The story goes that William Nolen and his family were traveling through the area when his wagon broke down. Stopping to fix it, Nolen noticed the abundant game and clean water, and he decided to travel no further. He purchased a large piece of property and began dividing lots for the town that still bears his name, officially incorporated in 1838. You can still see William Nolen’s home today.
This sleepy agricultural community suffered heavily during the Civil War, supplying the Confederate Army with its young men and bearing the impact of skirmishes as troops from both sides made their way to the Battle of Stones River in 1862. Following the war, the town slowly rebuilt despite destruction and limited labor supply. Nolensville Road became a major route between Chapel Hill and Nashville, bringing stagecoach traffic and the need for hotels and businesses in town.
Still a small, rural community, Nolensville reincorporated in 1996 and is looking forward to future growth as it preserves its village heritage. The flourishing area is filled with beautifully preserved sites. To navigate around Nolensville, do as the locals do. Use the historic First United Methodist Church with its high steeple as a landmark. Drive or stroll down Nolensville Road from north of Oldham Drive to the south as far as York/Williams Road to see many structures from the 1800s, some still in use as homes or stores.
Once the center of Nolensville, visit the Nolensville Feed Mill, which houses a store with Amish goods. Also, take note of the Nolensville Co-Op Creamery, which made butter known throughout the area and is now an antiques store.
Visitors today experience the ABCs of Nolensville: antiques, barbecue and chicken. Said to be an antiquer’s dream, most of the old buildings of the farming community are now antiques stores. Notable stops include Roses & Rustics Antique Shop, The Roost Antiques, Three French Hens and The Village Antiques & Gifts. Once you’ve finished shopping for A, stop for B at the local hotspot Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint. If you’re in the mood for C, try the chicken at McDougal's Chicken.
Embracing its agricultural roots, this town offers visitors the “ABCs of Nolensville,” antiques, barbecue and catfish.