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West Tennessee Treasures - Milan - West Tennessee Agricultural Museum

By Brittany Patterson
By bpatterson@wbbjtv.com

The hustle and bustle of Milan's downtown district may be a familiar sight for residents now, but the scenes inside the West Tennessee Agricultural Museum show a different story of early life in West Tennessee.

"What it took to make a living. What you needed just to survive," said Delle Rhue Burgess. "Simply to exist was very, very difficult. The tools that you used, the implements you used were heavy, the work was dangerous."

With numerous artifacts dating back to the mid-1800s and life-sized displays, the Ag Museum puts Milan on the map.

"We are essentially a bona fide tourist attraction in that most of the people that come here are not only from outside Gibson County, but most of them are from outside the state of Tennessee," said Burgess.

The journey to the museum gives tourists a journey through time - something Milan Mayor Chris Crider hopes local residents will also experience.

It's just a great example - a lot of artifacts about Milan's history - history of this area," said Mayor Crider. "And you don't have to be interested in just agriculture to get something from the West Tennessee Ag Museum."

Curators hope that that "something" is a discovery of a way to live simply.

"If you had no money, would you in fact be able to feed, clothe, and provide a shelter for your family?" ask Burgess. "There are things that you can do to do that simply, and that's what we hope to teach out here."
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