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The town of Rugby owes its origins primarily to Thomas Hughes, an English author and social reformer who established an experimental community in 1880. Hughes, author of “Tom Brown's School Days,” worked to improve the lot of the English working class. He also tried to change conditions for the younger sons of gentry, whom English custom excluded from inheritance and whom class pressure limited to such professions as law or medicine. Rugby was intended to provide opportunities for these sons in an agricultural cooperative.
Rugby reached its peak in 1884, but due to harsh weather conditions, a typhoid epidemic and mismanagement, the community began to dwindle. Today Rugby is a small rural community intent on preserving the historic village of its predecessors. River gorges and a forest surround the 20 of the colony’s original Victorian buildings that remain.

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Current Location: Rugby, Tennessee