Rheatown


RHEATOWN -A TOWN WAITING TO HAPPEN The earliest settlers of the area of Rheatown came to the area in 1771 and they became the earliest settlement in Greene County and the second oldest, after Jonesborough, in Tennessee. The settlement developed rather rapidly into a town that became a stopping place on the stagecoach road from Nashville to Washington. Doubtless, many were attracted by the beautiful countryside and the bountiful springs water coming from the limestone hills. The town thrived and even had a post office by 1823 that was named after local citizen John Rhea. They had a tannery, grist and saw mill, a hatter, a food cannery, an inn, fraternal lodges, paved sidewalks and main street , a shoe shop , general stores and a carriage factory. In 1856 the town was chartered by the State of Tennessee with government by a mayor and aldermen. In the 1940s- 1950s the state adopted the Tennessee Sales Tax with a provision of sharing revenues with the cities. It is reported tat a representative of the state visited the town, looking for the mayor. It had been many years since there had been one. The town began serious dwindling after the coming of the railroad through Chuckey, a mile away, in 1865 and Rheatown lost its importance as a transportation center. What had been for a time a thriving community now gradually became an almost back country village, neglected but nostalgic. In the years after 1945 progress returned to the town as paved roads, bridges over the creek, running water indoors and electricity became available. In recent years housing developments have begun to appear in and around the town, making it a sort of bedroom community for the nearby cities. It is Rheatown’s turn.. 3-30-2009 Keene White