cast in Dickson County? Me, neither. And for you railroad buffs, the Dickson Model Railroad Club has a terrific model railroad exhibit on the second floor that had three trains running simultaneously when I was there. It's a fine exhibit, and worth lingering, so you can talk to the "Engineer" on duty.
After my all too short two hour visit, I regretted that prior plans prevented an overnight stay, and I thought that Dickson County would make a worthwhile vacation stopover for "out of staters". It should certainly be on the list of all Tennesseans (particularly Nashville) as a terrific weekend getaway spot. I would love to see the Droulliard Mansion in Cumberland Furnace, Montgomery Bell State Park, and I did journey over the hill and around the bend to see the Dickson County Courthouse, built in 1803, and the oldest continuously operating courthouse in Tennessee (and second oldest in the US, I think). Got my picture took sitting in the judge's chair. (Don't tell the Judge).
All in all, a museum worthy of inclusion on your Tennessee itinerary, a friendly southern town, (full of friendly Southrons), and a great place to have a getaway weekend. If you go, tell'em Catfish sentcha, and have a great time.

8  Thank rangercatfish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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