Tennessee Town Squares
Explore our rich local heritage through the history, architecture and life of the Tennessee town square. This original NPT documentary focuses on the different roles that town squares play in local communities, discovers how the town square uniquely defines our local identity and explores the ways in which these physical spaces embody a sense of place.
Tennessee Town Squaresjourneys across the state, highlighting our most successfully preserved communities such as Clarksville, Franklin, Collierville, Jonesborough, and discovers the small town gems that define us as Tennesseans, such as Columbia, Wartrace, Gallatin and others.
- Drive through the main streets on the town square and then the back roads beyond the square.
- Wear comfortable shoes and walk the entire town square or main street.
- Look for details in the historic architecture. What has been restored? What has been updated?
- Call the main street contact for the town you’re visiting to get a list of things not to miss. They may have regularly scheduled architecture or history tours.
- Most stores on the squares are locally owned with a long history. Be sure to ask the owners questions about their past. You may hear an interesting story or two.
- Take advantage of what makes these towns unique and dine at a local eatery on the town square.
- Many town squares have a locally owned inn or a bed and breakfast. Stay at one of these available inns to experience the square over 24 hours.
- Shop on the square and support local ownership. Most of these stores carry items you can’t find anywhere else.
- Bring a camera to take pictures of the landscaping and the town square.
- Be sure to visit tnvacation.com to see if you’ll be visiting during a festival or concert. Or, plan your travels around these special events.
- Bring a friend so you can share the town square experience.
Tennessee Town Squares
Nashville Public Television’s original programming on Tennessee’s historical Town Squares.
Composed and Arranged by Jay Rockholt & Will Pedigo
Producer / Original Music
Bill Turner Sr.
Keyboard / Accordion
Guitar / Resophonic / Banjo / Mandolin
Guitar / Percussion
Vocals / Guitar / Dulcimer
Clint Ribble of On Digital Ground Studios
Historic Images provided by:
National Park Service Museum Management Program
The Leaf Chronicle
The Roxy Regional Theatre
The Paul Madison Wilson Collection
Main Street Collierville
McGinnis Oil Company
Clarene Pinkerton Russell
Family of Elizabeth Wilson Snow
Ted’s Sporting Goods
Columbia Main Street Corp.
Maury County Archives
The Heritage Foundation
Calvin Lehew Collection
Allen Haynes Collection
Sumner County Museum
R. Hartley Scott
Jonesborough Washington County History Museum