National Register Listings in
Decatur County, Tennessee

Tennessee was the site of the first recorded manned flight in history. In 1878, a man named George Washington Pearcy flew a steam-powered aircraft over a field in Shelbyville, Tennessee.
Decatur County, located in the state of Tennessee, has a rich history that dates back to the early 1800s. The county was established on October 25, 1845, when it was carved out of portions of Perry and Henderson counties. It was named after Commodore Stephen Decatur, a renowned naval officer who served during the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812.

The early settlers of Decatur County were primarily farmers and hunters who were drawn to the fertile land and abundant wildlife. The county quickly grew, and by the mid-1800s, saw the establishment of several small communities, including the county seat of Decaturville. Decaturville became a bustling center of commerce and trade, attracting merchants, craftsmen, and other professionals.

During the American Civil War, Decatur County was heavily impacted, as it was strategically located along the Tennessee River. Both Union and Confederate forces sought control of the area, leading to numerous military engagements and devastating effects on the local population. After the war, Decatur County slowly rebuilt and experienced economic growth through the timber and agriculture industries.

In the 20th century, Decatur County underwent further development and modernization. The construction of the Tennessee River dam system in the 1930s brought new opportunities for hydroelectric power generation, as well as the creation of recreational areas like Tennessee River Resort State Park. Today, Decatur County remains a tight-knit community with a diverse economy, including agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism. Its rich history is preserved through various historic sites and museums that showcase the county's past.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Decatur County, Tennessee.

  • 1835 - Decatur County was established on December 11.
  • 1836 - The county seat was named Decaturville.
  • 1863 - During the Civil War, Decatur County was occupied by Union forces.
  • 1900 - Decatur County had a population of 15,737.
  • 1939 - Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park was established in Decatur County.
  • 1960 - The county population reached its peak at 18,132.
  • 2010 - The census reported a population of 11,757 in Decatur County.