Old Decatur

Old Decatur Walking Tour Introduction

A quick history on Old Decatur, tracing from the town’s settlement in 1817 through the 1878 yellow fever epidemic.

Old Decatur Walking Tour Video 1

Historic Bank Street is the first stop on the tour. The Tennessee River and the L&N Railroad both played major roles in the town’s storied past.

Old Decatur Walking Tour Video 2

At 725 Bank Street, learn about the colorful characters of Simp McGhee and Miss Kate.

Old Decatur Walking Tour Video 3

At the corner of Bank and Cherry Streets stands the Hargrove & Murdock Grocery Store built in 1897. From here, you’ll proceed two blocks east into the heart of Old Decatur to visit the Hamil House and John T. Banks Building.

Old Decatur Walking Tour Video 4

Stops 6 through 9 are located together on Line Street and feature the stately Shadowlawn and the Japanese Garden at Frasier Park.

Old Decatur Walking Tour Video 5

The next three homes on the tour are located on Ferry Street, including two grand homes with Victorian-style architecture.

Old Decatur Walking Tour Video 6

The Wert-Martin home is located on the corner of Walnut and Line Streets. One block west on Walnut is the only Art Deco home in the district, affectionately known as Fort Nash.

Old Decatur Walking Tour Video 7

Stops 15 and 16 are on opposite corners of Line and Vine Streets. The Moseley House at 618 Line is a Second Empire style home with Victorian detailing.

Old Decatur Walking Tour Video 8

Stops 17, 18 and 19 are on LaFayette Street and include a beautiful Victorian, a pair of small Sears Kit homes, and one of the four structures in Decatur not burned to the ground during the Civil War.

Old Decatur Walking Tour Video 9

The Carnegie Library at 207 Church Street is our next stop. Funded by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, this building today houses a visual arts center that is open to the public and there is no admission charge.

Old Decatur Walking Tour Video 10

At the corner of LaFayette and Canal Streets is First United Methodist Church, Decatur’s earliest congregation.

Old Decatur Walking Tour Video 11

At the northern end of Bank Street is the Old State Bank, the oldest standing bank in the state. The building was used during the Civil War by the Union Army as a hospital. The Bank is open for free public tours Monday through Friday. From this location, you can also view the Dancy-Polk built in 1829. The final stop on the tour is Rhodes Ferry Park, a beautiful public park on the banks of the Tennessee River.