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Tammy Wynette Legacy Center welcomes front gates from her homeplace

The Tammy Wynette Legacy Center in Tremont, Miss., unveiled the gates from Tammy Wynette’s home in Nashville, Tenn., at 4121 Franklin Road, during a wine and cheese reception Friday.

Wynette went to school in Tremont and called Red Bay her hometown.

A large crowd attended the unveiling, including one of Wynette’s daughters, Jackie Daly.

“She would be so pleased,” said Daly. “She would be just beside herself because this was her stomping grounds. She would be overwhelmed, as I am, and we’re so happy.”

Laura Peters of Monroe, Ga., purchased the gates a few years ago, and they have since been refurbished. The lettering, which says First Lady Acres, was removed and added back, as well as the initials TW.

Behind the gates is a large mural of Wynette’s home at the time, serving to provide an effective illusion of the gates being in front of her home as they were originally.

The Red Bay Museum, which currently has the largest Tammy Wynette display anywhere, assisted in many ways in the relocation of the gates to Tremont, including the purchase of the vinyl mural of her home that is displayed behind the gates. The image was made by Red Bay photographer and museum curator Scotty Kennedy in 1990.

“Metal lettering on the gates had to be re-made,” said Kennedy. “It took a lot to pull everything off.”

“It was a pleasure to help,” said David Pearce of Pro Tool, who worked on the restoration. “Something like this means a lot not only to everyone in the county but also to all of Tammy’s friends, family and fans. I was glad to donate my time to such a good cause.” Pearce said pictures were scanned and imported into software in order to help recreate everything accurately, noting the T and W had to be hand-drawn because the original was a custom font.

On the big night, the gates were concealed behind a curtain until the moment of the big reveal. Attendees displayed a lot of enthusiasm upon seeing the gates in front of the mural.

“This will inspire future generations,” said Jeremy Martin, member of the legacy park advisory board, “not just those who want to pursue the arts but whoever wants to pursue their dreams. The gates and the center will help encourage people to have a vision and give them hope they can actually achieve what their vision encompasses.”

Martin added the center will also serve as a focal point for events. “I think it’s important to keep Tammy’s memory alive, not just through her music but also by actually seeing who she was as a person.”

“Not only was Tammy a wonderful and talented musician,” Kennedy agreed, “but she was also a sweet and sincere person who cared about others. She was the same every time you met her, giving a hug and a kiss and wanting to know about you.”

Kennedy noted Wynette often gave away clothes, gowns, jewelry and other items to friends, family and fans. Many of those pieces have since been donated or loaned to the museum in Red Bay.

“We have a nice little place here, and it’s growing, and this is part of the growth of Tremont,” said Mayor Robert Don Whitehead. “Tammy Wynette had a dream, and she believed she could, so she did.”