Morgan County

Morgan County was originally created in 1817.

Historic Sites

Photo of Rugby Colony
Rugby Colony - Rugby, TN

Historic Rugby, Tennessee is a restored Victorian village founded in 1880 by British author and social reformer, Thomas Hughes. It was to be a cooperative, class-free, agricultural community for younger sons of English gentry and others wishing to start life anew in America. At its peak in the mid-1880s, some 300 people lived in the colony. More than 65 buildings of Victorian design originally graced the townscape. This would-be Utopia survives today as both a living community and a fascinating public historic site, unspoiled by modern development. Twenty original buildings still stand, nestled between the Big South Fork National Recreation Area and the Rugby State Natural Area. Historic Rugby has been open to the public since 1966 and is nationally recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and many others as one of the most authentically restored and preserved communities in America.

Photo of R.M. Brooks General Store & Residence
R.M. Brooks General Store & Residence - Rugby, TN

The R.M. Brooks General Store and Residence was listed on the NRHP in 1992 for its local significance in the commerce and social history of Rugby and Morgan County. Constructed in 1930 and operated by R.M. Brooks, the building served not only as a general store, but as community gathering place. During its long history, the R.M. Books General Store also functioned as a voting precinct and post office. The store operated continually until recently. The store is not currently open, but it should be considered a major asset to Rugby and the Cumberland Byway, as it could provide both historical significance and retail opportunities along the byway.

Harrow Road Café

Part of Historic Rugby, the Harrow Road Café serves lunch daily, featuring Cumberland Plateau home cooking and British Isles specialties. Shepherd's Pie, Fish & Chips and Bangers & Mash and Welsh Rarebit compete for your attention with daily specials such as meatloaf, grilled chicken and deep-fried catfish. Other fare includes homemade soups and desserts, sandwiches and salads, and their much loved Harrow Road Spoon Rolls. Delicious full breakfasts are available daily; dinner by lamplight is served on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Laurel Dale Cemetery

Just across from the entrance to the Gentleman's Swimming Hole hiking trail is historic Laurel Dale Cemetery. Many of Rugby's early colonists are buried there, including the seven 1881 victims of typhoid and the founder's mother. The cemetery has been the final resting place for many people through the years and is still in use today.