Hendersonville was established in the late 1700s by Revolutionary War hero and land surveyor General Daniel Smith, who also served as a United States senator. Smith settled here and built a magnificent home for his family, the historic Rock Castle, which still stands and is one of Hendersonville’s most visited destinations. The estate of General Smith is situated on 18 acres along Old Hickory Lake, and includes nature trails and a beautiful botanical garden. But the town is actually named after Captain William Henderson, another Revolutionary War veteran who settled here about 10 years after Rock Castle was completed. Henderson was the town’s first postmaster, starting in 1801.
The economic growth and popularity of Hendersonville was spurred in the 20th century by the construction of the Old Hickory Dam in 1954. Soon Hendersonville was one of the larger suburbs of Nashville - although by today’s standards it was still just a tiny village. Then in 1969 – when Hendersonville only had a population of 250 – it was incorporated. Since then it has enjoyed steady growth, and now it is the 10th largest city in Tennessee and one of the fastest growing communities in the state.
Downtown Nashville and Nashville’s International Airport are both within 20 miles of Hendersonville, so Hendersonville offers the job opportunities and other benefits of being located so close to the city. Meanwhile – with 26 miles of shoreline along Old Hickory Lake – Hendersonville offers a natural getaway with lots of outdoor recreation and easy access to the water.
The local Arts Council, housed within the Monthaven Mansion (which is included in the National Register of Historic Places), also organizes a variety of cultural and artistic events throughout the year. Hendersonville offers art and culture, too, with wine tastings, live music performance, and a special summer concert series. The Hendersonville Performing Arts Company has also been putting on its popular theater productions for the whole family for nearly 20 years. Perhaps best of all, the community has also successfully retained the charm and character of a small town of around 60,000 people.
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