Centuries-Old Courthouse Set To Get New Life - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Centuries-Old Courthouse Set To Get New Life

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By Marcus Washington

GALLATIN, Tenn. - It's a historic landmark dating back some 200 years. In fact, a former President once got into a fight there. It was uncovered in one mid-state county in unbelievable shape – the first recorded courthouse in one of the state's oldest counties.

The Douglass Clark home just off Long Hollow Pike in Gallatin was the first courthouse in Sumner County years before there was even a Tennessee. County officials in Sumner County said the courthouse was established within what was North Carolina territory, ten years before Tennessee became a state, and was used as a courthouse from 1787 to 1790.

For more than 225 years, the building has stood the test of time and has seen a lot of history.

"According to our state historian, Walter Durham, Andrew Jackson was in an altercation here and got into a fist fight," said Sumner County Executive Anthony Holt.

The building has changed a lot since the late 1700's. You can still see where the old part of the home ends and the newer additions start.  Incredibly, the oldest part of the house is in the best condition.

"We think about 1830 as people upgraded, they came in and put siding, wood siding, clapboard siding on the house," said Holt. "And then later on, probably in the 1950's, they put vinyl siding on top of that."

The house is about to get a huge renovation. In December, $1 million from federal and local funds will be poured into restoration and the doors will reopen. 

"This house, when completed is going to be an interpretive center and a visitor's center," said Holt. "We are going to have a Civil War display for Sumner County and five other counties here."

Most of the money to restore the Douglass Clark home comes from a federal grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

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