Note: This includes an annual operating cost of approximately $35,000.
The Fayetteville Lincoln County Museum and Civic Center is located in the old Borden Milk Plant building on 521 South Main Street. The Borden Plant was built in 1927 and at the peak of operations employed 75 people and purchased milk from over 1,200 farmers in Lincoln and adjoining counties. Bordens is credited with bringing Lincoln County out of the Great Depression as it provided the only cash flow for the largely agricultural population. The establishment of this plant is still the subject of essays pertaining to "Industrialization in the South". This was one of the first major industries to come south of the Mason-Dixon Line after the civil war and was established by the parent company located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Area farmers were paid $25,000.00 for their milk during the first month of operation. The plant was designed to convert raw milk into packaged butter. The leftover skimmed milk was converted into dried milk or powdered milk. Another important by-product of the plant was the leftover whey, which was picked up by the local farmers and used as an important feed supplement for their hogs. Later on, the plant developed a process for converting the skimmed milk into cottage cheese. During World War II the Fayetteville Borden plant produced some very important products for the war effort. The high-bay area, which was elevated and enclosed in glass, contained drying equipment that was employed to dry milk and eggs. These products could then be loaded on the transport ships and sent to our troops in the European and Pacific theatres of war. In 1948, a wing was built on to the south side of the plant to manufacture wooden barrels for shipping the powdered milk. On December 15,1967, the Borden company closed all operations in Middle Tennessee, due to the decline in the amount of milk available for processing.
In 1969, William R. Carter of CFW Construction Company purchased the old milk plant and various companies used it for approximately ten years. In 1987, Mr. and Mrs. William R. Carter donated the building to the Lincoln County Museum Association.
The FLCMA (Fayetteville Lincoln County Museum Association) was a dream that became a reality in 1986 as the Tennessee Homecoming Project for all of Lincoln County. In that year, the association raised $1000.00 from the sale of T-shirts and memberships at the Lincoln County Fair. The MTSU Historic Preservastion Class under direction of Doctor James K. Hutha and Canetta Hankins took the Museum as their class project and surveyed the community and various buildings using TVA engineers, utility companies, etc. in order to make an educated evaluation concerning location and managing a museum. The state had given a figure of $12,000 for this study, but MTSU accomplished this study for $665. They recommended the old Borden Milk Plant as it was structurally sound and located in the 'Gateway' to the Fayetteville square. After the donation of the Borden Building from Mr. and Mrs. William R. Carter, the renovation of the reception area, office, conference room, and rest rooms was accomplished at a projected cost of $46,000. However, with a great deal of experienced volunteer help, the project was completed with an actual outlay of only $3,000.
This continuous spirit of volunteer community support has made the museum a unique project that not only improves the quality of life of all our citizens, but also provides a catalyst for the entire community to participate in a common goal- the bridging of the Past and Present to the Future.
The Fayetteville Lincoln County Museum is operated entirely by volunteers, and is not on the tax base of the City of Fayetteville or Lincoln County.