Carroll Van West

Jesse F. Adams
Jesse F. Adams, rural Middle Tennessee medical pioneer and entrepreneur, was born in Cannon County on October 19, 1881. He married Laura Elizabeth Hudson, a Texas native, in 1907, and they had nine ch... Continue Reading »
The first scheduled airline operations in Tennessee began on December 1, 1925, when a route between Atlanta and Evansville included a stop in Chattanooga. For the next ten years, however, air traffic ... Continue Reading »
Aladdin Industries
When Aladdin Industries located its corporate headquarters in Nashville in 1949, it also introduced a progressive industrial design to Nashville's emerging corporate landscape. The company built ... Continue Reading »
Alex Haley Boyhood Home
The Alex Haley State Historic Site is located at 200 South Church Street in Henning, Lauderdale County. This one-and-one-half story weatherboard bungalow was the house of Alex Haley's grandfather... Continue Reading »
Lamar Alexander
Lamar Alexander, U.S. senator, governor, university president, and U.S. secretary of education, was born on July 3, 1940, in Blount County. His parents were teachers in Maryville, and Alexander attended public schoo . . . Continue Reading »
Bethel College
Located in McKenzie, Carroll County, Bethel College is one of two institutions of higher learning for the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. In 1842 the college began in nearby McLemoresville as the Beth... Continue Reading »
Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park
The Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, located in Nashville, honors two hundred years of statehood with an innovative urban park of nineteen acres. Designed by Tuck Hinton Architects, with Ross/Fow... Continue Reading »
Big Cypress Tree State Natural Area
Big Cypress Tree State Natural Area lies in the floodplain of the Middle Fork of the Obion River between the towns of Sharon and Greenfield in Weakley County. Its 330 acres contains bottomland hardwoo... Continue Reading »
Big Hill Pond State Park
Big Hill Pond State Park is located at the junction of the Tuscumbia River and the Hatchie State Scenic River in southwest McNairy County. Containing over 4,200 acres and featuring scenic wetlands, ti... Continue Reading »
Big Ridge State Park
The Big Ridge State Park contains 3,642 acres of reclaimed land and is headquartered in Union County about twelve miles east of Norris. Developed in tandem with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) pr... Continue Reading »
Bledsoe Creek State Park
This small state park contains 164 acres focused on the Bledsoe Creek embayment of Old Hickory Lake. Nearby the old Cumberland River port town of Cairo and close to such significant early settlement h... Continue Reading »
Arnaud W. Bontemps
Harlem Renaissance writer and Fisk University librarian Arnaud W. Bontemps was born in Louisiana in 1902 but grew up in Los Angeles after his family moved to California when he was three. In 1923 Bont... Continue Reading »
Ralph Boston
Former Tennessee State University track star and medalist in the 1960, 1964, and 1968 Olympic games, Ralph Boston was born in Laurel, Mississippi, on May 9, 1939. Boston attended Tennessee State Unive... Continue Reading »
Eva Lowery Bowman
African American business leader in cosmetology and civil rights activist Eva Lowery Bowman was born to William and Alice Lowery in Nashville on April 25, 1899. She attended Pearl High School, Walden ... Continue Reading »
John W. Boyd
John W. Boyd was one of the first African Americans to serve in the Tennessee General Assembly. Born in Georgia to Jackson and Martha Boyd around 1841, John Boyd grew up probably in both Georgia and T... Continue Reading »
Bristol Sessions
The term Bristol Sessions is the common name now given one of the most famous events in American popular music history. In July 1927 producer Ralph Peer recorded the Carter Family and Jimmy Rodgers in... Continue Reading »
Burgess Falls State Natural Area
Located along the Falling Water River in Putnam and White Counties, the Burgess Falls State Natural Area contains 155 acres. Burgess Falls is one of the most dramatic in the state and has been a locat... Continue Reading »
Joseph W. Byrns
Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Joseph W. Byrns was an important political leader in early twentieth-century Tennessee, serving in the Tennessee General Assembly and then fourteen ... Continue Reading »
David Campbell
David Campbell, Revolutionary War captain, State of Franklin supporter, and early Knox County settler and merchant, was born in Augusta County, Virginia, in 1753. His distinguished career began in 177... Continue Reading »
Judge David Campbell
Judge David Campbell, State of Franklin official and early territorial and state judge, was born in Augusta County, Virginia, in 1750. He served in the Continental Army during the American Revolution,... Continue Reading »
Cannon County
Cannon County was established on January 31, 1836, when the state legislature took portions of Rutherford, Smith, and Warren Counties to create the new county of Cannon, named in honor of Whig Governo... Continue Reading »
Capital Cities
Four Tennessee towns have served as the State Capital. Knoxville was the first capital city, from the drafting of the state constitution and the first meeting of the Tennessee General Assembly in 1796... Continue Reading »
J. Edwin R. Carpenter
Edwin Carpenter, nationally renowned architect of high-rise apartments in New York City, was born in Mt. Pleasant in 1867. His undergraduate training came at the University of Tennessee in 1885 and th... Continue Reading »
Carter County
Carter County is located in the northeast corner of Tennessee. It was created from Washington County in 1796 and named in honor of Landon Carter, treasurer of the Washington and Hamilton Districts of ... Continue Reading »
Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash, musician, actor, and member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, was born in Kingsland, Arkansas, to Ray and Carrie River Cash on February 26, 1932. After graduating from high school in Dye... Continue Reading »
Clifton B. Cates
General Clifton B. Cates, nineteenth commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, was born in Tiptonville on August 31, 1893. After graduating from the University of Tennessee, he joined the marines as a seco... Continue Reading »
Chattanooga Choo-Choo
This landmark Chattanooga hotel located on Market Street in downtown Chattanooga initially served as the Southern Railway Terminal. Designed by Beaux-Arts-trained architect Donn Barber of New York Cit... Continue Reading »
Cheekwood was originally a monumental country estate designed by leading American landscape architect Bryant Fleming between 1929 and 1932 for the family of Leslie Cheek. Cheek had made his fortune fr... Continue Reading »
Chester Inn
The Chester Inn is a historic tavern building in Jonesborough, Washington County; it is one of the oldest extant buildings in Tennessee's oldest town. Dr. William P. Chester built the original Fe... Continue Reading »
Chucalissa Village
Chucalissa Village is an important Mississippian Period archaeological site located within T. O. Fuller State Park in Memphis. Workers from the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) discovered the site du... Continue Reading »
Clinton Desegregation Crisis
A series of events from 1947 to 1958 placed the Civil Rights story of Clinton, the seat of Anderson County, on the national stage as one of the starting points in the modern Civil Rights movement. Wit... Continue Reading »
William Cocke
William Cocke was a distinguished Revolutionary War veteran, experienced legislator, Sevier faction partisan, one of Tennessee's first two U.S. senators, and the first Tennessee jurist to be impe... Continue Reading »
Frederick H. Coe
Fred Coe, leading producer and director during the "golden age of television" of the 1950s, was born in Mississippi but raised in Nashville, and he called Tennessee home. Nurtured in the arts and thea... Continue Reading »
Coffee County
The Tennessee General Assembly established Coffee County from parts of Bedford, Warren, and Franklin Counties in 1836. It named the new county in honor of General John Coffee, a close political ally o... Continue Reading »
Colditz Cove State Natural Area
Located in Fentress County east of the historic town of Allardt, the Colditz Cove State Natural Area is one of the state's most recently designated natural areas. The state acquired the area'... Continue Reading »
Battle of Collierville
The Civil War touched almost every place in Tennessee, and towns like Collierville, located on the historic Memphis-Charleston railroad line in Shelby County, have their own Civil War stories to tel... Continue Reading »
Columbia Race Riot, 1946
This post-World War II race riot occurred in the town of Columbia on the night of February 25-26, 1946. Like other outbreaks of violence in the South in the immediate postwar era, this incident involv... Continue Reading »
Cotton Gins
Without the cotton gin Tennessee never would have evolved into a major antebellum cotton market; the cotton fibers produced here were too short for hand ginning or roller ginning, which could be perfo... Continue Reading »
Cove Lake State Park
Cove Lake State Park was developed in the late 1930s as a third joint recreational demonstration effort by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), and the National... Continue Reading »
Crab Orchard Stone
Crab Orchard stone is a rare sandstone quarried from the Crab Orchard Mountain of the Cumberland Plateau. Predominately rose in color, this mottled stone is streaked in irregular patterns by different... Continue Reading »
Cumberland Mountain State Park
The 1,720 acres of Cumberland Mountain State Park once served as the outdoor recreational center for the massive Cumberland Homesteads project of the Resettlement Administration (RA). From 1935 to 193... Continue Reading »
Cumberland Trail State Park
Established in June 1998, Cumberland Trail State Park is the state's first and only linear park, running for 230 miles through ten Tennessee counties and connecting the Cumberland Gap National Hi... Continue Reading »
David Crockett Birthplace State Park
With sixty-six acres situated along the scenic Nolichucky River valley in Greene County, the David Crockett Birthplace State Park features a reproduction of the log cabin where Crockett was born near ... Continue Reading »
David Crockett State Park
David Crockett State Park, located outside of Lawrenceburg on over one thousand acres of land, includes the original sites of a gristmill, distillery, and powder mill once owned by Davy Crockett, the ... Continue Reading »
Davidson County
Davidson County is the oldest county in Middle Tennessee. It dates to 1783, when the North Carolina legislature created the county and named it in honor of William L. Davidson, a North Carolina office... Continue Reading »
Davies Manor
Located at Brunswick, Davies Manor is recognized as the oldest extant dwelling in Shelby County and perhaps West Tennessee. The west section of the two-story, white oak log, central hall plan house da... Continue Reading »
Dell Computer Corporation
Dell Computers became an important corporate employer in Middle Tennessee when it announced in May 1999 that it would expand operations from its central Texas base to the Nashville area. In August 199... Continue Reading »
Dover Flint Quarries
The Dover Flint Quarries, listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, comprise one of the most significant prehistoric quarry sites in the Southeast. Located in Stewart County, the Dov... Continue Reading »
Ducktown Basin Museum
The Ducktown Basin Museum is located in Polk County at the southeastern corner of Tennessee. The museum documents and interprets the copper mining history of the state. Located on the grounds of the f... Continue Reading »
Dunbar Cave State Natural Area
Located outside of Clarksville, the Dunbar Cave State Natural Area contains 110 acres centered around a historic cave that has been a source of legend and recreation since the early history of Montgom... Continue Reading »
Dyer County
The Tennessee General Assembly established Dyer County in 1823 and named it in honor of Colonel Robert H. Dyer. John McIver and Joel H. Dyer donated sixty acres for the new county seat, named Dyersbur... Continue Reading »
Wilma Dykeman
Wilma Dykeman, novelist, journalist, and state historian, was born in Asheville, North Carolina, on May 20, 1920. In 1940 she married James R. Stokely. They resided in Newport, Tennessee, where they r... Continue Reading »
Edgar Evins State Park
Headquartered in DeKalb County along Center Hill Lake, Edgar Evins State Park contains about 6,000 acres. The park is named in honor of state senator and Smithville civic capitalist James Edgar Evins,... Continue Reading »
Ralph Emery
Ralph Emery became the dominant disc jockey in country music in the late twentieth century, featured on major syndicated radio programs and national cable television networks. Born in McEwen, Tenne... Continue Reading »
Joseph L. Evins
Joe L. Evins was the "Dean" of Tennessee's congressional delegation during the 1960s and 1970s. Born in 1910 in DeKalb County to James Edgar Evins and Myrtie Goodson Evins, Joe L. Evins attended ... Continue Reading »
The largest express transportation company in the world is FedEx, headquartered in Memphis. Frederick W. Smith, a Memphis businessman and U.S. Marine Corps veteran, began a company named Federal Expre... Continue Reading »
Fiddle and Old-time Music Contests
Tennessee towns host over thirty fiddle and old-time music contests every year. Many of these current music festivals date only to the 1970s as Tennesseans rediscovered their local musical and folklor... Continue Reading »
Fort Loudoun
Located in present-day Monroe County, Fort Loudoun was named in honor of John Campbell, the Earl of Loudoun, commander-in-chief of the British forces in North America at the time of the fort's co... Continue Reading »
Fort Nashborough
The first permanent Anglo settlement of Nashville dates to 1770 when two parties of settlers led by John Donelson and James Robertson, respectively, established a fort enclosing two acres along the ba... Continue Reading »
Fort Negley
Fort Negley was a Federal Civil War fortification built largely by African American labor in 1862 and garrisoned in part by African American soldiers during the battle of Nashville in December 1864. L... Continue Reading »
Julius Freed
Julius Freed was an important post-Civil War German Jewish merchant in Trenton, Gibson County. A native of Prussia, Freed immigrated in 1854 to Columbus, Georgia, where he worked as a peddler. Three y... Continue Reading »
Frozen Head State Natural Area
Located in Morgan County, Frozen Head State Natural Area is one of Tennessee's largest state parks, with over eleven thousand acres of beautiful, rugged land. Surrounded by the environmental scar... Continue Reading »
Thomas Oscar Fuller
Thomas O. Fuller, prominent African American church and civic leader and author in early twentieth-century Memphis, was born in Franklinton, North Carolina, on October 25, 1867. His father, J. Henders... Continue Reading »
Albert Gleaves
U.S. Navy Admiral Albert Gleaves was born in Nashville on January 1, 1858, the only son of Henry Albert and Eliza Tannehill Gleaves. Entering the Naval Academy in 1873, Gleaves graduated four years la... Continue Reading »
Glenraven Plantation
Located near Adams in Robertson County, Glenraven Plantation is the last large-scale, consciously designed tobacco plantation landscape in Tennessee. Its founders were Felix Ewing, a wealthy Nashville... Continue Reading »
Grundy Lakes Park and Grundy Forest State Natural Area
Located in Grundy County, Grundy Lakes and Grundy Forest are part of the South Cumberland State Recreation Area. Grundy Lakes began as an environmentally devastated mining property, part of a complex ... Continue Reading »
Harlinsdale Farm
This Williamson County property is the most significant extant historic farm associated with the modern Tennessee Walking Horse industry. In 1935 Wirt Harlin established the farm, which included the h... Continue Reading »
Harpeth Scenic River and Narrows State Historic Area
This state park preserves both a beautiful section of the Harpeth River and several of the most important archaeological properties in the state. The centerpiece is the Narrows Tunnel, designed by iro... Continue Reading »
Harrison Bay State Park
Located on the east bank of Chickamauga Lake, Harrison Bay State Park is north of Chattanooga. In 1938 the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) began development of what it named Harrison Island Park as a... Continue Reading »
Roland Wiltse Hayes
Roland Hayes was one of the most popular opera singers of his generation and an important supporter and mentor to such significant African American artists as Marian Anderson and Paul Robeson. Born in... Continue Reading »
HCA Healthcare
HCA Healthcare, one of the nation's largest healthcare companies and private employers, is based in Nashville. The present company represents the merger of several hospital and healthcare compani... Continue Reading »
Henry Horton State Park
Located along the Duck River in Marshall County, Henry Horton State Resort Park was constructed in the early 1960s on the former farm of Henry Horton, governor of Tennessee from 1927 to 1933. Horton&#... Continue Reading »
Gustavus Henry
Whig Party leader and Confederate senator Gustavus A. Henry was born in Scott County, Kentucky, on October 8, 1804, to William Henry and Elizabeth Flournoy Henry. He graduated from Transylvania Univer... Continue Reading »
Hermitage Hotel
The last grand turn-of-the-century hotel in Nashville, the Hermitage Hotel was built between 1908 and 1910. It is the city's best extant example of a Beaux Arts-style commercial building. Its ori... Continue Reading »
Hiwassee River State Park and Ocoee Recreational River
This park's facilities focus on a twenty-three-mile stretch of the Hiwassee River, the first river in the state's Scenic River program. There are campgrounds and multiple boat-launching ramp... Continue Reading »
House Mountain State Park
Located near Corryton, House Mountain State Park is a small park of approximately five hundred acres that provides access to a remarkable view of the surrounding countryside and mountains from the 2,1... Continue Reading »
Styles L. Hutchins
Styles L. Hutchins, noted African American attorney in turn-of-the-century Chattanooga, was born November 21, 1852, in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He attended Atlanta University and after completing his s... Continue Reading »
Iroquois Steeplechase
The Iroquois Steeplechase, a rite of spring for horse enthusiasts, has been held every second Saturday in May since 1941. The amateur horse races take place at a three-mile course of wood, water, and ... Continue Reading »
The oldest town in Tennessee, Jonesborough was chartered by the State of North Carolina in 1779 and laid out in 1780. Named for Willie Jones, a resident of Halifax, North Carolina, who supported the w... Continue Reading »
Edwin A. Keeble
An important twentieth-century architect, Edwin A. Keeble was born in Monteagle Assembly, the fourth of six children of John Bell and Emmie Frazer Keeble. His father was a Nashville attorney and later... Continue Reading »
Marshall Keeble
Marshall Keeble, born in Rutherford County in 1878, became the best-known African American leader in the Churches of Christ of the twentieth century. In May 2000 The Christian Chronicle named Keeble a... Continue Reading »
Martin Luther King Jr.
Internationally acclaimed spokesman of the Civil Rights movement Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis on April 4, 1968. King was in Memphis in an attempt to raise a... Continue Reading »
Belle Kinney
An important early twentieth-century sculptor, Belle Kinney graced Nashville with works at the War Memorial Building, the State Capitol, and the Parthenon. Born in Nashville in 1890, one of four child... Continue Reading »
Knoxville Gazette
The first newspaper in Tennessee was the Knoxville Gazette, printed initially at Rogersville, Hawkins County, on November 5, 1791. Its editor, printer, and publisher was George Roulstone (1767-1804), ... Continue Reading »
Land Between the Lakes
Congress established this federal recreation area located along the Tennessee-Kentucky border in northwest Middle Tennessee in 1964. Land Between the Lakes (LBL) is a 170,000-acre peninsula between th... Continue Reading »
George W. Lee
Known on the streets of early twentieth-century Memphis as "Lieutenant Lee," both for his army service as a lieutenant in World War I and as the lieutenant for the powerful African American capitalist... Continue Reading »
Life and Casualty Insurance Company
Established by Andrew M. Burton, Guilford Dudley Sr., Helena Haralson, Dr. J. C. Franklin, and Pat M. Estes in Nashville in 1903, Life and Casualty Insurance Company initially offered industrial (heal... Continue Reading »
Alan P. Lightman
Born in Memphis on November 28, 1948, to parents Richard and Jeanne Garretson Lightman, Alan P. Lightman is a distinguished author of scientific writings and critically acclaimed novels. Lightman grew... Continue Reading »
Long Hunter State Park
Long Hunter State Park is located along thirty miles of shoreline of Percy Priest Lake in Davidson and Rutherford Counties. In 1968 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers acquired the property for park deve... Continue Reading »
Loretta Lynn
Influential female country music performer and songwriter and member of the Country Music Hall of Fame Loretta Lynn was born in Johnson County, Kentucky, in 1935. She married Oliver V. “Mooney&r... Continue Reading »
Kasper Mansker
Long hunter and early Middle Tennessee settler Kasper Mansker was born on an immigrant ship bound for the American colonies. Little is known about his German ancestry or his early life. Mankser marrie... Continue Reading »
Marble Springs
Marble Springs is a state historic site that documents the Knox County farmstead of General John Sevier, the first governor of the State of Tennessee. As a soldier in the Revolutionary War, Sevier rec... Continue Reading »
Marshall County
Established by the Tennessee General Assembly in 1836, Marshall County was formed from parts of Giles, Bedford, Lincoln, and Maury Counties. Its name honors former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Joh... Continue Reading »
Joseph Martin
Joseph Martin, Revolutionary War hero and Indian agent on the Virginia-Tennessee frontier, was born in Albemarle County, Virginia, in 1740. As early as 1763 he attempted to settle in Powell's Val... Continue Reading »
Maryville College
Maryville College, a distinguished higher education institution in Blount County, was among the first colleges in the country to open its doors to African American and Native American, as well as whit... Continue Reading »
Mayfield Dairy Farms
Established in 1923, Mayfield Dairy Farms has evolved into one of the major southern milk and ice cream products companies. It began as an antebellum family farm in McMinn County that continued as a f... Continue Reading »
Maytag Cleveland Cooking Products
Based in Cleveland, Tennessee, Maytag Cleveland Cooking Products began in 1916 as a family-owned and -operated company known as Dixie Foundry. Company founder S. B. Rymer Sr. was a native of Polk Coun... Continue Reading »
Jim Nance McCord
Governor, progressive agricultural reformer, publisher, and public official Jim Nance McCord was born in Unionville, Bedford County, in 1879. His parents, Thomas N. and Iva Stelle McCord, were farmers... Continue Reading »
William McKendree
The first American-born bishop of the Methodist Church, William McKendree was closely associated with the establishment of the Methodist Church in Tennessee. Born in Virginia in 1757, McKendree visite... Continue Reading »
Ned Ray McWherter
Ned Ray McWherter, governor and Speaker of the Tennessee House, was born in Palmersville, Weakley County, to Harmon Ray and Lucille Golden Smith McWherter in 1930. Educated in the public schools of Dr... Continue Reading »
Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park
Containing 13,467 acres, Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park near Memphis is the most visited state park in Tennessee. Initially known as Shelby Forest State Park, it began as a New Deal recreation demons... Continue Reading »
Memphis Music Scene
The musical legacy of the Bluff City is exciting, diverse, and extremely significant in the history of American culture. Today Memphis's best known landmarks are two places--Beale Street and Grac... Continue Reading »
Memphis Pros/Tams/Sounds
The only major league professional basketball team ever based in Tennessee during the twentieth century was the Memphis franchise of the American Basketball Association (ABA). Known by different names... Continue Reading »
Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum
The newest music museum in Tennessee, the Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum, opened in 2000. Located in the Beale Street Entertainment District on the second floor of the Gibson Guitar Factory, t... Continue Reading »
Meriwether Lewis National Monument
The Meriwether Lewis National Monument, located along the Natchez Trace Parkway in Lewis County, was designated in 1925 by the federal government to mark the grave of Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809), a V... Continue Reading »
Methodist Health Care, Memphis
Tennessee's eighth largest private employer, with 7,900 workers in the Memphis area and West Tennessee, Methodist Health Care, Memphis, is headquartered on Union Avenue in downtown Memphis. Found... Continue Reading »
Middle Tennessee State University
Located in Murfreesboro, Middle Tennessee State University was created by the General Education Bill of 1909 and dedicated on September 11, 1911, as Middle Tennessee State Normal School. Many local re... Continue Reading »
Monroe County
Named in honor of President James Monroe, Monroe County is located along the North Carolina border in the southeastern corner of Tennessee. Its beautiful landscape includes the Appalachian Mountains, ... Continue Reading »
Mousetail Landing State Park
Located along the banks of the Tennessee River in Perry County, Mousetail Landing State Park is one of the state's most recent parks, dedicated in 1986. The park's 1,249 acres offer hiking, ... Continue Reading »
Until the widespread adoption of motor-powered machinery in the mid-twentieth century, mules powered most farm activities in Tennessee. Middle Tennessee was a major mule market. At annual "Mule D... Continue Reading »
Museum of Appalachia
Located near the town of Norris in Anderson County, the Museum of Appalachia contains the state's best collection of historic buildings, artifacts, and folk art associated with the diverse cultur... Continue Reading »
James O. Naifeh
Former Speaker of the Tennessee House of Representatives James O. Naifeh was born and raised in Covington. He attended local public schools, graduating from Byars Hall High School, and went on to the Univers... Continue Reading »
Nashville Predators
The first professional hockey team in Tennessee to be a member of the National Hockey League (NHL) was the Nashville Predators. Professional ice hockey has been played in Nashville since the early 196... Continue Reading »
Nashville Union Station
This National Historic Landmark symbolizes the power of railroad companies, specifically the Louisville and Nashville (L&N) Railroad, over the transportation and economy of turn-of-the-century Ten... Continue Reading »
National Campground
The National Campground, located in rural Loudon County, has held religious camp meetings since the late Reconstruction era. In 1873 individuals from congregations representing the Presbyterian, Cumbe... Continue Reading »
National Civil Rights Museum
Located at the former site of the Lorraine Motel at 450 Mulberry Street in Memphis, the National Civil Rights Museum is the state's preeminent museum dedicated to the history of the Civil Rights ... Continue Reading »
National Storytelling Festival
What began as a small gathering of Appalachian storytellers has evolved over a generation into one of the nation's premier gatherings of storytellers. The National Storytelling Festival, held eve... Continue Reading »
A. O. P. Nicholson
Successful and controversial antebellum Democratic politician A. O. P. Nicholson was born in the Carter Creek area near Spring Hill in 1808. He received private tutoring before attending Woodward Acad... Continue Reading »
Tennessee's tenth largest private employer (2001 figures), the Nissan Motor Manufacturing Corporation, U.S.A., is headquartered in Smyrna. It initially represented the single largest foreign inve... Continue Reading »
Norris Dam State Park
Created in the mid-1930s as a demonstration recreational project of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the National Park Service, and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), the 4,000-acre Norris Da... Continue Reading »
Obed Wild and Scenic River
Established by Congress in 1976, the Obed Wild and Scenic River protects parts of four different streams--the Obed River, Emory River, Clear Creek, and Daddy's Creek--and is approximately forty-f... Continue Reading »
Old Hickory
The town of Old Hickory is a planned industrial complex and community in Davidson County that dates to January 29, 1918, when the DuPont corporation and the federal government agreed to build a massiv... Continue Reading »
Operatic music has long been performed on stages throughout Tennessee, although the establishment of permanent local opera companies is a far more recent trend. Famous stars and opera companies of the... Continue Reading »
Opry House and Opryland Hotel
This Nashville entertainment and convention complex began in the early 1970s, when the National Life and Accident Insurance Company, the parent company of the nationally famous country music radio sho... Continue Reading »
Ozone Falls State Natural Area
Ozone Falls is a breathtaking 110-foot waterfall on the Cumberland Plateau near the village of Ozone in Cumberland County. The gorge of the falls features beautiful stands of hemlock, yellow birch, ba... Continue Reading »
Panther Creek State Park
Six miles west of Morristown in Hamblen County is the Panther Creek State Park. This 1,435-acre park features the recreational resources of Cherokee Lake, the reservoir created when the Tennessee Vall... Continue Reading »
Earl Pardon
Acclaimed metalsmith and jewelry designer, Earl Pardon was a major contributor to the rise of American studio jewelry in the second half of the twentieth century. Born in Memphis in 1926, Pardon ser... Continue Reading »
Paris Landing State Park
The Paris Landing State Resort Park is located along the western shore of Kentucky Lake (the dammed Tennessee River) in Henry County. Containing 841 acres, the park is a major recreational center for ... Continue Reading »
Pickwick Landing State Resort Park
Pickwick Landing State Resort Park, located along Pickwick Lake (the dammed Tennessee River) in southern Hardin County, began as a demonstration park constructed and administered by the Tennessee Vall... Continue Reading »
Pocket Wilderness Areas
Pocket Wilderness Areas are part of a conservation program involving a corporate-state partnership. Beginning in 1970, the Hiwassee Land Company of the Bowater Southern Paper Corporation developed in ... Continue Reading »
Port Royal State Historic Area
The thirty-four-acre site of Port Royal in Montgomery County preserves one of Middle Tennessee's earliest settlement areas. The first permanent settlers arrived in 1784, and the first meeting of ... Continue Reading »
Reelfoot Lake State Park
This three-hundred-acre state park on an eighteen-thousand-acre lake is located in the northwest corner of Tennessee. The New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-12 probably enlarged a series of oxbow lakes th... Continue Reading »
Lee Roy Reeves
Lee Roy Reeves, designer of the Tennessee State Flag, was born in Johnson City in June 1876, the son of Elbert Clay and Alice D. Robeson Reeves. After graduating from the local high school and normal ... Continue Reading »
Roan Mountain State Resort Park
Located near the Tennessee-North Carolina border in Carter County, Roan Mountain State Park is a 2,006-acre park that preserves Roan Mountain, a 6,285-foot peak renowned for its annual blooming of wil... Continue Reading »
Rock Island State Park
Located in Warren County, Rock Island State Park was established in 1969, but its historical significance dates to the region's early settlement. A small village called Rock Island, located upstr... Continue Reading »
Ryman Auditorium
Built as the Union Gospel Tabernacle between 1888 and 1892, Nashville's Ryman Auditorium gained international renown from 1943 to 1974 as home to the Grand Ole Opry, the premier live country musi... Continue Reading »
Savage Gulf State Natural Area
The largest and most significant portion of the South Cumberland State Recreation Area is the Savage Gulf State Natural Area. Located on the Cumberland Plateau in Grundy County, Savage Gulf contains a... Continue Reading »
Scarritt College for Christian Workers
Scarritt College was moved from its original home in Kansas City, Missouri, to Nashville in 1923. Established as an institution to train women missionaries by the United Methodist Church, the school w... Continue Reading »
Isaac Shelby
Isaac Shelby, early Tennessee settler, Revolutionary War veteran, and governor of Kentucky, was born in Hagerstown, Maryland, in 1750 to Evan and Letitia Cox Shelby, who moved their family to Sapling ... Continue Reading »
South Cumberland State Recreation Area
The South Cumberland State Recreation Area (SCRA) is a unique park within the Tennessee park system as it combines separate natural areas, trails, state forests, and small wild areas within one manage... Continue Reading »
Sparta Rock House
Three miles east of Sparta along U.S. Highway 70 is the Sparta Rock House, built initially as a toll house and stage stop along a busy antebellum turnpike between Sparta and Crossville. It is consider... Continue Reading »
Steve Spurrier
The only Tennessee high school athlete to go on to win the Heisman Trophy as the nation's outstanding college football player, Steve Spurrier is best known today as the head football coach of the... Continue Reading »
St. Mary's Catholic Church
This Nashville landmark is one of the first Catholic Church buildings constructed in Tennessee and served as the Catholic Cathedral for almost seventy years. The oldest extant church building in downt... Continue Reading »
Pat Head Summitt
Pat Summitt, women's basketball coach at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has produced an enviable record of success both on and off the court. Born in Henrietta on June 14, 1952, she atte... Continue Reading »
Don Sundquist
Governor of Tennessee from 1995 to 2003, Don Sundquist was born March 15, 1936, and was the first member of his family to finish high school and attend college. He graduated from Augustana College and then s... Continue Reading »
Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area
This state park in Carter County preserves and interprets the Sycamore Shoals of the Watauga River, a National Historic Landmark that was one of the most significant early settlement areas on the west... Continue Reading »
L. O. Taylor and Taylor-Made Pictures
The films, recordings, and photographs that the Reverend Lonzie Odie (L. O.) Taylor made of African Americans in Memphis during the 1930s and 1940s constitute one of the unique documentary records in ... Continue Reading »
Television and Movie Performers
In both television and the movies, Tennessee performers have enjoyed distinguished careers, as evident in this volume's individual entries for Clarence Brown, Archie Campbell, Fred Coe, Tennessee... Continue Reading »
Tellico Blockhouse
This Monroe County historic site was a key federal outpost on the southwest frontier constructed in 1794-95 at the confluence of the Tellico and Little Tennessee Rivers adjacent to the site of the ear... Continue Reading »
Temple Adas Israel
Temple Adas Israel, a historic Jewish synagogue listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is located at the corner of Washington and College Streets in Brownsville. Built in 1881-82 and vene... Continue Reading »
Tennessee Central Railroad
The Tennessee Central Railroad was an important late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century competitor to the dominant Louisville and Nashville (L&N) and Southern Railway systems in Tennessee. Nashvi... Continue Reading »
Tennessee Century Farms
The Tennessee Century Farms Program is a public program that honors family farmers who have kept continuously owned family land in agricultural production for at least the last one hundred years. Esta... Continue Reading »
The history of theater runs throughout the Tennessee past. Early touring theater groups performed in the larger towns, with plays such as Child of Nature, or Virtue Rewarded presented in Nashville in ... Continue Reading »
George H. Thomas
Union General George H. Thomas, nicknamed the "Rock of Chickamauga," played a pivotal role in several significant Tennessee Civil War battles. Born July 31, 1816, in Southampton County, Virginia, Thom... Continue Reading »
Fred Thompson
Fred Thompson, U.S. senator, Watergate committee counsel, and movie actor, was born August 19, 1942, in Sheffield, Alabama. He grew up in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, the son of a used car dealer, and att... Continue Reading »
Tims Ford State Park
Tims Ford State Park is a 431-acre park adjacent to a 10,700-acre lake, the Tims Ford Reservoir, in Franklin County. In 1970 the Tennessee Valley Authority finished the Tims Ford Dam to provide recrea... Continue Reading »
John Tipton
Prominent backcountry era settler and political leader best known for his opposition to the Franklin statehood movement, John Tipton was born in Baltimore County, Maryland, in 1730. He served in Lord ... Continue Reading »
U.S. Xpress Enterprises, Inc.
This Chattanooga-based trucking firm, in business since 1985, has grown to be the fifth largest publicly owned truckload carrier in the United States. U.S. Xpress is also the ninth largest private emp... Continue Reading »
United Sons and Daughters of Charity Lodge Hall
The United Sons and Daughters of Charity Lodge Hall in Bolivar, Hardeman County, is one of the oldest African American lodge buildings in West Tennessee. Listed in the National Register of Historic Bu... Continue Reading »
United States Army of the Cumberland
During the Civil War, Union forces in Tennessee were part of several different federal armies, primarily the Army of the Cumberland, the Army of the Ohio, and the Army of the Tennessee. An army from t... Continue Reading »
U.S. Dairy Experiment Station
Established in Marshall County in 1929, the United States Dairy Experiment Station has played a significant role in the improvement of dairy livestock and the dairy industry in Tennessee. Lewisburg ci... Continue Reading »
James D. Vaughan
James D. Vaughan, “the father of southern gospel music,” was born on December 14, 1864 in Giles County, Tennessee. Vaughan grew up in Middle Tennessee surrounded by the sounds of gospel mu... Continue Reading »
Orton Caswell Walker
Orton Caswell "Cas" Walker was one of the most flamboyant politicians in mid-twentieth century Knoxville as well as a major force in promoting country music in East Tennessee. Born in Sevier... Continue Reading »
Darrell Waltrip
Winston Cup Champion and Franklin, Tennessee, resident Darrell Waltrip was born in Owensboro, Kentucky, on February 5, 1947. In the early 1980s Waltrip was one of the new generation of drivers to take... Continue Reading »
Warriors Path State Park
Located in Sullivan County, Warriors Path State Park contains 970 acres on both sides of the Fort Patrick Henry Lake, a 900-acre reservoir created by the Tennessee Valley Authority when it built Fort ... Continue Reading »
Wessyngton Plantation
Located near Cedar Hill, Robertson County, Wessyngton Plantation specialized in dark-fired tobacco from the early nineteenth to the late twentieth century. Joseph Washington, a native of Virginia, est... Continue Reading »
White County
The Tennessee General Assembly established White County on September 11, 1806, from a part of Smith County and named the new county for John White, one of the first settlers in the area. The Knowels, ... Continue Reading »
Nera White
The first woman basketball player inducted into the National Basketball Hall of Fame (in 1992), Nera White of Macon County has become a legendary figure in the annals of women's basketball. Born ... Continue Reading »
Beth Slater Whitson
Songwriter Beth Slater Whitson was born in Goodrich, Hickman County, in 1879. Her parents were John H. Whitson and Anna Slater Whitson; her father was coeditor of the Hickman Pioneer newspaper. Beth W... Continue Reading »
John S. Wilder
Long-time Democratic Speaker of the Senate and Lieutenant Governor John S. Wilder was born in Fayette County in 1921. He attended the public schools of Fayette County, then went to college, majoring in agriculture at the ... Continue Reading »
WLAC is a Nashville radio station established by the Life and Casualty Insurance Company in 1926; it shaped musical tastes in Nashville for over seventy years. Its most significant contribution to Ten... Continue Reading »
One of the ten oldest radio stations in the United States, WNOX in Knoxville played a significant role in showcasing major talents in the burgeoning hillbilly--or country--music field from the 1930s t... Continue Reading »
Women's Basketball Hall of Fame
Located in Knoxville, the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame opened in 1999. A project of the Knoxville Sports Corporation and headed by President and Chief Executive Officer Gloria Ray, the Hall of... Continue Reading »
Woodland Period
Two of Tennessee's best known prehistoric sites, Pinson Mounds in Madison County and the Old Stone Fort in Coffee County, date to the Woodland Period (300 B.C. to A.D. 900). Anthropologist Charle... Continue Reading »
John Wesley Work III
John W. Work III, a significant composer and director of the Fisk Jubilee Singers in the mid-twentieth century, was born in Tullahoma. His parents were John W. Work II and Agnes Haynes Work. His fathe... Continue Reading »
Henderson King Yoakum
Henderson Yoakum was a Jacksonian stalwart in Middle Tennessee during the tumultuous political battles of the 1830s and 1840s. This native Tennessean later became an important personal and political c... Continue Reading »