Warren County Heritage Center & Southern School of Photography Museum

Hours open to the public are: Tuesday and Thursday 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, Saturday 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and Sunday 2:00 - 4:00 pm.  The museum will also be available for special tours and gatherings by appointment.  Call Jimmy Haley at 931 668-1330 or email

Location of the Museum 115 East Main Street, next door to Regions Bank, who graciously donated the museum building to Main Street McMinnville.   Main Street McMinnville, the organization striving to restore, renovate and revitalize the downtown historic district, has leased the building to Heritage Alliance, who has restored and renovated the main street level of the building to house the museum.  Be sure and look up at the ceiling that Heritage Alliance restored to its grandeur.

Exhibits inside the Museum:   The exhibits featured in the museum during 2007 and 2008 were dedicated to the 200th anniversary of Warren County and contained historic artifacts of the last 200 years.  The exhibits featured for 2009 - 2010 feature the 200th Anniversary of McMinnville.  Permanent exhibits are also featured from the Lively collection, loaned to the museum by the Lively family, feature cameras belonging to and used by "Dad" Lively, photographs taken by "Dad" Lively including the life-size photograph of Dr. Meadows (one of three remaining life-size photographs), and personal affects of "Dad" Lively. See the History link in this Website for a detail historic account of W.S. Lively's life and achievements.   Other permanent exhibits exist for Veterans from Warren County, Dotty West,  Dinah Shore and Uncle Dave Macon.  Please sign the petition to include Dotty West into the County Music Hall of Fame.  

Cost to visit the Museum:  There is no charge to visit the museum; however, there is a donation container at the front desk if you would like to make a donation to help cover the cost.  The museum is run, operated and restored by volunteers.  Please take a membership form and consider becoming a member and/or a volunteer.  We have a great group of preservation friends and we look forward to increasing our membership and volunteer staff.  

Informational Video Room: A special video room  features a video about "Dad" Lively and the Southern School of Photography, compiled and created by Charles Nunley and Pat Bigbee.  Visitors may visit the video room at any time during their visit.  Other historical informational video's available are about the Dedication of the City Bi-Centennial Clock in the park which took place on July 4, 2010, the Installation and dedication of the Civil War Trail Markers on July 29, 2010, the City High School Reunion and many others. 

Book for Sale: A Book called "W.S. Lively and The Southern School of Photography" is for sale in the museum for $25.00 with the proceeds going to support the museum.  The book was written by Pat Bonner (Bigbee) and Charles Nunley in 1984 and has served as a catalyst for the museum.  Other Warren County historical journals are available for sale as well as post cards and other souveneirs from Warren County. 

Directions to McMinnville and to the Museum: McMinnville lies in the center of the state of Tennessee.  If you are approaching from I-24, which runs from Nashville to Chattanooga, take Exit 111 and go North twenty minutes on Highway 55 toward McMinnville.  Take Business 55 exit and follow signs to Main Street McMinnville (a one-way street heading right).  Look for Regions Bank on the left past the Court House.  The Museum is in the building adjacent to the Bank Building.   If you are approaching from I-40, which runs East and West between Nashville and Knoxville, take the 70S exit to Sparta.  Stay on 70S past Rock Island and into McMinnville and come downtown (leave the Bypass 70S past the hospital by turning left to go in front of the Three Star Mall and continue downtown on Morford Street and turn left past the Court House and left again and you will see Union Planters Bank.

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This page was last updated on February 1, 2012