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The Historic Gathering at Milton Opens with Fall Market, Craft Fair Oct. 13




After eight months of extensive restoration, the much-anticipated grand opening of The Gathering at Milton, a historic event and performance venue will be celebrated, Saturday, Oct. 13, with a Fall Market and Craft Fair. The 100-year-old building sits across from the Milton Post Office. Formerly, it was Manuel’s Cajun Country Store and earlier Cherry’s Market, which reportedly had the community’s first television.

The vision of new owners Alanna and Phillip Vaught to bring back a place for people to gather comes alive from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., for a great autumn day of making memories in Milton. Nestled 15 miles northeast of Murfreesboro, just off state Route 96, the rural hamlet will buzz with music, food trucks and carefully selected vendors. Booths will be set up inside and outside on the adjacent lawn, with mouth-watering baked goods, high-quality goods and crafts, original artwork, clothing, vintage items, antiques and more — plus, the first 100 people arriving will receive a fresh and hot, sugar-cinnamon mini-doughnut from The Dapper Doughnut.

“This was the heartbeat of the community, where family and friends gathered. Thinking about that is how I came up with our name,” Alanna Vaught said. “We want it to continue to be the gathering place at Milton, where people come and make memories for the next 100 years.”

The backstory of the undertaking began on a cold rainy morning in February 2018 when Phillip made a spontaneous stop for the auction of the property. It was never his intention to make a bid. However, after the final gavel fell, the couple were the owners of the store building, the house and lawn next door and began nearly a year of tedious work, bringing back the century old structure which had sat empty for almost a decade.

“Maybe I’m a little crazy,” Phillip Vaught said. “But I like a project and part of me hated to see a piece of history slipping away. Alanna and I are both passionate about the potential of this area. We are raising our family on a farm nearby and we think there is a great future here.”

Charming details such as an overhead twine dispenser that provided string to secure paper wrapped purchases, an alcove where a sturdy desk-style phone probably once sat, the original, exterior lap siding, the large and cheery storefront windows and beadboard ceiling and a welcoming front porch are some of the treasures that have been preserved and awaiting guests at The Gathering at Milton.

The venue has an interior capacity of 99, perfect for an intimate wedding, birthday and anniversary celebrations, reunions and parties. It can expand for larger groups, utilizing the outdoor space. Additionally, there is a serving kitchen for caterers.

Nearly 50 Fall Market and Craft Fair vendors include: Brown’s Mill Bakery, Milton Metal Works, local artists LaDonna Bell and Donald Ray Alexander and Sparta, Tennessee, wood-working artisan Kenneth Gunnell. Also attending will be Linda Asberry and Rick Clendenon with The Painted Farmhouse in McMinnville, Tennessee, The Olive Branch and their handcrafted macaroons, plus others that can be found on the venue’s Facebook page.

Children will be sure to enjoy a petting zoo provided by Mill Creek Farms and a John Deere tractor-themed bounce house and slide.

Located at 12026 Milton St., 37118. Admission, $5 for adults and free for children 12-and younger.

For more information about the fall event: www.facebook.com/thegatheringatmilton, email thegatheringatmilton@gmail.com or call 615-653-6018.

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