See Rock City

See Rock City

Sunday, August 31, 2008

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.