Rogersville is absolutely loaded to the brim with some of the most amazing history in the state. Settled in1775 by Davy Crockett’s grandparents, it is named for Joseph Rogers. The Hawkins County Courthouse is the second oldest in the state and the state’s first newspaper, the The Knoxville Gazette, and the first post office in Tennessee all call Rogersville home. For a population of less than 5,000 this town has some of the most amazing places to eat, play, and stay. STAY: Hales Springs Inn, 110 W. Main StreetThis nine room inn was built in 1824 and served as a place of refuge for three American presidents. The federalist style building is also home to McKinney’s Restaurant and Tavern and maybe a couple of resident ghosts. Guests feel as though they have stepped back to the 1800s when they stay here, making it one of the most unique inns still remaining in Tennessee.
EAT: Hollywood Hillbilly, 116 E. Main StreetThis full restaurant and bar is where we spent our first night in Rogersville and my goodness do they know how to have a good time. Dean, the owner, took a chance on opening this when most of the world was shut down for the pandemic. This hands down one of the coolest places to listen to live music and gaze into their 300 gallon fish aquarium.
EAT: Red Dog on Main, 120 E. Main StreetThis taproom and eatery has all the American favorites with a flair that will have you remembering this place for years to come! Hands down the best French Onion soup we have ever had in addition to real woodfire pizzas. You cannot go wrong at the Red Dog. We also heard a little rumor that there may be a speakeasy coming to the basement of Red Dog soon.
EAT: Bull Babies, 109 South Church StreetWe had the chance to eat here twice and if we had more days, it would have been more! Bull Babies was established by two sisters looking for a change in their life and in turn, they made a huge impact on Rogersville, with the best breakfast in town. Their baked goods, waffles, and breakfast sandwiches are simply out of this world.
PLAY: Downtown RogersvilleThe Heritage Association of Rogersville and the Rogersville/Hawkins County Chamber of Commerce worked in conjunction to establish A Walk Through Time: Touring Rogersville’s Historic District, a walking tour that allows you to immerse yourself in the history of one of the oldest towns in Tennessee. A brochure on the walking tour can be found at several locations in town.
PLAY: Tennessee Newspaper and Printing Museum, 415 South Depot StreetGeorge Roulstone, the first printer in Tennessee, brought his press from North Carolina in 1791 to where Kingston stands today. From there, he floated it on a flat boat all the way to Rogersville here he established the Knoxville Gazette, the first piece of printing ever attempted in Tennessee. The history of his fascinating business did not stop there. A trip to this museum will show you just how far printing has come and just how much Rogersville was advanced before its time.
PLAY: Crocket Springs Park, 200 Crocket StreetCrocket Springs Park is one of the most historic and peaceful places in Rogersville. This is where Davis and Elizabeth Crocket received their 281 acres through a land grant and built their log cabin. They are also buried in the park, victims of a Native American attack. The park is perfect for pictures, picnics, or just a refreshing walk away from the hustle and bustle of life.
Rogersville, Tennessee has so much to offer for anyone planning to visit there. Everyone should visit this quaint, beautiful town at least once!