Historical Markers in
Houston County, Tennessee

The city of Nashville played an important role in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. The city was the site of the first sit-in protest in the United States, when a group of African American college students staged a sit-in at a segregated lunch counter in downtown Nashville in 1960.
Houston County, TN has a rich history dating back thousands of years. Native American tribes, including the Chickasaw and Cherokee, were the first inhabitants of the area. These tribes used the land for hunting, fishing, and agriculture. European settlers began arriving in the late 18th century, attracted by the fertile soil and abundant natural resources.

Houston County itself was established in 1871 and named after Sam Houston, a prominent figure in Texas history who was born in the neighboring county of Montgomery. The county was formed from parts of neighboring counties, including Stewart and Dickson. The town of Erin was chosen as the county seat, and it remains the largest town in Houston County.

Agriculture played a significant role in the early years of Houston County. Farmers cultivated crops such as corn, tobacco, and cotton, and the county became known for its dairy industry. The Cumberland River, which borders the county, facilitated transportation of goods and served as a vital resource for the community.

In more recent years, Houston County has diversified its economy beyond agriculture. The growth of manufacturing and tourism has brought new opportunities to the area. The county boasts natural attractions, including the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area and the Tennessee portion of the Kentucky Lake. Today, Houston County continues to embrace its heritage while also working towards a prosperous future.

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

  • 1802 – Houston County was established on January 17.
  • 1803 – The county seat was established in Erin.
  • 1884 – Lumber and iron ore industries were established in the county.
  • 1890 – The population of Houston County was recorded as 5,170.
  • 1901 – The Cumberland River was dammed, creating Kentucky Lake.
  • 1925 – The Houston County Courier, the county's newspaper, was established.
  • 1944 – The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) constructed the Kentucky Dam.
  • 1959 – North and South Cross Creeks Wildlife Management Areas were established.
  • 1999 – Houston County celebrated its bicentennial.