Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett examines an antique rifle as Halls Crossroads historian Hubert LaRue looks on. Community members are seeking funding to move LaRue's extensive collection of Halls history to a permanent museum. Photo by S. Carey

There’s a treasure trove of history hidden away in Halls Crossroads, painstakingly collected by one passionate historian, and now there’s a movement afoot to put that history on display for the community to enjoy.

Anyone who’s met Halls historian Hubert LaRue knows his love of Halls history runs deep. He’s spent years collecting written records, photos and artifacts from times gone by, displaying them in wife Susie’s old homeplace. From phonebooks and yearbooks to antique tools, LaRue collected and organized it all.

Knox County Commissioner Charles Busler is facilitating a project that would move the collection to a publicly accessible building where folks could see the history and do research without placing a burden on the LaRues. But the project needs funding and community support. Busler said he’s looking at two buildings in Halls that could house the collection, plus serve additional needs in the community.

“One of the requests that (LaRue) wants is to make sure that all his property to go into the museum will all stay together and be open to the public in Halls,” Busler said. “If the community gets behind it, there’s a lot you can do with it.”

Busler and other community members are looking at avenues for fundraising, and they’re raising awareness of the collection’s value as a community asset.

In addition to the new museum project, an anonymous donor recently gave funds to the Halls Crossroads Women’s League to create a history video featuring people who grew up in Halls. Doug Mills of “The Heartland Series” will shoot the video in LaRue’s history house Sept. 18. It will feature folks like David Sharp, Millie Norris, Carl Tindell, Gordy Noe, and of course LaRue himself. The video will be available for purchase, and it will run in a loop at the future museum site.

“There’s so much history that’s in people’s minds that will be lost if we don’t preserve it,” said Busler. “We’re losing it every day. I have this passion that we’re losing our history, and we need to help our kids to understand where we came from.”

Watch KnoxTNToday.com for updates on the museum project.

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Written by Shannon Carey
Fountain City shannon.b.carey@gmail.com 865-235-5324