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See Rock City

Saturday, February 16, 2013

McMinnville, TN

Warren County Courthouse

McMinnville is the largest city in and the county seat of Warren County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 13,605 at the 2010 census. It was named after Joseph McMinn, a governor of Tennessee, in 1810.


McMinnville is located at 35°41′12″N 85°46′46″W (35.686708, -85.779309), approximately 35 miles (56 km) south of Cookeville and 70 miles (110 km) northwest of Chattanooga.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.0 square miles (26 km2), all land. McMinville lies at an elevation of 968 feet (295 m), as it sits near the foot of the Cumberland Plateau and on the Highland Rim.

Nearby Cities and Towns




Rock Island

Beersheeba Springs






East Main Street


The McMinnville area includes over 50 business and manufacturing plants and over 450 nurseries. The nursery business generates over $300 million in revenue and has given the area the title of "Nursery Capital of the World". McMinnville is the annual host to the Middle Tennessee Nursery Association Trade Show at the McMinnville Civic Center. The city's industrial needs are served by the Caney Fork and Western Railroad.

McMinnville, like many smaller American cities and towns, has gone through a revitalization of its downtown area. "Main Street McMinnville" serves as the city's non-profit revitalization organization funded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Tennessee's own Main Street Program.


McMinnville has eight elementary and middle schools, and 3 high schools, including private and public schools. The public school system is run by the Warren Schools system. The city also is home to Motlow State Community College and a branch of the Tennessee Technology Center.


McMinnville has one media outlet the Southern Standard daily newspaper. The city also has access to five regional radio stations serving sports, country music, talk radio and religious enthusiasts.



Six different state routes pass in or around McMinnville. The city is also served by the Warren County Memorial Airport.

U.S. 70S/State Route 1

State Route 56

State Route 55

State Route 380

State Route 286

State Route 108


Electricity for the city is handled by McMinnville Electric System and the Caney Fork Electric Cooperative. The Warren County Utility District handles water needs with support from the city, who also handles sewage. The Middle Tennessee Gas Utility District manages gas distribution and landline telephone services are maintained by Ben Lomand Telephone and Frontier Communications.

Arts and Culture

Annual Cultural Events

The city hosts a number of annual and frequent events. The non-profit downtown revitalization organization Main Street McMinnville hosts "Main Street LIVE!", a summer concert series that is held in June and July. In Autumn, the Chamber of Commerce hosts the Autumn Street Fair on one day in October. It features crafts, food, live music, and other activities in downtown McMinnville. Throughout spring, summer and winter the city hosts the Warren County Farmers Market.

Museums and Other Points of Interest

The Black House

Falcon Rest, built in 1896, was built by the entrepreneur Clay Faulkner and his family. A large 10,000 square-foot mansion, at the time of its completion, it featured electric lights, indoor plumbing and central heat. PBS described the home as "Tennessee's Biltmore" due to its innovations and grandeur. In the 1940's, the home was adapted as a hospital and nursing home, renamed Faulkner Springs Hospital.

In 1989 George McGlothin bought the house and restored the 1896 appearance, with contemporary updates on building systems. In 1992 the house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The restoration earned the house the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Great American Home Award in 1997. The house is open to the public for tours, shopping, dining and special events.

The Black House is the oldest residence in the city. Built in 1825 by Jesse Coffee, it was one of the first in the area to have a brick exterior. It gained its current name from the former owner Dr. Thomas Black and his family. Dr. Black practiced medicine at the house. In the 1980's it was deeded to his relative, Jean Leonard, who worked with the Eagle Club to begin restoration. Operating as a house museum, it offers tours to the public. In 1983 the house was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The Park Theatre, in downtown, was opened in 1939. The theater had 1000 seats and two restaurants. In 1947 a fire required its closing. With renovation, the theatre re-opened in 1948. Closed in 1986, the theatre building has been purchased by a private group. It is being renovated for use as an entertainment center and multi-use facility.

The former McMinnville Opera House, built in 1888 by the African-American entrepreneur William Hawchins, burnt down in 2008. The opera house showed the first silent film in the city.

Parks & Recreation

McMinnville serves as home to Cumberland Caverns and Court Square Park. Cumberland Caverns is the largest show cave in the state. At a total of 32 miles of underground caverns, Cumberland Caverns formally held the title of the second largest cave in the United States. A notable feature of the caverns is the "Volcano Room", which is large enough to hold 500 people and features a chandelier from the former Loews Metropolitan Theater of New York City. The McMinnville Parks and Recreation Department manages five city parks, the McMinnville Farmers Market, the Barren Forks Greenway, a playground, a fitness and wellness center, and local sports leagues. The parks department also manages the McMinnville Civic Center, which serves as a community center for sports and special events.


Each May McMinnville serves as the rallying point for the Highland Rim Cycling Classic. The event brings over 400 road cyclists from around the world. The city also hosts the McMinnville City Triathlon in May. The event features a 200 meter swim, 11.5 mile bike ride and a 2 mile run.

Notable Natives and Residents

McMinnville has served as the birthplace or residence of a number of notable figures. Charles Faulkner Bryan, music computer, musician and musicologist of folk music was born on July 29, 1911, in McMinnville. He would eventually leave to attend the Nashville Conservatory of Music. Country music's Uncle Dave Macon was born just outside McMinnville. Macon would go on to move to Nashville in 1884. A memorial at the Warren County Courthouse memorializes his birth and is built of brick from the home of his birth. Dinah Shore grew up in McMinnville, where her family moved in 1924 and her father owned a department store. United States government official, journalist and author Carl Rowan was raised in McMinnville. Born in Ravenscroft in 1925, he worked in the nurseries of McMinnville, hoeing bulbs as a teenager for $.10 per hour. Country singer Dottie West was born just outside McMinnville in 1932.

Chicago Cubs bullpen coach Lester Strode was born and raised in McMinnville. Born in 1958, he was one of eight African Americans in a class of 500 at Warren County Senior High School. He credits his experience of being a minority and the relationship with his high school coach as shaping his decisions as an sports professional. In 2006, the high school retired his uniform number. A second pro baseball player, Jamie Walker, was also born in McMinnville in 1971.

External Links

City of McMinnville

Main Street McMinnville official website

What is 32 miles long and can’t be seen from the air?

Black House

"Warren County Historical Markers"

Source: Internet