National Register Listings in
Van Buren County, Tennessee

The city of Memphis, Tennessee, was the site of the assassination of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968. The Lorraine Motel, where Dr. King was staying, is now the National Civil Rights Museum.
Van Buren County, located in the state of Tennessee, has a rich history that dates back centuries. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, particularly the Cherokee Nation. European settlers began moving into the region in the late 18th century, attracted by the fertile valleys and abundant natural resources.

Van Buren County was officially established in 1840 and named after the eighth president of the United States, Martin Van Buren. Early settlers engaged in subsistence farming, as agriculture was the primary economic activity at the time. The county gradually developed with the construction of roads, churches, schools, and small businesses.

During the American Civil War, Van Buren County was divided in its loyalties. While some residents supported the Union, others aligned with the Confederacy. The county experienced several skirmishes during the war, and a number of buildings were destroyed or damaged. In the years that followed, Van Buren County focused on recovering and rebuilding its economy.

In the 20th century, the county experienced changes and advancements. The construction of Center Hill Dam on the Caney Fork River in the 1940s brought new opportunities for recreation and hydroelectric power. Tourism became an increasingly important industry, as visitors were drawn to the county's scenic beauty and outdoor activities.

Today, Van Buren County continues to grow and thrive. It is known for its picturesque landscapes, including the scenic Fall Creek Falls State Park. The county's economy is diverse, with agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism as major contributors. Despite the passing of time, Van Buren County's history is celebrated and preserved, with numerous museums, historical sites, and festivals that showcase the area's rich heritage.

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

  • 1801 - Van Buren County is established as a county in the state of Tennessee.
  • 1806 - The first settlers, predominantly of Irish and Scottish descent, establish communities in the area.
  • 1812 - The county's first post office is established, named Spencer after one of the early settlers.
  • 1836 - The county is named after Martin Van Buren, the 8th President of the United States.
  • 1850s - With the advent of the railroad, the county experiences increased economic growth and development.
  • 1861-1865 - Van Buren County is deeply divided during the American Civil War, with residents supporting both the Union and the Confederacy.
  • 1890 - The Van Buren County Courthouse, a historic landmark, is constructed.
  • 1925 - The Van Buren County High School is established, providing education to the local students.
  • 1969 - Fall Creek Falls State Park, covering large portions of the county, is opened to the public.
  • 1980s - The county experiences a decline in population as industries shift away from the area.
  • 1990s - Efforts are made to promote tourism and outdoor recreation in the county to boost its economy.