Town of
Historic Granville, Tennessee

Granville Museum
169 Clover Street • Granville, TN 38564

Come see why people from all over the south visit the 1880's Sutton General Store, Granville Museum,
Sutton Homestead,
Pioneer Village, and Antique Car Museum.
Granville is located on the waterfront of Cordell Hull Lake just an hour outside Nashville.

Historic Granville, TN — Tennessee's Mayberry Town.

Open Wed - Friday 10 am - 3 pm, Sat 10 am - 5 pm
Sutton Homestead Open Wed - Friday 12 - 3 pm, Sat 12 - 5:00 pm



I fell in love in a barn in Tennessee.

It was an hour east of Nashville, in a tiny town called Granville, on the banks of
the Cumberland River: a place of white-washed, storybook houses and American flags
in every yard. I'd come because I'd heard about The Sutton Ole Time Music Hour: a
bluegrass jam held in the town's general store, broadcast live on the radio every
Saturday night. But I wasn't hopeful. Country music, to me, meant guns, bad lyrics
and pick-up trucks — the soundtrack of a world alien to my urbanite lifestyle.

Stepping inside the 1880s-built T.B. Sutton General Store is like stepping inside a
time machine. There are vintage signs, soda pops and patchwork quilts on the walls,
the smell of sweets and old wood; everything creaking and leaning, as if it might
topple at any second. If John Wayne were to walk in dressed in full cowboy gear, no
one would've batted an eyelid. And, as the only Brit in the room, I was swarmed —
being British in Granville is, perhaps, the closest I'll ever come to genuine

A few-dozen fold-up chairs are laid out in front of a tiny corner stage. We're in
for a treat: the legendary Mike Compton, the 60-something former protégé of the
Father of Bluegrass himself, Bill Monroe, is in town: ready to play smoking-fast
mandolin, accompanied by upright bass, fiddle and banjo. The instant the band
strikes up I realisethis isn't broken-hearts-and-horses-style country; nor is it
your Shania Twain-esque electrified pop. This is five old boys standing around one
mic, swapping solos, stomping their feet, hollering and laughing; and it's

The show has its funny parts; although this is live radio, it still feels like it's
being broadcast from a bygone era: adverts for farm equipment and propane are read
out in between songs; the compere holds up 'clap' signs when we're supposed to
cheer, and the band are dressed in denim dungarees, for goodness' sake. And near the
end of the show, when Compton gets the whole room singing along to an old John
Hartford classic, Bring Your Clothes Back Home, it dawns on me that these are
America's songs. Before hip hop and rock, before jazz and blues and putting your
hands up for Detroit, people sat around on porches and store fronts, and played old
time music like this, singing about life on the edge of this wild, great country.

But that's just what I heard with my ears; what really struck me were the people
themselves. Before the show, we sat down in the old feed barn next
door for a communal meal: big bowls of fried chicken, mashed potato and green beans
smothered in butter, passed round, family style. We bowed our heads and said grace,
the whole room giving thanks for the food, the music, even their strange visitor
from across the pond.

There was a kindness and humility about the whole thing, something rarely seen in
our pumped-up city lives. I was right: this was another world, but a world on my
doorstep that I'd had my eyes closed to for too long. But rural towns like Granville
are slowly fading away. Scattered like wind-blown seeds across the heartland of
America, they echo an older, simpler time: a shrinking world — being gobbled up by
cities and technology — that's routinely castigated as clichéd by lefties like me.
If their world feels alien to us, ours must feel like an invasion to them.

Don't get me wrong: I haven't fallen in love with every kind of country music. In
Nashville, I saw a man in a pink rhinestone suit singing about meeting Jesus in a
bar, and another get a standing ovation for endorsing the right to bear arms.

But that's their world, not mine. Because, if you look beyond all the cornball
lyrics and saccharine sentiment, there are moments of genuine grace in country music
too. If you're in any doubt, just file into the jam-packed general store in
Granville and you'll hear it for yourself.

Author: Aaron Miller
Follow @AaronMWriter

Published in the Jan/Feb 2019 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)
Come Celebrate with us at Sutton Ole Time Music Hour 12th Anniversary !!!

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Historic Granville received a special gift from Santa last week as 175 Christmas Characters arrived in Granville which has become “Christmas Characters on Parade”.  The Village of Historic Granville has been turned into a Winter Wonderland this week wth some 175 hand painted Christmas Characters that has decorated the town.  A few weeks ago David Harris a tour bus driver was in Granville with a group he was driving for and shared with volunteers that his mother had something that Granville needed for the Christmas season.  When he returned home he sent pictures of a Winter Wonderland that his parents Pete & Ethel Sterry of Portland had created since the early 1990’s.  They had developed a Winter Wonderland at their home in Portland that had been a major Christmas Event until Mr. Sterry passed away nine years ago.  Since that time it had remained in their storage building until this past fall when Mrs. Sterry decided that she wanted to do something with the wonderful display.  She spent three months hand painting each character making them looking like brand new.  Granville Museum worked out an agreement to purchase the characters from her as she wanted them used for the enjoyment of everyone during the Christmas Season. 

Historic Granville has developed “Christmas Characters on Parade” which is a walking or driving tour that can be done during the day or night beginning on November 21st thru December 31st .  The Parade will begin at the intersection of Clover Street and Highway 53 coming up Clover Street following directional signs.  The parade is around the entire block of the Sutton Homestead and Pioneer Village.  There is no admission charge for the parade and donations are accepted in a donation box on the street.  The Parade of Characters is some unique characters of Christmas with Santa, Nativity Scenes, Disney Characters and many other characters of the Christmas Season. They are displayed in front of historic buildings decorated in a grand fashion with decorative street lights.  A special character feature is Conway Twitty on front of Whistle Stop Saloon, Elvis Presley on front of Sutton General Store and Ronnie McDowell on front of Granville Museum all which are singing Christmas Music.


Regardless of your age Granville is the place to visit during the 2018 Christmas Season.  Other features of the 2018 Rockin Around the Christmas Tree theme in Granville is Festival of Trees at Granville Museum featuring 20 beautiful decorated Christmas trees, 1880 Sutton Historic Home Tours featuring 1950’s Rockin Around the Christmas Tree, 1950’s Antique Toy Show at the Antique Car Museum, Christmas lunch Wednesday Thru Saturday at 1865 Sutton General Store and great shopping at the shops of Granville.  Another special day in Granville will be Granville Country Christmas on December 8th with four Christmas Musicals, Rides for Children, Santa Workshop and special shopping for parents for children.  A special Christmas Parade will be at 2:00 p.m. and Glenn Watts Christmas Tree Lighting at 4:45.  Sutton Ole Time Music Hour is have special Christmas Bluegrass Dinner Shows each Saturday night in December.  For more information call 931-653-4511 or

Nigh Owls FCE Members L-R:  Janet Massey, Pat Bush and Jessie Goad

Historic Granville annually has the Festival of Trees at Granville Museum with some 20 beautiful  Christmas trees decorated.  This year Smith County Elmwood/Chestnut Mound and Night Owls FCE Clubs each decorated a Christmas tree for the Festival of Trees. The trees they decorated are some Of the most unique trees in the exhibit.  The clubs also participated in creating scarecrows for the Scarecrow Festival.  Liz Bennett, Vice President Of Granville Museum stated that both clubs had created wonderful exhibits for both events and demonstrated a great commitment to give back to the community.  The Festival of Trees is open Wednesday thru Friday from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. and Saturday 12:00 to 5:00 p.m.   Historic Granville Sutton Homestead Historic Home is also featuring Rockin Around the Christmas Tree as the 1880 home is decorated with Christmas Trees in each Room in a 1950's fashion as well as exhibiting a great exhibit on I Love Lucy.  The Homestead also is featuring a 1950's antique toy show at the Antique Car Museum.  Sutton General Store is featuring a great Christmas Lunch Wednesday thru Saturday from now to Christmas.  For more information Call 931-653-4151.

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Granville Quilt Festival honors Betty Robinson on October 6.

The 17th Annual Granville Quilt Festival on October 6th will offer 20 categories of competition for quilters in Middle Tennessee.  One of Tennessee's largest quilt festivals occurs In the 1896 Granville United Methodist Church.  There will be 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place awards in each category with best of show awards as well.  The show also pays $100.00 to the guild, club or group that has the most entries in the show.  Quilts can be entered on October 4th at Gainesboro, Livingston, Cookeville, Carthage, Granville and Lebanon.  Please see website for times and locations for entries

The annual show honors present quilters and a memorial honoree as well.  The 2018 Quilt Show Honoree is Betty Robinson of Cookeville who is a noted quilter throughout the Upper Cumberland.  She started embroidery when she was 8 years old.  She would pick up her mother's sewing when she would go to the kitchen to cook and put some stiches in.  From that early start, she kept learning as she grew, and when she was married used her talents to make clothes for her daughter.  After her daughter grew us she joined a quilt Guild and continued learning.  In 1994 her family moved to Tennessee and she joined the Cookeville Crazy Quilters.  She continues today with the Golden Needles quilting guild In Gainesboro, working on pieces for family and friends as well as working on prayer quilts for her church Washington Avenue Baptist.  Betty has been a leader in the Upper Cumberland Quilt Festival and has been a great supporter of the Granville Quilt Festival.  On October 6 some 20 of her quilts will be on display in the alter of the Methodist Church.

The 2018 Memorial Honoree is the late Betty Green of Overton County.  She quilted as a child and continued as she raised three children.  She left her family a large number Of 100% handmade historical quilts she had made over her life.  Some of these quilts will be on display at the Methodist Church.  Betty is the grandmother of Jeremy Curtis Who wife Brenda is the manager of Historic Granville.

The show will be open 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on October 6th with these two ladies being honored at the opening ceremony at 9:30 a.m. at Pruett Stage.  The festival will also Feature Quilt Benches of Granville, Special Quilt display on porches of Granville, Sutton General Store and Granville Museum.  Quilting demonstrations will be during the day With a special sale at the Quilters Attic at Sutton General Store.  For more information call 931-653-4151 or

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