See Rock City

See Rock City

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Collierville, TN

Collierville is a town in Shelby County, Tennessee, and a suburb located in the Memphis metropolitan area. As of the 2000 census, the population was 31,872. The current (2008) population for Collierville is 45,142.

The Town Around The Square

Collierville is a mainly upscale town of large houses and considerable retail expansion, but unlike its neighbors, still retains much of its "old town" feel from its days as a self-contained community, rather than a suburb. Smaller, older houses are still found in the heart of Collierville, mainly between Byhalia Road and Collierville-Arlington on the East and West and Shelton and Highway 72 on the North and South. Some industry, notably Pepsi and Carrier, still dot the areas located south of Poplar Avenue.


Pepsi-Cola is a carbonated beverage that is produced and manufactured by PepsiCo. It is sold in stores, restaurants and from vending machines. The drink was first made in the 1890s by pharmacist Caleb Bradham in New Bern, North Carolina. The brand was trademarked on June 16, 1903. There have been many Pepsi variants produced over the years since 1903, including Diet Pepsi, Crystal Pepsi, Pepsi Twist, Pepsi Max, Pepsi Samba, Pepsi Blue, Pepsi Gold, Pepsi Holiday Spice, Pepsi Jazz, Pepsi X (available in Finland and Brazil), Pepsi Next (available in Japan and South Korea), Pepsi Raw, Pepsi Retro in Mexico, Pepsi One, and Pepsi Ice Cucumber in Japan.

Carrier Logo

Willis Carrier is credited with inventing modern air conditioning in 1902. The corporation bearing his name succeeded in marketing its air conditioner to the residential market in the 1950's, creating a revolution in which formerly sparsely populated areas such as the American Southwest became home to sprawling suburbs. Carrier is the largest air conditioning producer in the world. It has U.S. manufacturing facilities in Indianapolis, IN for residential and commercial furnaces and air handlers, Collierville, TN for residential condensing units and heat pumps, Tyler, TX for residential package units and commercial condensing and package units, and Charlotte, NC for accessories and chillers. Carrier Corporation is also the manufacturer of Bryant, and Payne, Heating and Cooling Systems. The company is headquartered in Farmington, Connecticut and was acquired by United Technologies Corporation in July 1979.

The Carrier Corporation is the world’s largest manufacturer and distributor of heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, and a global leader in the commercial refrigeration and food service equipment industry.

Collierville is also home to the new Avenue at Carriage Crossing, an 800,000+ sq. ft. shopping center which opened in October 2005. Baptist Hospital, Collierville, also serves the medical needs of Collierville's residents.

Collierville is also the location for the FedEx World Technology Headquarters, located on the western edge of Collierville on the intersection of Bailey Station and Winchester.

FedEx Corporation Logo

FedEx Corporation (NYSE: FDX), is a logistics services company, based in the United States. Previous names were Federal Express, Federal Express Corporation, and FDX Corporation.

Collierville will soon become part of the I-69 Highway plan integrating Bill Morris Parkway as part of this USDOT project linking Canada and Mexico within United States.


Interstate 69 (I-69) is an Interstate Highway in the United States. It exists in two parts: a completed highway from Indianapolis, Indiana, northeast to the Canadian border in Port Huron, Michigan, and a mostly-proposed extension southwest to the Mexican border in Texas. Of this extension, nicknamed the NAFTA Superhighway, since it would help trade with Canada and Mexico spurred by the North American Free Trade Agreement, only a short piece in northwestern Mississippi has been built and signed as I-69 (see Interstate 69 in Mississippi). Other sections, such as those in Kentucky and Tennessee, exist but are yet to be signed.

The southern terminus of the existing portion is at Interstate 465, the beltway around Indianapolis, on the northeast side of that city. I-69 heads northeast, past Anderson, Muncie, Marion, and Fort Wayne, Indiana; the latter city is served by Interstate 469, I-69's only current signed auxiliary route. After crossing the Indiana Toll Road (I-80/I-90) near Angola, I-69 enters Michigan, crossing I-94 east of Battle Creek and joining with I-96 for an overlap west of Lansing. Where it splits from I-96, I-69 turns east, both in compass direction and in signed direction, and heads north of Lansing and through Flint (where it crosses I-75) to a junction with I-94 in Port Huron. The last bit of I-69 overlaps I-94 to the Blue Water Bridge across the St. Clair River, where traffic continues on Highway 402 in the Canadian province of Ontario.

In addition to the main line of I-69, the overall project – known as Corridors 18 and 20 of the National Highway System – also includes Interstate 94 between Chicago and Port Huron, and several spurs from I-69. Among these proposed spurs are an extension of Interstate 530 from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, an upgrade of U.S. Route 59 from Texarkana, Texas, and a split in southern Texas to serve three border crossings at Laredo, Pharr, and Brownsville. In August 2007, I-69 was selected by the USDOT as one of six Corridors of the Future, making it eligible for additional federal funding and streamlined planning and review.

Collierville was recently chosen as one of Relocate-America's™ Top 100 Places to Live in 2008.

Battle of Collierville

The Battle of Collierville was a battle of the American Civil War, occurring on November 3, 1863 in Shelby County, Tennessee.

Four minor battles occurred in 1863 at Collierville, Tennessee, during a three-month period. The November 3 fight was intended to be a Confederate cavalry raid to break up the Memphis and Charleston Railroad behind Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s XV Army Corps, then in the process of marching to the relief of Chattanooga. But, when Brig. Gen. James R. Chalmers, leading a cavalry division riding up from Mississippi, learned that only two Union regiments defended Collierville, he decided to attack. Union Col. Edward Hatch possessed more men than Chalmers supposed, stationed at Collierville and at Germantown, five miles (8 km) to the west. Scouts warned Hatch of Chalmers’s approach from the south, so he ordered Collierville’s defenders to be prepared and rode from Germantown with cavalry reinforcements. Chalmers, as he had done only three weeks earlier, attacked from the south. Col. Hatch arrived with help. Surprised by the unexpected appearance of the enemy on his flanks, Chalmers concluded that he was outnumbered, called off the battle, and, to ward off Union pursuit, withdrew back to Mississippi. The Memphis & Charleston Railroad remained open to Tuscumbia, Alabama, for Union troop movements. Estimated casualties were 60 for the Union and 95 for the Confederacy for a total of 155.

Historical Marker in Town Square.

Collierville's traditional destination for visitors is the Historic Square, in the center of downtown. This quaint shopping destination boasts trendy shops, fun eateries, and a tree-lined park, all overlooking the old train depot from which the town grew.

Fair on the Square takes place every May on the Square

Fair On The Square

Historic Downtown Collierville, Tennessee Walking Tour
 This Tour is designed to give a panoramic view of historic Collierville, linking its past with today. In addition to the places you will see, the tour recalls people and events long gone, buildings lost or replaced in the changes of time, sites and sights that can live again only in the imagination. The tour's aim is to nurture a greater appreciation of present-day Collierville by learning about its past.

1. Depot

As far as research can ascertain, it is believed that Collierville has had three depots. The first was built in 1852 and believed to have been located on the north side of the railroad tracks between Center and Walnut Streets. The Battle of Collierville was centered around this depot where Sherman's train arrived from Memphis around noon on Sunday, October 11, 1863. The second depot was located where Center Street now crosses the tracks. In the mid 1940's the existing depot was moved from LaGrange and located east of Center Street on the north side of the railroad. In 1976 Southern Railroad gave the depot to the Town of Collierville and it was moved to its present location in 1977. This is now the office of Main Street Collierville, a non-profit organization that promotes, protects, and preserves the downtown historic district.

2. Confederate Park

Confederate Park has a colorful past. Tradition has it that the Irby and Leake families gave the land on which the park is built to the town soon after its incorporation in 1870. The sidewalks in the park are laid out in the form of a Confederate flag. In 1955 a tornado destroyed the twostory lattice bandstand in the park. A 1994 public improvements project replaced the bandstand. Today the park is used for social, political and religious functions.

3. Stagecoach Stop

This log cabin was used as the Collierville area's stagecoach stop for many years in the mid- to late 1800s. Built in 1851 by William W. Talley, it was once located at Byhalia Road and south Rowlett on property now occupied by Delta Beverage/Pepsi Cola Bottling Company. This log structure was relocated and restored in 1977 with grants from the National Can Corporation and the Mississippi-Arkansas-Tennessee Corporation.

4. Collierville United Methodist Church

The first Methodist Church in Collierville was built in 1851 at Poplar and North Main Street. Services were held there until a new lot was purchased at the corner of North Rowlett and Center Street. The present building was erected in 1900. The education annex, located at the south side of the main sanctuary building, was completed in 1950. The stained glass windows, vaulted ceiling, altar rail, and choir loft remain as constructed in 1900.

5. McGinnis Hardware

This building, constructed in 1879 by T.J. Morris, was used as a lumber and hardware business. There is still a traditional lumber and hardware store located and operated here today known as McGinnis Lumber & Hardware.

6. Pasta Italia

This building originally was constructed in 1897 and housed Thomson's Saloon; later it was the original location of People's Bank. The bank relocated in 1948 and Collierville Insurance Agency occupied the building from 1948 to 1956.

7. Square Beans Coffee

For many years in the early 1900's, this building on Center Street was used as a first class barbershop. Here the prestigious men of Collierville came for a shave in the morning and a haircut when necessary. Charlie Johnson operated it. Later, Memphis Light-Gas-Water Division established an office and remained here until the office was moved to Winchester Road in Memphis.

8. Hewlett and Dunn Jean Boot Barn

Built in 1876, this building was first owned by the Hinton family. In 1900 Dr. J.C. Parr bought this building and opened a dental office upstairs. In the mid-1920's, W.D. Parr, his son, joined in the dental office and practiced for 60 years. In 1972, after serving in the Air Force, W.D.'s son entered the practice for a short time. In part of the second floor, Mrs. Parr operated the Paris Studio where photographs were taken of Collierville citizens. Downstairs was a silent movie theatre. Late, in the 1940's, Willard Ewing had a furniture and appliance store here. He had the first television set in Collierville.

9/10. Kelsey Properties/Hewlett and Dunn

The Hewlett and Dunn building was originally known as Hinton and Craig and was built in 1876. The owners were Sam Hinton and Will Craig. Later the business became known as Hinton and Hutton. It has operated under the name of Hewlett and Dunn for the last 40 years. Kelsey Properties is a part of the original building. In the 1960's the building was divided into two smaller stores. Kelsey's facade is a unique architectural style for the Collierville square.

11. St. Andrew's Episcopal Church

The cornerstone of St. Andrew's was laid on April 22, 1890. The church's architecture is Gothic revival. The original bell, made by Meneely Bell Co. in New York in 1891, is still in use. The thirteen medallions in the stained glass windows are of French origin and all have deep blue backgrounds with red borders. They were manufactured in the 1800's. All the stained glass windows, including the one above the altar and the one above the door, were part of the original construction. St. Andrew's seats 120.

12. Salem Church

In 1844 a group of Presbyterians organized Salem Church, which was located two miles south of Collierville on Byhalia Road. In 1886 the congregation built this church. Its architecture is heavily influenced by what is known as the Stick-Style.

13. McGinnis-Cox House

W.W. McGinnis (1875-1959) built this home as his private residence. He was a master builder and built many homes in Collierville and the surrounding area that are still standing today. In addition he built the first Germantown High School in 1912. It was relocated where the present Germantown High is now.

14. Bank Tennessee

Built in 1935, this building was originally constructed as a Toddle House-style eatery, later becoming a tavern. It was operated as a barbershop until 1996. In February 1998, a branch office of Bank Tennessee was opened.

15. Prissy Pots

This building was constructed in 1938 by W.W. McGinnis. It was used as a beauty for many years. Gorgeous Again was previously located here.

16. Caffe Italia

Built in 1939, this building was at one time Collierville's Post Office. Later uses include a television repair shop and country crafts store. Later uses include a television repair shop, coountry crafts store, antique shop and home to Collierville's own "Square Cats."

17. The Brooks Collection

This building was originally constructed in 1916. Kelsey Brothers Mercantile Store was located on the ground floor and the local telephone exchange occupied the second floor. It later housed a dry cleaners, an antique mall and now a unique gift and garden shop.

17a. William Craig Hall/Attorney at Law

This location originally housed businesses dating back to 1875 and included such establishments as Cox Brothers, Ballard Grocery, Haynes & Waller and Farley & Waller; also First National Bank in the 1980's.

17b. Town Square Antiques Mall

Dating back to the late 1800's, this building at one time housed Roach's Millinery, Sammons Furniture, and an expansion of First National Bank.

18. Cafe Grill

This building was constructed as a drugstore ca. 1900. The pharmacist was J.W. Swoope. It was later operated by Tom Ruch. He and his family occupied living quarters in the back of the store. This restaurant serves home cooking, buffet, sandwiches, and salads.

19. Patricia's

Built ca. 1890, this building was used as a grocery store. It was owned and operated by Armstead Dodson. It remained empty for several years. An extensive historic renovation took place in the fall of 1992.

20. Patricia's

J.M. Mann and son erected this building about 1890. They operated a grocery store and farm furnishing business for many years. It has recently been renovated to its original storefront and has a bridal registry and baby boutique with antiques and decorative accessories.

21. Dee LaRue Designs

Originally constructed ca. 1890, this building was used as a drugstore. This was the first location of Harrell Drug Store, which later moved a few doors down the block. This store has antiques and furnishings for gracious interiors.

22. The Silver Caboose

This building was constructed in 1890, but it is not known what business originally operated here. In 1920 it was known as Biggs and Dudney Grocery Store. After the 1944 fire, it was rebuilt as an auto shop. You are invited inside to relive the past by having an old-fashioned soda or milkshake at the antique soda fountain.

23. Side Car Market

Originally built in the late 1890's, this building was partially destroyed in the fire of 1944. It was built specifically for a grocery store. For almost thirty years the Golden Rule Five and Dime Store occupied it. Stop inside for gourmet food sales.

24. Hammer Jewelry

Though partially destroyed in 1944 by a fire and a tornado in 1955, this building was rebuilt after each tragedy. It was recently renovated to reflect a full-fledged, old-fashioned jewelry store.

25. Camp and Trail Outfitters

This building was constructed in 1945 as Stamps Motor Co., an Oldsmobile and GMC truck dealer. It replaced the original Stamps Motor Co. Garage & Service Station, which burned on July 22, 1944.

26. Collierville Christian Church

The present structure was built in 1871 and replaced an earlier church building which was constructed in 1868. The church was remodeled in 1906. The Collierville Christian Church was organized due to the Nonconnah Church disbanding immediately after the Civil War. The remaining members of that church became charter members of this one. A new Christian Church was built on New Byhalia Road in 1992.

27. Fire Station Number One

This is the location of one of the oldest buildings in town. It was originally constructed in the 1880's. In the 1920's it housed a blacksmith shop; in the 1940's Strong's Flower Shop was located here. It has been the fire station since about 1946.

28. Dupree's

This building was constructed in 1922 and was the original Town Hall (which moved in 1963). The jail was added in 1938. Some of the jail bars are still visible today.

29. Not Too Shabby

Constructed in the late 1800's, this building became the first location of The Citizens Bank of Collierville. In 1917 the First State Bank and Trust Company opened in this building. The name was officially changed to The Citizens Bank in 1927 and remained in this location until 1971.

30. Stratton and Humphreys

Built in the 1880's by the great-grandfather and grandfather of Mrs. Elizabeth Parr, this building housed a general store known as Stratton and Humphreys. The store burned and the lot was vacant for a period of time. Mr. Paul Baker had W.W. McGinnis construct the present building. Businesses have included a drug store, Kroger grocery store, and a dry cleaners which was established by a Mr. Martin from Grand Junction.

31. Patina Decor

Built ca. 1895-1900, this is the original location of Fleming's Stable. In 1928 it became Kelsey Chevrolet company and later was well known as Kelsey Department Store. In the early 1980's John Green established his realty company here. This store has funiture, accessories, Interior designs, and custom florals.

32. McGinnis Service Station

The McGinnis family constructed this building in 1927 as a service station. In 1939 it also became the office for McGinnis Oil company, a distributor for Sinclair Petroleum products. It is still in use today as a service station.

33. Paul Wilson Company General Merchandise

Originally one building at 92 North Main, this was the town's first motion picture theatre (movie house) and was operated here in 1928-29 by Paul N. Wilson. In the early 1930's, it was divided into two stores: a beauty shop and Paul Wilson Company General Merchandise. In the 1940's, The Collierville Herald was in 92 North Main.

34. Village Toymaker

This building was best known as The White Cafe in the late 1920's. It featured steaks, chops, and chicken. In the 1950's it became a heating & air-conditioning business, and later became offices, then a gift shop.

35. Fabric By The Square

In earlier times the building housed the Collierville Post Office. Robert DeLoach was the Postmaster in 1924. Later it became Collierville Cash Grocery whose motto was: "Trade With Us If It Kills You, We need the Money." Step inside to paint your own pottery.

36. The Tennessean Restaurant

Located near the Depot is a steam engine, built in 1912 for the Frisco Railroad; and executive railcar, "The Savannah," built in 1915; and a caboose which is typical of freight train cars for all railroad lines. The engine, No. 1351, weighs approximately 230 tons. Among many other duties, it pulled troop trains during World War II. No. 1351 was retired in 1952 and spent many years at the Memphis Fairgrounds and the Defense Depot. This engine is on loan to the Collierville community through the generosity of Pat Plemmons and the Memphis Transportation Museum. Executives of the Seaboard Railway used "The Savannah". The interior is virtually intact with minimal alterations to the 1915-era construction. "The Savannah" was designed for the comfort and convenience of the railroad executives as they traveled the lines. It includes two suites, dining room, kitchen, observation room, valet's room, and crew's quarters. The caboose is an excellent example of the type of railcar used by the crew of the train. A caboose such as this was vital to the safety of the train and crew, and was attached to the rear of the train.

Map of Collierville, Tennessee

The Collierville Town Square is listed in the National Register of Historic Places

Listed below are links to descriptions of the shops and resturants on the Square, a map of the square and a page with pictures and stories, about old Collierville.

A Brief History of Collierville

• As early as 1904 electric lights came to Collierville (usage was
limited to a few hours at night and in the early morning).

• A horseracing track was built around 1898 near the intersection of
Highway 72 and Highway 57. (Imagine a southern belle dressed
in a satin frock with a parasol watching the event.)

• W.C. Handy (Father of the Blues) performed in the park. He
delighted the people with soulful melodies.

• Peter Adams gave two acres of land for the first railroad depot
in 1852.

• T.J. Morris had the first phone in Collierville connecting his
business to his home on Mill Street.

• Dr. E.K. Leake took advantage of the phone system—he ran lines
from his office to his patient’s homes using the wire on fences.

• In 1907 the Collierville Telephone Company was established and
located on the second floor of Kelsey Brothers Mercantile store.
This building is currently occupied by the Collierville Antique Mall.

• In 1874 the Collierville Athletics baseball team was organized by a
group of young men from this area. The local men toured the
South to play various teams.

• Bicycling and tennis were popular sports in the late 1800’s. The
town now has a two million dollar community center/theatre
which is the hub of recreation.

• Wonder Horse - a child’s prized toy was brought to Collierville
around 1943. Mr. Andrew G. Manning manufactured the first one
from wood. After World War II the company went to plastic. Mr.
Ed Kohler became a partner in this successful business. The idea
and patent came from Mr. Bolze from Pochohantas, Arkansas.

Text Sources:

Collierville citizens and property owners of the Town square.

This brochure was produced as an Eagle Scout Project. Main Street
Collierville was responsible for the funding and support of the project.
Greg Baumgartner, a member of Boy Scouts of America Troop 56,
Collierville Christian Church, began this walking tour project in the
Summer of 1992. Using fellow Scouts to complete the research and
compilation of the brochure, Greg accumulated more than 100 hours
of project time. This walking tour brochure is the result of his dedication
to the project. We congratulate Greg on his achieving the Eagle
Scout award.

Tennessee, The Volunteer State, was admitted into the union in 1796 as
the sixteenth state. In 1818, President James Monroe directed General
Andrew Jackson and General John Shelby to purchase the Chickasaw
Indian Land (West Tennessee and Western Kentucky). The Chickasaw
Indians were removed from the area and placed on Indian Territory. The
Indians received $20,000.00 annually for the next fifteen years.

Between 1819-1824 the area was quickly being settled. Collierville was
one of the early settlements with only one structure in the area and that
being a Stagecoach Stop. People began to settle nearby as this means
of transportation was an attraction for growth.

Collierville is the second oldest town in Shelby County with Memphis
being the oldest. The settlement (town) was laid out in the middle
1830’s on William A. Tharp’s (a citizen of Henry County) land grant of
640 acres. Collierville was located on Poplar Pike (then State Line
Road). Our town was once part of both Tennessee and Mississippi due
to a surveyor’s three-mile plus error. This error was corrected in 1838.
The town took its name from Jesse R. Collier. After Collierville became
part of Tennessee, Jesse Collier moved into the “real” Mississippi.

Churches in the area have played a vital role. The first church was
Shiloh Baptist located just over the Fayette County line. It was built on
high ground along with an adjoining cemetery. Many Colliervillians ar
buried there. Salem Presbyterian was built around 1844 near Byhalia
Road and Holmes Road (two miles south of Collierville). The first
church to be built in the village of Collierville was the Methodist
Church. It was built around 1851 near Poplar and North Main street.

The Christian Church was reorganized after the Nonconnah Church
near the Tennessee, Mississippi state line disbanded after the Civil War.
The first church was located on the northeast corner of Main and Poplar
Pike (State Line Road) until it relocated in 1871 (southeast corner of
Main and Poplar). Growth has led the way for a new location on North
Byhalia Road.

The Episcopal Church began, circa 1880, in the home of Mr. Mangrum
and later moved to the school house of Miss Anna Holden. The
cornerstone of St. Andrew’s was laid April 22, 1890. The church is
located on Walnut Street just north of North Rowlett.

The town of Collierville was first incorporated in 1850 (east of its
present site) with Richard Ramsey being the first mayor. The population
grew quickly, largely due to the chartered Memphis and Charleston
Railroad (1852). The fare to Memphis was 75¢.

The tragedy of the Civil War was devastating. After the Battle of Shiloh
in 1862 it is believed that 119 wounded soldiers were delivered by train
to Collierville with others being dropped off at various towns along the
way. One hundred nineteen were loaded onto wagons and taken to the
Greenlevel Plantation (five miles north on Collierville—Arlington
Road). Greenlevel was owned by Virginus and Martha Leake. He was
a prominent doctor in the area. He operated on the wounded soldiers
upstairs in the hall where it is said the bloodstains still remain. Soldiers
were also cared for in several homes within the town.

“Sherman’s March to the Sea” caused an end to Collierville’s first town.
On Sunday morning October 11, 1863, Union General William T.
Sherman barricaded himself inside the train depot in Collierville. He
and his Union soldiers defended the depot from the Confederates.

Confederate General, James Chalmers, stole Sherman’s horse and sword
during the battle. The Union and Confederate soldiers fought one of the
bloodiest battles in Shelby County here in Collierville. If only General
Chalmers could have captured General Sherman—the war’s outcome
could have been different. The first town was burned to the ground with
only a few buildings surviving.

Soon after the war (1867), two men, Harrison Irby and Virginus Leake
bought about ninety acres at our present town’s location. The acreage
was divided and sold in lots. Collierville was “reborn” from her ashes.

February 17, 1870, was the date of our second incorporation —James B.
Abington was the mayor. The location of his burial is unknown. The
historical square of Collierville was born during this era.

Tragedy hit Memphis and surrounding areas in the 1870’s—Yellow Fever.
Many Memphians took refuge in Collierville. In Magnolia Cemetery
many yellow fever victims are buried. Yellow fever was as devastating to
Collierville in the 1870’s as the war was in the 1860’s.

Education was a top priority in the area. The Parent Act of 1873 began
public education but Collierville had already embarked upon the age of
enlightenment. The Collierville Male Academy opened before 1870
with school master, Captain Pat Strickland. Another school for boys
began around 1882 with Professor Perkins running a semi-military
school. In 1880 Miss Anna Holden’s School for Girls opened.

Bellevue College opened in 1872. It was located at the present site of
Collierville Middle School. This building for young women burned in
1896. The town had no fire fighting equipment. Bellevue College was
lost but no one was hurt.

In 1897 Shelby County built a coed high school on the same location
where Bellevue College was located. The existing Collierville Middle
School building was begun in 1934 and completed in 1937. Several
additions to the building have been made since then.

In 1886, Collierville is mentioned as the second town in Shelby County
with 1,200 plus people. The town consisted of nine dry goods stores,
eight groceries, two drug stores, two hardware stores, two furniture
stores, three livery stables and two hotels.

In 1913, Reverend Burk Culpepper, a Methodist evangelist held a two
week revival. He vowed to end the curse of drunkards in Collierville. The
town board voted three to two to outlaw the sale of whiskey in

The 1900’s were an era of hustle and bustle in Collierville. Most of the
buildings on the north side of town were built in the late 1800’s and early
1900’s as were the grand homes along the railroad tracks.

Cotton was the major crop for over a century. Collierville was the trade
center for west Fayette County, Tennessee, as well as northern Marshall
and DeSoto Counties in Mississippi. This is one of the reasons Collierville
continued to grow. It was a town of an agricultural nature until the mid
1950’s when industry slowly began to develop.

Collierville’s Historic Town Square gives you the feeling of American
Nostalgia. We are the only town in Shelby County that has a square. Our
town square was built after the Civil War destroyed our first town. We
welcome your to our historical town that is on the National Register of
Historic Districts. Thanks for sharing your time with our city.

This brochure was produced as an Eagle Scout Project. Main Street
Collierville was responsible for the funding and support of the project.
Greg Baumgartner, a member of Boy Scouts of America Troop 56,
Collierville Christian Church, began this walking tour project in the
Summer of 1992. Using fellow Scouts to complete the research and
compilation of the brochure, Greg accumulated more than 100 hours
of project time. This walking tour brochure is the result of his dedication
to the project. We congratulate Greg on his achieving the Eagle
Scout award.

Sunset On The Square



The Tennessean Restaurant &Train Museum

Collierville Train Depot

Passenger Trains • Southern Contemporary Cuisine • Railway Museum
The Tennessean

Dinning at the Tennessean

Passenger Train

Downtown Collierville

Steam Engine

Dinning Room

Take a romantic journey into the golden era of the Railroads aboard The Tennessean while enjoying our Southern Contemporary cuisine. These historic cars are beautifully renovated so that you can enjoy a fabulous meal while traveling back in time in a real passenger train. The Tennessean is located on a live siding of the Norfork Southern Railroad on the southside of the Historic Collierville Town Square adjacent to the Depot. Contact us today for operating schedules and reservations and get ready for a dining and passenger railway experience that you won't forget!

Fine Dining 

We love dining at the Tennessean. From the moment you walk up, you know you're in for a treat. Not only are you about to get to eat on a train, but owners Tom Powell and Marshall Criss make a point to greet each guest at the restored depot. The restoration of the cars has created a beautiful atmosphere for any meal. The soon-to-open club car will bring an extra touch of elegance to go along with the charm of the dining cars. The service matches the atmosphere -- elegant in the professionalism of the staff and charming in their easy familiarity.

Each meal starts with fresh biscuits and butter. These are beautiful, light biscuits that are just begging for molasses. They literally melt in your mouth and don't even need the generous slab of butter. Not to say that the butter doesn't make them even better.

The soups are divine. The spring and summer tomato was very nice, but the she-crab takes it to a whole new level. Lump crab melts into a roe-rich creamy base flavored with sherry. It really does take every ounce of willpower to keep from licking the bowl. The winter lunch and dinner menu replace the tomato with a mushroom soup that is a great dose of winter comfort food and gives the she-crab a run for its money.

The salads are always fresh and generously proportioned. The sandwiches are well balanced and out of the ordinary (pecan-crusted grouper or smoked gouda pimento cheese, for example). The house-made potato chips are truly addictive. But the true star of lunch is on the entree menu.

The shrimp and grits are some of the best in town. Chef Dave Krog uses Delta Grind grits and whips them to a creamy lightness. Those grits are topped with Gulf shrimp and a smoked tomato and tasso gravy that is piquantly rich without overpowering the creaminess of the grits. The other lunch entrees are also delicious and well prepared. On top of that, the most expensive entree on the lunch menu is $12, so you don't have to break the bank to get a good lunch.

Our first evening experience was one of the Tennessean's wine dinners. Not only were the pairings excellent, but the food was well prepared and beautifully presented with none of the catered feel that happens so often with wine dinners. Based on that experience, we knew that we wouldn't be disappointed with the regular dinner menu. We're also hoping to make it back soon for another of the restaurant's third Tuesday wine dinners.

The winter dinner menu is simple and beautiful. We started with lamb chop lollipops with a Dijon mustard dipping sauce and a very nicely balanced blue cheese slaw. We also had the seared foie gras with sauteed greens. Both appetizers were perfectly prepared and delicious. We had a good sampling of the entree menu at our table as well. J Squirrel decided on the veal tenderloin served with truffled mashed potatoes. Squirrelly, Jr., chose the prime filet of beef served with the most delicious potatoes au gratin that I've tasted in a long time. Needless to say, none of us got more than a taste of those. Papa Squirrel had the lobster ravioli. The dish was luxurious and flavorful comfort food. I ended up having the pheasant breast with mushroom orzo. The pheasant was perfectly cooked without being dry, and the orzo added a very nice complexity of flavors that made the dish divine. Needless to say we were all very pleased and pleasantly full, but not too full to try the dessert menu.

The Grand Marnier creme brulee was served with fruit coulis painted onto the plate like jewels. It was both beautiful to look at and delicious to eat. Strangely enough, none of us adults could remember getting more than a taste of it, but somehow the ramekin ended up very clean, and Squirrelly, Jr., ended up looking very happy. The banana-bread bread pudding is a very nice dessert. The bananas add a nice twist to simple bread pudding, and the caramelized banana garnish could stand alone as a dessert item. The flourless chocolate cake is rich and soft without falling into pastiness and is very nicely paired with house-made vanilla ice cream and a dark chocolate ganache. The rich bitterness of the chocolate cake is a nice alternative to the sweetness of the bread pudding and creme brulee, but you can't go wrong with any of the desserts.

For that matter, you can't go wrong with any choice from the Tennessean's fabulous menu. The time and care that go into the planning and preparation of each dish are an obvious and justifiable source of pride for the restaurant and a real treat for those of us who choose to dine there. I'm sure we'll be there again very soon ourselves.

Visitor Guide Cover

Steeped in history and well-versed in progress, Collierville promises a memorable experience! Whether you're looking for a unique shopping and dining destination, a one-of-a-kind special event or a weekend getaway, we are thrilled to have you as our guest. Complementing the metropolitan lifestyle of its neighboring Memphis, Collierville offers a relaxing escape, enticing visitors to spend the afternoon or stay for a while.

The Tennessean Restaurant & Train Museum

The Conductor's Call

Now offering a 3-course dinner, Tuesday through Thursday from 5:30-6:30pm. Features a soup or salad, choice of petite filet

or fresh fish of the day and dessert for $25.

For more information, visit

Collierville allows you to "get lost"! From immersing yourself in the small town charm and culture of the historic district, to the big city amenities at every corner; it's the perfect retreat from the hectic pace of today. Returning visitors will find that much progress has been made over the past decade or so, leading to more than a few changes. Shopping and retail centers abound, well-known restaurants and local favorites continue to develop and outdoor recreation amenities have been greatly enhanced.

What hasn't changed about Collierville is its true uniqueness. Waiting to charm you with its immaculately appointed town square, the natural beauty of its Greenbelt & Wolf River corridor, and the irresistible allure of the hospitality in its people and places; Collierville beckons a fantastic repose! In fact, many people experience Collierville once and never leave, which is why Money Magazine recently named Collierville as one of the best Eastern US communities in which to live.

Through this site, we'll give you a sampling of the opportunities that Collierville offers - leaving the complete experience for you to discover.

Hip, Historic and Heartwarming


Biblical Resource Center

Collierville Experiences...

Offering small-town charm with big-city amenities!

One notable Collierville experience is the history of the area itself. From wandering ruins of pre-Civil War wagon trails, numerous historic homes and properties, to Magnolia Cemetery - the hallowed resting place of many Civil War Confederate soldiers; there are adventures at every corner. Collierville is a highly recognized Tennessee Main Street community which gives us numerous opportunities to experience the roots of a history-rich community.

Emerging to the forefront of a wonderful Collierville experience is the cultural scene. Boasting two captivating museums on its historic town square, a juried arts festival and a community theatre that conducts a half-dozen performances each year; Collierville has a noted appreciation for the arts.
Scripture takes life at the Biblical Resource Center & Museum, Collierville's newest cultural attraction. Museum replicas, artifacts, audiovisual exhibits and reference library provide a hands-on laboratory for group travelers and visitors who wish to learn of the historic significance of the Bible. Reproductions of relics such as the Rosetta Stone, the Taylor Prism and the Gilgamesh Tablet, complemented by the tales of pilgrimages to ancient Bible lands of Greece, Turkey and Israel; give us a worldly adventure in the heart of Collierville's Town Square.

In addition, Collierville's own community-based theatre (located at the Cox Community Center) generates a standing ovation time and again through their amazing productions. From traditional favorites like Grease and Little Women to locally written performances, everyone enjoys a night at Collierville's Harrell Theatre.

With many wonderful events planned throughout the year, Collierville is a year-round gathering place providing memorable experiences.
 A rich sense of history surrounds and influences Collierville, the second oldest town in Shelby County.

In the middle 1830's the Collierville settlement was located on Poplar Pike (then State Line Road ) and was once part of Tennessee and Mississippi, due to a surveyor's error (that was later corrected in 1838). In 1836, Collierville received its name because an entrepreneur named Jesse R. Collier laid out a tract of land into lots and bought space in the Memphis Enquirer which advertised "The Town of Collier for Sale." The town was first incorporated in 1850, east of its present site, with Richard Ramsey as the first mayor.

In the 1860's, "Sherman 's March to the Sea" caused an end to Collierville's first town. On Sunday morning October 11, 1863 Union General William T. Sherman and his solders defended the train depot

from the Confederates. The Union and Confederate soldiers fought one of the bloodiest battles in Shelby County here in Collierville and the town was nearly burned to the ground with only a few buildings surviving.

In 1867, Harrison Irby and Virginus Leake bought approximately ninety acres at our present town's location. The acreage was then divided and sold in lots. The date of Collierville's second incorporation was February 17, 1870 with James B. Abbington serving as mayor.

At that time, the Collierville Town Square was the business center of town and enhanced Collierville's ability to become a progressive community following the Civil War.

The Historic Town Square , listed on the National Register of Historic Places, continues to be a major source of pride among all Collierville residents today. In the center of this business district is Confederate Park which is a monument to the southern tradition that has been lost in many larger cities. The Park has served as the site for various events and festivals. In the past, such events were the Cheese Carnival and Watermelon Festival. Many of these traditional events have continued and are celebrated as Fair on the Square, Mulberry Fine Arts Festival, Christmas in Collierville and many others. Around 1876, a two-story bandstand was constructed in Confederate Park where it stood until 1955 when it was destroyed by a tornado. It was replaced ten years later by a wrought iron, cedar-shake, octagon-shaped gazebo that remains in the heart of the square today.

The 1900's were a time of tremendous growth for Collierville as it served as the "trade center" of the cotton industry for several surrounding counties. In the late 1920's when the boll weevil's untimely visit occurred, Collierville began to develop the dairy industry. By 1933, Collierville's importance as a dairy center led to the establishment of a cheese plant by Swift & Co. Soon, Collierville became the cheese-making capital of West Tennessee .

By 1953, industry was fast becoming a sizable contributor to Collierville's economy. Companies such as Hart's Manufacturing, Wonder Products, Walker Machine Products and The Bodine Company provided employment for many in the Collierville area. Once a sleepy Southern town, Collierville is now a dynamic community that boasts friendly people, outstanding services, scenic beauty and prosperous businesses. Home to approximately 42,000 people and facilities such as Federal Express's state-of-the-art Information Technology campus, Baptist Memorial Hospital, Carrier Corporation and several other manufacturing companies, Collierville has become a much-desired community in which to live and do business.

Throughout Collierville's history, the commitment to quality living and dedication to preserving the past has remained constant. As our Historic Town Square thrives, it serves as a reminder of our humble beginnings and as a beacon for a prosperous future.

Quick Facts

Collierville History


Collierville settlement located on current State Line Road


Collierville receives its name from Jesse R. Collier


The Town of Collierville was first incorporated east of its present site with Mayor Richard Ramsey


Sherman has his close call at the Collierville Depot


Collierville was incorporated a second time with

Mayor James B. Abbington


The first bandstand was constructed in Confederate Park


Collierville's bustling dairy industry was cause for the first designation as the cheese-making capital of West Tennessee


The first Wonder Horse was manufactured in Collierville


A major tornado ravaged Collierville, resulting in the construction of the current cedar-shake gazebo


Collierville boasts a population of more than 42,000 and is named by Money Magazine as a Top 10 Eastern US Community


Collierville's first lifestyle center will open its doors, offering 800,000 square feet of retail, dining and entertainment space.

The Silver Caboose

The Silver Caboose is a family owned restaurant offering the finest quality of Southern American cuisine.

The Silver Caboose is about tradition. It is not about trendy restaurant dining. It has no superstar chefs but relies on good old fashioned cooking using tried and true recipes from our mothers and grandmothers. It is a place you can go and know that things will never change.

All of our menu items are prepared from scratch and cooked to order. Fast food is not in our genes—only wonderfully flavored dishes served with heartfelt attention and loving care.


The Smith Ladies

The Silver Caboose was established by the Smith family in 1996. Three generations of our family are actively involved in the daily operation of The Silver Caboose. Bob and Mary Jean Smith's daughter, Julie is the General Manager and her three daughters, Anna, Mary and Ellen serve in various capacities while attending college and high school.

Bob Smith

Bob Smith is an accomplished rose enthusiast and each year from May to October the restaurant is filled with over flowing bouquets of sweet scented glorious blooms from his rose gardens.

The Silver Caboose's soda fountain is one of the few remaining original soda fountains in Tennessee. Dating from the 1800's, it has been in continuous use with its marble top and gleaming old soda pumps.

The Tennessean

Private Charters Anywhere in the United States

The Tennessean

We can depart from Collierville or Central Station downtown.

The Collierville Train Museum can arrange private charter service anywhere and anytime in the United States. We have sleepers, diners, and tavern cars available for charter. If you are looking for that next over the top trip, please contact us to further discuss options and choices.

Dining Aboard

The restaurant on The Tennessean, as well as on the other top passenger trains of that era, was known for the freshness and quality of its food, as well as for the level of service provided. To match the dining experience on the original Tennessean, both the service and the food will always reflect the best in fine dining. Our goal is to create a cuisine that combines the best of New Orleans and Charleston, SC, cuisines, together with the flavor and freshness of the local products, produce and fruits of our own Mid-South. Just as the railroads relied upon the use of fresh products that could be picked up along the route, The Tennessean will rely on fresh, not frozen seafood, meats and produce of the highest quality, including aged, prime steaks and wild, as opposed to farmed, seafood.

Due to the small size of the kitchen area, there will be a limited menu offered, which will change monthly. The menu will always contain 2 or 3 appetizers, salads and soups, as well as entrée selections of poultry, pasta, seafood and meat (pork, veal, lamb, etc.), together with two steak choices and several dessert options.

Downtown Dining