December 16, 2021
Is there a town like Andy Griffith’s Mayberry? If you long for a simpler time and place, make a beeline for the tiny town of Granville, located just 60 miles (yet a world away) from Nashville.
Tucked along the shores of scenic Cordell Hull Lake, Granville's idyllic and quaint nature has earned it the nickname “Tennessee's Mayberry Town.”
Settled in the early 1800s, Granville has evolved over the years from a pioneer village to a riverboat town, a farming community and finally the historic tourism destination it is today. More than 200 friendly volunteers welcome visitors to explore Granville's eight museum attractions that dot the historic town's Instagram-worthy Clover Street.
Things to Do in Granville
1880 Sutton General Store
Start your journey at the 1880 T.B. Sutton General Store, where you can purchase a Memory Lane Walking Tour ticket that allows you to enter all of Granville’s attractions. The general store was named for T.B. (Ben) Sutton, who took ownership of it in 1925 and operated it for more than 45 years. It was the centerpiece of the Granville community and remains so to this day. Visitors can shop for souvenirs in the general store's gift shop, including handmade jewelry, hand-carved walking sticks, hats, knives, books and old-time candies, jams and jellies. Perhaps the biggest draw is the store's old-fashioned lunch counter, which serves a daily meat-and-three special, turnip greens, pinto beans and cornbread, along with homemade sandwiches, soups and desserts. Sit a spell and enjoy a scoop of hand-dipped ice cream or a root beer float.
Sutton Ole Time Music Hour
If bluegrass and old-time music bring a smile to your face, spend a Saturday evening at the Sutton General Store for its weekly Sutton Ole Time Music Hour.
The nostalgic experience begins with a family-style, Southern dinner prepared by the area's best cooks and served in the store's old feed room where flour, meal and feed were once sold. The music hour features a different band each week and is broadcast on the radio in every state and numerous countries, as well as through the Armed Forces Radio Network. Seating is limited, so reservations are required.
Mayberry – I Love Lucy Museum
Granville earned new bragging rights in June 2020 with the opening of the Mayberry – I Love Lucy Museum, which preserves the legacy of both “The Andy Griffith Show” and “I Love Lucy.” Both popular television sitcoms aired on CBS and were filmed in Desilu Studios; and both celebrated life's simple pleasures and funny moments. The museum invites visitors to browse rare artifacts from both shows, from Aunt Bee's glasses and the police car cookie jar to Lucy's dishes, autographed prints, pictures and one-of-a-kind collectibles.
Granville Whiskey Decanter Museum
You don't have to be a whiskey connoisseur to enjoy Granville's newest attraction, the Granville Whiskey Decanter Museum, which opened in 2021. The unusual museum has approximately 2,000 Jim Beam Whiskey decanters on display – an impressive collection donated by Charles Barrett of Watertown, Tenn. Jim Beam Distillery filled ornamental bottles with their whiskey beginning in 1955, and the decorative decanters were produced in categories such as states, sports, people, political, regal china, casino and many others on display in the museum.
Discover interesting exhibits on riverboats, the Cumberland River, farming, the military, the Civil War and local businesses, schools and families at the Granville Museum, housed in the former Granville Church of Christ. Built in 1873, the building was originally Granville Christian Church before becoming the Church of Christ. It also served as the Granville Private School in 1912. Community members banded together and opened it to visitors as the Granville Museum in 1999.
Sutton Homestead & Pioneer Village
Take a guided tour of the original 1880 home that belonged to Sutton General Store owners Ben and Ethel Sutton. The historic home still houses the Sutton family's furniture and photos. It features special exhibits and themed displays that change four times throughout the year. The adjacent Pioneer Village invites visitors to stroll through the grist mill shop, blacksmith shop, weaving shop, 1950s Gulf Service Station and car museum, and 1820s log cabin. Live demonstrators can be seen crafting brooms, pottery, baskets, woodcarvings and more.
Pioneer Village Car Museum
Marvel at the craftsmanship and creativity of automobiles from days gone by at Granville's Car Museum. Housed in an old-fashioned service station, the car museum features vehicles that change periodically throughout the year, as well as vintage signs, calendars and classic bicycles. Granville also has the Clemons Car Museum with 1950s automobiles.
“Farm to Your Table” Agriculture Museum
Walk through the “Farm to Your Table” Agriculture Museum and explore hundreds of artifacts that tell the story of rural Tennessee’s rich agricultural heritage.
Take a close look at a 1943 milk delivery truck formerly used by Purity Dairies and discover the role of eggs and chickens in the life of a farm family. You’ll also see exhibits on pork processing, farm implements, the importance of mules to farm life, and a horse-drawn carriage once used to transport caskets to places of burial. Be sure to snap a photo in front of the big farm mural in this family-friendly museum.
Floyd's Barber Shop, Shopping & Lodging
Mayberry fans can snap a selfie in front of Floyd's Barber Shop and then shop for souvenirs in the Granville Gift Shop (housed in Granville's former bank) and The Southern Shops of Granville. Take home a Mayberry T-shirt and browse the extensive collection of antiques, home and garden decor, and Christmas items.
Where to Stay in Granville
If Granville's relaxed atmosphere charms you into staying more than a day (which is often the case), Granville Bed & Breakfast offers overnight lodging in two historic homes – The Jared House and The Carter House. For breakfast, your hosts stock the refrigerator with sausage biscuits, pastries, sourdough bread, milk, juice and plenty of coffee you can enjoy at your convenience.