Sumner County was created in 1786, so it is actually 10 years older than the State of Tennessee! With its long and varied history, many books, both fiction and non-fiction, have been written about or take place in Sumner County, Tennessee!
Check out our list of Sumner County-related books to add to your reading list!
Allen Sircy explores the eerie stories of Gallatin, Tennessee, whose downtown square has been called the most haunted square in America. Sircy's book connects Gallatin's history to the spooky happenings on the Gallatin Square.
A 1970 basketball game was the tipping point of racial tensions in Gallatin, Tennessee. The inter-racial friendship of Bill and Eddie, however, changes that night and Gallatin's future more than anyone could have imagined! This book is based on the true friendship of Bill and Eddie and their story. There's also a mural depicting this story in downtown Gallatin!
Although a fiction book, Don Wright's novel utilizes the history of Gallatin, Tennessee, to create his story and bring it to life. This work focuses on the complexities and hardships dealt with characters from all walks of life who lived the Civil War as it impacted Gallatin and its residents.
"Love's Young Dream:" The Letters of Dr. Edward Noel Franklin to Miss Nannie Hillman, 1871 edited by Terry L. Martin
History and romance are combined in this unique work edited by Terry L. Martin. Real letters between two loves are complemented by Martin's explanations of the people and situations discussed in the letters.
African-American Life in Sumner County (Images of America) by Velma Howell Brinkley with Mary Huddleston Malone
Noted local historian Velma Brinkley shines a light on the experiences of African-Americans in Sumner County, Tennessee's history. This book is part of the Images of America collection and the pictures featured in this book are historical treasures.
Inspired by true events, this fictional drama follows the affair and crime of Gallatin resident Anna Dotson and her experience with the justice system. Author Kip Gayden is a local judge-turned-writer who used history as the basis for this captivating and surprising novel.
Around Gallatin and Sumner County Vol. II (Images of America) by DeeGee Lester and Kenneth Calvin Thomson Jr.
Fans of old photos will love looking through this book that is filled with all kinds of old pictures like old houses, people, businesses, and community life. While picture-heavy, it does provide insight into each photo.
Walter T. Durham Sumner Book Collection
Walter T. Durham was the Tennessee State Historian from 2002 until his death in 2013. He was a Sumner County resident and he used his talents to create many books that pertain to the history of Sumner County, Tennessee. Below is a list of his works that are available for purchase.
Before Tennessee: The Southwest Territory, 1790-1796 : A Narrative History of the Territory of the United States South of the River Ohio
Most folks are unfamiliar with the 6-year period in which the land that became Tennessee was a federal territory called the Territory of the United States South of the River Ohio. Durham explores the history of this unique time period for the people who become Tennessee residents in 1796.
The 1849 gold rush in California caused an influx of people moving westward hoping to strike it rich. Durham explores the experience of Tennesseans who joined the hype. One man featured in the book, Benjamin Butler Harris, founded San Bernardino and he married Sumner County resident Elizabeth "Bettie" Clark of the Douglass-Clark House in Gallatin; they resided in California until their deaths.
Thoroughbred racing was an extremely popular sport in Tennessee in the 1800s and Balie Peyton was recognized as a very involved participant in the sport and for his role in politics. Peyton gave up his allegiance from Andrew Jackson to help found the Whig Party that was designed to challenge Jackson and his party.
Today, Judge Josephus Conn Guild's former home, Rose Mont, is a historic site and this book gives a strong overview of Guild's life and his experience at his plantation home. Guild's role in politics as a judge is also explored in this book.
This Durham book examines Sumner County during the Civil War and beyond into 1870, where the politics of the area were deeply influenced by post-Civil War life and the racial tensions of Jim Crow that accompanied the new reality.
This Durham work focused on Grasslands located in Gallatin, which was the first private preserve in the United States dedicated to fox hunting and steeplechase racing.