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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Waverly, TN

Waverly is a city in Humphreys County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 4,028 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Humphreys County.

Humphreys County Courthouse in Waverly

The city is situated in the Trace Creek Valley, just over 10 miles (16 km) east of the creek's confluence with the Kentucky Lake impoundment of the Tennessee River. The low ridges that "wall in" Waverly to the north and south represent the fringe of the western section of the Highland Rim.

Waverly is centered around the junction of U.S. Route 70, which connects the city to Nashville to the east and Memphis to the west, and State Route 13, which connects the city to Hurricane Mills and Interstate 40 to the south and the rural areas around Erin to the north.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.1 square miles (21.1 km²), all of it land.


Historical Marker

THC marker in Waverly recalling the now-defunct town of Reynoldsburg. Waverly was established by Steven Pavatt as a stop along the stage coach road between Nashville and Memphis in the early 1800s. Pavatt was a fan of the author Sir Walter Scott, and named the community after Scott's Waverley Novels. When Humphreys County was created in 1803, Reynoldsburg, located northwest of Waverly along the Tennessee River, was chosen as the county seat. However, when county lands on the west bank of the Tennessee split off to become part of the newly-created Benton County in 1835, the Humphreys County seat was moved to Waverly, which had become the more central location in the county. A courthouse was built in 1836, and the town was officially incorporated in 1838.

Like most of Middle and West Tennessee, Waverly was staunchly pro-Confederacy during the U.S. Civil War. Humphreys County voted unanimously in favor of secession in 1861. Union troops occupied the town in 1863 to guard the railroad between White Bluff and Johnsonville (now Old Johnsonville), the latter being a Federal supply depot and transfer station. The Union troops managed to build a fort at the courthouse square, although they were constantly harassed by Confederate guerillas. On November 4, 1864, Confederate troops under Nathan Bedford Forrest attacked and destroyed the Federal depot in what became known as the Battle of Johnsonville.[6] The battle occurred approximately 10 miles (16 km) west of Waverly at the mouth of Trace Creek.

Hurricane Mills, located a few miles south of Waverly along TN-13, was the site of a substantial mill and carding factory in the late 1800s and early 1900s. A Mississippian-era prehistoric village (known as the Duck River Temple Mounds) and a farm owned by Jesse James were both located near the Link farm site in the vicinity of Hurricane Mills.

On February 22, 1978, a propane tank car explosion occurred in downtown Waverly when an L&N train derailed. The explosion, which killed 16 people, led to an overhaul of the methods used by the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency when responding to hazardous material spills.

Notable residents:

George Morgan
George Morgan (singer),

George Thomas Morgan (June 28, 1924 – July 7, 1975) was a mid-20th century country music singer.

Morgan was born to Zachariah "Zach" Morgan and Ethel Turner in Waverly, Tennessee but raised in Barberton, Ohio. He was, along with a few other contemporaries (most notably Eddy Arnold and Jim Reeves), referred to as a "country crooner", his singing style being far more similar to that of Bing Crosby or Perry Como than that of Ernest Tubb or Lefty Frizzell. He is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

George Morgan was a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1948 and is best remembered for the Columbia Records song "Candy Kisses." which was a No.1 hit on the Billboard country music charts for three weeks in 1949. He also had several hits based on a "rose" theme, like Room Full of Roses, Red Roses for a Blue Lady, and Red Roses from the Blue Side of Town.

His daughter Lorrie Morgan is also a country music singer. Using modern technology, Lorrie recently recorded a duet with her late father entitled From This Moment On.

In 1974 George Morgan was the last person to sing on the stage of the Ryman auditorium before the Grand Ole Opry moved to the new Grand Ole Opry House, A week later he was the first to sing on stage at the new Grand Ole Opry.

Morgan died of a heart attack after undergoing open heart surgery.

On his passing in 1975, he was interred in the Spring Hill Cemetery in Madison, Tennessee.

The George Morgan Story

A fixture on the Grand Ole Opry from 1948 until his death in 1975, Country Music Hall of Fame member George Thomas Morgan possessed one of the smoothest voices in country music.

Born about fifty miles west of Nashville, Morgan moved a couple of years later with his family to Barberton, Ohio. At age eleven, he learned to play guitar, and he made early appearances on radio in Ohio at WAKR–Akron and WWST–Wooster. His career gathered momentum on the WWVA Jamboree in the 1940s.

In September 1948, Eddy Arnold decided to leave the Grand Ole Opry. Morgan, whose singing style was similar, joined the Opry on September 25, 1948, without benefit of a hit record. Columbia Records had signed Morgan just days before, on September 14, but due to the 1948 musicians’ strike he didn’t record until January 16, 1949.

Recorded at that first session, his composition “Candy Kisses” launched his recording career with a bang, eventually reaching #1 on the country charts. On April 30, 1949, Morgan accounted for half the listings on Billboard’s Country Top Ten chart. In addition to his three singles on the chart—“Candy Kisses” (#2), “Rainbow in My Heart” (#8) and “Please, Don’t Let Me Love You” (#9)—he was represented by covers of “Candy Kisses” by Elton Britt (#8) and Red Foley (#10).

That first year proved to be his biggest on the charts, with six singles ultimately hitting the Top Ten in 1949. Of these, “Room Full of Roses” (#4, 1949) was Morgan’s only record to cross over onto the pop charts (#25).

Morgan left the Opry in 1956 to host a TV show at Nashville station WLAC but returned to the Opry in 1959 and remained a popular presence there until his death. After seventeen years with Columbia, Morgan left the label in 1965. He moved on to the Starday and Stop labels, and then Decca/MCA in 1971, where he scored his biggest hit in years with “Red Rose from the Blue Side of Town” (#21, 1973–1974). His last recordings were made for Four Star.

In 1973 Morgan watched proudly when youngest daughter Lorrie Morgan made her Opry debut. Sadly, George Morgan died not long after his fifty-first birthday, from complications following open-heart surgery. Through the wonders of electronics, a posthumous father-daughter duet, “I’m Completely Satisfied With You,” charted briefly in 1979. - Walt Trott

- Adapted from the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum’s Encyclopedia of Country Music, published by Oxford University Press.


Humphreys County was originally a part of the great Tennessee County of North Carolina, formed in 1788, with Clarksville as the County Seat. In 1796, the year that Tennessee became a state, Tennessee County was divided into Robertson and Montgomery Counties and gave its name to the state. A further division of Montgomery County in 1801 created Stewart County from which Humphreys County was created in 1803. Reynoldsville was the first county seat. Wavelry became the county seat when Benton County was erected, largely from territory that was previously included in Humphreys County.


On the earliest maps of the county,the present site of Waverly is marked Pavatts. It was possibly a stage stop on the old stageroad. The town was named Waverly by Steven C.Pavatt,who named it Waverly as he was a great admirer of the Waverly novels by Sir Walter Scott.

Waverly was incorporated in 1838.Commissioners were appointed to reserve an area in the center of town for a courthouse. A courthouse was built on this spot in 1836.A second and larger courthouse was built on this spot at a later date and stood for forty years until November 1876 when it was destroyed by fire during the setting of the Circuit Court. As the fire occurred during the daytime the records were saved. A third courthouse was built on the same spot and it to was destroyed by fire on June 10, 1898. The fire burned all record books and files of papers except the land deed records which were in a fireproof vault. The fourth courthouse was built in 1899 and demolished in 1951 and 1952 to make way for the fifth and present courthouse. One other important event in the history of Waverly was a fire in 1911 when the main downtown buildings burned.

Located south of Waverly is a small area of beautiful homes and a mill known as Hurricane Mills. Hurricane Mills is dominated by an old mill and dam that stretched across Hurricane Creek. The mill and dam were constructed sometime around 1895 by James T Anderson. A carding factory was in the area 30 years ago and made old-fashioned jeans.


On June 8,1861 Humphreys County voted 1,042-0 for secession. Federal troops were in the county to build the railroad from White Bluff to Johnsonville between October 22,1863 and May 10,1864. These troops consisted of the 12th and 13th U.S.Infantry. A fort was built on the court square and was later moved to a position on Fort Hill. This was manned by the 1st Kansas Battery and the 8th Iowa Calvary whose sole purpose was to guard the railroad. This area described as having a high amount of guerilla warfare. One Major of a Federal Patrol from Clarksville is quoted as having said "Waverly is a cesspool of guerilla warfare and should be wiped off the face of the earth."

At around the same time in the vicinity of Hurricane Mills the Federal troops had built a stockade. In July of 1863 there was an attack on this stockade which resulted in several deaths.

The main action of the county occurred in Johnsonville. Johnsonville was being used as a storage area for Federal Supplies left there by Federal boats to be loaded on the train and taken to Nashville. A Confederate Infantry and gun battery led by N.B.Forrest attacked the troops guarding these supplies. They destroyed 95,000 tons of supplies, 4 gunboats, 14 steamboats, 17 barges, and killed many men and captured 150. Forrest lost two men and had 9 wounded before marching away as Federal reinforcements arrived. Johnsonville was rebuilt but never became important again during the war.


Reynoldsburg,a small town once located four miles northwest of here where Dry Creek enters the Tennessee River, was first settled in 1800-1805. By an act of the Legislature on October 25, 1811, provisions were made for a permanent seat of justice for Humphreys County.

The site of Reynoldsburg was chosen for the county seat because the Nashville and Memphis stage ran through it and crossed the Tennessee River at this point. Reynoldsburg grew to importance as a town along the river. It became the trading center and shipping point for the rich river bottom plantation lands. At its peak, Reynoldsburg missed being chosen capital city of Tennessee by only three general assembly votes. The County Seat was moved to Waverly in 1835 and Reynoldsburg's business died. Soon after it fell completely when travel and railroad routes switched locations.


New Johnsonville

New Johnsonville is the product of an older town once in this area. This town was Johnsonville. It was located about 11 miles west of this road sign on the Tennessee River. Johnsonville was laid out and plotted in 1864. The town was named Andrew Johnson after he rode from Nashville to the river on the first passenger train in the area. Andrew Johnson was then military governor of Tennessee. It is known the town became important during the Civil War only to decline after the war. Johnsonville was a constant struggle with nature as it was frequently flooded by the river. The record height of these floods was recorded in the spring of 1897 when the river reached 48.1 feet of water which was eighteen feet above flood stage. The town of Johnsonville was permanently covered with water when a dam was built across the river at Gilbertville, Kentucky in the mid-forties. The present site of New Johnsonville then sprung up on higher land near the railroad.

Welcome To New Johnsonville

Welcome to New Johnsonville, TN.

We would like to personally welcome you to New Johnsonville, TN. The city of New Johnsonville is nestled along the shores of the beautiful Kentucky Lake. Local residents, visitors and tourists enjoy many activities along the river including boating, fishing and skiing. During the off-season, the river is a haven for hunting deer, duck and turkey, as well as sauger fishing. The City of New Johnsonville is also proud of its many industries, offering many jobs to the area. The current population of the city according to the 2000 census is 1,906.

Jessie James

Jesse James,or Mr.John D. Howard as he was known locally,lived in this area for about two years. he rented a farm from W.H.Link in 1877. He was considered to be a good farmer by local people. None of the local people had any idea of his shocking past. Besides a good farmer he was also a horse racer. His horse was named Red Fox and was entered in local races which he always won.

The original house of Jesse James is long since gone but two small graves can be seen in what was then the backyard. The grave stones are believed to have been carved by him and have been identified as the final resting places for his twins who were believed to have been about a week old when they passed away.

Jesse Woodson James (September 5, 1847 – April 3, 1882) was an American outlaw in the border state of Missouri and the most famous member of the James-Younger Gang. After his death, he became a legendary figure of the Wild West, although his robberies benefited only him and his band. Recent scholarship places him in the context of regional insurgencies of ex-Confederates following the American Civil War rather than a manifestation of the frontier.

Area Attractions

Music on the Square North Court Square in Waverly

Live professional musical groups every Saturday night June, July and August, 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. downtown Waverly Court Square. There is no charge for admission. Bring your own lawn chair.

Mi-De-Ga Theatre

The Mi-De-Ga Theatre is located on the Square in Waverly. The walk in theatre is family owned and operated since September 9, 1936. More Information

Waverly Explosion Memorial Caboose,Waverly.

Memorial tribute to the 1978 tragic train explosion in Waverly. Memorabilia housed in a real caboose. Open daily from dawn to dusk.

Valley Drive-In Theatre,

Drive In Movie Theatre

Highway 70 West, Waverly, is one of the very few drive-in movie theatre's left. Valley-In Theatre is opened seasonally from April thru October. More Information

Humphrey's County Museum and Civil War Fort features a military room with memorabilia from all wars, Extensive collection of Indian artifacts situated on an old Civil War fort site complete with existing rifle pits. The fort was built to protect and keep open a supply railroad to the Union army in Tennessee during the Civil War.

THE Nolan House Bed and Breakfast, placed on the National Historic Register in 1986, is a charming Victorian bed and breakfast inn built in 1870, and renovated in the mid-1980. Complete with family cemetery and hiking trail.

Loretta Lynn Ranch

Loretta Lynn Campground
Loretta Lynn's Ranch and Campground, located just off I-40 features camping, cabin rentals, canoeing, fishing, hiking trails, western town, gift shop and Loretta and Mooney's century old plantation home,

Welcome To Hurricane Mills

Home of Loretta Lynn

Loretta Lynn's Ranch offers an exciting combination of the past and present. Just a short drive from Interstate 40,you can tour the home of the Living Legend,Loretta Lynn. Many items from Loretta's performances are on display as well as Mooney's legendary "Golden Eagle Jeep" as seen in the movie Coal Miners Daughter. The Lynns have preserved the old mill at Hurricane Mills as Loretta's museum, containg the memories of one of the most awarded female vocalists in country music.

Historical Marker

Butcher Hollow House

The recreated Butcher Hollow House and simulated coal mine gives us a glimpse of Loretta's childhood in Kentucky. You will find an entire western town here, complete with authentic tools, machinery, post office and gift shops. Loretta performs at several concerts during the summer at the ranch. Visitors are welcome to fish, canoe, or enjoy one of trail rides or biking trails. The ranch is host to the National Motor Cross Championships and the National American Indian Assocition Pow Wow much more.
Loretta Lynn

Hello, Friends!

I sure do hope this here letter finds all of you enjoying good weather and fun times with your family! My grand babies sure are enjoying being out of school now, and they pop in to say hello to their Meemaw. I love 'em and it's so good to see more of them now since they are home on summer vacation.

I really had a great time at my first ranch concert recently. Seeing all of you there makes it all like seeing family again. Recognizing so many of you at each concert truly warms my heart. These concerts at the ranch are always the best since we never know what we're gonna do, or sing. It's like all of us just get together to sing a few songs together, laugh, and have fun! It was a great surprise to have Mark Lawry to come and sing, too! I love Mark, and really enjoy seeing him perform. He's one of the funniest guys I know, and you never know what he's going to say. I hope he will come back and see us again, too!

Our concert the night before, in Pigeon Forge was so much fun, and the crowd was too amazing. I love performing there, and get to see my family that lives up that way, too. We all get to catch up the family news when we get together, since we are all busy.

I've been spending time at home working on my songs. I am really enjoying my new music room at the ranch. I just go over there, lock the door, and write. It's so funny that everyone around here knows not to disturb me when I'm writin'. They don't want to see "the squaw on the warpath"! We've gotten a lot of songs done and are working on many more right now. I have had a great time writing with Shawn Camp, too. He's the boy that wrote, "Loretta Lynn's Lincoln". Friends, Shawn is the sweetest, most down to earth guy, you'd ever know. I love him. His talents sure do amaze me, too! I can't wait for all of y'all to hear the things we've been working on.

I was so proud to get our new tribute to Johnny and June Carter Cash up in my museum! I could not have done that if it were not for John Carter and his sweet wife Laura. I love them so, and so proud of both of 'em. I sure do hope y'all will come and see it soon! While you're there, you'll have to go in the boutique and see my new museum t-shirts I designed! I just thought that we already have shirts for the concerts and for the ranch, so I wanted one special for my museum, too. I picked out one of my pictures taken when I first became a member of the Opry, and I'm wearing the dress I wore when I first went on that Ryman stage!

I am looking forward to returning to Texas next week. Texas sure holds dear to this heart since when I first started singing, me and Jay Lee, my brother performed in every honky tonk, Texas had! Those days sure are different, especially with doing all those one night shows and traveling all piled up in a car, to get to each place. Still, friends, we had a great time!

I will be going up to New York City right after we get back. I found out I'm being inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame! That is such a great honor for this Kentucky girl! I have always loved to write songs and getting this, for my songwriting makes it even more special. I've always just wrote about real life, and that came easy to me. Anyone that knows me and my shows knows Doo was my best inspiration for most of these songs!

But Friends, I want you all to know each of you are my best inspiration to do what I love most. That is getting on my bus and coming out to see you to sing! It don't get much better than that! Hopefully we will be near you soon so we can see you again, too!

It's time for me to close this note so I can get busy around here. I wanted to write to say hello, and tell y'all I love you. You all are in my thoughts and prayers, just as our boys and girls out there protecting our freedom, too. Please remember these great individuals, always!

Love you,

Loretta Lynn

Loretta and Mooney established “THE DUDE RANCH” in 1972 consisting of a small Campground, Loretta’s original Museum which was located in the Old Grist Mill, Western Store and Gift Shop.

Loretta Lynn

Today, “Loretta Lynn’s Ranch” is complete with a Full Service RV Park, Cabin Rentals, Swimming Pool, Playgrounds, Canoeing, Paddle Boats and Mini-Theater. Tours are offered thru the Lynn’s Plantation Home, Simulated Coal Mine and Loretta’s Butcher Holler Home Place. In 2001 Loretta opened the doors to her 18,000 square foot “Coal Miners Daughter Museum” which is a must to see. The Old Grist Mill houses Loretta’s Doll and Fan Museum as well as the Grist Mill Museum is available to her guests at no admission charge. Retail Stores include Loretta’s Western Store, Grist Mill Gift Shop, Tee Shirt Shop, Plantation Shop, Snack Bar, Rock-A-Billy Café and Lady Loretta’s Boutique. Special Events at the Ranch include Concerts, Loretta Lynn Bi-Annual Trail Rides, Off Road Trail Rides, Cross Country Racing, The Loretta Lynn Amateur National Motocross Championship, GNC Championship with additional events scheduled throughout the season.

Van Lear Rose Number #1 Album

For over four decades now, Loretta has fashioned a body of work as artistically and commercially successful—and as culturally significant—as any female performer you’d care to name. Her music has confronted many of the major social issues of her time, and her life story is a rags-to-riches tale familiar to pop, rock and country fans alike. The Coal Miner’s Daughter—the tag refers to a hit single, an album, a best-selling autobiography, an Oscar-winning film, and to Lynn herself—has journeyed from the poverty of the Kentucky hills to Nashville superstardom to her current status as an honest-to-goodness American icon.

Her latest album, the Jack White-produced Van Lear Rose, is poised now to remind the world yet again of Lynn’s power as a vocalist and her skill as a songwriter. As she puts it on “Story of My Life,” the new album’s closing track: “Not half bad for this ol’ KY girl, I guess... Here’s the story of my life. Listen close, I’ll tell it twice.”

Loretta was born in Butcher Holler, Kentucky, the second of Clara and Ted Webb’s eight children. Just as she would later sing in “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” Loretta’s family eked out a living during the Depression on the “poor man’s dollar” her father managed to earn “work{ing] all night in the Van Leer coal mine [and] all day long in the field a-hoein’ corn.” As she also notes in that song, “I never thought of leavin’ Butcher Holler.” But that was before she met Oliver Lynn (aka Doolittle or Doo, or “Mooney” for moonshine), a handsome 21-year-old fresh from the service who swept the young Loretta Webb off her feet. The couple married when Loretta was barely 14.

Looking for a future that didn’t require him to work the mines, Doo found work in Custer, Washington, and Loretta joined him in 1951. The following decade found Lynn a full-time mother—four kids by the time she began singing seriously in 1961—of precisely the sort she would one day sing to and for. In her spare time, though, with Doo’s encouragement, she learned to play the guitar and began singing in the area. During one televised talent contest in Tacoma, hosted by Buck Owens, Loretta was spotted by Norm Burley who was so impressed he started Zero Records just to record her.

Before long, Loretta and Doo hit the road cross-country, stopping every time they spotted a country radio station to push her first Zero release, “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl.” By the time they reached Nashville, the record was a. minor hit and Loretta found work cutting demos for the publishing company of Teddy and Doyle Wilburn. One of these, Kathryn Fulton’s “Biggest Fool of All,” caught the ear of Decca Records producer Owen Bradley. He thought the song would be perfect for Brenda Lee, but the Wilburns worked a deal—you can have the song if you record Loretta. Soon, Loretta was in the studio cutting sides with Bradley, producer at the time not only for Lee but Patsy Cline, Bill Anderson, and Webb Pierce.

At this early stage of her career, Loretta was greatly influenced by Kitty Wells, the groundbreaking “girl singer” who turned the tables on several decades worth of male double standards with the 1952 classic, “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky-Tonk Angels.” Like Kitty’s, Loretta’s delivery on “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl” was twangy and nasal, rhythmically straight up and down, plainspoken and emotionally understated. Such a down-home vocal style was Loretta’s birthright; it was more or less the way she had sang back in Kentucky, it was the style she took with her to Washington, and it was a vocal approach particularly well-suited to the duet sides she soon made in Nashville with honky-tonk legend Ernest Tubb. (“Mr. and Mrs. Used to Be,” from 1964, was the pair’s first and biggest hit.)

Working with Bradley in Nashville, however, Lynn quickly fell under the musical spell of new friend Patsy Cline. Patsy’s distinctive style, marked by dramatic slides, growls and crescendos, was more modern and “pop” sounding than that of Wells’ and the other female country singers of the day. It’s not surprising then that “Success,” the 1962 single that became Loretta’s first Top Ten hit (and that was later covered by Elvis Costello on his Almost Blue album) showcased Loretta in a full-throated, string-backed setting that’s more than a little reminiscent of Patsy Cline.

Out of these influences, Lynn soon fashioned her distinctive style—a mature fusion of twang, grit, energy and libido—an approach she first perfected in the songs of other writers. In “Wine, Women, and Song,” “Happy Birthday,” and “Blue Kentucky Girl,” each a Top Ten hit in 1964, Loretta played a plucky young woman who alternated between waiting for her wayward man to walk back in the door and threatening to walk out herself.

Such hits were early hints of Loretta’s undeniably strong female point of view—a perspective unique at the time both to country music specifically and to pop music generally and a trend in her music that became further pronounced as she began to write more of her own songs. In her first self-penned song to crack the Top Ten, 1966’s “Dear Uncle Sam,” Loretta presented herself as a woman who was going to fight to keep what was important to her, even if that meant questioning the wisdom of her government. Indeed, “Dear Uncle Sam” was among the very first recordings to recount the human costs of the Vietnam War. “Doo encouraged me to write that one,” she recalls today. “I was wondering what it would be like to have someone over there and what I would do if I did.” (The song made a return to Lynn’s live sets with the coming of the Iraq war.)

Over the next few years, Loretta wrote a string of hits unprecedented for their take-no-crap women narrators. In “You Ain’t Woman Enough (to Take My Man)” [#2, 1966], “Don’t Come Home A’Drinkin’ (with Lovin’ on Your Mind)” [#1, 1967], and “Fist City” [#1, 1968], among others, Loretta presented a new character on the country scene: a woman unafraid to stand up for herself, just like real women did. Drawing upon her own experiences as a harried young wife and mother, and upon a homespun sense of humor at once both pointed and hilarious, Loretta issued warnings to soused and philandering hubbies everywhere—and to the female competition—that she was not to be trifled with. In her words, “You better close your face and stay out of my way if you don’t wanna go to Fist City.”

[Note: As on most of Lynn’s biggest solo hits, the studio band for the above numbers included members of Nashville’s famed A-Team: guitarist Grady Martin, six-string electric bassist Harold Bradley, bass player Junior Huskey, pianist Floyd Cramer, drummer Buddy Harman, and pedal steel guitarist Hal Rugg.]

As the ‘60s turned into the ‘70s, Lynn forever solidified her reputation as an advocate for ordinary women. Typically, Loretta’s brand of women’s liberation was attuned specifically to the lives of her blue-collar audience, the wives and mothers who were far too overwhelmed by the demands of, say, childcare to place much stock in symbolic foolishness like bra burning. Indeed, while a guest on The Dick Frost Show, Loretta once famously dozed off while listening to the upper-middle class feminist Betty Freidan talk theory with the show’s host.

Loretta was more interested in life as it was lived—in the kitchen and in the bedroom--by millions of working-class women everyday. For example, “One’s on the Way,” a Shel Silverstein-penned hit from 1971, let Lynn voice the concerns of a harried Topeka woman, worn out from raising her kids, cleaning the house, and dealing with a husband with enough free time to be calling her from a bar while she’s home making dinner.
But it was with her own songs that Loretta best conveyed the complexity of women’s lives. In “I Wanna Be Free,” Loretta reveled in the possibilities a divorce might bring (“I’m gonna take this chain from around my finger, and throw it just as far as I can sling ‘er”), while in “Rated X” she complained that new divorcees were inevitably treated like easy women. In “I Know How,” she boasted of her sexual prowess; in “When the Tingle Becomes a Chill,” she bemoaned the loss of desire that accompanies a bad marriage; and in “The Pill,” a record banned by many radio stations in its day, she captured perfectly the power of birth control to let women love without the passion-dowsing fear of pregnancy: “The feelin’ good comes easy now since I’ve got the pill!”

Each of the above songs was a Top Three country hit between 1968 and 1975, and Loretta Lynn (to paraphrase the title of a 1970 album) both wrote ‘em and sang ‘em. The same was true, of course, of her signature song, the 1970 chart- topper “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” which chronicled for all time the strides women were making in these years—from country to city, from home to workforce and, in Lynn’s case, from “girl-singer” to superstar.

The immense popularity of these songs, as well as other straight-shooting hits like “Your Squaw Is on the Warpath,” “Women of the World (Leave My World Alone)," and “You’re Looking at Country,” culminated in 1972 when Lynn won her second Best Female Vocalist award from the Country Music Association—and when she became the first woman to win the CMA’s most prestigious award, Entertainer of the Year.

It didn’t hurt that sprinkled among her many solo hits was a series of amazing collaborations between Loretta and her dear friend, singer Conway Twitty. Indeed, Loretta also won her first Vocal Duo of the Year award in 1972, with Conway, a title the team held onto through 1976. (And this in the years when the duet competition annually included Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton and George Jones & Tammy Wynette!) The pair’s close harmony style and dramatic song selections—especially, “After the Fire Is Gone,” “Lead Me On,” “As Soon As I Hang up the Phone,” and “Feelin’s”—explored adult romantic relationships as wrenchingly as any records ever made.

Through the next decade, Loretta scored more and more hits—and became more and more famous beyond her country base. In 1973, she appeared on the cover of Newsweek; in 1976 her autobiography (written with journalist George Vescey) became a New York Times Bestseller; in 1980 the book was made into a hit film starring Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones. By the time of her last major hit—”I Lie,” in 1982—Lynn could count 52 Top 10 hits and 16 #1’s.

Loretta Lynn spent the ‘90s largely away from the spotlight, caring for her ailing husband Doo and, after he died in 1996, grieving his loss. The music scene has changed considerably in her absence but it’s also a scene she helped create. Indeed, it would be all but impossible to imagine the likes of Shania Twain’s “Any Man of Mine” and Deana Carter’s “Did I Shave My Legs for This?” or any number of Dixie Chicks hits, without her. Van Lear Rose, with its moody, propulsive arrangements, loud and rocking guitars and intimate songwriting, can only extend Lynn’s profound influence into a new century—and to a new generation of fans.

The Buffalo River offers scenic canoeing suitable for the beginner and the more advanced canoeist.

Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge, Duck River Unit, near New Johnsonville provides a safe haven for winter waterfowl, and migrating shorebirds. Wildlife observation, boat ramps, and fishing and hunting in season. The refuge is over 52,000 acres on three locations.

Johnsonville State Historic Area, a 550 acre park on the eastern side of Kentucky Lake, overlooks the site of the Civil War Battle of Johnsonville. Museum, hiking trails, and picnic area with tables and grills.

Blue Creek Nature Center, a 42 acre facility two miles south of Waverly, offers hiking and jogging trails, bicycling and ATV riding (organized rides only). Picnic under the open pavilion or just sit back and relax.

Humphreys County

The Tennessee River and Kentucky Lake borders the western side of Humphreys County and creates a sportsman's paradise with the abundance of boating, fishing, skiing or hunting.

USS Nautilus

US Navy County Seat: Waverly

Tennessee has produced its share of naval heroes. One of them is William Robert Anderson, who was born in Humphreys County in 1921. A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Anderson was the commanding officer of the USS Nautilus, the world’s first atomic-powered submarine. In 1958 the Nautilus, under his command, left Hawaii heading north and didn’t stop until it landed in England – thus becoming the first vessel to cross from the Pacific to the Atlantic by way of the North Pole. “For our world, our county, and the Navy – the North Pole!” Anderson told his crew. Anderson later represented Tennessee in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1964 until 1972.

Johnsonville during the Civil War

National Archives Speaking of the navy: Only once in recorded world history has an army of cavalry (soldiers on horses) defeated a naval force. This Confederate victory, known as the Battle of Johnsonville, took place in Humphreys and Benton counties, and the sites of the battle are preserved at the Johnsonville State Historic Park and Nathan Bedford

Brownsville, TN

Welcome To Brownsville
Brownsville is a city in Haywood County, Tennessee, United States. It is the county seat of Haywood County. The city is named after Jacob Jennings Brown, an officer who served during The War of 1812.


The city is named after Jacob Jennings Brown, an officer who served during The War of 1812.

Brownsville's National Historic Landmark synagogue, Temple Adas Israel, built in 1882, is believed to be the oldest synagogue building in Tennessee, and is a rare example of a synagogue built in Gothic Revival style.

Temple Adas Israel, built in 1882, is a National Historic Landmark synagogue in Brownsville, Tennessee. It is thought to be the oldest synagogue building in Tennessee.[1]

The Jewish community of Brownsville was founded by immigrants from Germany. They first met for prayers in 1867 in a room in the home of Jacob and Karoline Felsanthal. The congregation built a wooden synagogue in 1882.

This 1882 building is in a simple Gothic Revival style. It originally featured a small steeple, an extremely rare feature for a synagogue. The building underwent a major renovation in the 1920s, the wooden siding was replaced with brick, the steeple was removed, and new pews and an organ were installed. A particularly beautiful suite of stained-glass windows, arched in gothic style, were installed in 1910. The window over the aron kodesh is unusual in a synagogue in that it depicts a large, realistic human eye similar to the eye found on the dollar bill and in Masonic iconography.

Temple Adas Israel
The reformed Jewish temple began in 1867 in the home of Jacob and Karoline Felsanthal. A room in their home was set apart to house the Torah brought from Germany by Joe Sternberger. In the following years some 30 families of Jewish people settled in Brownsville. Among them were: Ankor, Greenwall, Rothschild, Felsenthal, Sternberger, Levi, Tamm and Levy.

By 1882 the congregation was too large to meet in a home and a wooden temple was built on the corner of Washington and College, housing the Torah in its rightful place in the Ark. Temple Adas Israel is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Under the leadership of Abe Sternberger, the building was brick veneered in 1920, the rosturm enlarged, new organ purchased and new pews installed. The "Star of David" was set in concrete above the entrance and members made memorial gifts in the form of beautiful stained glass windows, a perpetual lamp, and tablet of stone representing the ten commandments. All are still intact.

The congregation also owns the Adas Israel Cemetery.


Pioneer musicians

Sleepy John Estes
Blues singer and guitarist Sleepy John Estes (January 25, 1899 - June 5, 1977) was born in Ripley (Nutbush) and later moved to Brownsville in 1915.

John Adam Estes (25 January 1899 or 1904 — 5 June 1977) commonly known as Sleepy John Estes or Sleepy John, was a U.S. blues guitarist songwriter and vocalist, born in Ripley, Tennessee.


In 1915, Estes's father, a sharecropper who also played some guitar, moved the family to Brownsville, Tennessee. Not long after, Estes lost the sight of his right eye when a friend threw a rock at him during a baseball game. At the age of 19, while working as a field hand, he began to perform professionally. The venues were mostly local parties and picnics, with the accompaniment of Hammie Nixon, a harmonica player, and James "Yank" Rachell, a guitarist and mandolin player. He would continue to work, on and off, with both musicians for more than fifty years.

Estes made his debut as a recording artist in Memphis, Tennessee in 1929, at a session organized by Ralph Peer for Victor Records. His partnership with Nixon was first documented on songs like "Drop Down Mama" and "Someday Baby Blues" in 1935; later sides replaced the harmonica player with the guitarists Son Bonds or Charlie Pickett. He later recorded for the Decca and Bluebird labels, with his last pre-war recording session taking place in 1941.[3] He made a brief return to recording at Sun Studio in Memphis in 1952, recording "Runnin' Around" and "Rats in My Kitchen," but otherwise was largely out of the public eye for two decades.

Though only modestly skilled as a guitarist (he was frequently teamed with more capable musicians, like Rachell, Nixon, and the piano player Jab Jones), Estes was a fine singer, with a distinctive "crying" vocal style. He sounded so much like an old man, even on his early records, that blues revivalists reportedly delayed looking for him because they assumed he would have to be long dead, and because fellow musician Big Bill Broonzy had written that Estes had died. By the time he was tracked down, by Bob Koester and Samuel Charters in 1962, he had become completely blind and was living in poverty. He resumed touring and recording, reunited with Nixon and toured Europe several times and Japan, with a clutch of albums released on the Delmark Records label. Though his later records are generally considered less interesting than his pre-war output. Nevertheless, Estes, Nixon and Rachell also made a successful appearance at the 1964 Newport Folk Festival.

Bob Dylan mentions Estes in the sleevenotes to Bringing It All Back Home (1965).

Many of Estes's original songs were based on events in his own life or on people he knew from his home town, such as the local lawyer ("Lawyer Clark Blues"), local auto mechanic ("Vassie Williams' Blues"), or an amorously inclined teenage girl ("Little Laura Blues"). He also dispensed advice on agricultural matters ("Working Man Blues") and chronicled his own attempt to reach a recording studio for a session by hopping a freight train ("Special Agent (Railroad Police Blues)"). His lyrics combined keen observation with an ability to turn an effective phrase.

Some accounts attribute his nickname of Sleepy to a blood pressure disorder and/or narcolepsy. Others, such as blues historian Bob Koester, claim he simply had a "tendency to withdraw from his surroundings into drowsiness whenever life was too cruel or too boring to warrant full attention."

Estes suffered a stroke and died on June 5, 1977 and is buried at Durhamville Baptist Church in Durhamville, Tennessee.

In 1991 Estes was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.


Sleepy John Estes, 1929-1940 (RBF)
Complete Recorded Works 1929-1941 Vols 1-2 (Document)
I Ain't Gonna Be Worried No More 1929-1941 (Yazoo)
The Legend of Sleepy John Estes (Delmark)
Broke and Hungry, Ragged and Hungry Too (Delmark)
Brownsville Blues (Delmark)
Down South Blues (Delamark)
Sleepy John Estes In Europe (Delmark)


"Leaving Trunk" - a cover version of which appears on Taj Mahal's, 1968 eponymous album, Taj Mahal
"Diving Duck Blues" - another cover, recorded by Taj Mahal.
""Sleeping Agent" - recorded by Martin Simpson
"Worried Life Blues" - it appeared re-written by Muddy Waters as "Trouble No More", and further amended to "Someday Baby" by Bob Dylan.
"Drop Down Mama" - recorded by Tom Rush, Big Joe Williams and Led Zeppelin.
"Floating Bridge" - appeared on the compilation album, The Blues (album), and on Eric Clapton's 1981 album, Another Ticket.
"Milk Cow Blues" - covered by The Kinks.
"The Girl I Love She Got Long Black Wavy Hair" - covered by Led Zeppelin on their live album BBC Sessions.

Yank Rachell
Yank Rachell, blues artist and mandolin player, was born in Brownsville in the early 1900's. He recorded, toured Europe, Japan and shortly before his death in 1997 returned to Brownsville to perform Jug Band recordings with "Lovin' Spoonful" fame, John Sabastian and the J-Band.

James "Yank" Rachell (16 March 1910 – 9 April 1997) was an American blues musician.


Born James Rachell, his career as a performer spanned nearly eighty years, and was often teamed with the guitarist and singer Sleepy John Estes. Though a capable guitarist and singer, he was better known as a master of the blues mandolin.

In his later years he appeared in filmmaker Terry Zwigoff's documentary about fellow musician Howard Armstrong, and was a featured performer with John Sebastian and the J-Band.

By the mid 1990s, Henry Townsend and his one-time collaborator Rachell, were the only active blues artists whose performing lives stretched back to the 1920s.

B. B. King said about Rachell; "It's people like you who made people like me possible."

"I've had the blues so long they done turned into the blacks." - Yank Rachell

It was my pleasure to produce Yank Rachell with his good friend Henry Townsend, at the Missouri Historical Society in 1990, and also to see his superb performance here in "The Scottsboro Boys" which mixed a narative concerning the famous case with musical interludes from Yank and Leroy Pierson. And to pick a little guitar with him during a lull in rehearsals.

Yank was a fine gentleman with a kind disposition, and a blues artist of the highest caliber.

Joel Slotnikoff

James "Yank" Rachell (mandolin, guitar, vocals - 87 years old) was one of the few blues musicians to play mandolin as a primary instrument . Blues mandolinists are not exactly commonplace and because he was also largely self-taught, his music was even more unique and a testament to his prowess as an instrumentalist. He was born in 1910 on a farm outside of Brownsville, Tennessee. How Rachell chose the mandolin is a classic blues story. Rachell's mother had given him, then eight, a young pig to be raised for butchering that fall. One day he was walking down the road and saw a neighbor playing a mandolin on his front porch. He loved the sound and was determined to get the mandolin. Rachell asked how much he wanted for the instrument, and the man said five dollars. He didn't have the money so he offered to trade the pig for the instrument. When Rachell went home his mother was very upset. He recalled her saying "Next fall when we're all eating pork, you can eat that mandolin". It turns out he didn't have to eat the mandolin. Rachell taught himself to play the mandolin and soon was making a living as a musician. Soon Rachell met Hambone Willie Newbern (recorded the first version of the blues classic Rollin' and Tumblin in 1929), who became his mentor. The two performed in and around Brownsville at house parties and fish fries. It was at one of these parties that Rachell first met and played with Sleepy John Estes (whom Rachell played and remained friends with until Estes' death in 1977). They teamed up with harmonica and jug player Hammie Nixon and the trio played as a jug band throughout Tennessee and other parts of the South. In the mid-20s, the trio relocated to Memphis, playing gigs and busking in Handy Park. Later in the decade, Rachell, Estes, and pianist Jab Jones formed the Three J's Jug Band and became a popular attraction in clubs on Beale Street during the Memphis jug band craze. In 1929, the Three J's recorded for Victor. Their first recording, Broken-Hearted, Ragged and Dirty Too, sold well enough that Victor brought them back to record five more songs, including the blues classic Divin' Duck Blues. The group also backed up harmonica wizard Noah Lewis for his Victor recordings. When the Depression kicked in and killed off recording, particularly in the "race" field, Rachell and Estes decided to move to Chicago where they recorded for Decca and Bluebird. Rachell was less of a rambler and soon returned to Brownsville. There he farmed and, lying about his age, got a job for the L&N Railroad. He soon married, settled down, and started a family. Rachell continued to play at house parties and fish fries in Jackson where he met John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson. The two became friends and soon were playing together constantly in Jackson and Brownsville. Rachell and Williamson remained musical partners until Williamson's death in 1948. Williamson and Rachell went to Chicago in 1938 to record for Bluebird, appearing on each other's records. Rachell's steady mandolin and guitar playing gave Williamson a solid base from which to launch his frenetic harp solos. Rachell, like many bluesmen, moved north to St. Louis then to Indianapolis in 1958. In the sixties Sleepy John Estes was "rediscovered" living in Brownsville. The two soon teamed up again with Hammie Nixon, playing coffeehouses, concerts, and festivals in the U.S. and Europe. They recorded for record labels Blue Goose and Delmark. After Estes' death in 1977, Rachell cut back on his performing and recording. Rachell recorded solo records for Blind Pig, JSP, Wolf, and Slippery Noodle Sound. Rachell's sixty-six year recording career must be some sort of record. Blues giant B.B. King once told Rachell, It's people like you that made people like me possible. King would go to see Rachell perform regularly when he was getting started and you can hear some of Rachell's approach in King's music, as well as other Memphis bluesmen after the 1920's. Certainly Divin' Duck Blues became a blues standard (covered by Muddy Waters and Lightnin Hopkins and even Jelly Roll Morton recorded the song for the Library of Congress). Rachell's guitar and mandolin playing on John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson's records were certtainly an influence on a lot of musicians. A gifted and innovative songwriter as well, Rachell's hits of his own were ``reworked'' by many artists including Taj Mahal (She Caught The Katy), Jimmy Rogers (Ludella Blues) and Blind Boy Fuller (turned Rachell's Gravel Road Woman into I Don't Want No Skinny Woman). Like many musicians who played country picnics or medicine shows, Rachell had a reputation for a "clowning" instrumental prowess, sophistication and visually impressive tricks like throwing the mandolin in the air and strumming a chord as he caught it. But no matter the time or place, live or on record, With over 75 years of musical achievement, Rachell's music seemed to reach back to earlier times.

Grave Stone Marker

Contemporary music

In the song Delta Dawn (by Tanya Tucker and others), the lyric "All the folks around Brownsville say she's crazy" is a reference to Brownsville, Tennessee. The song is rumored to have been written by Hammie Nixon of Brownsville, though former child rockabilly star Larry Collins, and songwriter Alex Harvey get the official credit.

"Delta Dawn" is a song written by former child rockabilly star Larry Collins and songwriter Alex Harvey, and recorded by a number of artists, most notably Helen Reddy and Tanya Tucker. Tucker's version went to #6 on the country music chart, and Reddy's topped both the pop and adult contemporary charts. Included on Tucker's first album, the song was released as a single, and it became the thirteen-year old's first hit. Reddy cut the song shortly after Tucker's version became a hit, and her version became the seventh-highest selling single for the year 1973 on the pop charts, hitting number one on the week ending September 15.

The song is about a woman from Brownsville, Tennessee who earned the nickname "Delta Dawn" in her youth for her unmatched beauty and grace. After being dumped by a deceptive suitor, she lost her splendor and became mentally ill, and now spends her days waiting for the return of her lost love. Although the song has a Southern gospel feel (as evidenced by the song's introduction by a choir, as well as the lyrics providing the setting of the song in the Deep South), Reddy is from Australia, and trained her voice accordingly to mask her accent.

Barbra Streisand was originally to have recorded the song and a backing track was recorded, but upon hearing it, Streisand did not like the tune and refused to provide vocals. It was at this time that Reddy was approached to provide vocals for the already recorded backing track. Following the success of her widely popular 1972 single, "I Am Woman", Reddy's version of "Delta Dawn" sold over a million copies upon its first release. The tune has been popular across college campuses in the Southeastern United States since the late 1980's, as New Orleans based cowpunk band Dash Rip Rock has made it one of their signature live tunes. The song has also been released on the Dash Rip Rock album Boiled Alive.

Bette Midler has long been associated with "Delta Dawn," having included it on one of her early albums. She heard the song in Nashville, memorized it, and performed it three times on "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson." She actually attempted to release her version as a single, but as luck would have it, Reddy's version was released a mere two days before, and most radio stations ended up preferring Reddy's recording; Midler's' version of the song was then moved to the B-side of her single, "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy."

Tanya Tucker
In addition to Tucker, Reddy, and Midler, "Delta Dawn" was also covered by The Statler Brothers, Teresa Brewer, and in more recent years, by the punk rock band Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, on their album Ruin Jonny's Bar Mitzvah. It was also briefly performed by Stone Cold Steve Austin on an episode of Monday Night RAW. It was sung by Friends character Monica Geller in an episode set in a piano bar. Tanya Tucker was the original artist.

Tina Turner

Tina Turner

According to a 1990's interview with singer Tina Turner's mother, Zelma Bullock, singer Tina Turner was born as Anna Mae Bullock in a sharecroppers cabin in Nutbush, Tennessee on Nov. 26, 1939. Her father was farm overseer. She spent her childhood in the Knoxville area, Nutbush, Ripley and Brownsville until age 16.

Tina Turner (born Anna Mae Bullock; November 26, 1939) is an eight time Grammy Award-winning American singer-songwriter, dancer, sex symbol, best selling author and an NAACP Image Award winning actress. Turner's consistent contributions to rock music have earned her the title "The Queen of Rock & Roll." Besides rock music, she has also performed R&B, soul, dance and pop music. She was listed on Rolling Stone's list The Immortals — The Greatest Artists of All Time. Turner is represented in the Grammy Hall of Fame with two of her singles inducted including "River Deep - Mountain High" (1999) and "Proud Mary" (2003).

Turner has been acknowledged as one of the world's most popular and biggest-selling music artists of all time and is the most successful female rock artist of all timewith record sales exceeding 180 million. She has sold more concert tickets than any other solo performer in history. To date, Turner has 22 Billboard top forty singles, 31 US top forty R&B singles, 27 German Top 40 hits, 20 Canadian Top 40 hits including three #1's, 7 Top 10 hits in Norway, 21 Top 40 hits in Austria, 28 Top 40 hits in the Netherlands, 24 Top 40 hits in Ireland, 14 Top 40 hits in Australia, France, and Italy, 26 Top 40 hits in Poland, nine Top 10 hits in Spain including three # 1's and has 33 Top 40 hits in the UK. In Switzerland all of her solo singles have been Top 40 hits. All of her albums since Private Dancer to date have been Top 10 hits in the UK, Germany, Canada, Norway, Austria, Switzerland, and numerous other countries. In Sweden all of her albums have been Top 10 hits except the What's Love... soundtrack which peaked at #14.

Turner's world tour Break Every Rule Tour had record breaking ticket sales, visited by over four million fans. Turner also beat out The Rolling Stones by touring Europe with 121 shows during her sold out Foreign Affair Tour in 1990. She ended up playing to four million people in just six months. Her 1996 Wildest Dreams Tour was performed to 3.5 million people over 250 dates through 2 years. Her most recent tour was 2000's Twenty Four Seven Tour. It was the highest grossing tour of the year and is the 5th biggest grossing tour in America ever.

The popular press has referred to Turner favorably as "the truest rock diva of all," "soul's first real diva," "the most dynamic female soul singer in the history of the music," and "one of soul music's most incendiary performers."

Nutbush, the childhood home of Tina Turner.

Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock in Nutbush, Tennessee on November 26, 1939, the daughter of Zelma (née Currie), a factory worker, and Floyd Richard Bullock, a Baptist deacon, farm overseer and factory worker. She is of African-American, European, and Native American descent. Turner long believed her mother had significant Native American ancestry. But the results of a DNA test featured on African American Lives 2 showed Turner was only 1% Native American. Turner and her elder sister, Alline Bullock, were abandoned by their father and temporarily by their mother. Turner attended Flag Grove School in Haywood County, Tennessee. The land for the school was sold below market value to the school trustees by Turner's great granduncle in 1889. They moved from Nutbush, Tennessee to St. Louis to reunite with their mother in 1956. In St. Louis, Anna met a rock and roll musician Ike Turner and later asked him if she could sing for him. Ike was initially skeptical, but after much persistence on Bullock's part, Ike Turner eventually decided to let her perform for him. At age 16, Bullock moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where she attended Sumner High School. Thus, Bullock became an occasional vocalist in Ike's shows at the age of 18. She was also the spotlight of a soul revue led by Ike Turner and his Kings of Rhythm.

Tina Turner
In 1960, when a singer scheduled to record the song, "A Fool In Love", didn't appear, Bullock stepped in and recorded the vocals instead. "A Fool In Love" was a huge R&B hit reaching #2 crossing over to the top 30 of the US pop chart. Ike changed Bullock's name to Tina (after Sheena: Queen of the Jungle) and his band's to The Ike & Tina Turner Revue. In 1962, the two married in Mexico.

Throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s, Ike and Tina rose to stardom. As times and musical styles changed, Tina developed a unique stage persona as a singer-dancer-performer which thrilled audiences of the group's live concerts. Tina and the Revue's backup singers, The Ikettes, wove intricate and electrifying dance routines into their performances and influenced many other artists including Mick Jagger (for whose 1966 UK tour they opened).

Ike and Tina Turner recorded a string of hits in the 1960s, including "A Fool In Love," "It's Gonna Work Out Fine," "I Idolize You," and the groundbreaking "River Deep, Mountain High" with producer Phil Spector in his Wall of sound style. By the end of the decade, Tina had discovered rock and roll and the duo began including their interpretations of classics such as "Come Together", "Honky Tonk Woman," and "I Want to Take You Higher" in their act. In fact, their high-energy cover version of Creedence Clearwater Revival's 1968 "Proud Mary" remains Tina's signature hit and one of her longest enduring standards. "Proud Mary" was the duo's greatest commercial success peaking at number four in March 1971. The single also won a Grammy for "Best R&B Vocal Performance By A Duo or Group."

While many of its original recordings failed to chart, the Ike and Tina Turner Revue was lauded by The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Sly Stone, Janis Joplin, Cher, James Brown, Ray Charles, Elton John and Elvis Presley. A one-night gig at a small, predominantly-black supper club in the South could be followed in the same week by a show at a major venue in Las Vegas or a national TV appearance. Ike acted as the group's manager and musical director, calling all the shots and ruling the act - and Tina - with an iron fist. While a fine musician and an early rock and roll influence, Ike's control of the Revue's management, recording contracts and performances eventually led to their decline as his drug abuse worsened. This controlling (and often violent) atmosphere caused the musicians and backup singers to come and go frequently, and Tina later reported being isolated and physically abused by Ike on a regular basis for most of their marriage.

Turner raised four sons — Ike Jr. and Michael (from Ike's previous relationship), Craig (born 1960, from her earlier relationship with Raymond Hill, a saxophone player in Ike's band) and Ronald (son of Ike and Tina; born 1961). Turner's long-term partner is German Erwin Bach, a record executive. They live together in Küsnacht, Zürich, Switzerland, and Nice, France.

U.S. President George W. Bush congratulates Tina Turner during a reception for the Kennedy Center Honors in the East Room of the White House on December 4, 2005. From left, the honorees are singer Tony Bennett, dancer Suzanne Farrell, actress Julie Harris, and actor Robert Redford.

Tina Turner
Among the most popular and influential performers of all time, Tina Turner is legendary for her contributions to Rock, R&B and Soul music. A presence in American music since the 'fifties, Turner's catalog includes dozens of certified hits, including "Fool in Love" (1960), "River Deep, Mountain High" (1966), "Proud Mary" (1971), and "What's Love Got to Do With it?" (1984). The winner of eight Grammy awards, the "Queen of Rock and Roll" was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.

Milestones in Tina Turner's ancestry:

Between 1790 and 1860, 1 million slaves are forced to move from the upper South to the deep South to create the cotton kingdom. Among them is Lucy Kimbro, Tina Turner's great, great, great grandmother, who is born in North Carolina and forced to move to Tennessee.

1805 Tina Turner's great, great, great grandmother Lucy Kimbro is born into slavery in North Carolina. In the same year, the abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison is born in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Garrison will advance abolition through publishing anti-slavery articles in his newspaper, "The Liberator," and forming the Anti-Slavery Society in 1832.

Between 1870 and 1888, Logan Currie, Tina Turner's great, great grandfather, marries over 50 African American couples.

1866 Tina Turner's great, great grandfather Logan Currie signs a labor contract in Madison County, Tennessee, with Jesse Currie, the man that owned him during slavery. In exchange for land and the resources to cultivate it, Logan promises to grow grain and cotton. Such arrangements came to be known as sharecropping.

1889 Benjamin B. Flag, the older brother of Tina Turner's maternal great grandfather, George Flag, sells one acre of his land for a school, Flag Grove School House, in Haywood County, Tennessee.

1939 Tina Turner is born Anna Mae Bullock in Haywood, Tennessee.

The Mindfield

“The Mindfield” is the creation and life’s work of Brownsville artist Billy Tripp. The structure was begun in 1989 and will continue to evolve until Billy’s death, at which point it will become the site of his interment. Included in the network of steel are individual pieces representing various events and periods of Billy’s life, especially the death of his father, Rev. Charles Tripp, in 2002. The latest addition, a water tower salvaged from a defunct factory in Western Kentucky, was dismantled, transported to Brownsville, and reconstructed single-handedly by the artist. It now stands as a memorial to Billy’s parents as well as a testimonial to his current life, his belief in the inherent beauty of our world, and the importance of tolerance in our communities and governmental systems.

Billy’s book, The Mindfield Years, is a further representation of his life told through the voices of three main characters and their efforts to find meaning, purpose, and contentment in the existence to which they were born. Written in stream of consciousness style, the novel contains elements of short story, poetry, philosophy, and psychology intermingled into a multi-layered yet deceptively simple tale. Billy is currently at work on volume two of this series, his “Goodbye.”

West Main Mindfield
The Mindfield“There…is no one to relinquish tonight;
there is nothing to give up.
I…have seen the stars, and the moon, and now
I hear music. There are crickets creaking.
There are dark outlines of trees against the sky,
but the sky goes on; I have seen the heavens, and now
I can see forever; perhaps, it is all there;
perhaps, it is here. Tonight, I do not believe I will
leave anything, I will take it all, even then and tomorrow.
I shall live, and, the night, the day, is all;
I will become the Heavens; the Earth; I will not
give it up,
just quite---,
…not yet.”

Known natives

Tony Delk
Tony Delk of the Boston Celtics graduated from Haywood High School,

Tony Lorenzo Delk (born January 28, 1974 in Covington, Tennessee) is an American former professional basketball player. He was team leader of the 1996 University of Kentucky Wildcats that won the 1996 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament.

High school

Delk attended Haywood Junior High School and Haywood High School in Brownsville, Tennessee. During his 1992 senior year of high school, Delk was named "Mr. Basketball" in the state of Tennessee (TSSAA Class 3A Mr.Basketball 1992) and also to the Parade and McDonald's All-American Teams.

College career

As a sophomore at Kentucky, Delk was voted All-SEC 2nd Team by the coaches and All-SEC 3rd Team by the Associated Press, while also making the All-SEC Tournament Team for his outstanding play. Delk was named to the All-SEC 1st and All-NCAA Regional teams during the 1994-95 season. In the 1995-96 season, Delk was named to the All-American and All-SEC first teams and was named NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player. He also received SEC Player of the Year honors during the season. Delk joined Omega Psi Phi Fraternity while at Kentucky.

Professional career

Tony Delk was picked 16th overall in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets. He was traded by the Hornets along with Muggsy Bogues to the Golden State Warriors for B. J. Armstrong on November 7, 1997, where he played for two seasons before signing with the Sacramento Kings on August 16, 1999. He appeared in 46 games in 1999-00, subsequently joining the Phoenix Suns on August 1, 2000.

In a January 2, 2001 overtime game against his former Kings team, he scored a career-high 53 points on 20-for-27 field goal shooting. Delk was eventually dealt with Rodney Rogers to the Celtics, for Joe Johnson, Milt Palacio and Randy Brown.

Prior to 2004-05, after a year with the Dallas Mavericks, Delk was again traded, this time to the Atlanta Hawks, along with Antoine Walker, in a deal for Jason Terry and Alan Henderson. Delk lasted one and a half seasons with the Hawks before being waived on February 25, 2006, signing with the Detroit Pistons on March 1, where he backed up point guard Chauncey Billups.

Tony Delk
Delk finished his NBA career with averages of 9.1 PPG, 2.5 RPG and 1.9 APG as he, in August 2006, signed a contract with the Greek basketball team, Panathinaikos, in Athens. He won the Greek Cup, the Greek Championship and the European Championship with Panathinaikos, but was released in May 2007, citing compatibility issues. He announced his retirement from professional basketball in November 2007. In 2008, nonetheless, he played three games for the Gigantes of Carolina in the BSN, the professional basketball league of Puerto Rico. He retired, once again, and is currently a technical assistant with the same team.

Personal life

Tony Delk is the uncle of current basketball-playing twins Richard and Reginald Delk. He also sponsors the Tony Delk Legends Game, a benefit for the Taylor Delk Sickle Cell Foundation.

Richard Halliburton, Adventurer, Author,

Richard Halliburton (9 January 1900 – presumed dead after 24 March 1939) was an American traveler, adventurer and author. Best known today for having swum the length of the Panama Canal and paying the lowest toll in its history--thirty-six cents -- Halliburton was headline news for most of his brief career. His final and fatal adventure, an attempt to sail a Chinese junk, the Sea Dragon, across the Pacific Ocean from Hong Kong to the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco, carried his name into legend.

Early life and education
Richard Halliburton was born in Brownsville, Tennessee to Wesley, a civil engineer and real estate speculator, and Nelle Nance Halliburton. A brother, Wesley Jr., was born in 1903. The family moved to Memphis, where the brothers, who were not close, spent their childhood. Richard's favorite subjects were geography and history, he showed promise as a violinist, and was a fair golfer and tennis player. In 1915, Richard developed a rapid heart condition and spent some four months in bed, including some time at the Battle Creek Sanitarium, before its symptoms were relieved. Two years later his brother, normally a strong and healthy young boy, died suddenly following an apparent bout with rheumatic fever.

At 5' 7" and about 140 pounds, Halliburton was throughout his life never robust, but would seldom complain of sickness or poor stamina. [1] He attended Memphis University School for Boys and he graduated from Lawrenceville School, a New Jersey prep school, where he was chief editor of The Lawrence. In 1921, he graduated from Princeton University, where he was on the editorial board of The Daily Princetonian, and chief editor of The Princetonian Pictorial Magazine. He also took courses in public speaking and considered a career as a lecturer.

Billy Tripp, Author, Outsider Artist,

William Blevins (Billy) Tripp, born 1955 in Jackson, Tennessee, is a nationally know practitioner of outsider art as well as the author of numerous poems and a novel, The Mindfield Years, published in 1996. ISBN 0-9652238-0-9

Biography and Works

The Mindfield

Billy Tripp is the creator of The Mindfield, the largest outdoor sculpture in Tennessee. A work in progress, The Mindfield contains many individual artworks and soars to a height over 125 feet. The latest addition, a huge, spherical water tower salvaged from a factory in Kentucky, was transported and reconstructed single-handedly by the artist.

Billy At Work On The Mindfield
Billy has given numerous interviews over the years to newspapers, television stations, and radio programs, including National Public Radio. His artwork has been exhibited at the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, Tennessee as well as the Dixie Carter Performing Arts Center (photographic representation), and is documented by the Smithsonian Institution.

The Mindfield Cemetery
“The Mindfield” is the creation and life’s work of Brownsville, Tennessee artist Billy Tripp. The structure was begun in 1989 and will continue to evolve until Billy’s death, at which point it will become the site of his interment. Included in the network of steel are individual pieces representing various events and periods of Billy’s life, especially the death of his father, Rev. Charles Tripp, in 2002. The latest addition, a water tower salvaged from a defunct factory in Western Kentucky, was dismantled, transported to Brownsville, and reconstructed single-handedly by the artist. It now stands as a memorial to Billy’s parents as well as a testimonial to his current life, his belief in the inherent beauty of our world, and the importance of tolerance in our communities and governmental systems.

Minefield Photo
Billy’s book, The Mindfield Years, is a further representation of his life told through the voices of three main characters and their efforts to find meaning, purpose, and contentment in the existence to which they were born. Written in stream of consciousness style, the novel contains elements of short story, poetry, philosophy, and psychology intermingled into a multi-layered yet deceptively simple tale. Billy is currently at work on volume two of this series, his “Goodbye.”

Beth Shaw Newman
There…is no one to relinquish tonight;

there is nothing to give up.

I…have seen the stars, and the moon, and now,

I hear music. There are crickets creaking.

There are dark outlines of trees against the sky,

but the sky goes on; I have seen the heavens, and now,

I can see forever; perhaps, it is all there;

perhaps it is here. Tonight I do not believe I will

leave anything, I will take it all, even then and tomorrow.

I shall live, and, the night, the day, is all;

I will become the Heavens; the Earth; I will not give it up, just quite---…not yet.”

Billy Tripp

Frequently Asked Questions:

How were you trained as an artist?

I'm really self-trained for the most part, but I did take art classes at the University of Memphis as well as Jackson State Community College.

Do you work in other areas of design?

I have done some painting and sculpting in the past, but now I concentrate on my metalwork and my writing.

What inspired you to begin The Mindfield?

Well, we have to do something while we're here! I like to work with my hands and to custom make things and the Mindfield allows me to do both of these in a way that also is never quite finished.

Do you work on it every day?

No, my work on The Mindfield is more seasonal, usually in the summer months. Most of my other time is spent writing or wondering why I don't work more.

Where do you get your steel?

For the most part it is remnant steel from big fabricators and from businesses that have closed. I get much by just keeping my eyes open to opportunities along the way, such as the roadside water tank passed by while on vacation. Perhaps of interest are trusses from Brownsville's Ritz Theater and Dixon Auto Parts, surplus steel from Southwest Electric Corporation and CSX Railroad, and from Memphis, steel from the building demolished to make room for the Pyramid as well as trusses from an old Pinch District building. Also, the fire tower was relocated from Haywood County's Hatchie River wildlife area.

What does the town think about The Mindfield?

Most people seem to enjoy it. I have two comment boxes near the structure and I get many positive notes from local people as well as visitors from all over the U.S. and even from other countries. There has been local opposition to my work in the past, but even that can be beneficial on both the individual and community level.

The current city and county mayors, Webb Banks and Franklin Smith, have also been very supportive of me personally and I appreciate that. I hope that most people, if they take the time to look beneath the obvious, will tolerate and understand my attempt at conversation.

What will happen to The Mindfield when you are no longer able to care
for it?

Upon my death, The Mindfield, as well as my other work, will become the property of the Kohler Foundation. They will preserve and care for the property so that the people of Brownsville may continue to enjoy it during the years to come.

What about the colorful stuff near the street?

I do that in my spare time and it isn't meant to last as I hope The Mindfield itself will. Most of the pieces are found items from my car wash that others have discarded. There are some personal guidelines there for living my life as well. I think the legal right to freedom of such expression is a very important part of any life, and much of this work is meant to underscore that daily application.

Why do you decorate your truck (Elizabeth), your motorcycle (Sylvia), and now your bicycle (Pyro)?

I want these things, and my surroundings in general, to talk back to me as much as possible. It's a tool I use as part of the process of my writing. These objects sort of take on their own history and personality. Elizabeth, my truck, has gone through various themes and I've heard that some individuals don't like the "Satan Saves" painted on the tailgate. It's funny though that very few people ask me what it means. Simply put, the words are a reminder to myself not to be self-righteous and judgmental. I was on vacation a few years ago and happened to catch a religious program on the truck radio. I found myself reacting to it with anger and resentment and I didn't like the feelings of intolerance in my response. People seem to want to read more into it, but in truth that's all the meaning there is.

Sylvia has lots of found objects and things that hold personal importance too, like my father's wedding ring, the socks I wore to his funeral, my baby cup, and photos of mom and dad. Sylvia represents several important themes of life, including sex, love, marriage, birth, childhood, and death. She gets lots of attention while parked and people repeatedly ask why I did it. The answer is simple - it's something to do, and of course, it talks back to me.

Do you get tired of talking about your work?

I enjoy talking to people who have a sincere desire to understand what I do. I really didn't make it to talk with others about it. It's a conversation I have with myself, which because of its public location sometimes is taken as more than just self-talk. If people want to participate in their own way, that's fine with me and it is sometimes inspiring, but that's their work, not mine.


Billy and Mother

Self Portrait

Billy's 2003 Harley, "Sylvia"

Brett Scallions former member of the band Fuel

Cowboy Lee and Little Virginia Sweetheart, country music legends

Johnny Owens et al , former Miami Dolphin Graduate of Haywwod High School

County Seat: Brownsville

A family in Fayette County is evicted from its home in September 1960.
PHOTO: Ernest Withers

How would you like it if your family was kicked out of its home and forced to live in a tent for more than a year? This happened to thousands of people in Fayette and Haywood counties in the early 1960s.

This chapter of the Civil Rights Movement is known by the words "Tent City." Here's what happened:

In the 1950s, two-thirds of the people in Fayette and Haywood counties were black, but practically none of them were allowed to vote. In the spring and summer of 1959, many blacks in the two counties, along with black and white Civil Rights activists from other parts of the country, tried to change this by organizing a voter registration drive. This didn't work either; when black voters turned up to vote in Fayette and Haywood counties on August 1, 1959, some of them were told that they weren't allowed to vote because it was a "white primary." Others were given more creative answers.

Two of the many tents in the "Tent City" located on Shephard Towles' land.
PHOTO: Ernest Withers

At the time, most black people in this part of Tennessee didn't own their own land, but made their living as sharecroppers on white-owned farms, and lived in shacks located on those farms. When blacks filed a lawsuit to challenge the election, many white landowners evicted them from their property. Meanwhile, many white businessmen began refusing to do business with black people -- which meant black people couldn't buy gasoline, buy groceries, or go to the doctor, in Fayette and Haywood counties (many began driving to Memphis for their services at that time.) John McFarren was one of a small group of Fayette County black leaders who tried to keep the entire black community supplied; click here to read a short excerpt from an intereview with his wife Viola.

"He could have been a klansman for all I knew"
Activist remembers wholesaler who sneaked gas to Fayette County

During Fayette County's Tent City boycott in the early 1960s, most white business owners refused to sell to blacks. A man named John McFerren fought back, organizing a gas station that kept many blacks stocked through the boycott. Decades later, the Nashville Public Library conducted an interview with his ex-wife, Viola McFerren. She remembered a white gas wholesaler who tried to help, and who suffered for doing so.

Viola McFerren Photo: Jackson Sun

"There was no gasoline available to black people who they could identify as being part of the movement . . . And so John said, 'we need to plan for gasoline even though we can't get any now. And I don't want to use the tanks of the oil company as my brother did, because they took his away when black folks started to register to vote, and I don't want that to happen to me. So we will buy our own.'

"So we bought two 6,000 gallon tanks to begin with . . . well, we couldn't get anybody to dig the pit for us, you know, to put the tanks in. And those were pretty good-sized tanks. And he tried everywhere.

". . . And then John appealed to other black farmers in the county to come with their scoops and tractors and help him dig the pit out. Because at that time white people would drive by at night and they were shooting the tanks that were sitting on top of the ground. We had a lot of money in those tanks, and we didn't have a lot of money to start with, but those tanks cost a lot of money.

". . . And farmers came with their tractors and their scoops, and they worked, and other men came with shovels and picks, and those men worked and worked until they got the place dug out and then the tanks were lowered into the ground . . .
A family in Fayette County is evicted from its home in September 1960.
PHOTO: Ernest Withers "Then we tried everywhere we knew at refineries to get gasoline delivery. Every one of them denied us. And there's a refinery down in Memphis denied us. And we went to Missouri. Denied. Denied. And so those tanks remained empty, oh, probably almost two years.

"One night -- we were living just a short distance down this road in a little three-room house. And this particular night, John wasn't home . . . a very beautiful green automobile . . . pulled into the yard and pulled on down by the side of the house.

". . . It was a white man, and he got out and came around to the porch. And I went to the door. And he asked me if John McFerren was home. And I asked him who he was.

"He said, "I can't tell you who I am, but I'm your friend and I came to help you.'

"And he looked so pleasant. He was very well groomed. He could have been a klansman for all I knew, but I wasn't thinking that way.

"So John did get back . . . and then the man drove up [again], and he and John sat in his automobile outside, and talked . . . and finally he left, and John came in. And John said, 'He came to help us get gas for our tanks . . . He wouldn't tell me his name, but . . . he wanted to know did I have the money to pay for 12,000 gallons of gas, and I told him that I did.'

". . . He told John they would have the gas at the station at 2:00 in the morning, and John and Laverne met them up there and -- sure enough -- they came and unloaded the gasoline, and John paid this man that was driving one of the trucks -- he was a white man but John didn't know his name, because he didn't give his name. And that gas, that 12,000 gallons of gas, left so fast, because there were so many people that wanted gas and couldn't get gas, and went up and filled up, you know. That gas left so fast.

"And this man gave John a phone number to call in Memphis when he needed gas again. So John called this number, and another shipment of gas came in, deep in the night. And John said when those trucks got there, he said there were so many vehicles driven by white men that came parading by . . . Anyway, when that gasoline was sold out and John called for the next, this man had gone out of business. They put a boycott on him. He had gone out of business.

"He had a wife and children. Young couple. The man had a nervous breakdown, his wife left him, and that's the last we heard of him. I wish I could hear from him. I hope he's doing well."
COPYRIGHT -- the Civil Rights Oral History Collection of the Nashville Public Library, Special Collections Division. Click here to be taken to its website.

One of the many black families living in one of the Tent Cities One of the few black farmers who owned his land was Shephard Towles. When white landowners began evicting their black sharecropper families, Towles built a series of large tents on his land (near Somerville) for these families to live in (the tents were Army surplus, apparently donated by people of both races). Within a few weeks there were hundreds of people living in Towles "tent city." Soon there was another Tent City near the Fayette County town of Moscow.

These families lived in tents for more than a year in conditions we would describe today as inhuman. (Dozens of families shared a single outhouse, for instance.) Fortunately for them, they received food and supplies from a local organization of black leaders known as the Fayette County Civic and Welfare League, from national organizations such as the National Baptist Convention and the NAACP, and from private donors all over the country. A reporter asked President Kennedy what he intended to do about it. Kennedy gave a vague answer.

In 1962 a federal court made it clear that landowners could not use economic pressure and evict people as a method of discouraging them to vote. This, however, didn't help the people living in the tent cities, since it didn't force landowners to take their tenants back. It took years for many of the tent city residents to find places to live. A lot of them left the county and the state forever. Meanwhile blacks in Fayette and Haywood counties weren't really allowed to vote until the national Voting Rights Act of 1965 was enforced in the late 1960s.

A couple of blocks from the Mind Field, you'll find the Haywood County Courthouse, shown here.


Brownsville-Haywood County has a deep, rich southern heritage in architecture, agriculture and the arts.

A simple drive through the city and county will pique the interest of any early-American history buff, as he or she sees the homes, buildings and churches, many of which date back to the early 19th century.

The county's economy has long been based on agriculture and the county abounds with beautiful farmland that continues to be fertile, producing crops of cotton, corn, wheat, soybeans, other grains and vegetables and fruits. This part of the county's heritage is depicted in the Cotton Museum Room at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center.

West Tennessee Delta Heritage-Center

From this heritage, artists of all genres have created music, paintings and writings to record the region's history through the arts.

Early blues musicians Sleepy John Estes, Yank Rachel and Hammie Nixon are known throughout the world for their music, as is Tina Turner for her rock music and Alex Harvey for his country lyrics. These are just a few of the artists who have called Brownsville-Haywood County home and are featured in the Music Museum Room at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center. The center, which also houses the Hatchie River Museum Room, is also considered to be the welcome center for West Tennessee, representing and offering information about other West Tennessee counties to visitors as they leave I-40 at Exit 56.

The West Tennessee Delta Center is open from 8 a.m. to 4;30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Hatchie River
One of the county's greatest natural resources and sources of pride is the Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge. This nearly 10,000 acres of land surrounding the Hatchie River supports over 100 species of fish, 35 species of mussels and 250 species of birds. The Hatchie River is the longest unchannelized river remaining in the Lower Mississippi River Valley and hosts the most extensive bottomland forests in Tennessee. It was established in the mid-1960s primarily as a waterfowl refuge and is home to many other species of wild game.

The Hatchie River is also now under the watchful eye of The Nature Conservancy that has the vision to protect the rich biological diversity of the river, while maintaining sustainable cultural and economic uses of the river. The Conservancy has designated it as "One of the 75 Last Great Places" in urgent need of protection. For more information about the Conservancy and the Hatchie River Project, go to

Haywood County Museum/College Hill (circa 1851)

The Haywood County Museum, formerly Haywood High School and before that the Brownsville Baptist Female College, houses not only historical treasures of the community, but the Haywood County Sports Museum and a valuable and unique Lincoln collection. It is located in the city's historic district at the College Hill Complex.

Brownsville-Haywood County Arts Council's production of "Annie" at the Ann Marks Performing Arts Center in the College Hill Complex

Members of the Brownsville-Haywood County Arts Council work hard year-round to provide a variety of cultural venues for the community. In recent years, audiences delighted in the talent of local actors in the comedy-musical "Annie." The council has also presented the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Christmas at College Hill, other plays and programs, and sponsors an "Arts in Education" program in all of the Haywood County Schools.

This organization joins many others that enhance the community's social offerings, as do several patriotic and historical organizations that preserve the history of our veterans and promote Americanism. In addition, there are number of charitable organizations that the community supports to help those in need.

Historical Marker
One of the Brownsville-Haywood County Historical Society's continuing missions, in conjunction with the city and county, is to place plaques and monuments throughout the community to mark significant historical events.

Lilies (circa 1865)

Lynn home (circa 1867)

Members of the Brownsville-Haywood County Historical Society took as their project in 1979 to have a portion of the city designated as a State Historic District. Known as the College Hill Historic District, it includes 83 buildings, one vacant lot and one cemetery, of which 75 buildings and the cemetery contribute to the significance of the district. The architectural character and significance of buildings surrounding the area well-define the boundaries of this historical district. Greek Revival is the most frequently visible style of architecture.

Fall Festival
A full day of event and activities for the whole family. Held on the historic court square in Brownsville, Tennessee, every third Saturday in October.
The Hatchie Fall Fest features live music, kid's games, arts and crafts, sidewalk sales and more.

Alumni Pictures

Dunbar - Haywood County Training - Carver High School

In the 1890’s, Dunbar became the first public school for African Americans in Brownsville, Tennessee, serving primary through eighth grade. It was located on the west corner of Jefferson Street and Anderson Avenue. John R. Gloster was the first principal with George Currie as assistant principal.

Dunbar, a frame structure, was destroyed by fire but the instruction continued in the city’s three African American churches: Farmer Chapel C.M.E., First Baptist, and Holiness (Brick Sanctified). Three principals, F. E. Jeffries, Mack Solari, and George Currie, were chosen to direct the temporary schools.

When the school was rebuilt around 1922, it became known as Haywood County Training School, and professor F. E. Jeffries was named as principal. Growing enrollment required expansion of the school and a domestic agricultural building was constructed. Significant funding for the new school was provided by the Rosenwald Fund, established by Sears, Roebuck and Company magnate Julius Rosenwald, guided by Booker T. Washington, and supplemented by African American community contributions of “matching funds.” Rosenwald’s philanthropic endeavors ultimately supported over 5,000 educational initiatives for African Americans and Native Americans in the South.

Alumni Pictures
In 1936, Roy B. Bond became the principal when F. E. Jeffries became the first full time African American agricultural extension agent in the county. As enrollment continued to skyrocket, an additional structure became necessary. A woodwork shop, gymnasium, eight classrooms, larger office space, and a cafeteria were added. This increased enrollment was due largely to better provision of transportation and World War II veterans returning to complete their education.

In 1950, a committee recommended renaming the school in honor of George Washington Carver. Carver High School embraced grades 1 through 12 until the 1960’s when grades 1 through 8 were transferred to a newly built Eastside Elementary School.

Carver High had a peak enrollment of over 1,600 students in the 1950’s with a staff of 50 to 60, including 3 full time custodians. The school remained under the guidance of principal Roy B. Bond until desegregation of public schools and an “integrated merger” was accomplished in 1970. Following the farewell bid of the graduating class of 1970, the school closed its doors.

In 1981, eleven years after the last student graduated from Carver, a small group of alumni hosted the first reunion in Detroit, Michigan. From that humble and glorious beginning, a formal alumni association was born. Today the Association has 10 chapters in 8 states and operates the Dunbar-Haywood County Training-Carver High School Museum and Cultural Center. The facility, which was officially dedicated on September 1, 2007, is located on the site and in the building known as Carver High School.

Dunbar 1890-1922

Haywood 1923-1950

Carver High School 1950-1970

Our Museum and Cultural Center, located on the site and in the building known as Carver High School, was formally dedicated on September 1, 2007 and is continually developing and expanding. We currently have 10 chapters in 8 states. Take a look around!

Nutbush, Tennessee

Nutbush, Tennessee, located within Haywood County, and made famous by the rock star who was born here, Tina Turner. Located several miles outside of Brownsville on State Highway 19, also know as Tina Turner Highway, the small community of Nutbush welcomes visitors to its "city limits."

Lighting the way from a historical past to a bright future ...

Welcome to Brownsville, Tennessee, in Haywood County. In the early 1800s settlers chose this community, situated on the Hatchie River in West Tennessee and surrounded by rich and fertile farmland, to make their home. They saw good hunting and fishing and soon discovered many of the county’s other natural resources. Thus are the beginnings of the thriving community it is today.

Throughout its history, city and county officials have made sound, responsible decisions that have made this community vital and strong in all areas of life. There’s literally something here for everyone, and we’re glad to invite others to share in our good fortune, laced with lots of Southern Hospitality.

We hope you will enjoy browsing through our easy-to-navigate website and call our chamber or city or county offices for more information. The welcome mat is always out in this growing Southern town we call home.

10 Reasons Haywood County/Brownsville is "A Good Place To Live"

Governor’s Three Star Community
Great Location – Between Jackson & Memphis
Efficient and Progressive Government
Excellent City and County Services
Sound Industrial Base, Retail Environment, and Agricultural Economy
Great Schools
Quality Healthcare
Attractions include multiple Historic Homes and Churches, West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center, Haywood County Museum with Abraham Lincoln Collection, and Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge
Many Cultural, Civic, Recreational, and Charitable Opportunities
Very Affordable Cost of Living – Great Selection of Homes

The largest industry in Haywood County is agriculture. We grow more cotton that any other county in Tennessee and produced 189,000 bales last year on 103,000 acres. With its rich, fertile soil, the county's heritage began on the farm and several generations later, it remains on the farm. Soybeans are the county's #2 crop, followed by corn.

Then we must not forget about the abundant flower and vegetable gardens in the area that provide everyone with fresh vegetables for their summertime pleasure and for canning or freezing. We also have fruit farms in the county, and growers are more than happy to share their products with residents and visitors alike. Just look for the convenient fruit and vegetable stands on the streets or along the roadside or listen to your neighbors to find out where to get your fill of the fruits and vegetables of Haywood County's fertile ground.

Agriculture and agri-related businesses contributed more than $130,000 million to our economy in 2004.

Brownsville-Haywood County businesses offer a wide array of products and services to its shoppers. In addition to meeting your everyday shopping needs, the retail community is quickly developing a reputation for its "niche" shopping. With a retail base of hundreds of businesses, (more than 20 have opened up in the last several years) more and more are featuring a unique variety of products for browsers and shoppers. One can shop for collectibles, "vintage" clothing, jewelry, dried and silk flowers and other home décor items, pottery, stained glass, artwork, children's clothing, gifts and toys, china, silver, furniture, outdoor and recreational supplies, apparel and hunting and fishing equipment.

And while you're here, stop for a bite to eat in one of our many restaurants that offers a wide array of cuisines. You might especially want to try some of our Southern "home-cooked" meals in area restaurants. If you decide to make it an overnight shopping spree, book a room in Brownsville's historical bed and breakfast, Lilies, which also offers meals and a place for parties, dinners and receptions.