horizontal banner with Preserve America logo and images of a historic downtown, farm, courthouse, and mountain

Preserve America is a national initiative in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; the U.S. Departments of Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and Education; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities; and the President's Council on Environmental Quality.

The seal of the President of the United StatesAdvisory Council on Historic Preservation logoU.S. Department of the Interior sealU.S. Department of Commerce seal
U.S. Department of Agriculture logo
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development logo










Preserve America Community:
Rugby, Tennessee

Historic Rugby, Tennessee (population 85) is a restored Victorian village in Morgan County founded in 1880 by British author and social reformer Thomas Hughes. His vision was a cooperative, class-free, agricultural community for younger sons of English gentry and others wishing to start life anew in America. At its peak, about 350 people lived in the colony.

Today, more than 20 of the original 60 Victorian buildings remain at the southern edge of the Big South Fork National Park, surrounded by rugged river gorges. Visitors are welcome to attend Sunday services at the 1887 Christ Church Episcopal church and stay in historic lodgings. The founder’s Gothic revival cottage is filled with furnishings made by early colonists or brought from England and Cincinnati on the railroad. The Schoolhouse contains exhibits that detail the 125-year history of Rugby, and the Thomas Hughes Library, with a 7,000-volume collection and original furnishings, is unchanged since it opened in 1882.

The town recently completed a new visitor center and theater to welcome the more than 60,000 visitors who come to Rugby each year. Every year in May the town hosts the Historic Rugby Festival of British and Appalachian Culture. Events include music, dancing, storytelling, crafts demonstrations and sales, with more than 100 performers and artisans taking part. A bi-annual Pilgrimage of Rugby Homes has been held for more than 40 years, and Christmas at Historic Rugby is in its 20th year.

For more information

Town of Historic Rugby: www.historicrugby.org

Return to Top