Photo Friday – Cumberland Homesteads Tower

In the heart of the Cumberland Homesteads Historic District sits the Homesteads Tower Museum. The tower was constructed in 1937-38 to house the government administrative offices of the Cumberland Homesteads, a New Deal subsistence homesteading program of the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration during the Great Depression.


The structure is a marvel of innovative design and execution. The octagonal stone tower houses a water tank and a winding stairway leading to a lookout platform at the top. Most of the original 252 farmsteads can be seen from this vantage point. At the base of the tower is a museum with photos, documents, and artifacts from the 1930s and 1940s.

The building was opened as a museum in 1984. The four large rooms at the base of the tower are now used for museum displays and a gift shop. Exhibits include a collection of photos, documents and artifacts from the 1930’s and 1940’s when the community was developing.

The interior is finished with wood paneling and hardwood floors, typical of all the original homes in the community. Visitors may climb the 97 steps to the lookout platform to view the vista at the top (except during thunderstorms).

Located 4 miles south of Crossville, TN at the junction of Highways 127S and 68. (Google Map Point)

Related links: Cumberland Co. Photo Gallery, Cumberland Homesteads

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