Flashback Frank - Place Names Part 4

Jul 15, 2021 at 07:20 am by Producer

Place names in Rutherford County… We drive down a road or through a tiny community or past a subdivision and think ‘where in the world did THAT name come from?’

The Rutherford County Historical Society mentions more than 100 place names but in the interested of time, let’s cover some of the most popular and unusual of these place names.


Ever driven west out Franklin Road and passed Coleman Hill Road? Turn on Coleman Hill Road, drive a mile or so and you will be in downtown ‘Wray’, W-R-A-Y, named for Thomas Jefferson Wray. There was once a church, a school and even a community center in downtown Wray.

Carlocksville – is that a cool name of what! Carlocksville was named for the local postmaster – here is another cool name – Epenetus Carlock sometime prior to the arrival of the railroad in the early 1850’s.

Dilton, out the Bradyville Pike, was named for beloved family physician Dr. James Dill.

Let’s return to the west side of Rutherford County. Patterson, not far from Hwy. 96, or Franklin Road, was one of those communities for which two explanations of the name origin have been published. Thomas M. Patterson was the first postmaster but James B. Patterson was a manufacturer of fine cedar buckets in the area.

Snell, near old Rockvale, was named for Anne Snell, the widow of Roger Snell, who moved to this area in 1805 with their nine children.

Eagleville is a community that bears a name perhaps from folklore. You see, at one time, Eagleville was called ‘Manchester’ but a name change was necessitated when a post office was founded. Well, about that time legend has it that an eagle was killed on the proposed post office site…

Let me tell you just a bit of what the Rutherford County Historical Society is all about. Let’s just say the dedicated volunteers of the Rutherford County Historical Society firmly believe in our motto, to ‘Preserve and promote OUR local history’. We don’t get paid a dime to spend our time and treasure ensuring Rutherford County history is preserved with vigor and accuracy.

Flashback Frank, what does it cost to join the Rutherford County Historical Society? Glad you asked. We charge only $25-a-year for the entire immediate family with every penny helping to preserve and promote our local history.

Oh, and by the way, the 1840 Ransom School House located at 717 North Academy Street, is open each Saturday morning, anytime from 9AM till noon, for what we call ‘Coffee and Conversation’, a completely laid back gathering of anyone with a love for Rutherford County History.

So, please visit www.rutherfordtnhistory.org and join today!

Enjoy this story and 2,000 other stories concerning Rutherford County history by visiting www.rutherfordtnhistory.org

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