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Gallatin, Tennessee
City of Gallatin
Downtown Gallatin
Downtown Gallatin
Official seal of Gallatin, Tennessee
Location of Gallatin in Sumner County, Tennessee.
Location of Gallatin in Sumner County, Tennessee.
Gallatin, Tennessee is located in the United States
Gallatin, Tennessee
Gallatin, Tennessee
Location in the United States
Country  United States
State  Tennessee
County Sumner
Districts 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
Established February 25, 1802; 222 years ago (1802-02-25)
Named for Albert Gallatin
 • Type Mayor–Council
 • Total 32.65 sq mi (84.56 km2)
 • Land 32.11 sq mi (83.16 km2)
 • Water 0.54 sq mi (1.40 km2)
538 ft (164 m)
 • Total 44,431
 • Density 1,336.59/sq mi (516.06/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP code(s)
Area code(s) 615
FIPS code 47-28540
GNIS feature ID 1285100
Gallatin TN USA
Gallatin's main commercial street

Gallatin is a city in and the county seat of Sumner County, Tennessee. The population was 30,278 at the 2010 census and 44,431 at the 2020 census. Named for United States Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin, the city was established on the Cumberland River and made the county seat of Sumner County in 1802. It is located about 30.6 miles northeast of the state capital of Nashville, Tennessee.

Several national companies have facilities or headquarters in Gallatin, including Gap, Inc., RR Donnelley, Beretta and Servpro Industries, Inc. Gallatin was formerly the headquarters of Dot Records. The city is also the site of Volunteer State Community College, a two-year college with more than 70 degree programs. In 2017, Gallatin was ranked as "The Nicest Place In America" by Reader's Digest.


Gallatin was established in 1802 as the permanent county seat of Sumner County, Tennessee, in what is called the Middle Tennessee region. The town was named after Albert Gallatin, Secretary of Treasury to presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Andrew Jackson became one of the first to purchase a lot when the town was surveyed and platted in 1803. The town was built around a traditional plan of an open square. Jackson founded the first general store in Gallatin.

In 1803 the first courthouse and jail were built on the central town square. In 1815, the town was first incorporated. In the mid-20th century, it operated under a Charter established by a 1953 Private Act of the State Legislature.

During the secession crisis just prior to the Civil War, the citizens of Gallatin hoped to remain neutral and were opposed to secession from the Union. Once the fighting began, however, they gave almost unanimous support to the Confederacy and volunteered to serve in defense of their state.

The Union Army captured Gallatin in February 1862, following Ulysses S. Grant's capture of Fort Donelson. Gallatin was strategic because of the railroad and its location on the Cumberland River, both of which the Union Army sought to control. In July 1862, General John Hunt Morgan recaptured Gallatin and held it until the Confederate forces fell back to Chattanooga in October. In November 1862, Union general Eleazar A. Paine retook the town and Union troops occupied it throughout the remainder of the war. Paine was notoriously cruel and was replaced in command before the end of the war. In her diary, a 16-year-old Alice Williamson described Paine's execution of alleged spies in the town square.

Following the Emancipation Proclamation in January 1863, slaves fled to the Union troops, who established a "contraband camp" at Gallatin. The slaves were fed and housed and put to work. Schools were set up in the camp so that both adults and children could learn to read and write.

The long enemy occupation drained the area of resources. Union troops lived off the land, confiscating livestock and crops from local farms. By the end of the war, there was widespread social and economic breakdown and dislocation in the area, accompanied by a rise in crime. Occupation forces of the Union Army remained in Gallatin for some time after the war, still living off the land.

In the aftermath of the war, many freedmen moved from the farms into town. At the same time, many white citizens moved from town out to farms to avoid the occupying troops. The area took many years to recover from the disruption of the war years, continued reliance on agriculture, and shift to a free labor system.

In the summer of 1873 Gallatin was devastated by an epidemic of cholera. In the single month of June, 68 people died, including many children. The disease swept through the South, brought by immigrants arriving in New Orleans, and spread by passengers traveling by steamboat and rail. Nashville had 603 fatal cases from June 7–29, with 72 people dying on the day of most fatalities.

Gradually through the late 19th century, Gallatin and its surroundings regained some steady growth. The area was primarily agricultural until the middle of the 20th century. By 1970, industrialization resulted in only half of the county population being considered rural. In 1992, Gallatin was surpassed by Hendersonville as the largest town in the county, though the former remains the county seat. Today it serves in part as a bedroom commuter suburb to the larger city and state capital of Nashville, Tennessee, some 30.6 miles to the southwest.

In April 7, 2006, a tornado struck the city, killing nine people and injuring 150. Volunteer State Community College sustained major damage. This tornado was part of the April 6–8, 2006 Tornado Outbreak.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 22.5 square miles (58 km2), of which 22.0 square miles (57 km2) is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) (2.18%) is water. Gallatin has variety of natural landscapes: open fields, forests, hills, and lakes. The city is located on Station Camp Creek, three miles (5 km) north of the Cumberland River, which was the chief route of transportation in the county's early years of settlement.

Old Hickory Lake, a man-made lake, built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is located south of the city.

Gallatin is precisely on the path of the total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017. Totality of the eclipse, lasting 2 minutes, 38.7 seconds will occur just before 1:30 PM local DST time that afternoon (18:28:52.3 UTC)


High temperatures average 49 °F (9 °C) during the winter months, 69 °F (21 °C) in spring, 88 °F (31 °C) in summer, and 72 °F (22 °C) in fall. The coolest month is January, and July is the warmest. The lowest recorded temperature was −20 °F (−29 °C) in 1985. The highest recorded temperature was 106 °F (41 °C) in 2007. The maximum average precipitation occurs in March.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 2,123
1880 1,938 −8.7%
1890 2,078 7.2%
1900 2,409 15.9%
1910 2,399 −0.4%
1920 2,757 14.9%
1930 3,050 10.6%
1940 4,829 58.3%
1950 5,107 5.8%
1960 7,901 54.7%
1970 13,253 67.7%
1980 17,191 29.7%
1990 18,794 9.3%
2000 23,230 23.6%
2010 30,278 30.3%
2020 44,431 46.7%

2020 census

Gallatin racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 30,537 68.73%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 6,479 14.58%
Native American 113 0.25%
Asian 749 1.69%
Pacific Islander 27 0.06%
Other/Mixed 2,120 4.77%
Hispanic or Latino 4,406 9.92%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 44,431 people, 14,692 households, and 9,948 families residing in the city.

2010 census

At the 2010 United States Census, there were 30,278 people, 11,871 households and 7,859 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,376.27 per square mile, and the housing unit density was 539.59 units per square mile. The racial makeup was 77.66% White, 14.67% Black or African American, 0.29% Native American, 0.76% Asian, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 4.38% from other races, and 2.08% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origins were 8.04% of the population.

Of the 11,871 households, 29.23% had children under the age of 18 living in them, 45.96% were married couples living together, 4.52% had a male householder with no wife present, 15.73% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.80% were not families; 27.19% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.72% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.01.

Of the 30,278 residents, 24.21% were under the age of 18, 62.20% were between the ages of 18 and 64, and 13.59% were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36.6 years; 51.00% of the residents were female and 48.00% were male.

The median household income was $43,770 and the median family income was $51,553. Males had a median income of $38,818 and females $32,997. The per capita income was $22,230. About 12.9% of families and 16.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.8% of those under the age of 18 and 10.9% of those age 65 and over.

Arts and culture

Gallatin has a modern 10-screen theater, NCG Gallatin Cinema. It has a completely restored single-screen theater, called The Palace, built in 1908. There is also a public city library.

Annual events include the Sumner County Fair, held during the last week of August, the Gallatin Christmas Parade, and a Fall Festival held on the square.

Another annual event of note in Gallatin is the yearly Candlelight Cemetery Tour, held annually on the first Saturday in October. Held in the town's old cemetery (located close to the town square), actors and actresses depict various historical figures who lived in and around Gallatin during its 200 years of history—particularly those who lived prior to 1900—from lawyers and doctors to business people to various persons of note in the community. Information on these individuals is gathered from various historical documents (legal papers, family journals, etc.). The event is sponsored by the local Sumner County Historical Society in association with the local county museum (see below), and proceeds from the annual event go towards supporting the local museum.

Museums and other points of interest

The Sumner County Museum in Gallatin houses a number of artifacts of historical significance to the city and the county.

The city has several architecturally significant buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. These homes, which have been restored and are open to the public, are Cragfont, Rosemont, and Trousdale Place.

Parks and recreation

Gallatin has six parks that allow for various sports and activities, including: baseball, basketball, beach volleyball, disc golf, fishing, football, horseshoes, skateboarding, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, walking, and volleyball. These parks are:

  • Clearview Park
  • Lock 4 Park
  • Municipal Park
  • Rogers Field
  • Thompson Park
  • Triple Creek Park

Old Hickory Lake is also available for boating, fishing, swimming, and related activities.

Gallatin offers Cal Ripken & Babe Ruth baseball for ages 5–15 with the Kiwanis Club and Little League Baseball with the American Legion. Slow-pitch girls' softball leagues are also present. Basketball, football, tennis, and soccer leagues are also available for various ages.

The Gallatin Civic Center has a swimming pool, a running/walking track, racquetball courts, and basketball courts.

Gallatin is home to three golf courses:

  • Long Hollow Golf Club – a public, 18-hole course built in 1983
  • Gallatin Country Club – a private, 9-hole course built in 1948
  • The Club at Fairview – a private, 36-hole course built in 2004

Gallatin is home to one disc golf course:

  • Triple Creek Disc Golf Course – a public, 18-hole course

Triple Creek is maintained by the City of Gallatin with assistance from the Sumner County Disc Golf Association (SCDGA). The SCDGA holds several events at Triple Creek DGC a month including Wednesdays Random Draw Doubles and a SCDGA Bag Tag that rotates between Triple Creek DGC and Sanders Ferry Park DGC.


In May 2007, the unemployment rate in Sumner County was 3.8%, which was 0.7% below the national rate. The total number of workers in the county was 79,620.

The top four major employers in Gallatin, in order, are GAP, Inc., Sumner Regional Medical Center, Volunteer State Community College, and RR Donnelley. Gap employs 1,250 workers The Tennessee Valley Authority operates a coal-fired power plant in Gallatin.

In 2015, the Italian firearms manufacturer Beretta moved its U.S. production facility to Gallatin from Accokeek, Maryland.


Board of Education

Gallatin's schools are governed by the Sumner County Board of Education. The board consists of eleven elected representatives from each of the eleven single-member districts in the county. The members serve staggered four-year terms. They oversee the Director of Schools, Del Phillips, who serves under contract to the board. The board conducts monthly meetings that are open to the public. The school system's General Purpose School Fund budget during the 2020–21 school year was approximately $271 million.

The county-wide school system consists of approximately 4,300 employees and 49 schools. The system has more than 180 bus routes which cover more than 6,000 miles (9,700 km) per day. The floor space in all of the county's schools totals more than 100 acres (0.40 km2). Approximately 29,400 students were enrolled in the county school system as of August 2020.


Higher education

Volunteer State Community College is a public two-year community college. Popularly known as Vol State, it is part of the Tennessee Board of Regents system. The main campus is located in Gallatin. There are also degree granting centers at McGavock High School in Nashville and Vol State at Livingston in Overton County. Additional class sites are located at the Highland Crest campus in Robertson County, and in Macon County and Wilson County. Since its 1971 inception, more than 150,000 persons have attended the college. Currently, more than 8,000 students are enrolled in the average fall semester. The college has a diverse mix of students ranging in age from teens to senior adults. They come from counties across the service area, many states around the US and more than 25 countries. Vol State has more than 70 programs in five grand divisions: humanities, social science and education, allied health, business and math and science.

Welch College is a private Free Will Baptist, 4-year Christian college in Gallatin, Tennessee. Founded in 1942, it is one of several higher learning institutions associated with the National Association of Free Will Baptists. Welch College serves 431 students as of 2019 from nearly two dozen states and several foreign countries  and offers 40 majors with its top programs including theological studies, premed/nursing, business, teacher education and music.



  • US 31E.svg / Tennessee 6.svg U.S. Route 31E / Tennessee State Route 6 (Gallatin Pike)
  • Tennessee 386.svg / US 31E.svg Tennessee State Route 386 / U.S. Route 31E Bypass (Vietnam Veterans Boulevard)
  • Tennessee 109.svg Tennessee State Route 109
  • Tennessee 25.svg Tennessee State Route 25 (Red River Road)
  • Secondary Tennessee 174.svg Tennessee State Route 174 (Long Hollow Pike) / (Water Avenue) / (Dobbins Pike)

Major roadways leading in and out of Gallatin include State Route 386 ("Vietnam Veterans Boulevard"), U.S. Highway 31E, State Route 109 and State Route 25. U.S. 31E, also known as "Nashville Pike" or "Gallatin Road", is the main thoroughfare through town. State Route 109 forms a bypass west of the downtown area, and State Route 386 is a controlled access highway that ends in Gallatin and connects the area to Interstate 65 to the west.

The Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) provides daily a bus service from Gallatin to downtown Nashville, with stops along the way.

The Sumner County Regional Airport provides air transportation in and out of Gallatin. The facility is equipped with one 5,000-foot (1,500 m) runway with a 1,000 grass overrun. It also provides fueling and maintenance services.

The Regional Transportation Authority has future plans to expand the current Music City Star commuter railway to include a line running between Gallatin and Nashville, with a stop in Hendersonville.


Tennessee State Route 6 and Tennessee State Route 25 were the two original state routes in Gallatin, established between 1919 and 1925. SR 25 was extended west into Robertson County in 1925. US 31E was one of the first U.S. routes commissioned in November of 1926. The only major change to the route since its commissioning has been the creation of a 4 lane highway that replaced the original Main Street route in 1980. Around 1940, another state route was created in Gallatin, State Route 109 (SR 109), it originally ran only between Gallatin and Portland. SR 109 got a major reroute to a restricted access bypass in the 1990s as part of a project to improve SR 109 from Gallatin to Portland. This project was completed in 2012. Tennessee State Route 386 (SR 386) was completed in 2007 in Gallatin.


Sumnet County Medical Center Gallatin TN USA
Sumner Regional Medical Center

Sumner Regional Medical Center is a hospital located in Gallatin. It has an emergency room, a nationally recognized cancer-treatment program, a wound care center, a cardiac catheterization lab, and a diagnostic sleep center. The staff can also perform digital mammography, interventional cardiology, neurosurgery, computerized knee replacement surgery, and PET therapy, among other procedures.

The Gallatin Health Department, with two locations, provides women and children's services, flu shots, special needs services, testing for sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis, family planning, and immunizations. The department also inspects restaurants, hotels, campgrounds, day care centers, schools, and other public facilities where food is served, to ensure proper sanitation. Additionally, it is responsible for investigating animal bites, rabies, and other animal-related diseases.

Notable people

See also

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