Tennessee is home to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, one of the most visited national parks in the United States. The park covers over 500,000 acres and attracts millions of visitors each year.
Bedford County, Tennessee has a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1807. The area was originally occupied by Native American tribes, including the Cherokee and Shawnee, before European settlers arrived. The county was named after Thomas Bedford, a prominent military figure during the American Revolutionary War.

During the 19th century, Bedford County thrived as an agricultural community, with farming serving as the primary industry. The fertile land in the county allowed for the cultivation of crops such as tobacco, cotton, and corn. Slavery played a significant role in the county's economy, with many plantations and farms relying on enslaved labor. The town of Shelbyville, the county seat, became a hub for trade and commerce.

Bedford County played a role in the Civil War, as it was located along the strategic Nashville-Chattanooga Railroad. In 1863, Confederate forces under the command of General Joseph Wheeler launched a raid on the railroad, causing significant damage. The Union then took control of the area and stationed troops in Shelbyville. Despite facing challenging times during the war, the county slowly recovered in the post-war years.

Throughout the 20th century, Bedford County experienced growth and development. The county saw improvements in infrastructure, such as the construction of roads and railway lines, which further facilitated trade and transportation. The economy diversified, with manufacturing and service sectors becoming significant contributors alongside agriculture. Today, Bedford County continues to be a vibrant and thriving community with a mix of historical charm and modern amenities.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Bedford County, Tennessee.

  • 1807: Bedford County is established on December 3.
  • 1823: The town of Shelbyville is incorporated on October 25.
  • 1836: The Bell Witch phenomenon occurs in Adams, a town in northern Bedford County.
  • 1861-1865: Bedford County and its residents actively participate in the American Civil War.
  • 1879: Shelbyville hosts the first Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.
  • 1911: The Shelbyville Central High School is established.
  • 1945: Arnold Engineering Development Complex is established in Tullahoma, partly located in Bedford County.
  • 2009: Celebration of the century for the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration.
  • 2018: Bedford County celebrates its bicentennial.