This small town traces its name back to a little square log Presbyterian church built by its first settlers on the banks of Hart's Branch of the Stone River. These settlers were Revolutionary War veterans from North Carolina and Virginia. The arrival of the railroad in the 1850s turned the small community into a town, and the new stationmaster took the town's name from the church, which is named for a Bible passage in the Book of Revelation. The town remained heavily agricultural until the establishment of the Sewart Air Force Base in 1941, when over 10,000 military personnel and their families called Smyrna home. When it closed in the 1970s, the town's population plummeted. Despite the economic blow, this resourceful town survived and came back stronger, converting military structures into industrial space and an airport. The impoundment of Percy Priest Lake in the 1960s brought tourists and visitors, and the arrival of Nissan North America in the 1980s made Smyrna the home of the first Japanese auto maker to open a plant in the U.S.

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