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Part of Wilson County's first Cracker Barrel to live on in downsized store museum headed to NYC

The Tennessean (Nashville) logo The Tennessean (Nashville) 11/18/2019 Andy Humbles, Nashville Tennessean
a group of people walking down a dirt road: The original Cracker Barrel building was moved from State Route 109 in Lebanon to the Wilson County fairgrounds.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store has unveiled a downsized display store that includes wood re-purposed from its original store on State Route 109 in Wilson County that was disassembled this summer.

The 269-square foot display store named "Tiny Home Away from Home" will be set up for visitors to tour at Foley Square in New York on Wednesday, Nov. 27, after it was completed last week.

The small-scale store's first road trip coincides with Cracker Barrel's inaugural appearance in the 93rd Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade that will be with a separate float. The downsized store will not be in the Macy's parade.

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a close up of a stone building: Reclaimed wood from the original Cracker Barrel Old Country Store surrounding a fireplace that is part of a scaled down store scheduled to be New York City next week.© Andy Humbles / The Tennessean Reclaimed wood from the original Cracker Barrel Old Country Store surrounding a fireplace that is part of a scaled down store scheduled to be New York City next week.

Tiny Home Away from Home will leave Wednesday and make stops in Asheville, North Carolina, and Philadelphia prior to New York. The store will continue to be used for road trips and events after returning from New York, Cracker Barrel spokeswoman Janella Escobar said.

a group of people standing in front of a building: Cracker Barrel employees look at a new down-sized version of a typical store that will be used for promotional events including  New York City leading up to the 93rd Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.© Andy Humbles / The Tennessean Cracker Barrel employees look at a new down-sized version of a typical store that will be used for promotional events including New York City leading up to the 93rd Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

How wood from first store was used

Wood from Cracker Barrel's first store built in 1969 was utilized for the hearth area of the fireplace - mantle, beams and base - of the fireplace in the scaled-down store. 

Tiny Home Away from Home includes also elements of the traditional store like the porch and rocking chairs and retail space with nostalgia and memorabilia. It is not a restaurant.

The original store was moved in July from State Route 109 to the Wilson County Fairgrounds because the previous owners donated the building. The original Cracker Barrel had deteriorated and was unused for several years when it was moved.

Cracker Barrel eventually bought the building after it was determined that restoration of the original store would be cost prohibitive because of its condition.

Just over $60,000 more was spent to disassemble and salvage pieces of the original store, Cracker Barrel spokeswoman Janella Escobar then said.

"There was not a lot that could be salvaged," Escobar said of materials of the original store. "But what we could carefully salvage we had plans for. We knew we were doing something in New York City prior to our appearance in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

"That if we could use that reclaimed wood in this structure that would make it special and it would make it special on our 50th anniversary."

a plaque on a brick wall: A plaque inside a downsized Cracker Barrel old Country Story that will be used for road trips and events.© Andy Humbles / The Tennessean A plaque inside a downsized Cracker Barrel old Country Story that will be used for road trips and events.

Salvaged materials from the original store have also been integrated into other purposes, such as employee recognition awards. 

Wilson County Commissioner Sue Vanatta led an effort to preserve the original store so it could be moved to Fiddlers Grove Historic Village at the Wilson County Fairgrounds with initial plans to refurbish the structure prior to the decision for disassembly.

Cracker Barrel is celebrating its 50th anniversary that began with the original store opening in September 1969. 

A typical Cracker Barrel is around 10,000 square feet, officials with the Lebanon-headquartered company said.

a group of people walking on a wooden bench: Workers disassemble the roof earlier this year of the original Cracker Barrel store.© Submitted Workers disassemble the roof earlier this year of the original Cracker Barrel store.

Reach Andy Humbles at ahumbles@tennessean.com or 615-726-5939 and on Twitter @ AndyHumbles.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Part of Wilson County's first Cracker Barrel to live on in downsized store museum headed to NYC

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