(Information taken from Sparta White County Chamber of Commerce and Goodspeed’s History of Tennessee. Goodspeed, Nashville and Chicago, 1887.)


"Sparta, the county seat and principal town and commercial point of White County, is situated on the left bank of Calfkiller River, in a beautiful valley at the foot of and about five miles distance from the Cumberland Mountains, and at the terminus of the Sparta & McMinnville Branch of the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway, about 140 miles from the first named (Tennessee) city, and has a population of about 800." -- Goodspeed, 1887


What Goodspeed couldn't foretell was that Sparta and White County would also become one of the nation's top resonators of a musical genre that could aptly be described as a "bluegrassroots" movement.


For it is in these low-lying valleys and high-flying hills, alongside these calling creeks and rolling rivers and around these woodlands and waterfalls that one can hear the high-pitch, close-knit harmony of voices, guitars and banjos -- sending out that unmistakable sound of bluegrass.


That distinctive sound has been emanating from Sparta and White County for so long and in such profusion that we have become, proudly, Bluegrass USA!


redbud tree behind a monument

Dedicated in Honor of Lester Flatt of Sparta, TN. Lester Raymond Flatt (1914-1979) was one of the forefathers of the American Bluegrass style of music.


the rock house

The small, stone Rock House, originally built to collect tolls on a private road, was built between 1835 and 1839 by Barlow Fiske, who operated a stage coach inn and stables nearby. It played an important role in the early development of Tennessee's transportation system. Andrew Jackson often stopped here on trips from Nashville to Washington. Other notable visitors included James K. Polk, Sam Houston, and Frank Clement, all once governors of the Volunteer State.