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Gallatin, Tennessee

City of Gallatin
Gallatin Square
Gallatin Square
Official seal of City of Gallatin
Nickname(s): G-town
Location of Gallatin, Tennessee
Location of Gallatin, Tennessee
Country United States
State Tennessee
County Sumner
Founded 1802
Incorporation 1815
Named for Albert Gallatin
 • Type Mayor-council government
 • Mayor Paige Brown
 • Total 22.5 sq mi (58.2 km2)
 • Land 22.0 sq mi (56.9 km2)
 • Water 0.5 sq mi (1.3 km2)
Elevation 538 ft (164 m)
Population (2013)Estimate
 • Total 32,307
 • Density 1,232.3/sq mi (476.4/km2)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 37066
Area code(s) 615
FIPS code 47-28540[1]
GNIS feature ID 1285100[2]
Gallatin's main commercial street

Gallatin is a city in and the county seat of Sumner County, Tennessee.[3] The population was 30,678 at the 2010 census and 32,307 in 2013.[1] Named for U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin, the city was established on the Cumberland River and made the county seat of Sumner County in 1802. It is located about 30.6 miles northeast of the state capital of Nashville, Tennessee.

Several national companies have facilities or headquarters in Gallatin, including Gap, Inc., RR Donnelley, and Servpro Industries, Inc. Gallatin was formerly the headquarters of Dot Records. The city is also home to Volunteer State Community College, a two-year college with more than 70 degree programs.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Climate 2.1
  • Demographics 3
  • Economy 4
  • Arts and culture 5
    • Museums and other points of interest 5.1
  • Parks and recreation 6
  • Government 7
  • Education 8
    • Board of Education 8.1
    • Schools 8.2
    • Higher education 8.3
  • Media 9
    • Print 9.1
    • Radio and television 9.2
  • Infrastructure 10
    • Transportation 10.1
    • Healthcare 10.2
  • Notable people 11
  • References 12
  • Further reading 13
  • External links 14


Gallatin was established in 1802 as the permanent county seat of Sumner County, Tennessee, in what is called the Middle Tennessee region. The town was named after Albert Gallatin,[4] Secretary of Treasury to presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Andrew Jackson became one of the first to purchase a lot when the town was surveyed and platted in 1803. The town was built around a traditional plan of an open square. Jackson founded the first general store in Gallatin.[5]

In 1803 the first courthouse and jail were built on the central town square. In 1815, the town was first incorporated. In the mid-20th century, it operated under a Charter established by a 1953 Private Act of the State Legislature.

During the secession crisis just prior to the Civil War, the citizens of Gallatin hoped to remain neutral and were opposed to secession from the Union. Once the fighting began, however, they gave almost unanimous support to the Confederacy and volunteered to serve in defense of their state.

The Union Army captured Gallatin in February 1862, following Chattanooga in October. In November 1862, Union general Eleazar A. Paine retook the town and Union troops occupied it throughout the remainder of the war. Paine was notoriously cruel and was replaced in command before the end of the war. In her diary, a 16-year-old Alice Williamson described Paine's execution of alleged spies in the town square.[6]

Following the Emancipation Proclamation in January 1863, slaves fled to the Union troops, who established a "contraband camp" at Gallatin. The slaves were fed and housed and put to work. Schools were set up in the camp so that both adults and children could learn to read and write.[7]

The long enemy occupation drained the area of resources. Union troops lived off the land, confiscating livestock and crops from local farms. By the end of the war, there was widespread social and economic breakdown and dislocation in the area, accompanied by a rise in crime. Occupation forces of the Union Army remained in Gallatin for some time after the war, still living off the land.[8]

In the aftermath of the war, many freedmen moved from the farms into town. At the same time, many white citizens moved from town out to farms to avoid the occupying troops. The area took many years to recover from the disruption of the war years, continued reliance on agriculture, and shift to a free labor system.[8]

In the summer of 1873 Gallatin was devastated by an epidemic of cholera. In the single month of June, 68 people died, including many children.[9] The disease swept through the South, brought by immigrants arriving in New Orleans, and spread by passengers traveling by steamboat and rail. Nashville had 603 fatal cases from June 7–29, with 72 people dying on the day of most fatalities.[10]

Gradually through the late 19th century, Gallatin and its surroundings regained some steady growth. The area was primarily agricultural until the middle of the 20th century. By 1970, industrialization resulted in only half of the county population being considered rural. In 1992, Gallatin was surpassed by Hendersonville as the largest town in the county, though the former remains the county seat. Today it serves in part as a bedroom commuter suburb to the larger city and state capital of Nashville, Tennessee, some 30.6 miles to the southwest.

In April 7, 2006, a tornado struck the city, killing nine people and injuring 150. Volunteer State Community College sustained major damage. This tornado was part of the April 6–8, 2006 Tornado Outbreak.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 22.5 square miles (58 km2), of which 22.0 square miles (57 km2) is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) (2.18%) is water. Gallatin has variety of natural landscapes: open fields, forests, hills, and lakes. The city is located on Station Camp Creek, three miles (5 km) north of the Cumberland River, which was the chief route of transportation in the county's early years of settlement.

Old Hickory Lake, a man-made lake, built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is located south of the city.

Gallatin is precisely on the path of the total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017. Totality of the eclipse, lasting 2 minutes, 38.7 seconds will occur just before 1:30 PM local DST time that afternoon (18:28:52.3 UTC)


High temperatures average 49 °F (9 °C) during the winter months, 69 °F (21 °C) in spring, 88 °F (31 °C) in summer, and 72 °F (22 °C) in fall. The coolest month is January, and July is the warmest. The lowest recorded temperature was −20 °F (−29 °C) in 1985. The highest recorded temperature was 106 °F (41 °C) in 2007. The maximum average precipitation occurs in March.[11]


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 23,230 people, 8,963 households, and 6,193 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,057.3 per square mile (408.2/km²). There were 9,600 housing units at an average density of 436.9 per square mile (168.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 78.30% White, 17.57% African American, 0.30% Native American, 0.42% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 2.02% from other races, and 1.32% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.45% of the population.

There were 8,963 households out of which 32.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.0% were married couples living together, 16.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.9% were non-families. 26.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the city, the population was spread out with 25.4% under the age of 18, 9.4% from 18 to 24, 29.6% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 13.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 90.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $34,696, and the median income for a family was $41,899. Males had a median income of $30,620 versus $22,696 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,550. About 10.8% of families and 14.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.4% of those under age 18 and 13.3% of those age 65 or over.


As of May 2007, the unemployment rate in Sumner County was 3.8%, which is 0.7% below the national rate of 4.5%. The total number of workers in the county was 79,620.[5]

The top four major employers in Gallatin, in order, are GAP, Inc., Sumner Regional Medical Center, Volunteer State Community College, and RR Donnelley. Gap employs 1,250 workers, making it the largest employer in the city.[15] The Tennessee Valley Authority also operates a coal-fired power plant in Gallatin.

Arts and culture

Gallatin has a modern 10-screen theater, NCG Gallatin Cinema. It has a completely restored single-screen theater, called The Palace, built in 1908. There is also a public city library.

Annual events include the Sumner County Fair, held during the last week of August, the Gallatin Christmas Parade, and a Fall Festival held on the square.

Museums and other points of interest

The Sumner County Museum in Gallatin houses a number of artifacts of historical significance to the city and the county.

The city has several architecturally significant buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. These homes, which have been restored and are open to the public, are Cragfont, Rosemont, and Trousdale Place.

Parks and recreation

Gallatin has six parks that allow for various sports and activities, including: baseball, basketball, beach volleyball, disc golf, fishing, football, horseshoes, skateboarding, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, walking, and volleyball. These parks are:

  • Clearview Park
  • Lock 4 Park
  • Municipal Park
  • Rogers Field
  • Thompson Park
  • Triple Creek Park

Old Hickory Lake is also available for boating, fishing, swimming, and related activities.

Gallatin offers Cal Ripken & Babe Ruth baseball for ages 5–15 with the Kiwanis Club and Little League Baseball with the American Legion. Slow-pitch girls' softball leagues are also present. Basketball, football, tennis, and soccer leagues are also available for various ages.

The Gallatin Civic Center has a swimming pool, a running/walking track, racquetball courts, and basketball courts.

Gallatin is home to three golf courses:

  • Long Hollow Golf Club - a public, 18-hole course built in 1983
  • Gallatin Country Club - a private, 9-hole course built in 1948
  • The Club at Fairview - a private, 36-hole course built in 2004

Gallatin is home to one disc golf course:

  • Triple Creek Disc Golf Course - a public, 18-hole course

Triple Creek is maintained by the City of Gallatin with assistance from the Sumner County Disc Golf Association (SCDGA). The SCDGA holds several events at Triple Creek DGC a month including Wednesdays Random Draw Doubles and a SCDGA Bag Tag that rotates between Triple Creek DGC and Sanders Ferry Park DGC.


Gallatin has a Mayor-Council government (Weak Mayor Form). The City Council is made up of seven elected officials, from five council single-member districts within the city limits, with two of the members being elected at-large. Of these seven council members, one is elected by members of the council as Vice-Mayor to serve a limited term. Meetings are presided over by the Mayor, who is elected at-large by voters of the city.

The City Recorder/City Judge is entrusted with two major functions: administering the city judicial system and maintaining vital city records, billing, and licensing services. These services include collecting city property taxes, ensuring liquor store compliance, and issuing taxi-cab and beer permits. City residents can pay utility bills, purchase city trash cans, apply for property tax rebates and city business licenses at the City Recorder/City Judge office.

The City Attorney oversees, prepares, reviews, and interprets ordinances, resolutions, and contracts; provides legal support to the Mayor, City Council, staff, boards, and committees; and manages litigation in which the City may be involved. Periodic updating of the Gallatin Municipal Code, published by the Municipal Code Corporation, is coordinated by the City Attorney. The Municipal Code includes the City Charter, as well as other City ordinances which are permanent.


Board of Education

Gallatin's schools are governed by the Sumner County Board of Education. The twelve-person group consists of eleven elected representatives from each of the eleven single-member districts in the county. The members serve staggered four-year terms. They hire the Director of Schools, now Del Phillips, who serves under contract to the Board. The board conducts monthly meetings that are open to the public. The school system's General Purpose School Fund budget during the 2006–07 school year was approximately $153.5 million.[5]

The county-wide school system consists of approximately 1,950 teacher-licensed employees and approximately 1,800 non-teacher employees.[16] The system has more than 180 bus routes which cover more than 6,000 miles (9,700 km) per day.[16] The floor space in all of the county's schools totals more than 100 acres (0.40 km2). Approximately 26,528 students were enrolled in the county school system as of August 2007.[16]


Elementary schools (K–5)

  • Benny Bills Elementary School
  • Guild Elementary School (also pre-K)
  • Howard Elementary School (also pre-K)
  • Station Camp Elementary School (also pre-K)
  • Union Elementary School (year-round school)
  • Vena Stuart Elementary School

Middle schools (6–8)

  • Station Camp Middle School
  • Rucker-Stewart Middle School
  • Shafer Middle School

High schools (9–12)

Alternative schools

  • R. T. Fischer Alternative School (K–12)

Private schools

  • Saint John Vianney Catholic School (pre-K–8)
  • Southside Christian School (K–12)
  • Sumner Academy (pre-K–8)

Higher education

Volunteer State Community College is a public two-year community college. Popularly known as Vol State, Volunteer State Community College is part of the Tennessee Board of Regents system. The main campus is located in Gallatin. There are also degree granting centers at McGavock High School in Nashville and Vol State at Livingston in Overton County. Additional class sites are located at the Highland Crest campus in Robertson County, and in Macon County and Wilson County.

Since its 1971 inception, more than one-hundred and fifty thousand persons have attended the College. Currently more than 8,000 students are enrolled in the average fall semester. The college has a diverse mix of students ranging in age from teens to senior adults. They come from counties across the service area, many states around the nation and more than 25 countries. Vol State has more than 70 programs in five grand divisions: Humanities, Social Science and Education, Allied Health, Business and Math and Science.[17]



Two local newspapers cover events in Gallatin: The Gallatin Newspaper, published on Thursdays and The Gallatin News Examiner, published two times weekly, Wednesday and Friday, with a supplement included with The Tennessean on Sunday.

Radio and television

Gallatin received its first local radio station in August 1948 when WHIN 1010 AM, went on the air. Owned at one time by record mogul Randy Wood, the station still serves Sumner County with country music, local sports, and coverage of NASCAR racing. WHIN was joined by an FM station in December 1960 when 104.5 came on the air. The FM station has broadcast under many call letters, but probably its most famous days were in the late 1970s and 1980s when it was known as KX (pronounced Kicks) 104, a popular music station that battled with Nashville stations for top listenership. During that time the station was owned by Ron Bledsoe, who for years had commanded CBS Records in Nashville, and was a former employee of the station in his younger years. Currently the station is Citadel-owned sports radio station WGFX, which targets the Nashville market and is the flagship station for the Tennessee Titans and Tennessee Volunteers.

WMRO (1560) came to the air in 1994 to serve the community, and plays an automated Hot AC format, along with local religious programming on Sunday mornings.

Volunteer State Community College operates a radio and television station. The student-run radio station, WVCP, broadcasts on 88.5 MHz FM, and plays music of various formats. Their television station is broadcast on Comcast Cable channel 19. The channel displays local announcements related to the college and the Gallatin/Sumner County area. The audio portion of the channel is a simulcast of their radio station. The channel also airs educational programs, usually at high school or college levels. Gallatin City Council meetings, Sumner County School Board meetings, and Sumner County Commission meetings are also broadcast by the station.



Major roadways leading in and out of Gallatin include TN Tennessee State Route 386 "Vietnam Veterans Boulevard," U.S. Highway 31E, and Tennessee State Route 109. U.S. 31E, also known as "Nashville Pike" or "Gallatin Road," is the main thoroughfare through town.

The Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) provides daily bus service from Gallatin to downtown Nashville, with stops along the way.

The Sumner County Municipal Airport provides air transportation in and out of Gallatin. The facility is equipped with one 5,000-foot (1,500 m) runway with a 1,000 grass overrun. It also provides fueling and maintenance services.[18]

The Regional Transportation Authority has future plans to expand the current Music City Star commuter railway to include a line running between Gallatin and Nashville, with a stop in Hendersonville.


Sumner Regional Medical Center

Sumner Regional Medical Center is a hospital located in Gallatin. It has an emergency room, a nationally recognized cancer-treatment program, a wound care center, a cardiac catheterization lab, and a diagnostic sleep center. The staff can also perform digital mammography, interventional cardiology, neurosurgery, computerized knee replacement surgery, and PET therapy, among other procedures.

The Gallatin Health Department, with two locations, provides women and children's services, flu shots, special needs services, testing for sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis, family planning, and immunizations. The department also inspects restaurants, hotels, campgrounds, day care centers, schools, and other public facilities where food is served, to ensure proper sanitation. Additionally, it is responsible for investigating animal bites, rabies, and other animal-related diseases.

Notable people


  1. ^ a b c "American FactFinder".  
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names".  
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 133. 
  5. ^ a b c Sumner County Fact Book 2007–2008. The News Examiner & The Hendersonville Star News. 2007.
  6. ^ , Duke University Special Collections LibraryAlice Williamson Diary, accessed 11 October 2007
  7. ^ John F. Baker, Jr., The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation: Stories of My Family's Journey to Freedom, New York: Atria Books, 2009, p.185
  8. ^ a b Durham, Walter T. Rebellion Revisited: A History of Sumner County, Tennessee from 1861 to 1870 (Franklin, TN: Hillsboro Press, 1999, 2nd edition)
  9. ^ Gallatin Sexton Records for the Year 1873, accessed 13 May 2008
  10. ^ The Sanitarian", Sept. 1873,J. C. Peters, M.D., "The South Western Cholera: 1873, National Institutes of Health exhibit, accessed 13 May 2008
  11. ^ 26 September 2007.
  12. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Census of Population and Housing: Decennial Censuses".  
  14. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets: Subcounty Resident Population Estimates: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  15. ^ Sumner County Fact Book 2008–2009. The News Examiner & The Hendersonville Star News. 2008.
  16. ^ a b c "About Sumner County Schools." Sumner County Schools. Retrieved on 12 September 2008.
  17. ^ [2] Volunteer State Community College. Retrieved on 5 September 2013.
  18. ^ "Airport FBO." Sumner County Municipal Airport. 26 September 2007.
  19. ^ "Ray Oldham". Retrieved November 10, 2012. 
  20. ^!biography/c18b9
  21. ^ Braxton, Greg "Huell Howser dies at 67", Los Angeles Times, January 7, 2013

Eliza Allen - wife of former Governor Sam Houston - daughter of Latisha and John Allen.

Further reading

  • Sumner County Fact Book 2007-2008. The News Examiner & The Hendersonville Star News. 2007.

External links

  • Official City of Gallatin website
  • Gallatin community website
  • Gallatin TN Area Chamber of Commerce
  • - My Gallatin news websiteThe Tennessean
  • "Alice Williamson Diary" - concerning the occupation of Gallatin and the surrounding region by Union forces during the Civil War, Scriptorium, Duke University
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