In the News: NewsChannel5 covers history class vis...

In the News: NewsChannel5 covers history class visit to Oaklands

Nashville’s NewsChannel5 recently posted a story in its “School Patrol” series about a visit by an MTSU history class to the Oaklands Historic House Museum in Murfreesboro.

The story by veteran anchor Vicki Yates featured students from assistant professor Dr. Elizabeth Gritter’s U.S. History to 1877 course during a field trip to Oaklands on Halloween.

Oaklands tour guides taught students about the unusual mourning customs of the Civil War period during Oaklands’ “Widows, Weepers and Wakes” event. The event included a video presentation and a tour of the home.

Dr. Elizabeth Gritter

Among the unusual customs discussed? After the wake, family members would cut a piece of hair from the deceased and weave it into a flower.

View the NewsChannel5 video story here.

In a story published by MTSU’s student newspaper, Sidelines, Gritter explained the purpose for the field trip:

“I am teaching U.S. History to 1877, and students will be able to experience a historic house from this time period through touring the mansion,” Gritter said. “It is an exhibit not only appropriate for the month of October, given Halloween, but also it will provide a unique perspective on 19th century American history. I am a big believer in incorporating local history into my class, and Oaklands Mansion, given its historical significance and proximity to campus, provides a great opportunity for doing so.”

Learn more about Oaklands by visiting

— Jimmy Hart (