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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Allardt's Pumpkin Festival - Today! Gernt Office & Fentress Co. History Museum


This weekend is the yearly Allardt Pumpkin Festival. Allardt is a tiny town in Fentress County. To go along with the festival is the debut of the brand new and still developing Fentress County Historical Society Museum. This museum is located in the Bruno Gernt Office for the Allardt Land Co., which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Bruno Gernt Office / Allardt Land Co.

In the late 1800s, Gernt and M. H. Allardt founded a community of immigrant Germans in the Upper Cumberland Plateau at about the same time the British were settling nearby (and today the much more famous) Rugby. German land agent Bruno Gernt envisioned a self-sufficient city here. Gernt sold 9,000 acres owned by the Clarke family of Nebraska in parcels of 25,50, and 200 acres at $4 per acre to farmers, miners, and lumbermen.

The town was laid out geometrically and named for Gernt's partner, M. H. Allardt, who died before settlement began. Gernt recruited skilled craftsmen, professionals, and experienced farmers from Germany, and soon Allardt led the region in production of hay, fruits, and vegetables. For more than 50 years, Gernt never ceased his efforts to have the town of Allardt be all he dreamed it could be, and the community prospered for a time. Today, more than a dozen buildings make up the Allardt Historic District.

My photo above is about 3 1/2 years old. Today, the Lost Jamestown page on facebook posted a new photo of the building. Here is how it looks today! On a personal note, they were nice enough to ask me to use my photo of the Fentress County Courthouse clock tower for the sign, which is a cropped version of this:

Fentress County Courthouse rear view

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