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The Howard Baker Museum

 

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This is the first permanent tribute erected in Scott County to the county’s own Senator Howard H. Baker, Jr.

It’s a replica of the early 1900s law office of J. F. Baker — Sen. Baker’s grandfather, which was used by both him and his son, Congressman Howard H. Baker, Sr..

It sits in the middle of the two and a half acre complex known as the Museum of Scott County, on the Scott High School campus in Huntsville.

According to Museum Curator and SHS instructor Gary Sexton, an anonymous donor put up the funds to erect the building as a special and personal tribute to Sen. Baker.

It was constructed and furnished by Scott High School students, thanks to a hodgepodge of donations made by the Baker law firm, The Baker Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Bert Walker and the Scott County Historical Society, and other interested individuals.

Included in the list of donations thus far are two roll top desks, an antique wooden filing cabinet, a set of barristers (a wood and glass enclosed bookcase), Baker family memorabilia, old papers from the Baker law office dating back to the 1800s, original copies of J. F. Baker law books, etc.

While the interior is made to look like a 19th Century law office, there are many extra touches — most of which center around the career of Howard H. Baker, Jr., from his early days practicing law in his home town, to his election to and long tenure in the U.S. Senate, where he served as both Minority and Majority Leader as well in a high-profile seat on the Senate Watergate Committee, followed by a stint as President Ronald Reagan’s Chief of Staff and, most recently, having served as the U.S. Ambassador to Japan.

The walls of the Baker Law Office replica are covered with photographs — some taken by Sen. Baker himself, and others taken of him and his family, friends, fellow politicians and national and international dignitaries and celebrities.

In one corner is a wide screen monitor which will feature a PowerPoint documentary developed by Scott High students (with special effects created by a 13-year-old boy), of highlights in the political career of Sen. Baker.

The “new” Baker Law Office will be open to the public for the first time during Saturday’s day-long Heritage Festival, which begins at 10 a.m. and concludes at 5 p.m.

Like most of the other attractions on the grounds of the Museum of Scott County, the Baker Law Office is expected to evolve from year to year as new material is donated and put on display.


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