History in Sumner County
Sumner County is embedded in Tennessee and American history. Historic sites in Sumner County can be traced back to the education of future presidents, hospitals of the American Civil War, and court rooms that were used to judge the early settlers of Tennessee. Add these Sumner County sites to your map of places to visit.
Bledsoe Creek State Park
Nestled along the tranquil shores of Old Hickory Lake, Bledsoe Creek State Park is a site that offers both natural beauty and historical allure. The park’s origins can be traced back to when Native American tribes thrived in the area. Later, it became the site of numerous pivotal events during the early European settlement period. Today, visitors can enjoy a variety of recreational activities, while also exploring the remnants of the past through interpretive displays and guided tours.
Hawthorn Hill is a testament to the architectural and historical heritage of Sumner County. Originally built in the early 19th century, this stately mansion witnessed the tumultuous years of the Civil War. As one of the few surviving antebellum homes in the region, Hawthorn Hill stands as a reminder of the challenges faced by its inhabitants during one of America’s darkest periods.
Cragfont State Historic Site
Cragfont State Historic Site holds a prominent position in Sumner County’s history due to its association with General James Winchester, a notable military figure during the War of 1812. The grand mansion, constructed in the late 18th century, reflects the architectural style of that era. Visitors can immerse themselves in the stories of General Winchester and explore the beautifully restored rooms that once witnessed the gatherings of prominent figures from Tennessee’s past.
Wynnwood State Historic Site
Wynnewood State Historic Site, situated in Castalian Springs, Sumner County, Tennessee, boasts the largest surviving log structure in the state. The main building, an impressive 110 feet long and 22 feet wide, was skillfully erected in 1828 through the joint efforts of A. R. Wynne, William Cage, and Stephen Roberts. Their intention was to establish a stagecoach inn to accommodate weary travelers journeying between Nashville and Knoxville. In 1834, A. R. Wynne acquired full ownership of the property by purchasing his partners’ shares, and subsequently, he relocated with his family to the inn. From that moment onwards, the Wynne family made this historic stagecoach inn their home, and it remained so until A. R. Wynne’s passing in 1893.
Historic Rosemont is an elegant mansion with a rich history that spans over 200 years. The mansion has served as a residence, a Civil War hospital, and a place of educational pursuits. Its architecture, with influences of both Federal and Greek Revival styles, showcases the evolution of architectural trends during the early 19th century.
Mansker’s Station, a reconstructed 18th-century frontier fort, stands as a living history museum, offering visitors an interactive experience of pioneer life in Tennessee. The station was originally a trading post established by Kasper Mansker in the late 18th century and became a critical outpost for settlers during the early days of westward expansion.
As one of the most iconic landmarks in Sumner County, Rock Castle holds a significant place in American history. The historic site was the residence of Colonel Daniel Smith, a key figure in the state’s early political and military endeavors. The imposing architecture of the mansion and its strategic location on the banks of the Cumberland River provide insights into the challenges faced by early settlers in the region.
This home, originally owned by Elmore Douglass, served as one of the earliest courthouses in Sumner County between 1788-1790. Attorney General Andrew Jackson practiced at the home during his early law career on the western frontier. The home was later occupied by William and Emma (Douglass) Clark and their ten children. When the Civil War broke out in 1861, four of the Clark sons enlisted to fight on behalf of the Confederate cause. Of the four Clark brothers that enlisted, only one Clark boy returned home alive after the war’s end in 1865.
Sumner County, TN, is a living testament to the enduring spirit of the past, offering visitors a captivating journey through time. From the grandeur of historic mansions to the rustic charm of frontier forts, each site weaves a unique narrative that enriches our understanding of Tennessee’s history. By preserving and celebrating these historic landmarks, the county ensures that the legacy of its founders and pioneers’ lives on, inspiring and educating generations to come. So, the next time you find yourself in Sumner County, take a step back in time and explore the rich history that has shaped this beautiful region.