Historic Main Street Inn Bed & Breakfast
Located in the heart of Tennessee Walking Horse country about an hour southeast of Nashville and a scenic ten minutes off I-24 in historic Wartrace, Tennessee; the Main Street Inn is a turn-of-the-century Victorian Painted Lady restored to its original elegance and located one-half block from antique and gift shops in downtown Wartrace.
For reservations: (931) 389-0389
Web Site Address: www.historicmainstreetinn.com
Janet & Jerry Fox – Innkeepers
PO Box 102
History of 207 Main Street
Our Queen Anne Victorian home was built in 1906 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The structure's exterior still has the original tin shingle roof and wood lapboard siding which is painted as an American Victorian Painted Lady with several colors. The primary colors are aqua and pink.
The original interior wood trim, heart of pine floors and four tiled fireplace hearths and wood mantels are intact. There are double nine foot tab pocket doors between the parlor and formal dining room with a single pocket door between the entry hall and parlor. A built-in china cabinet with a glass door graces the former Butler's pantry. First floor ceilings reach a height of eleven and a half feet. Since Wartrace did not have electricity until 1910 much of the construction and finish work was done by hand.
In 1904 prominent Wartrace resident E.L. Blackman, at age 27, purchased the Lot at 207 E. Main from M.D. and Julia A. Record for $400. Mr. Blackman was president of the Bedford County Bank and mayor of Wartrace for 25 years. A newspaper account in August of 1921 credits Mr. Blackman with saving the lives of two young boys who fell into nearby Garrison Creek which was flooded due to heavy rains. He died in 1934 at age 57 in a Nashville hospital. Inside the Wartrace city limits State Highway #64 is named Blackman Boulevard in his honor. Your innkeepers are in possession of a formal dinner jacket owned by Mr. Blackman.
In 1906 E.L. Blackman transferred the property to his brother B.G. Blackman who built the present house the same year. B.G. worked as an agent for the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway.
Among subsequent owners is a Reverend Burtis V. Christian who took title to the deed in 1952. The Christian family has a long history in Wartrace beginning with the mercantile firm of Christian & Son founded in 1894 by B.V's father Barney V. Christian, Sr. and grandfather J.A. Christian.
Reverend Christian was simultaneously pastor of three Baptist Churches in Bedford County and traveled extensively as an evangelist. A 1941 newspaper article mentions Christian's returning to Wartrace from a trip on which he conducted eight revivals with 82 conversions. His wife, Mildred Christian, was the Wartrace society correspondent for a Shelbyville newspaper for many years.
In later years the property was owned as a rental house with various tenants. Nashville residents and future innkeepers Jerry and Janet Fox acquired the property in 1996 and began restoration of the house as a Bed & Breakfast.
Established in 1851, the town became known as Wartrace Depot the following year when the Nashville and Chattanooga Rail Road built through eastern Bedford County. With the completion of a branchline from Wartrace to Shelbyville in 1852 the town became a quintessential "tank town" with a water tank, turntable and over sixty N&C employed families.
The name Wartrace comes from its original use as a trail for Native Americans. In I8I3 General Andrew Jackson is said to have carved "this is Wartrail Creek" into a beech tree near the stream that bears the name today.
Wartrace became known as a health resort in the late nineteenth century when special trains carried Victorians to the sulphur springs and wells located in the village. The demand for Wartrace bottled water was so great that it was shipped to other towns.
Through the years there have been at least six historic inns and hotels including The Chockley Tavern which served as a stagecoach stop and headquarters for Major General Patrick R. Cleburne during the Confederate withdrawal from Murfreesboro in 1862. The Old Chockley Inn & Tavern is still serving guests at the original location near the tracks downtown.
At one time Wartrace boasted five banks and two large flour mills. The Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway dispatched up to thirteen mainline passenger trains per day through town with the first class Dixie Flyer carrying well-heeled travelers between Chicago and Miami in plush parlor cars and drawing rooms.
The famous Tennessee Walking Horse breed was developed by Wartrace area horsemen in the I920's and 30's. The first grand champion Walking Horse, Strolling Jim, was trained and is buried behind the present day Walking Horse Hotel near downtown.
In the mid I990's the entire commercial district and several Wartrace homes were placed on the prestigious National Register of Historic Places. A "Walking Tour of Historic Homes and Buildings" brochure is available to visitors at local shops or at the Historic Main Street Inn Bed & Breakfast.
But first….a word from our guests
"The food..…a four star restaurant couldn't have been better. You should do a cookbook!" Paula & Rich Findley - Kingston Springs, TN
"A fabulous culinary experience."
Lisa & Carina Van Vliet - Cannes, FRANCE
"First rate service, beautiful decor and delicious food....truly the Old South at its best!"
Willa Jean & Carolyn Cagle - Florence, AL
"Great food, charming atmosphere....a delightful surprise!"
Paul Vossier - Toronto, CANADA
"Refreshments on a silver tray and a breakfast-spread fit for a queen!"
Lee Hoffman - Martin, TN
"....they even made a low-fat breakfast every day just for me."
Shelly Paine - Nashville, TN
"We have never had such fabulous breakfasts at any B&B."
Byron & Ann Boyd - McDonald, TN
"You have certainly set a standard that any future B&B we visit will struggle to meet....the food was fabulous and the service exceptional."
Bob & Denise Moorehead - Shippenville, AL
Ahh, yes. The food. The loving care we take in the preparation of our gourmet breakfasts is evident by the numerous comments we receive from our guests. All of our dishes are prepared fresh with special attention to seasoning and presentation.
A peek at our breakfast menu:
- Fruit crepes with fresh whipped cream
- Creamy scrambled eggs with shallots and fresh parsley
- Stuffed French toast with Main Street apricot sauce
- Eggs Benedict with hollandaise sauce
- Oven baked apple pancake
- Homemade breads and cinnamon pecan rolls