A Tennessee Town is Coming Together to Save This 200-Year-Old Home
Friends of Tennessee's 'Bridal House' are also looking for stories to add to the home's history.
Back in 1819, Moore Cotton’s daughter, Elizabeth, got married. Cotton’s parents were the founding family of Cottontown, Tennessee and, like most fathers, he wanted to keep his daughter close to home. As a wedding gift, he built her a two-story home built out of three-foot wide logs. Appropriately enough, the home became known as the Bridal House.
Almost 200 years later, the home still stands on Highway 25, some seven miles west of Gallatin, Tn., and was added to The National Register of Historic Places in 1982. The Bridal House was left to Sumner County by one of its former owner’s, Donald Brickey, after he passed away in 2016, according to The Tennessean. The County was thrilled to have the home. “(The Bridal House) is the last of the Cotton family’s residences,” said Ken Thomson, president of the Sumner County Historical Society. “Historic homes disappear every day. In this disposable era, it’s remarkable when we can save one.
The County has been working hard to maintain the Bridal House, but like many historic homes throughout the South, it needs a lot of care and that costs money. That’s where Friends of the Bridal House comes in.
The group is staging an auction on July 15 to raise money for the home’s care and to help return it to its historical glory.
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In addition to collecting money for the home’s upkeep, they are also collecting stories. "We're trying to gather family stories to make it interesting," Jane Wright, president of the group, told The Tennessean. They are looking at the Cotton family tree in the hopes of piecing together a history of the house, the family, and Cottontown itself. Friends of the Bridal House are hoping that getting a sense of the home’s history will help them restore it accurately and, if they are lucky, family members may come forward with furniture or trinkets that once furnished the home.
Once the house is restored, the Friends and the county hope to open the doors of the Bridal House to the public so they can enjoy a trip down Cottontown’s memory lane.