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Rhea County Courthouse, Dayton

#69 of 168 in Historic Sites in Tennessee
Must see · Historic Site · Landmark
The Rhea County Courthouse is a historic county courthouse in the center of Dayton, the county seat of Rhea County, Tennessee. Built in 1891, it is famous as the scene of the Scopes Trial of July 1925, in which teacher John T. Scopes faced charges for including Charles Darwin's theory of evolution in his public school lesson. The trial became a clash of titans between the lawyers William Jennings Bryan for the prosecution and Clarence Darrow for the defense, and epitomizes the tension between fundamentalism and modernism in a wide range of aspects of American society. The courthouse, now also housing a museum devoted to the trial, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976.
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Rhea County Courthouse reviews

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  • We toured the courthouse to see the Scopes Trial Museum. It brings out many details of the event. The courtroom was quite large. Apparently it was very packed during the trial. Information about the....  more »
  • We were really impressed by the Scopes Trial Museum in the basement. Very well layed out, easy to navigate and informative. However, walking into the actual court room on the 2nd floor was awesome...  more »
  • Excellent place to visit for the Historical significance on many issues involving Church, State, Law, and Education Relationships. Recommended for all History Fans.
  • Very knowledgeable staff, happy to answer questions and share stories. Fascinating museum.

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