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City of Gallatin
Gallatin Square
Gallatin Square
Official seal of City of Gallatin
Location of Gallatin, Tennessee
Location of Gallatin, Tennessee
Country United States
State Tennessee
County Sumner
Founded 1802
Incorporation 1815
Named for Albert Gallatin
 • Type Mayor-council government
 • Total 22.5 sq mi (58.2 km2)
 • Land 22.0 sq mi (56.9 km2)
 • Water 0.5 sq mi (1.3 km2)
538 ft (164 m)
 • Total 32,307
 • Density 1,232.3/sq mi (476.4/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code 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 30,678 at the 2010 census and 32,307 in 2013. Named for U.S. 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 home to Volunteer State Community College, a two-year college with more than 70 degree programs.


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%
Est. 2015 34,334 13.4%

As of the census of 2000, there were 23,230 people, 8,963 households, and 6,193 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,057.3 per square mile (408.2/km²). There were 9,600 housing units at an average density of 436.9 per square mile (168.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 78.30% White, 17.57% African American, 0.30% Native American, 0.42% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 2.02% from other races, and 1.32% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.45% of the population.

There were 8,963 households out of which 32.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.0% were married couples living together, 16.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.9% were non-families. 26.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the city, the age distribution of the population shows 25.4% under the age of 18, 9.4% from 18 to 24, 29.6% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 13.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 90.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was US$34,696, and the median income for a family was $41,899. Males had a median income of $30,620 versus $22,696 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,550. About 10.8% of families and 14.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.4% of those under age 18 and 13.3% of those age 65 or 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.

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