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Cedars of Lebanon State Park Historic District -
328 Cedar Forest Rd, 37090

The original cedar forest in this area was harvested and milled to produce pencils, fence posts, and cedar plank. This industry depleted the land and area families were left with shallow, rocky soils and sub-marginal lands. State Forester, James O. Hazard, approved the area for a reforestation project in late 1934. The Wilson Cedar Forest Project, later renamed the Lebanon Cedar Forest Project, was approved by President Franklin Roosevelt in September 1935. The goal of the project was to develop a cedar forest through reforestation techniques. The project placed the forest development under government control and provided employment for citizens in the economically depressed area.

The Works Project Administration (WPA) hired local farmers whose land made up the project area. They built roads, installed power lines, and completed boundary surveys. The WPA workers also constructed buildings, cabins, and shelters from the red cedar wood and abundant local limestone rock.

One of the best examples of this work is the Cedar Forest Lodge. It was built of rough cut locally quarried limestone in a Rustic style with a roughhewn cedar log interior. This building is the center of the historic district which was included on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995. Other parts of the district include the trail to Jackson Cave, two overlooks and a stone water fountain.

On September 10, 1937, Lebanon Cedar Forest was formally opened. The Tennessee Department of Conservation took over management of the area in March 1939, with the U.S. Forestry Service as the custodial agency. The project area was renamed Cedars of Lebanon. The federal government formally deeded Cedars of Lebanon State Park to the state on August 12, 1955. Since then, the Division of State Parks and the Division of Forestry have shared its management. A park naturalist is available to interpret the natural, cultural, and historic aspects of the park. For more information call 615- 443-2769 .

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