Tennessee Centennial and International Exposition

The Tennessee Centennial and International Exposition was an exposition staged between May 1 and October 31 of 1897 in Nashville in what is now Centennial Park. A year late, it celebrated the 100th anniversary of Tennessee's entry into the union in 1796.[1]

Tennessee Centennial and International Exposition
Tennessee Centennial Exposition 1897 (LOC ppmsca.03354).jpg
Chromolithograph of bird's-eye view of the expo grounds
BIE-classUnrecognized exposition
NameTennessee Centennial and International Exposition
CountryUnited States
Venuenow Centennial Park
OpeningMay 1, 1897
ClosureOctober 31, 1897
The Nashville and Memphis pavilions at night, seen over Watauga Lake, with the Commerce Building at rear.


The site covered about 200 acres, and a characteristic feature of the landscape plan was the sward planted with the famous blue grass of the region. The buildings, of which there were over a hundred, included those devoted to agriculture, commerce, education, fine arts, history, machinery, minerals and forestry, and transportation, as well as those in which the special exhibits pertaining to children, negroes, the United States Government, and women were shown. The total attendance was 1,786,714, of which the total paid attendance was 1,166,692. The total receipts were $1,101,285, and the disbursements $1,101,246.[2]

Later DevelopmentsEdit

The Parthenon replica built for the exhibition still stands and serves as an art museum housing Alan LeQuire's 1990 re-creation of the Athena Parthenos statue.

The 1982 World's Fair would later be held in Knoxville, Tennessee.


  1. ^ Tennessee Centennial Exposition
  2. ^ This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain"Tennessee Centennial Exposition" . New International Encyclopedia. 1905.

External linksEdit

Further readingEdit

  • Cardon, Nathan. "The South's 'New Negroes' and African American Visions of Progress at the Atlanta and Nashville International Expositions, 1895-1897" Journal of Southern History (2014).
  • Cardon, Nathan. A Dream of the Future: Race, Empire, and Modernity at the Atlanta and Nashville World's Fairs (Oxford University Press, 2018).
  • Justi, Official History of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition (Nashville, 1898).