Posted by: smyrnatnhistory | July 16, 2008

Old Jefferson

Jefferson map 3

Originally uploaded by lorbsel

Sometime in 1802 or early 1803, Robert Weakley and Thomas Bedford laid out the Town of Jefferson in the forks of the Stones River, and began selling lots. Some of the early purchasers of land in Jefferson were: Michael Snyder who purchased lot # 56, Robert Kanady (Kennedy) purchased lot # 6 and Bradley Gambrel purchased lots 84 and 80.

Thanks to Carson for sharing pictures of an original map of the town of Jefferson!



  1. Earlier this year I was having a discussion about the Town of Jefferson. I was told that Jefferson was once the Capitol. Me and others didn’t believe it. Then just this week I had the same discussion with someone else. They told me the same thing, Jefferson was once the Capitol of Tennessee. And then I was told that Jefferson now lies at the bottom of Percy Priest Lake.

    I will continue to search the web for this information. Please respond.

    Dave Anderson
    606 Kendrick Ct.
    La Vergne, TN 37086

    • I heard that too. But I heard it was only briefly, like a few days or so. But actually the town isn’t under water. The army corps said it would be but if you compare old maps to now, you can see that it is not under water. They were wrong and as result this historic village was lost.

      • I just read your post and enjoyed it .I was taught too that Jefferson was the first capital….I am from there and was raised on mr Robert weakley,s are right ,Jefferson is still above water…and one camp house from Jefferson springs still exists. It is at the corner of Lamar rd and Jefferson pk, I own the house and still use it for week end.anyone is free to see it anytime…we try to keep close to it’s original condition as possible …they say nothing exists in that area too but it does.

  2. I am very interested about the John king johns home but no one knows anything about it!

    Can anyone tell me something about it!?

    • Liberty Hill

  3. Also when I searched king johns home A pic of Jefferson school with a lot of kids in front from 1946 popped up.

    Does anyone know anything about that either?!

  4. Now I heard that the town of Jefferson had the first courthouse. I was also told the original jail from Jefferson was moved and is now behind an old house on Enon Springs Rd. Behind the old Victory House.

    While typing this I went to the Rutherford County Historic Society website. The town of Jefferson was the original County seat. The web site states that it is under water.

    • It’s not under water! Do a google map and compare this old map to where the east and west forks still meet today. The town was never flooded because of underground caves the engineers did not think of. I think the town was destroyed on purpose because it had many plantations and pre Civil War structures that were linked to dark times. I know around 1908 my family’s plantation in Old Jefferson had KKK carved into the front pillars; we have a picture of it. The town was destroyed during the Civil Rights period; houses were literally burned to the ground. Now the same land is still being used by the Corp of Engineers to farm. Keeping one relic of that past (the Sam Davis Home) was enough, and with the town went some the richest and darkest history of Tennessee.

      And yes I know about that school picture, my grandma is the tall girls in pants. That part of my family has been in Old Jefferson since 1850.

      • I’m thinking of writing an article in the Murfreesboro Pulse about the fate of Old Jefferson and maybe raising the question of whether or not it’s history and culture may have played a role in scattering these families and erasing reminders of the “darker” times. I’d like to talk to you about this soon.

  5. I grew up in the remnants of Old Jefferson. My mothers family grew up in the area and most taught school at Jefferson School. The few houses that were left in the area are quickly getting swallowed up by Smyrna’s progress so I have been actively researching the area for some time now. I retire in 7 years and my first goal after retirement is to write a book about the history and people of Old Jefferson from its settlement to its demise. That being said I would to literally “beg” anyone with pictures, maps, articles or any information about the actual town of Old Jefferson to please contact me. I have been terribly disappointed at the lack of information about my birthplace. If you do send me information please be sure to give me your full name and any information about yourself that you deem necessary. I want to give full credit to any and all sources. Thank you!

    • Is it possible to “go” to Old Jefferson and walk around? Im somewhat new to the area and studied Southern History in college and would love to take a look at the area. I didnt know if maybe the people that live around the area would welcome others that wanted to take a look. Im also not sure where Old Jefferson is located. I know approximately so any details would be very helpful. Thanks a million!
      I hate when historical places are lost to time. Old Jefferson sounds like it should be at the top of the list to save.

      • Bobbi,
        I would be more than happy to show you around Old Jefferson sometime. I haven’t been out there for several years. I used to go out there every winter.

      • Gene that would be wonderful. Let me know when and where and I’ll be there. Any day is good for me. Im not sure where Old Jefferson is. I know the area but not the precise location. You can email me at

    • Terry,

      Have you managed to obtain much on Old Jefferson so far? I have a cousin that grew up there and go to church with a few that also grew up there in the area. Do you know any Russell’s, Francis’/Batey’s, or Matlock’s? I’ll check around if you’re still looking for photos or would like to know more about the old town.

    • I have recently stumbled upon the history of Old Jefferson and am fascinated. Is there a way to see it today?

  6. Speaking of a dark past, from the posts I’ve read thus far, it would seem that no one is aware that a “no toll” part of the “Cherokee Trail of Tears” traveled through Old Jefferson beginning in 1838. Some of the 11 Cherokee detachments that traveled the northern route as it was known opposed paying the tolls on the Murfreesboro Pike and they bypassed Murfreesboro at Readyville. They traveled up through the area of Walter Hill and followed Central Valley Road through Jefferson and eventually back onto the main road at Hamilton Church Pike and Murfreesboro Road in Antioch.

    • Curious to know more of what you know of the route of the Trail of Tears through the Rutherford and Davidson County area between Jefferson and Hamilton Church Road. My family lived in various places along that section of the route during the time of the Trail of Tears and have always wanted to know more pertaining to this area.

  7. […] It sits at the junction of the East and West Stones River. It was a bustling little town founded just 34 years after our country declared independence. Two friends, Robert Weakley and Thomas Bedford, bought the land and divided it into 80 lots. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: