Broadway Drive Inn Theatre

The Broadway Drive Inn Theatre was built in 1950 by J.C. and Ruth Brown.  It is still family owned and operated by J.C. and Ruth’s grandson Johnny and his wife Roberta, with three children and grandchildren involved. 

The Broadway Drive In Theatre has hosted the making of many videos over the years. These videos were with entertainers such as Vince Gill, Hank Williams Jr., Pam Tills and Rodney Atkins.  Chevrolet and Country Music have produced calendars featuring the Broadway Drive In.

In 1995/96 The Marlboro Magazine Company listed Broadway as having the best hamburger in the U.S.  The “Broadway Burger”, as it is known, is grilled outside every night. The prices are kept low so customers can afford to bring the entire family to eat hamburgers, hotdogs, corn dogs, cheese fries, chili cheese fries, popcorn, candy and cokes.  As a matter of fact the Brown family works hard to maintain a fun family atmosphere by ensuring that the movies they show are all new releases and first run films, and are not rated R.

This rare and timeless theatre is a place to unwind.  Bring a lounge chair for the movie, an appetite for the food, and even a ball for the kids to play with before the movie.  




Clement Birthplace & Halbrook Railroad Museum

Built in 1913, J. T. Halbrook, a local Dickson businessman, constructed the hotel directly across from the Dickson Railroad Depot.  The facility served rail passengers, railway personnel, farmers, the general traveling public and the “drummers.”  In 1917, Belle S. Goad leased the hotel and managed it with the help of her sister Maybelle who married Robert S. Clement in 1919.  On June 2, 1920, their son Frank G. Clement was born there.   Frank Clement later served three terms as governor of Tennessee.  He also delivered the keynote speech at the 1956 Democratic National Convention.  As governor he established the mental health system in Tennessee and initiated the program to provide all Tennessee school children with text books.  Placed on the National Register of Historic Places as a state-owned historic site in 1990, the site officially opened in June 2009.






Charlotte, Tennessee Courthouse Square

Charlotte was established as the Seat of Dickson County Government on August 4, 1804 by an act of the Tennessee General Assembly.  Settlement began in the late 1790’s as a frontier community which served the Cumberland Furnace Iron Works six miles north of town.  Between 1804 and the onset of the Civil War, Charlotte developed into a thriving market town.  Charlotte was incorporated in 1838.  All roads, north south, east and west went through town.  After the completion of the railroad on the south side of the county, the prosperity of Charlotte waned leaving the community with its historic courthouse and Square.  One hundred and four years later, the county remains the community’s largest employer.  In August 2004, Charlotte celebrated its Bicentennial.  The center piece of the community is the Historic Dickson County Courthouse which remains the oldest courthouse still in use in Tennessee.  In 1973 Charlotte Courthouse Square Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 


Charlotte Courthouse Square Historic Buildings
The Dickson County Courthouse, ca. 1807-1812:  The oldest courthouse still in use in Tennessee.
The Cook-Collier House, ca. 1831-1929:  Home of former Tennessee Supreme Court Justice William L. Cook.
The Collier General Store, ca. 1849:  The business operated on the Square until 1895.
The Hickerson Hotel, ca. 1856:  Occupied by Union forces during the Civil War.
The Hickerson Shoe Shop, ca. 1876:  In addition to a shoe shop it was also a tailor’s shop and at one period housed extra rooms for hotel guests. 
The Christopher C. Collier House, ca. 1831:  Home of Christopher Collier, owner of the Charlotte General Store. 
Charlotte City Hall, ca. 1832:  Multiple uses included over 175 years included a
broom making business, a residence, an office space, the Charlotte Post Office and the Masonic Lodge.  In 1999, the City of Charlotte purchased the property and rehabilitated it for use as the city hall.
Former Charlotte City Hall, ca.1900:  Formerly the law office of William M. Leach, Sr., father of William M. Leach, Jr., former Tennessee Attorney General.   In 1966 to 1999 was the City Hall. 
The H. R. Lovell Gallery, formerly the Mallory and Leech Mercantile Store, ca.1860:  
Old Jailer’s House, ca. 1830-1950:  From 1830 until 1977 was the only county jail in Dickson County.  A log jail was built on this site in1806,
  The Cumberland Presbyterian Church, ca.1865:  During the Civil War Union force used it as a field hospital.
   The Child Advocacy Center, formerly The Bower’s Store Building, ca. 1888.  This was originally a general mercantile store, drug store, millinery shop, café and apartments. 
The L. L. Leech Mercantile Store, ca. 1849:  This is the only three story brick commercial building in Charlotte.  The hand-carved limestone lintel over the main entrance was designed with symbolic forms representing the merchandise trade, and was once the site of the Masonic Lodge. 
The Voorhies-James House and Store, ca. 1806:  Jacob Voorhies purchased the property in 1831 for his mercantile business, and established the first school for classical studies, the Tracey Academy. Voorhies also served in the Tennessee State Senate. 







Dickson County Historic Courthouse

August 5, 1807 - 2006
Seat of Dickson County Government
Charlotte, Tennessee

An act of the Tennessee General Assembly which created the Town of Charlotte as the seat for Dickson County government on August 4, 1804, mandated that two acres be set aside for a public square based on the original town plan.  The General Assembly further directed that “a courthouse, prison and stocks” were to be erected on the site.  In September 1806 Term of the Dickson County Quarterly Court, funding was authorized and bids were let for the construction of a log Court House.  As the iron industry grew, agriculture flourished and more settlers moved into the area claiming or purchasing land grants, the county fathers determined the need for a larger and more substantial structure. A two story, brick courthouse was built to replace the original log structure.

On May 30, 1830, a tornado demolished most of the Town of Charlotte severely damaging the brick courthouse.  On July 6th the Quarterly Court quickly authorized repairs to the school house for meetings, the removal of all brick from the courthouse site to search for records and papers, and repairs to the jail.  Phillip Murray, a local undertaker and builder, was authorized to rebuild the brick courthouse on the foundation of the damaged building.  By the end of July, construction was begun and in.   October 1830 of the Dickson County Quarterly court met in the newly rebuilt courthouse.
Between 1870 and 1899 Dickson sought to wrest the control of county government from Charlotte.  By 1899, Circuit and Chancery courts were held in Dickson, while County Court sessions were held in Charlotte, thus creating a division within the county which impacted commerce, industry, politics and religion.    The maintenance, repairs and operation of two facilities were costly.  In October 1926, Quarterly Court appropriated $32,000.00 to construct a new courthouse in Dickson and to repair  the one in Charlotte.  After considerable debate, a committee was appointed to select a site in Dickson although no provision was made to fund the project.  At the next session of court, the committee reported “...the original lot that the old courthouse is situated on...” was the best location.  It was also owned by the county and did not require the purchase of additional land on the south side of the county. 

On April 8, 1930, the County commissioners appropriated $30,000.00 to be used for repairing and remodeling the Courthouse in Charlotte.  Nashville architects Doughtery and Gardner were selected to draw the plans and specifications for the courthouse.  Two new wings were added; the four chimneys were torn down, the roof was raised, the 100 year old stone steps removed at the entrances to be replaced by new concrete steps. Seven offices were located on the first floor; the entire second floor comprised the courtroom auditorium with seating for 220 people. 

During the next forty-seven years this facility served the needs of county government.  By the early 1970's the court systems and county governmental functions were severely cramped for space. In 1977 a two story courthouse annex was constructed on the south side of the square.  With the exception of the General Sessions Court, all court and county business were moved into the courthouse annex. 

Debate occasionally arises as to the best location for the Dickson County “Seat of
Government.”  The population explosion coupled with the rapid growth of business and industry along Interstate 40 has in many minds justified the removal of the county offices to the Dickson area.  However, the legalities of accomplishing this move as well as the cost have negated the issue to date.  The City of Charlotte has served as the county seat for 205 years, and has preserved the architectural history and a quality of life which reflects the evolution of county government through two centuries.






The War Memorial Building

Building construction started in1932 and was completed in 1933 and since has been occupied by various groups: Civic, Community, Veterans, City and County Officials and many others.

This building was erected for the purpose of honoring all veterans, living and deceased.  It has become a perpetual memorial to veterans of all wars.

From 1933 to the end of World War II, this structure was also occupied by the Dickson County Library for the use of all citizens in Dickson  and surrounding counties.
This facility also became headquarters for The Draft Board during the years of 1939 and 1940.  It also served as a departure point for citizens leaving for the military, during the period of 1933 to 1946.

The building was used regularly by music groups such as school bands and recitals held by music instructors and their students, with the auditorium being filled to capacity on each occasion.

Bond drives were held in this building and on the Memorial Building grounds during World War II. City, County, State and National Officials spoke at these events.  Judges, Mayors, Congressman, Senators and Governors all participated to boost moral during this time.

Young adults such as the Coalition Club of Woman held dances on the lower level for fund raising purposes.  The McDowell Music Club consisting of ladies who were music teachers, conducted music studies and also hosted many music functions in this building in these same years.  These two organizations were comprised of citizens all across Dickson and surrounding counties.

>Dickson County Veteran's Services









The Cumberland Furnace Iron Museum

The Cumberland Iron Works Museum:  Known originally as the Grimes House, is a double pen log structure built ca. 1850.   The museum is operated by the Cumberland Furnace Historic Village Association.  In 1988, the Cumberland Iron works and village was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Today the community has a small iron museum and is a stop on the Tennessee Iron Furnace Trail on the Western Highland Rim.  For more information about the Tennessee Iron Furnace Trail go to




The Drouillard House

The Drouillard House, ca 1868-1870:  This Victorian Italianate style mansion, built as a summer house for James and Florence Drouillard, is the only surviving 19th century mansion in Dickson County.  The site is privately owned and operated as a commercial enterprise today.  Go to






Promise Land Church

Promise Land was established and settled by African-Americans shortly after the emancipation from slavery.  Many of the earlier residents had been slaves working at the furnace.  During the Reconstruction Period, land was set aside to allow former slaves to establish themselves as free people.  The community thrived from about 1870 to 1920.  After World War I, many young men and women began to move north searching for better working conditions and opportunities.  In 1957, the Promise Land School closed due to lack of students. 

Work is currently underway to restore the school as a one-room schoolhouse museum.  It currently houses many displays of memorabilia and photographs interpreting the Promise Land Community and life in this African American community. The Promise Land School was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.  For more information about Promise Land go to


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