Greeneville, is nestled in to the hills of East Tennessee, just a few miles from the mountainous North Carolina border. Let us tell you, Greeneville is a history lovers treasure trove. The historic downtown is rich with sights and structures whose significance cover numerous time periods.
We recommend starting your visit to town by parking your car at the Dickson-Williams Mansion, at 108 North Irish Street. The Mansion is home to two Trails signs which are just enough to scratch the surface of the history of this site. Once you’ve gotten an introduction to the site, we suggest taking a tour of the restored home to learn the long history of this home from the 19th century through today. With your first stop complete, it is time to take a stroll through downtown and find a bite to eat at an excellent town landmark.
When we asked locals for a good spot for a quick lunch, the overwhelming recommendation was for The Tannery Downtown, over on E. Depot Street. The restaurant is located in a historic tannery, dating back to the early 20th or late 19th century. We had lunch here with members of the local historical society, who remembered going into the tannery when it functioned as a leather goods store. The restaurant is an excellent place to stop for a quick bite with great local atmosphere. After a quick bite to eat surrounded by locals, take a short walk around the corner and a two quick blocks up College Street to a spot that our team discovered completely by accident and were immediately intrigued by.
Located across the street from the police department, this historic marker and recreated building tell the story of Greenville’s role as the Capital of the short lived State of Franklin. This site was a surprise for us and well worth the visit. Once you’ve taken in the site, its time to head across town to one final Trails site.
The final Trails site in town is over on West Depot Street, at the old railroad depot. This site was witness to the aftermath of Unionist efforts to destroy railroad bridges all over eastern Tennessee. The sign here details what happened to those who were caught in connection to the burnings. With all of the Trails sites now complete, we encourage you to take your time exploring everything Greeneville has to offer. We hope that you find this place as charming as we did.
Let us help you travel like a local. Take a look at our maps, and don’t hesitate to ask for our recommendations for good eats, drinks, and lesser known spots along the way. Follow #civilwartrails and create some history of your own.