Title: New book details McMinnville history
Author: James Clark
Publisher: Southern Standard
If you’re anxious to delve into the rich history of McMinnville, local residents Monty Wanamaker and Chris Keathley have finished their second book for Arcadia Publishing, appropriately titled “McMinnville.”
The 128-page book, which goes on sale this Monday, serves as a sequel to their book “Warren County,” which was published in 2006 to help commemorate the county’s bicentennial.
“McMinnville” starts at the city’s inception in 1810. Before it was named for Joseph McMinn, who was serving as Tennessee secretary of state at the time, the area was generally referred to as Mountain City.
The book is released in conjunction with McMinnville’s bicentennial celebration and involves more than two years of research, according to Wanamaker.
“This book took countless hours of research,” said Wanamaker. “We made four or five trips to the Tennessee State Library and Archives and really worked hard to gather this information. There are historical revelations in this book a lot of people in McMinnville don’t know about.”
One of the town’s first projects was building a courthouse and that job went to Capt. William White of Jackson County, who began construction in the spring of 1811. That courthouse, which is pictured in the book, stood until 1858.
The book also contains a copy of the original town plat as drawn by W.H. Havron on Sept. 14, 1895. It shows many of the property owners of 68 lots around the courthouse. Also included is the front page of the first newspaper printed in McMinnville on Jan. 6, 1816. The newspaper, called the Mountain Echo, reportedly ceased publication by 1821. McMinnville’s current newspaper, the Southern Standard, was founded in 1879.
The book takes readers on a complete tour through
McMinnville’s early years, from the days of the first
school on the corner of Spring and Colville streets, to the era when downtown businesses began to flourish.
There are details about McMinnville’s First Monday
Celebration, which was held on the first Monday of the
month in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The town gatherings included musical entertainment, speeches and special announcements.
“McMinnville,” while impressive in scope, was an exhausting project, according to Wanamaker.
“We’re not going to do another book for Arcadia. The
work was too overwhelming,” said Wanamaker, indicating
there were constant deadlines and seemingly never-ending
proof reading. “But the quality of this book is better than
we had hoped for. The pictures turned out great and the
book is something we’re very proud of.”
“McMinnville” goes on sale this Monday, Dec. 14, and can
be purchased at Southern Museum of Photography, 210
East Main Street. Books will also be available at Stewart
Pharmacy, Hastings, the Chamber of Commerce, Antiques and the Arts, and Hargrove Office Equipment. The cost is $21.99.
“We hope people keep this in mind for a Christmas gift,”
Arcadia Publishing began its Images of America series in
1994. Both “McMinnville” and “Warren County” are part of that series.