Lenoir Museum Cultural Complex

The Lenoir Museum Cultural Complex, located within the City limits of Norris, is a must-see for park visitors. The complex includes the Lenoir Pioneer Museum, an 18th Century Rice Grist Mill and Crosby Threshing Barn. Exhibits also include Appalachian artifacts, a pre-dam pictorial account of the area submerged by the lake. The Museum has at times been referred to as a 'mini-Smithsonian.'

Will G. and Helen H. Lenoir Museum - Will G. Lenoir donated much of the contents of the Museum to the State of Tennessee for permanent display. He collected for more that 60 years with a desire that the rapidly changing times not wipe out an appreciation of the hard work and ingenuity that were a part of the everyday life that was disappearing. It was not only the item, but also the stories of the people behind them he cared about. Mr. Lenoir enjoyed sharing his stories with Museum visitors until his death at 97.
18th Century Rice Grist Mill - Originally constructed in 1798 along Lost Creek, this mill was operated by four generations of the Rice family. The mill has had many changes throughout its history. At times, the mill was also rigged to power a sawmill, a cotton gin, a trip hammer, and even to operate a dynamo that supplied electrical lights for the Rice home in 1899.
Caleb Crosby Threshing Barn - Oxen once generated the threshing machine inside the main building. The barn stood for about 100 years along the north side of the Holston River. The land was to be flooded by the building of Cherokee Dam, so the family donated the barn to the National Park Service. The barn remained there dismantled for 34 years. In 1978, the barn was reconstructed at its present site at the Lenoir Museum Cultural Complex.

Antique Barrel Organ - When you visit the Lenoir Museum, make sure and get a close look at this antique barrel organ. During restoration, a German newspaper dated 1826 was found inside. The organ plays ten different tunes with 110 wood pipes to make the music. Also, with the turning of one hand crank, four stages of figures perform. In all, 44 figures are in action. These figures include dancers dancing, a clown clowning, foot soldiers marching, a woman churning and a blacksmith hard at work.

Tea Room- The TEA ROOM, on the East side of Norris Dam State Park, was built back in the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corps as part of the Norris Project and Roosevelts New Deal. Through the years, the building has been used as a restaurant under State and private management. Due to the historical significance of the building, we have designated it a NO SMOKING building.