Historic Rugby, Tennessee

Rugby is a beautiful 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 graced the townscape on East Tennessee's beautiful Cumberland Plateau.

Historic Rugby, is a non-profit, membership organization dedicated to the preservation and restoration of Rugby, Tennessee. Even on the outskirts of the colony you will find many current homes influenced by the architectural style and grace from the Victorian period.

Today approximately 85 residents live full or part-time in Rugby including owners of some of the historic homes as well as modern-day colonist who have built architecturally compatible new homes. Historic Rugby works to assist the village in managing growth to help preserve the character of the community.
For more information, please visit historicrugby.org

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Historic Rugby, Tennessee

December 5, 2012


Rugby lies adjacent to the 125,000-acre Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area The Christ Church Episcopal, Est. 1880 Rugby School House, 1907 Rugby visitors center and theater
Boxwoods line the walk to worship The two story school with bell tower Hughes Public Library - Opened Oct. 5th, 1882 The Library contains over 7,000 books and periodicals from around the world
Fall is a great time to visit Rugby Kingstone Lisle , built by Rugby Colony founder Thomas Hughes in 1884 - Currently under restoration The back side of the Kingstone LisleMichael Harris, Executive Director, explains the efforts and plans for the future growth of Rugby
Historic Rugby is detailed by a beautiful, hand painted mural that spans the visitors center wallThe mountain ranges and valleys are even accurately protrayedThe streets, homes, businesses are meticulously painted to detailThe preferred method before stump grinders
Through restoration, the original base color was discovered The detail and fine craftmanship was incorpoated into all structural elements The Harrow Road Cafe offers true English dishes and ale as well as favorite American cuisine Even the architecural elements inside were down to the detail
Unique specialty shops are now taking residence Spirit of Red Hill, Nature Art & Oddiments and the Rugby Commissary Beautiful Homes along the streets are all well maintained Even the sidewalks reflect the past
The Rugby Commissary The signage is representative of its past The shops are filled with a wide assortment of gifts & memorabilia Something for everyone can be found in the Commissary
Look under the antique tables to find more hand crafted goodies Rugby Printing Works, a truly self-contained colony Make sure you walk around and notice the craftmenship that went into each structure The streets were named after different cities and people of England, I kinda' like this one myself
The R.M. Brooks General Store was built in the 1930's and held the Rugby Post Office from 1957-1999 The old advertising signage still adorns the building R. M. Brooks General Store is a designated National Register of Historic Places The old Gulf Gasoline sign is a reflection of the past