150 years of history. In about an hour.
In Tennessee's southeastern corner, on the site of the old Burra Burra Mine, the unique heritage of one of America’s great copper mining communities comes to life once again.
The Ducktown Basin Museum is located on the historic mine site, which was the headquarters for Tennessee Copper Company and Cities Service mining operations from 1899 through 1975. The site, now owned by the Tennessee Historical Commission, has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1983. The 16 structures remaining on the site include virtually all of the original mine buildings and outbuildings except for the headframe, which was demolished after the closing of the mine in 1958. The mine office houses the museum’s collection and is the only building permanently open to visitors, but tours of the grounds are available by appointment.
An audiovisual presentation provides a brief historical introduction to the museum and its collection, which includes artifacts, photographs and displays depicting the industrial and cultural heritage of this former mining community. Larger artifacts are displayed on the grounds just outside the museum office. A favorite stop for many visitors is an old mine elevator, now in use as an open observation platform, overlooking a collapsed and flooded portion of the Burra Burra mine works.
A typical tour really does take about an hour. But you're welcome to stay longer. All of us on the museum staff love the rich and varied history of this place we call home. And we love having the opportunity to share it with you.