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Square is Hip

  • photo
    The view from downtown Fayetteville.
    Photo by Dan Henry.
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Fayetteville and Kelso are located in Lincoln County, located along the Southern border of the state due west of Hamilton County. Today, the Fayetteville courthouse square is still a vibrant part of the town and features one of the largest fabric stores in the Southeast (Sir’s also does a booming Internet business) and a movie theater built in 1951.


It’s hip to be square in Fayetteville.

•The square in Fayetteville was the second county seat in the United States to be laid out by legal mandate with a courthouse serving as its center. It is part of daily life and the place where people gather for special events.

•The Lincoln Theatre on the square shows two first-run movies each week.

•Kelso is home to Prichard’s Distillery. It was started in 1822 in Davidson County. Phil Prichard moved it to Kelso in 1997, according the company’s website.



Track down some old-fashioned fun.

•Opened in 1948 by Joe Sir, Sir’s Fabrics is located on the town square and has been drawing customers ever since. Still run by Sir family members, it now serves a large customer base on the Internet as well.

•There has been a bandstand on the square since the 1890s.

•History is a big part of what makes the area special. Among the list of famous Americans who have either lived or visited Lincoln County are Davy Crockett, Sam Houston, Daniel Boone and General Andrew Jackson.



Sir Isaac Newton would have been proud of the early pioneers in Lincoln County.

•The area’s original gravity-flow water system, located at what is now known as Wells Hill Park, was the first of its kind in the United States.

•The Lincoln County Museum is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday May through November and in addition to housing an exhibit honoring the Admiral Frank Kelso exhibit, is home to Indian artifacts and hosts plays, civic meetings and dinners.

•The Elk River runs just south of Fayetteville.



Old-school fun in Fayetteville

•The Lincoln County Bluegrass and Crafts Festival.

•Host of Christmas Past. Downtown Fayetteville is all lit up for the holidays.

•Lincoln County Fair. “Sew it, grow it, show it.”



New food in old places.

•Okra. Southern/Soul, organic specializing in shrimp and grits, portabella Napoleon and fried green tomatoes.

•Scandals Steakhouse. As the name implies, the steaks are featured.

•Cahoots Restaurant. Located inside the old firehall and jail.

•Elk River Coffee Company. Located in a restored building one block off the square.

•Honey’s and Ken’s Fastfood: Both offer slaw burgers, which are a Fayetteville specialty.



Box tease: Fayetteville and Kelso are located in Lincoln County.

•Population: Fayetteville, 6,827; Kelso, 1,373

•Biggest employer(s): Goodman Co. LP, Air conditioners and furnaces, Frito-Lay Inc.

•Number of miles from downtown Chattanooga: 98

•Landmarks or geographic features: Elk River.

•Date founded: 1810 Fayetteville

•Historic Info: Davy Crockett, on his journey west, lived in Lincoln County near Fayetteville in 1809-10. The Tennessee Militia encamped there in 1813 near four oak trees, which are still growing today.

•Most famous residents: Admiral Frank Kelso, former U.S. Chief of Naval Operations, is from Lincoln County.

•Unique characteristics/fun fact: The oldest church in the area, First Presbyterian, was built in 1812.


— Compiled by staff writer Barry Courter, or 423-757-6354.