The City by the Lake: A History of Hendersonville, Tennessee, Volume II

A Review of the Forthcoming Book
Written by Jamie Clary

Review by Timothy L. Takacs

Volume I of City by the Lake, written by Tim Takacs, covered Hendersonville history in two parts. Volume II consists of one part, Hendersonville during the period of it being The City. Hendersonville, the incorporated city, came into existence in 1969 after a referendum in 1968. During the twenty years that followed, Hendersonville was transformed from a point on a map to the state's tenth largest municipality with a surrounding population of nearly 50,000. But, even though the time period covered in the book is that of the government's existence, this book is about the people of Hendersonville--the community of Hendersonville.

The story of Hendersonville between 1968 and 1988 is being written by Jamie Clary and is expected to be completed in early 1999. He has been working on this story since 1993 after being asked by Takacs to continue what Takacs had started. Since then, Clary has been researching, interviewing and writing, covering tales, anecdotes and memories that tell the story of the progress of the community during those twenty years. Volume II will recount the stories of many interesting and curious happenings, such as that:

*The city has four times faced referendums to change its form of government.

*The population grew by 14,000 persons one night in 1972.

*For years Hendersonville had an airport authority intent on building an airport for the city.

*A serious effort was made by several residents to secede from the city to create their own.

The chapters include emphasis on churches, clubs, recreation, schools, business development and other facets that make Hendersonville what it was during those twenty years.

As much progress as is evident through those years, Clary's story also relates the missed opportunities that would have made the city better. Whether it was caused by lack of foresight in the city's leaders or an anti-progressive ideology among the citizens, Hendersonville grew much more than it progressed during those years. The vocal minority often won over the passive majority and the politically-attentive leadership. As evidence of that, Clary recounts the origination of concerns the city has today, such as unsightly utility lines, congested Main Street, retarded business development, school overcrowding, and separation of the City and Utility District. He also relates the successes: consistently low tax rates, long-term solutions to waste, good schools, a strong sense of community, the Community Pastors Association, excellent recreational opportunities and, of course, the lake, without which Hendersonville would still be just a wide spot in the road between Gallatin and Nashville.

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