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New Posts Coming Soon

13 Jun

To say I’ve been busy working on various projects would be an understatement. However, I do have some new posts coming soon.

In the past year, I’ve worked on projects in Memphis, TN, Winston-Salem, NC, and the Chesapeake area as well as research for my Ph.D. dissertation. These projects have influenced me and given me the push I needed to continue to research and share what I find about Ripley. Often I find myself referencing Ripley when I work on these projects and a few times work on these projects has connected back to the Ripley area in ways that I was not expecting.

Anyway, new posts are coming soon and always feel free to send me an email. I may be slow to respond, but I do see them.




What I’ve Been Up To

3 Sep

If you follow the website regularly you’ll know that I am in graduate school, which explains my inconsistent posting. This past summer I had the opportunity to participate in an archaeological excavation in Nashville, TN at the site of a former plantation. It was very fulfilling work, and we recovered many artifacts. In addition, I had the opportunity to study the remaining extant slave dwellings that later became tenant farmer homes on the site. It made me wonder if any such dwellings still exist in Ripley. Has anyone seen any of these dwellings or know where a few might be hiding? Does anyone have any memories of tenant farming in the Lauderdale County area?


– Tiffany

An Update

29 Jan

Hello everyone,

As you all know I took some time off from the website during the fall to adjust to the rigors of graduate school. I’m pleased to say that I made it through the first semester and I am at the start of my second semester. So far, so good. Thanks for your patience with the lack of posts.

During my hiatus, I did find the time to do some research and attend history related functions. Below are a few photos of what I’ve been up to.

This fall I attended the reburial commemoration ceremony for 20 slaves found at the Nashville Zoo. The slaves had been reburied this past June, but a big ceremony was not held until October. The slaves were discovered on the property in the 1980s and left undisturbed until construction required their removal. The slaves were moved from their original burial site and reburied on the historic farm site located on the zoo. Prior to being reburied DNA samples were taken to identify the ancestry of the individuals and as suspected African ancestry was found. They were reburied according to the original way they were buried in an effort not to disturb what may have been family groupings. They were also reburied using the original stone markers for their graves.

Slave Burial Site Marker

Slave Burial Site Marker


Slave burial site. Note the headstones

Slave burial site. Note the headstones.

I also attended a lecture on the bioarchaeology behind these remains and learned of new techniques to determine DNA and the possible geographic locations that these individuals might have lived in prior to living at what would become the Nashville Zoo.

Skull of Slave Woman

Skull of Slave Woman

I also worked on a project to bring commemoration to a neighborhood known as The Bottoms in Murfreesboro that was removed from the landscape due to urban renewal. Researching neighborhoods that have been removed from the landscape has quickly become my favorite area of research.

I was quite busy, but I missed working on Black Ripley. It feels good to be back!


– Tiffany

Programming Note – An Update

13 Nov

Hello everyone,

I’ve been very busy with school this semester, so I have not had the time I would have liked to add things to the site. I hope to have more time to work here soon.

The site has been busy without me though! Thanks everyone for commenting and reading. I truly appreciate it.

As always you can reach me by email at with any questions etc.


– Tiffany

Programming Note

6 Sep

The semester is in full swing for me and the workload has greatly increased over previous years, so while I get used to this the posts on the site will not be as frequent. This is the first semester of me being in a MA program focusing on public history and while I’m crazy excited it’s a lot to get used to.


As always, if you have any stories you would like to share, please feel free to email them to Tiffany

Bill “Bojangles” Robinson and Shirley Temple

11 Feb

This morning I was driving in to the office and heard on NPR that Shirley Temple had passed. They also played a clip where she described Bill “Bojangles” Robinson as her best friend as a child and credited him with teaching her everything she knew about dancing. I thought about Robinson’s connection to Ripley and searched for a scene from one of my favorite Shirley Temple movies. Enjoy.




– Tiffany

Black History Month

2 Feb

Happy Black History Month!

I’ve started this month by changing the format of the “Saving Our Stories” page. The “Saving our Stories” page can be seen at the top right of your screen next to the “About” page. Click the link and you will now be taken to a form where you can submit your stories and recollections of life in Ripley, TN and the surrounding areas and have them come directly to me. Check it out and let me know what you think!


This month I have some great things planned so stay tuned to the website for exciting programming!