The small town of Arlington, Tennessee has been west Tennessee’s best kept secret for years now. Although the tiny town has managed to climb into a solidly populated city in the last ten years, it still manages to maintain its sweet edge of southern hospitality and charm. Care to take a visit?
Located on the eastern edge of Shelby County, just outside of Memphis, Arlington was actually originally known as Haystown, named after Samuel Jackson Hays, who was a nephew of fellow famous Tennessean President Andrew Jackson.
While Arlington isn't the original name, the history of its name change is fascinating. After over 60 years of being called Haysville, the town found that it could not incorporate the name Haysville with the new post office. A resident who had recently visited the national capital suggested the town be called Arlington after the National Cemetery, and the name stuck.
The Rachel H.K. Burrow Museum is open in the summers (from April to October) and showcases the history of the town and its area. The building in which it currently resides was built in 1905 and has served as a bank and as the town library at different points in its history. (Not Pictured)
The S.Y. Wilson & Company general store was founded in 1893 and continues to be the center point of commerce in Arlington. The business is still in the Wilson family (now on the fourth generation) and is the second oldest continuously operating business in Shelby County.
A monument to the industry of the Tennessean frontier, the town's Blacksmith Shop was built in the 1800s and stands as one of the few working blacksmith shops left in the United States. Demonstrations are given during the annual "Arlington in April" festival, but special tours are given by appointment.
Arlington has seen a boom in growth in the last twenty years, growing over four times the size in population from 2000 to 2013. In fact, the 2010 census showed Arlington to be the 2nd fastest growing community in Tennessee. We think it's easy to see why!
As we mentioned earlier, Arlington's big annual bash is called "Arlington in April," which is, of course, every April. The 2017 edition is slated for April 29th and will feature over 100 arts and crafts booths as well as live music. The best part? It's free!
Funning from May to October, Arlington also puts on live music concerts on the third Saturday of the month. Be sure to take a weekend and head down to the Historic Depot Square to catch some summer sun and great music.