State Rep. Moon announces $139K in grants for Blount historic sites

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – State Rep. Jerome Moon, R-Maryville, today announced more than $139,000 in grants to Blount County museums and historic sites.

Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center received $49,300 and the Little River Railroad and Lumber Company Museum received $90,505, totaling $139,805 to Blount County sites.

The funds are part of a larger $5 million appropriation approved by members of the General Assembly for the Tennessee State Museum in the 2023-24 state budget.

“Blount County is not just a beautiful area,” Moon said. “It’s also a community with a rich history that deserves to be shared. This funding will help these two organizations improve their facilities, and I’m grateful for the Tennessee State Museum’s working in this grant process.”

The funds must be used for building and land improvements, including structural changes and renovations.

Out of 170 applications totaling $12.5 million in requests, 108 museums across 58 counties were granted a total of $5 million in full or partial awards from the State Museum, according to Ashley Howell, the executive director of the Tennessee State Museum.

The money was made available to 501(c)(3) nonprofits or museums affiliated with government entities through the Tennessee General Assembly’s 2023-24 Appropriations Act. Each request had a minimum of $5,000 in improvements and a maximum of $100,000. The projects covered by the grants have a completion deadline of June 30, 2024. 

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