Nestled in the rolling hills of Tennessee is the quaint little town of Bell Buckle full of architectural delights. We have chosen twelve of our historic homes for you to find on the Historic Walk of Bell Buckle Scavenger Hunt. Many of these homes, photos, and descriptions along with others not included with this scavenger hunt can be found in the Bell Buckle Park Cookbook Volume 1 which can be purchased at the Bell Buckle Café.
We have included a little history as you tour our tree lined sidewalks looking for the home matching the photos for the Scavenger Hunt as we think you’ll find our history as interesting as we do!
Here’s what you will need to do to complete the scavenger hunt:
- Every time you find one of the items from the photos showing the scavenger items, you must take your picture standing with it and tag us.
- On Facebook tag us @bellbucklechambertn
- On Instagram tag us @bellbucklechamber
- Once you’ve found and photographed yourself with all twelve homes, then we will enter you in a drawing that will take place the end of each month from one of the shops in Bell Buckle that will be announced on the Bell Buckle Facebook and Instagram sites.
- You must have all photos completed to enter the drawing.
- One drawing per category per month. There is a Bell Buckle Town Scavenger Hunt, a Historic Homes Scavenger Hunt, and a Bell Buckle Art Walk Scavenger Hunt.
If you have any questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that due to the high volume of emails we receive, that it may take several days to receive a response.
Put on your walking shoes and take a stroll through our historic neighborhoods. We bet you’ll get more than one “Hi, how y’all doing?”!
Scavenger Hunt Historic Home History
The Rooney Home
This is a late 19th century Victorian style clapboard/frame residence. It has two stories with an irregular plan with a gable roof. Turned posts and balustrades with jigsaw ornamentation and carved verge boards at gables enclose the veranda. Ornamental caps cover the windows. And her green thumb!
In 1875, a brick church was built on the west side of the railroad tracks and was named Bell Buckle Methodist Church. Reverend A.T. Crawford was the very first pastor. Sawney Webb, the Webb School’s founder, funded the church. The present-day church was built in 1893 and the first service held was the Sunday after Christmas, by Reverend James Craig. Sunday school classrooms were added in the 1920’s. The Sunday school superintendent was Gerald Follin, The Webb School’s headmaster. The two front windows were sealed in 1932, when the pipe organ, a gift from Arch Latimer in Nashville, was installed. The two stone tablets pictured above were added in 1997, after church-goer Mildred Locke had a vision about the Ten Commandments.
The Webb Cottage
Affectionately referred to as Webb Cottage, this home is an 1868 Victorian style home which features the original clapboard. It has a part of the fence that used to circle all of Webb Road, which survived carpetbagging during Civil War times. It was featured in Country Kitchen Magazine in 2002, and was once the temporary home of legendary schoolmaker Sawney Webb. Today the home is occupied by former Mayor Dennis Webb and his wife Carla.
The Winnett Home
The Winnett Home was built in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s. It is also known as the Burl White Home, named after the first Post Master in town who lived in the home. Once he moved out, the home was purchased by Pearl and Virginia Sain and turned into apartments.
The Old Anderson Home
Built in the 1890’s this farmhouse has a veranda porch with columns across the entire house. There are 3 identical dormers and the roof still has its original tin shingles.
Built by John Paty Sr. in 1914. Descendants of the late Mr. Paty have told a story about a baby falling out an upstairs window on the West side and landing in a bush, unharmed. In the 40’s-60’s the home housed boarding students from the Webb school. Originally had a wood stove and a few rooms have been renovated over the years. It still has the original hand pump and cistern. The house is nicknamed “Flying Pig Manor” for the garden statue.
The Mingle Home
This late-victorian style home was built in 1898 by John Hoover, This home was the first in Bell Buckle to have a telephone (his phone number was, literally, “#1”). In the early days of Webb school, male students boarded here. The home is noted for it’s pocket doors, mirrored mantles, and diamond-shaped windows.
The Taff Home
Many remember this home as “Jeanette’s house.” Jeanette was a well-known town figure, primarily known for her immaculate dumpster-diving skills. A self-proclaimed hoarder, Ms Jeanette took up dumpster diving as a hobby during the day, and read books all night. Many children of the time revered Jeanette as a Robin Hood figure, who would find things in dumpsters for the needy school children and leave it on her porch for them to take. When Jeanette died in 2008, the home almost fell into ruin. Due to the excessive hoarding, the home was nearly destroyed. However, the home was saved by a massive renovation and repair done by Robert Allison. Today the home is occupied by six-time Grammy award winner Russ Taff and his family. The home was built in 1905 by the Whiteside family: the parents were farmers, and each of their 9 children went on to grand academic and legal careers. Before “Jeanette the Dumpster Queen” moved in, the Douglas family lived there, where porch sing-alongs happened on a nearly weekly basis.
The Walker Inn
Today known as The Walker Inn, the White House was built in 1895 by Dr. White (1 of the 3 town doctors of that time). Both of his children lived in the home after his death (fun fact: one daughter, Bette White, married a Mr. Davis, thus making her Bette Davis). The home stayed in the family for 50 plus years until it was bought by Mary Lynn Walker – she is the 6th owner in 120 years. The home now functions as a bed and breakfast, which guests always thoroughly enjoy.
Built in the late Victorian era, this home features a clapboard frame, gable roof, wooden shutters, and wraparound deck which are original. The home was renovated in 1999, when the third floor was added. In recent years, it functioned as a Bed & Breakfast called “Candleshoe.” It was featured in Country Almanac 2002 and was photographed for Southern Living Magazine the same year.
Known today as The Russ Faxon Studio, this building was once part of the other Depot Square, located on the other side of the train tracks. In the 1800’s, this strip of stores housed a feed mill, supply store, saloon, and even a brothel. In the late 1800’s, the strip was devoured by a fire, leaving this building nearly unscathed. In the late 1970’s, the building was purchased by world-famous artist and sculptor Russ Faxon, where it is now his office, studio, and home. In the early days, this area was a stockyard. In the 1940’s-1960’s, the structure was Harley Mullin’s Grocery, and it had a Masonic lodge upstairs.
The Owen Home
A veranda across the front distinguishes this beautiful residence with shingle-clad gables and a Palladian style dormer window. To the rear of the house is a small brick independent cellar, which has an entry above ground.