Bays Mountain Park planning upgrades to Farmstead Museum

The City of Kingsport has been awarded $75,000 in grant funds from the Tennessee State Museum. The proceeds from the grant will go towards making ADA improvements to the Farmstead Museum at Bays Mountain Park.

The grant will be matched with $40,000 from the Bays Mountain Park Commission and $15,000 from the Bays Mountain Park Association to create ADA accessible parking near the museum next year. Future phases yet to be funded include ADA improvements to the museum’s restroom and the addition of a chair lift.

Kingsport has awarded the bid to Inland Construction and work is expected to begin later this summer.

The Tennessee State Museum received 170 applications with $12.5 million in funding requests. The TSM had $5 million in funds and made full or partial awards to 108 museums across the state, representing 58 counties. Kingsport requested $100,000 and received $75,000.

“It was a highly competitive grant process, so we’re thrilled to have received 75% of our request,” said Chief Ranger Tyler Wicks. “With these funds we’ll be able to start making some much-needed ADA improvements in and around the Farmstead Museum to ensure everyone is able to enjoy the rich history found within its walls.”

The City of Kingsport built the Harry V. Steadman Mountain Heritage Farmstead Museum in 1988 with the goal being to depict the social and natural history and way of life of the people who once lived on Bays Mountain.

The museum stands as a living testament to the grit and determination of the people of Bays Mountain, while honoring community leader Harry V. Steadman’s legacy, as well as all those who toiled at the earth upon the mountain to scratch out a living for their families.

“Bays Mountain Park attracts over 200,000 visitors per year, but sadly not everyone can share in the same experience. Accessibility and a mountainous terrain make visiting the Farmstead Museum unattainable for people with mobility issues,” Wicks said. “The park realizes its role and responsibility to the public by providing amenities that are equally accessible to all guests.”