By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Museum adds music exhibit
Music museum - MAIN.jpg
Bruce Atnip spent close to a year transforming the Heritage Alliance Museum on Main Street to include an extensive exhibit called “Our Music Pathways.” He is holding a coronet once owned and played by Dad Lively.

When COVID hit and local residents went into quarantine, Bruce Atnip went to work.

Atnip spent countless hours on a sprawling exhibit called “Our Music Pathways” that’s inside the Heritage Alliance Museum on East Main Street.

“When we were shut down and nobody was doing much, I decided to devote my time to this project,” said Atnip. “I started last June and it ended up being a 10 or 11 month process. While everyone was in quarantine, I came in here to work.”

The exhibit is a fountain of fascinating information. For instance, W.S. “Dad” Lively, widely known for his school of photography, was an accomplished musician who played coronet.

“He started a band about 130 years ago that would be the precursor to the Silver and Gold Band, which is the longest running community band in Middle Tennessee,” said Atnip. “His coronet is on display right here in the museum.”

Dinah Shore spent some of her early years in McMinnville before finishing high school in Nashville and then becoming a star.

“Her real name is Fannie Rose Shore,” said Atnip, “and her family operated the S.A. Shore Dry Goods store on Main Street in the 1920s.”

The exhibit is flooded with memorabilia from Warren County’s own Dottie West, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. One picture shows her singing with Kenny Rogers.

“Dottie has a special place in my heart because she had a hard time growing up here,” said Atnip. “Then there was no one around to give her good advice when she hit it big. So I wanted to do my part and pay a big tribute to her.”

Current hours for the Heritage Alliance Museum are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 to 8 p.m. Atnip says the plan is to expand hours more after the Fourth of July.