Memphis is a famous city for many reasons; the origin of blues music, Elvis’s Graceland home, big roles in the Civil Rights Movements, and great food. But not a lot of people know the history and importance of the cities surrounding it. Germantown, just 14 miles outside Memphis, has its very own charm. Keep reading here to learn some about some history, culture and things to do in our hometown of Germantown, TN!
The first settlers arrived in the area now known as Germantown around 1825. The community then was known as Pea Ridge in 1833 and—after town lots were laid out—was renamed Germantown later to reflect the city’s strong presence of German families.
Germantown was officially incorporated as a city in 1841. The Memphis-Charleston Railroad was built through Germantown in 1852, opening up travel for the city and helping it grow. The community had some setbacks through the Civil War and the yellow fever epidemics, but after some rebuilding, the town recovered.
During the twentieth century, Germantown began building strength through citizen involvement in organizations like the Poplar Pike Improvement Association and the Germantown Civic Club. In the last half of the 20th century, the city’s population skyrocketed from 400 to more than 40,000.
The Germantown community still thrives with old town charm today. Tourists and visitors can still peruse the area’s historical sites like Old Germantown, Fort Germantown, John Gray House, Kirby Farms, and Oaklawn Gardens. And the Genealogy Center gives you information about the history of Germantown and the South.
Germantown has a strong equestrian heritage displayed through its life-sized horse sculptures throughout downtown and seasonal horse shows. If you’re a horse lover, you’ll be amazed by some of the city’s tributes to our equine friends!
No need to go to Beale Street for rhythm and blues; Germantown has plenty of music, too. You can catch a show or a symphony at the Germantown Performing Arts Center. And you can go on the Public Art Walk, where new and permanent art pieces are displayed throughout many city structures. There are outdoor activities in Germantown, too, like Bobby Lanier Farm Park, a 10-acre education center for sustainable living.
Of course, if you’re looking for a new car or SUV in the Germantown area, be sure to stop by Gossett Volkswagen Germantown! Our dealership offers a wide range of new VW cars for local buyers, including the 2016 Passat, Jetta, Beetle and CC. For more information, browse our website or give us a call today at (901) 405-4909. We hope to see you soon!