If you take a drive west on I-40 from Knoxville you’ll eventually reach a sleepy town called Oak Ridge, TN. What may seem like a quiet area was home to one of the most advance stages in scientific history: The Manhattan Project. Oak Ridge became known as The Secret City during World War II because of its secret mission. The town was all a part of building the first atom bomb which eventually would end the war.
Judd suggested we take a day trip in Oak Ridge and check out the American Museum of Science and Energy on our trip. Most of you may know I nerd out over things like this and AMSE was no exception! We drove into Oak Ridge early that Friday morning and prepared to take a step back in time. The museum is a smaller building but it’s filled with incredible history.
The staff at AMSE are extremely friendly upon our arrival. Admission is about $5 for adults and $3 for children. Our guide offered his advice on how to get the best experience of the museum starting with the history of how the creation of the bomb came about. This area was pretty heavy in reading material but very informative. There were display cases with artifacts from war times. One of the things I thought was pretty interesting was every citizen living in “The Secret City” had to have an ID card to gain access in and out of it.
You get chills reading the history of Little Boy which was the bomb to destroy Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945. It seems crazy to me thinking that a weapon so powerful and so deadly could have been manufactured by our own people in a time when the whole world was on edge. The Manhattan Project was an important factor in World War II because it eventually led to it’s end.
A part of the Oak Ridge history is the tiny flat roof homes that many citizens lived in. AMSE has one of these quaint charmers on display that you can actually walk through.
Stepping foot inside the house is like stepping out of a time machine. Suddenly it’s 1944 again and you find yourself sitting in a living room chatting with your mom on the phone….
Or reading the daily newspaper!
It’s unique to see how the citizens of Oak Ridge lived during the war. As you walk through the home you notice the simple pleasantries of life during war-time.
After walking through the museum we went for a lovely lunch at a local European joint, Homeland Foods. It’s a small restaurant offering a quaint lunching opportunity where we were the only diners. Their menu is full of German, Polish and Mexican cuisine which may seem odd but it’s worth trying! We went the Polish route with Pierogies and stuffed cabbage. The food was perfect!