Historic Collinsville Pioneer Settlement in rural Montgomery County, Tennessee, announces its 2022 opening weekend will be April 1-3, 2022. Visitors to the historic site will be greeted by new faces and can expect more activities throughout the year.
Kristy Proctor and Mark Britton have been hired as Directors of Historic Collinsville and Weakley House Museum. Both will work part-time to operate the property, as well to curate and present the story of what will become the Weakley House Museum.
Proctor is a retired educator who has lived in the Southside community near Historic Collinsville for 31 years. She is married to Reverend Michael S. Proctor and they have two adult children. She is an Austin Peay State University graduate and currently volunteers to serve Middle and West Tennessee, plus the State of Mississippi, as the Secretary of Nazarene Missions International’s Mid-South District and Missionary Visitation Coordinator. Presently, she is a leader or active member of numerous ministries and committees at Gray’s Chapel Church of the Nazarene in Cunningham, Tenn.
Britton is a Clarksville native and graduate of Austin Peay State University and the University of Tennessee. A long-time history nerd, Britton has been active for several years with Civil War living histories and re-enactments, where he portrays a Civil War doctor. He makes frequent appearances at Clarksville’s Fort Defiance Civil War Park & Interpretive Center.
For opening weekend, which falls on April Fool’s Weekend, guests can expect to find true/false trivia cards throughout the property. Those who answer correctly will receive prizes.
“Our audio tours will still be self-guided, but we’re working this year to create a variety of ways that will make a visit to Collinsville more engaging,” explained Visit Clarksville Executive Director Theresa Harrington. “Our goal is to have something different happening every weekend – even on a small scale – that will engage, educate and entertain visitors.”
On a larger scale, the passing of founders Glenn and JoAnn Weakley in 2021 left the couple’s homeplace to Montgomery County. Once the legalities of estate issues are settled, Proctor and Britton, along with the Visit Clarksville team, will work on how to best tell the Weakley’s story at the home.
Harrington says the Weakley House Museum will likely be an add-on to the Collinsville experience, or visitors could come to tour the house separately. Timing, she says, is dependent on legal processes but hopes the home could be open before the end of the 2022 season in October.
Beginning April 1, Historic Collinsville Pioneer Settlement will be open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Thursday – Saturday, and 1- 4 p.m. on Sundays through October, except for holidays. Regular admission is $8 plus tax for ages 13 and up; $4 plus tax for ages 6-12 and free to children under age 6. Military receive a 10% discount with a valid ID. Butter making is $1 per person. Special event admission varies. The property is open other days and times for groups of six or more guided tours, rentals, weddings, or special events.
Historic Collinsville is a 40-acre, open-air property that showcases pioneer life from 1840-1900 with 16 authentically furnished buildings. The pioneer settlement opened in 1974 to give children a “hands-on” experience outside of the classroom about life from the 1840s through the turn of the century. It has been open to the public since 1997, recreating the past with restored historical structures, each filled with authentic period furnishings that show a glimpse of life before and after the Civil War.
Once at Collinsville, guests can stroll through a re-creation of the past from the earliest “first home” to the expansive Dogtrot House, a tobacco-drying house, smokehouse, church/schoolhouse, wildlife center, loom house, cobbler’s shop, teacher’s home and more. Picnic tables are placed throughout the property and a covered pavilion with tables and restrooms is also on site. A visitor center greets guests and offers period souvenirs.
“We are privileged to have a historical asset like this in our own community,” said Visit Clarksville Chairman Matt Cunningham. “We hope everyone locally, as well as visitors traveling here, will come out and enjoy learning about pioneer life and this history of the region at Historic Collinsville.”
Montgomery County Government purchased Historic Collinsville from founders Glenn and JoAnn Weakley in 2018. The property is managed and marketed by Visit Clarksville.