200 HYDER HILL RD
P.O. BOX 160
PINEY FLATS, TN 37686
1-888-538-1791 (toll free)
Seniors (55+) $7.00
Children (Ages 5-17) $5.00
AAA and AARP discounts available.
Special Events and Programs
may have different prices.
(March 7 - December 15)
Tue. - Sat. 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Last tour starts by 4 p.m.
Other days/times available
through group reservation
Passing through the door of Rocky Mount, you step back in time to the year 1791... George Washington is President of the United States and has appointed William Blount as Governor of the Southwest Territory. Governor Blount has taken up residence at William Cobb's log home of Rocky Mount to conduct the business affairs of the new territory. When William Cobb arrived with his family in the western frontier of North Carolina in 1769, he did not realize that his new home would play such an important role in shaping the future of our country… Learn More...
Rocky Mount is open for its 55th season! We look forward to seeing everyone!
An Old Fashioned Independence: Tuesday, July 4th
Sam Wegner named executive director of Rocky Mount, bringing 40 years of experience as a leader in history
PINEY FLATS – Sam Wegner, who has dedicated 40 years to sharing the value of history with patrons across the country, has been named executive director of Rocky Mount State Historic Site.
Wegner has served in leadership posts for a broad spectrum of historic sites, museums and historic societies, including the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation and the National World War II Museum, during his career.
Now, he will bring his expertise to Rocky Mount, which uses first-person interpretation to detail the life of William and Barsheba Cobb and their family in 1791, when the property served as the capital of the Southwest Territory.
The Rocky Mount Board of Trustees selected Wegner after conducting a national search.
“Sam is an accomplished leader who has impressed us with his diverse experience and desire to help our region learn more about the rich history of our site,” said Jim Kelly, president of Board of Trustees. “Rocky Mount is a treasure for our region, and we are thrilled to entrust this special site to a servant of history who is committed to its success. We look forward to collaborating with him to help people rediscover Rocky Mount and all we have to offer.”
Wegner will succeed Gary Walrath, who is retiring June 30 after serving as Rocky Mount’s executive director for 13 years. During June, Wegner will work side by side with Walrath to learn more about the historic buildings, museum and the rest of the grounds.
“I have observed Sam for a long time through professional associations and have admired his extensive knowledge of history,” Walrath said. “His passion for bringing history to life will enhance the enjoyment of visitors who spend a few hours with our interpreters, explore the many artifacts in our museum or enjoy the incredible views as they visit the sheep on our grounds. Rocky Mount will be in excellent hands with Sam as he guides our staff and partners with the board to further strengthen the site.”
During his four decades in the profession, Wegner has supported history through his service to various organizations and sites in Virginia, North Carolina, Louisiana, North Dakota and Oregon. He most recently served as executive director of The Willamette Heritage Center, a regional heritage organization in Salem, Oregon.
He served for two years as deputy executive director of museum operations and education for the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation in Williamsburg, Virginia. Later in his career, he worked for 10 years at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans as vice president of education and strategic planning.
Wegner’s career has enabled him to develop extensive experience in management, governance, finance, human resources, planning, collections, facilities and marketing.
“Rocky Mount is an exceptional historic site, and I am excited to have an opportunity to serve as the next executive director,” Wegner said. “The site presents wonderful stories about the early days of post-colonial life in this region and has conveyed them with innovative programs, such as the candlelight tours during the Christmas season, Spirit of the Harvest in the fall, Wooly Day in the spring and camps in the summer. I am ready to build on this excellent foundation and seek additional ways to explain the breadth of what this site makes available to people of all ages.”
Rocky Mount served as the capitol of the Southwest Territory from 1790-1792, with President George Washington appointing William Blount to serve as its governor. Blount, who was one of the signers of the U.S. Constitution, lived and governed from the site during these two years. He periodically appears in character during special events today at Rocky Mount.
Mr. and Mrs. Cobb continued to live at Rocky Mount until 1795, and the site was used as a residence by their descendants until 1958. Through the efforts of Pauline DeFriece, a cousin of John Massengill, Rocky Mount’s then owner, the state purchased the residence and surrounding land.
The property became a state historic site in 1962, and other buildings were periodically added. Those included a kitchen, springhouse and slave cabin, barn, orchard, garden, visitor center, auditorium and a caretaker’s apartment.
In addition, Rocky Mount now has a museum containing numerous exhibits highlighting the rich and fascinating history of the site and region. These explore the family relationship of the Cobb and Massengill families, the Revolutionary War, early travel and transportation, the ill-fated State of Franklin, the Southwest Territory, Blount, agriculture, home life and medicines.
To foster the site’s public use, DeFriece established the Rocky Mount Historical Association, which has maintained and operated the site since family members stopped living on the site. The historic buildings and the museum are open to the public Tuesdays through Saturdays between March and December.
“Whether you are a longtime member of Rocky Mount, someone who has not visited the site in many years or a person who has never been here, we encourage you to visit regularly because we are always presenting history in new and exciting ways,” Kelly said. “Rocky Mount provides abundant opportunities for everyone to more fully understand the legacy of the Cobbs and our region’s history. They are compelling stories we don’t want you to miss.”
To learn more about Rocky Mount, please call 423-538-7396 or visit www.rockymountmuseum.com. People can also connect by visiting www.facebook.com/rockymountmuseum and @RockyMount TN on Twitter and Instagram.