A View Into the Rich History of Hendersonville, Tennessee

October 13th, 2022

Middle Tennessee is a region of the state that’s rich with scenic beauty, southern culture, and history. As a region known the world over for its role and influence in bluegrass and country music, one can only imagine that the area has many hidden secrets, and lots of stories to tell.

An exploration into the history of middle Tennessee will provide you with intriguing stories of the region’s earliest foundations, including the history of one of our favorite cities – Hendersonville, Tennessee.

Being just a few miles down the road from Nashville, Hendersonville’s own history has at times been closely connected to the state’s capital, which has been affectionately called Music City, USA. Although many neighboring cities and towns are overshadowed by Nashville, Hendersonville has always been able to stand apart and earn its own spotlight.

So, what’s the story behind this amazing city? Let’s take a closer look.

When was Hendersonville founded?

Hendersonville was initially settled in 1784 by Daniel Smith, as he began to build the historic Rock Castle, his estate that was located in what is now Hendersonville and is reported as being the oldest standing home in middle Tennessee.

Although Hendersonville was initially settled with the arrival of Daniel Smith, the town was eventually named after a man who arrived just a few years later by the name of William Henderson. Henderson was a captain and Revolutionary War soldier, who moved himself and his wife from Virginia to Sumner County, Tennessee around 1790.  Along with his prestigious military standing, Henderson also had the title of being the town’s first postmaster in 1801.

Hendersonville existed as a relatively small town in the Nashville area, until the completion of the Old Hickory Dam in 1954. Not only was the completion of the dam a monumental event for the community, it was also something that sparked significant growth for Hendersonville.

The city of Hendersonville was incorporated in 1969, which created even more interest in the growing town. As the population of the town began to grow, Hendersonville eventually became one of the most populous, and popular, suburbs in the Nashville area.

What famous people live in Hendersonville Tennessee?

The shore of Old Hickory Lake in Hendersonville is one that’s known for its beautiful scenery and serene surroundings. Throughout the years, the shores of Old Hickory Lake, along with all the other attributes that have made Hendersonville such a wonderful place to call home, have attracted more than their fair share of famous names.

Being just down the road from Nashville, Hendersonville is a picturesque oasis that sits quietly with welcoming arms as an escape from the bright lights of Nashville. There have been plenty of big names that have called Hendersonville their home, with the Man in Black, otherwise known as Johnny Cash and his wife June Carter Cash, being among the most famous.

The former Cash residence is among the most famous properties in Hendersonville and was also featured in one of the main scenes of the 2005 film Walk the Line. It wasn’t just Johnny and June who graced the property with their presence. The house has also been visited by well known names such as Bob Dylan, President Reagan, Al Gore, and Kris Kristofferson. Needless to say, this house has been important in establishing Hendersonville as a coveted location for some of Nashville’s brightest stars.

Other famous names have also called Hendersonville their home, including the Oak Ridge Boys. The prestigious list also includes country singer Conway Twitty, Gary Allan, Taylor Swift,  Kelly Clarkson, David Archuleta, Roy Orbison, and countless other musicians, actors, and notable athletic figures.

Historic Hendersonville

While there’s a lot of things to do in Hendersonville, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to get in touch with a little Hendersonville history. The city has retained much of its historic charm, including the multiple structures that still stand around Hendersonville today, some of which have been designated as national historic sites.

You might also enjoy visiting Historic Rock Castle, the former home of Daniel Smith in Hendersonville. Built in 1784, the mansion is listed on the Register of Historic Places and is a great place for families to discover local history and learn about the historical figures who influenced the region. Rock Castle is open to the public from March through December. Visit the official website to learn more about visiting hours and tours.

The Daniel Smith Donelson house is also known as Eventide and was built around 1830 for Donelson, who was also the nephew of president Andrew Jackson. The house, which remained the property of the Donelson family until the late 1970s is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Other historic properties in Hendersonville include the Leonard B Fite House, also known as Monthaven, which was built around 1860 and now stands as the home for the Hendersonville Arts Council. In the past, Monthaven served as a field hospital during the time of the Civil War. There is also the historic mansion on Main St. known as Hazel Path, which was another property built for Daniel Smith Donelson.

Learning More About the History of Hendersonville

If you have a healthy curiosity about the history of Hendersonville, trust that you’re not alone. There is so much to explore and learn about in this incredible city. Hendersonville’s history is rich, and the town served an important role throughout many of the foundational years of our country. It only makes sense that you want to learn even more about the early years of the city of Hendersonville.

You can find plenty of resources at the local Hendersonville Public Library, the Tennessee Historical Commission’s website, as well as reading books such as The City By The Lake: A History of Hendersonville, Tennessee. Still, one of the best ways to learn more about Hendersonville is to just step out, explore and engage with a community that has plenty of stories to tell.

Find Your New Home In Hendersonville, Tennessee

Once you visit Hendersonville, you’re going to experience first hand just how magical it really is. This magic is part of the reason why we chose Hendersonville as the home of our Durham Farms community. We know you’re going to love it so much that you’ll want to be a Hendersonville resident. Take a look at our moving guide to Tennessee and what life in Hendersonville is like to get an inside look into life here. Our gorgeous Tennessee homes for sale with spacious floor plans are just the icing on the cake.

Contact Durham Farms today to learn more about our amazing communities.