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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Gallatin, TN

Gallatin Square

Gallatin is a city in and the county seat of Sumner County, Tennessee, The population was 30,678 at the 2010 census and 31,101 in 2011. Named for U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin, the city was established and made the county seat of Sumner County in 1802.

Several national companies have facilities or headquarters in Gallatin, including GAP, Inc., RR Donnelley, and Servpro Industries, Inc. Gallatin was formerly the headquarters of Dot Records. The city is also home to Volunteer State Community College, the largest two-year college in the state.


Gallatin was established in 1802 as the permanent county seat. The town was named after Albert Gallatin, Secretary of Treasury to presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Andrew Jackson became one of the first to purchase a lot when the town was surveyed and platted in 1803. He also founded the first general store in Gallatin. That same year, the first courthouse and jail were built on the central town square. In 1815, the town was first incorporated and would later function under a Charter established by a 1953 Private Act of the State Legislature. The town was built around an open square.

During the secession crisis just prior to the Civil War, the citizens of Gallatin hoped to remain neutral and were opposed to secession from the Union. Once the fighting began, however, they gave almost unanimous support to the Confederacy and volunteered to serve in defense of their state.

Gallatin's main commercial street

The Union Army captured Gallatin in February 1862, following Ulysses S. Grant's capture of Fort Donelson. Gallatin was strategic because of the railroad and Cumberland River, both of which the Union Army sought to control. In July 1862, General John Hunt Morgan recaptured Gallatin and held it until the Confederate forces fell back to Chattanooga in October. Following the Emancipation Proclamation, slaves fled to the Union troops, who established a "contraband camp" at Gallatin. The slaves were fed and housed and put to work.

In November 1862, Union general Eleazar A. Paine retook the town and Union troops occupied it throughout the remainder of the war. Paine was notoriously cruel and was replaced in command before the end of the war. In her diary, a 16-year-old Alice Williamson described Paine's execution of alleged spies in the town square. The long enemy occupation drained the area of resources. Union troops lived off the land, confiscating livestock and crops from local farms. By the end of the war, there was widespread social and economic breakdown and dislocation in the area, accompanied by a rise in crime. Occupation forces of the Union Army remained in Gallatin for some time after the war, still living off the land.

In the aftermath of the war, former slaves moved from the farms into town. At the same time, many white citizens moved from town out to farms to avoid the occupying troops. The area took many years to recover.

In the summer of 1873 Gallatin was devastated by an epidemic of cholera. In the single month of June no less than 68 people died, including many children. The disease swept through the South, brought by immigrants arriving in New Orleans, and spread by steamboat and rail. Nashville had 603 fatal cases from June 7–29, with 72 people dying the day of most fatalities.

Gradually through the 19th century the town and surroundings regained some steady growth. The area was primarily agricultural until the middle of the 20th century. By 1970, industrialization resulted in only half of the county population being considered rural. In 1992, Gallatin was surpassed by Hendersonville as the largest town in the county, though Gallatin remains the county seat. Today it serves in part as a bedroom commuter suburb of Nashville.

On April 7, 2006, a tornado struck the city, killing nine people and injuring 150. Volunteer State Community College sustained major damage. This tornado was part of the April 6–8, 2006 Tornado Outbreak.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 22.5 square miles (58 km2), of which 22.0 square miles (57 km2) is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) (2.18%) is water. Gallatin has variety of natural landscapes: open fields, forests, hills, and lakes. The city is located on Station Camp Creek, three miles (5 km) north of the Cumberland River, which was the chief route of transportation in the county's early years of settlement.

Old Hickory Lake, a man-made lake, built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is located south of the city.

Gallatin is precisely on the path of the total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017. Totality of the eclipse, lasting 2 minutes, 38.7 seconds will occur just before 1:30 PM local DST time that afternoon (18:28:52.3 UTC)


High temperatures average 49 °F (9 °C) during the winter months, 69 °F (21 °C) in spring, 88 °F (31 °C) in summer, and 72 °F (22 °C) in fall. The coolest month is January, and July is the warmest. The lowest recorded temperature was −20 °F (−29 °C) in 1985. The highest recorded temperature was 106 °F (41 °C) in 2007. The maximum average precipitation occurs in March.


As of May 2007, the unemployment rate in Sumner County was 3.8%, which is 0.7% below the national rate of 4.5%. The total number of workers in the county was 79,620.

The top four major employers in Gallatin, in order, are GAP, Inc., Sumner Regional Medical Center, Volunteer State Community College, and RR Donnelley. Gap employs 1,250 workers, making it the largest employer in the city. The Tennessee Valley Authority also operates a coal-fired power plant in Gallatin.

Arts and Culture

Gallatin has a modern 10-screen theater, NCG Gallatin Cinema, and a completely restored single-screen theater, called The Palace, built in 1908. There is also a public city library.

Annual events include the Sumner County Fair, held during the last week of August, the Gallatin Christmas Parade, and a Fall Festival held on the square.

Museums and Other Points of Interest

Cragfont House

Rose Mont

The Sumner County Museum in Gallatin houses a number of artifacts of historical significance to the city and the county.

Trousdale Place

The city has several architecturally significant buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. These homes, which have been restored and are open to the public, are Cragfont, Rosemont, and Trousdale Place.

Parks and Recreation


Gallatin has six parks that allow for various sports and activities, including: baseball, basketball, beach volleyball, disc golf, fishing, football, horseshoes, skateboarding, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, walking, and volleyball. These parks are:

Clearview Park

Lock 4 Park

Municipal Park

Rogers Field

Thompson Park

Triple Creek Park

Old Hickory Lake is also available for boating, fishing, swimming, and related activities.


Gallatin offers Cal Ripken & Babe Ruth baseball for ages 5–15 with the Kiwanis Club and Little League Baseball with the American Legion. Slow-pitch girls' softball leagues are also present. Basketball, football, tennis, and soccer leagues are also available for various ages.

The Gallatin Civic Center has a swimming pool, a running/walking track, racquetball courts, and basketball courts.

Gallatin is home to three golf courses:

Long Hollow Golf Club - a public, 18-hole course built in 1983

Gallatin Country Club - a private, 9-hole course built in 1948

The Club at Fairview - a private, 36-hole course built in 2004

Gallatin is home to one disc golf course:

Triple Creek Disc Golf Course - a public, 18-hole course

Triple Creek is maintained by the City of Gallatin with assistance from the Sumner County Disc Golf Association (SCDGA). The SCDGA holds several events at Triple Creek DGC a month including Wednesdays Random Draw Doubles and a SCDGA Bag Tag that rotates between Triple Creek DGC and Sanders Ferry Park DGC.


Gallatin has a Mayor-Council government. The City Council is made up of seven elected officials, from five council districts within the city limits, with two of the members being elected as Council At Large members. Of these seven council members, one is elected, by members of the council, as Vice-Mayor. Meetings are presided over by the Mayor, who is elected by citizens.

The City Recorder/City Judge is entrusted with two major functions: administering the city judicial system and maintaining vital city records, billing, and licensing services. These services include collecting city property taxes, ensuring liquor store compliance, and issuing taxi-cab and beer permits. City residents can pay utility bills, purchase city trash cans, apply for property tax rebates and city business licenses at the City Recorder/City Judge office.

The City Attorney oversees, prepares, reviews, and interprets ordinances, resolutions, and contracts; provides legal support to the Mayor, City Council, staff, boards, and committees; and manages litigation in which the City may be involved. Periodic updating of the Gallatin Municipal Code, published by the Municipal Code Corporation, is coordinated by the City Attorney. The Municipal Code includes the City Charter, as well as other City ordinances which are permanent.


Board of Education

Gallatin's schools are governed by the Sumner County Board of Education. The twelve-member group consists of eleven elected representatives from each of the eleven educational districts in the county, as well as the Director of Schools, Benny Bills. The members serve staggered four-year terms; the Director serves under contract with the Board of Education. The board conducts monthly meetings that are open to the public. The school system’s General Purpose School Fund budget during the 2006–07 school year was approximately $153.5 million.

The county-wide school system consists of approximately 1,950 teacher-licensed employees and approximately 1,800 non-teacher employees. The system has more than 180 bus routes which cover more than 6,000 miles (9,700 km) per day. The floor space in all of the county's schools totals more than 100 acres (0.40 km2). Approximately 26,528 students were enrolled in the county school system as of August 2007.


Elementary Schools (K–5)

Benny Bills Elementary School

Guild Elementary School (also pre-K)

Howard Elementary School (also pre-K)

Station Camp Elementary School (also pre-K)

Union Elementary School (year-round school)

Vena Stuart Elementary School

Middle Schools (6–8)

Station Camp Middle School

Rucker-Stewart Middle School

Shafer Middle School

High Schools (9–12)

Gallatin High School

Station Camp High School

Alternative Schools

R. T. Fischer Alternative School (K–12)

Private Schools

Saint John Vianney Catholic School (pre-K–8)

Southside Christian School (K–12)

Sumner Academy (pre-K–8)


Volunteer State Community College



Two local newspapers cover events in Gallatin: The Gallatin Newspaper behind the Square, published on Wednesdays and The Gallatin News Examiner, published two times weekly, Wednesday and Friday, with a supplement included with The Tennessean on Sunday.


Gallatin received its first local radio station in August 1948 when WHIN 1010 AM, went on the air. Owned at one time by record mogul Randy Wood, the station still serves Sumner County with country music, local sports, and coverage of NASCAR racing. WHIN was joined by an FM station in December 1960 when 104.5 came on the air. The FM station has broadcast under many call letters, but probably its most famous days were in the late 1970's and 1980's when it was known as KX (pronounced Kicks) 104, a popular music station that battled with Nashville stations for top listenership. During that time the station was owned by Ron Bledsoe, who for years had commanded CBS Records in Nashville, and was a former employee of the station in his younger years. Currently the station is Citadel-owned sports radio station WGFX, which targets the Nashville market and is the flagship station for the Tennessee Titans and Tennessee Volunteers.

WMRO (1560) came to the air in 1994 to serve the community, and plays an automated Hot AC format, along with local religious programming on Sunday mornings.

Volunteer State Community College operates a radio and television station. The student-run radio station, WVCP, broadcasts on 88.5 MHz FM, and plays music of various formats. Their television station is broadcast on Comcast Cable channel 19. The channel displays local announcements related to the college and the Gallatin/Sumner County area. The audio portion of the channel is a simulcast of their radio station. The channel also airs educational programs, usually at high school or college levels. Gallatin City Council meetings, Sumner County School Board meetings, and Sumner County Commission meetings are also broadcast by the station.



Major roadways leading in and out of Gallatin include TN Tennessee State Route 386 "Vietnam Veterans Boulevard," U.S. Highway 31E, and Tennessee State Route 109. U.S. 31E, also known as "Nashville Pike" or "Gallatin Road," is the main thoroughfare through town.

The Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) provides daily bus service from Gallatin to downtown Nashville, with stops along the way.

The Sumner County Municipal Airport provides air transportation in and out of Gallatin. The facility is equipped with one 5,000-foot (1,500 m) runway with a 1,000 grass overrun. It also provides fueling and maintenance services.

The Regional Transportation Authority has future plans to expand the current Music City Star commuter railway to include a line running between Gallatin and Nashville, with a stop in Hendersonville.


Sumner Regional Medical Center

Sumner Regional Medical Center is a hospital located in Gallatin. It has an emergency room, a nationally recognized cancer-treatment program, a wound care center, a cardiac catheterization lab, and a diagnostic sleep center. The staff can also perform digital mammography, interventional cardiology, neurosurgery, computerized knee replacement surgery, and PET therapy, among other procedures.

The Gallatin Health Department, with two locations, provides women and children's services, flu shots, special needs services, testing for sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis, family planning, and immunizations. The department also inspects restaurants, hotels, campgrounds, day care centers, schools, and other public facilities where food is served, to ensure proper sanitation. Additionally, it is responsible for investigating animal bites, rabies, and other animal-related diseases.

Notable People

Ray Oldham (1951-2005), former American football defensive back in the National Football League, played professionally for the Baltimore Colts, Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants, and Detroit Lions

William M. Gwin (1805-1885), senator from California from 1850 until 1855, and again from 1857 until 1861 and southern sympathizer, was born in Gallatin in 1805.

Nacole Rice (Present) R&B National Recording Artist, was born in Gallatin in 1987.

External Links:

Official City of Gallatin website

Gallatin community website

Gallatin TN Area Chamber of Commerce

The Tennessean - My Gallatin news website

Alice Williamson Diary - Concerning the occupation of Gallatin and the surrounding region by Union forces during the Civil War

Official Website Rose Mont

Source: Internet