The Granville Mercantile was built in 1923 and has served a myriad of purposes over the years. It began, almost a century ago, as a general store in the bustling downtown of Granville. It later served a myriad of other purposes. My great-uncle, a World War I veteran, helped operate it as a pool hall in the 1950s. In the 1970s, when I was a child, it was once again a grocery store, run by the parents of one of my best friends. New owners later added a pool table and a jukebox. That little grocery store survived for a while, then Granville turned into a ghost town of sorts. For years the old Mercantile stood vacant, primarily used for storage. It suffered the wounds of age and termites, yet it stood the test of time, silently facing its older cousin, the Ben Sutton store. Recently, our family set about on an extensive, year-long renovation of the historic building, and for the past couple of years we’ve been excited to see it as as very popular Airbnb destination for events and stays. We’re honored to be a footnote in its history, and to have helped restore it to what it always has been: a welcoming place on the main street of my hometown.
The Presbyterian Church was built in 1922, and was one of three active churches in town when I was a child. A little over twenty years ago, with membership and attendance below a handful, my grandmother made the difficult decision to close the church. As we closed the church, my grandmother made arrangements to purchase the building, and we promised ourselves that we would do our best to keep the building in good shape and to always use it in a way that would be in keeping with the earliest values of the building. We have maintained the building in its original form, and I’m excited about the recent detail work that we’ve done on the exterior, as well as the new paint and carpet on the inside. My grandmother has long since passed, but I know that she would be ecstatic to know that weddings are happening here again.
James K. Turner, Proprietor
Where is (what is) Granville?
Granville is one of the old steamboat towns in the Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee. It was part of North Carolina when my ancestors moved here in the 1790s. Back then this territory was the Cumberland River, canebrakes, longhunters, Cherokees, and a fight for survival with the elements and the land. Granville was never more than a small town, a place where we were all family, a place where we survived war and famine and nature. Today, Granville has become a tourist town—a place to vacation, a place to breathe.
We are a little more than an hour east of downtown Nashville, about two hours west of Knoxville, two hours north of Chattanooga, and less than 30 minutes from Cookeville. We are at 164 Clover Street, Granville, TN 38564, or find us by typing Granville Mercantile into Waze or Google Maps.
What to do, what to do…(and where to stay)
Granville has a lot to offer, and is a perfect location for a destination wedding. We’ve long been known for our natural beauty, primarily the Cumberland River, Martin’s Creek, Indian Creek, and the horse riding trails in Holleman’s Bend. You can launch a boat at the Wildwood Resort & Marina, or from one of three ramps within just a few miles from downtown. Our two horse riding trails are the fairly tame Lowland Trail that follows the river from the highway to the head of Holleman’s Bend, and the more challenging Wilderness Trail near the river at the head of Holleman’s Bend.
In Granville you can rent boats, kayaks, and horses, and you and your guests will also enjoy a stroll around the historic town. (We highly recommend the Granville Museum and Pioneer Village, and every visit must include the historic Ben Sutton’s store.) You won’t go hungry, and you can choose anything from bar food to fine dining at Wildwood Resort on the river, or have a Saturday night supper while listening to live bluegrass music at the historic Sutton’s store—just across the street from the Mercantile. Our friends at Wildwood Resort also can accommodate your wedding party for rehearsal dinners and receptions. Their chef and staff are fantastic, and I can personally vouch for them, having held my own reception dinner there.
You’ll have plenty of room for your wedding party and guests to stay in Granville. Wildwood Resort & Marina can accommodate dozens of guests with their lodge rooms, cabins, airstreams, and tiny houses. We also have friends with Airbnb rentals in downtown Granville, in walking distance of the church, and little cabins scattered about in places such as Holleman’s Bend. We have a lot of options in Granville for overnight stays, so please ask us if you have any questions or concerns about the number of guests you’ll be bringing with you.
Granville is just as appealing for what it doesn’t have: traffic, noise, and that big-city rush we seem to find everywhere these days. Imagine your wedding day as waking up on a Saturday morning in the beautiful Granville Mercantile, then sitting outside on the front porch as the locals head to Sutton’s for their morning coffee and breakfast. Or perhaps take the two-minute drive over to Wildwood for a bite and to visit with your friends who are staying there. Your family and friends will appreciate the opportunity to enjoy your day in such a lovely place, and your wedding will be one to remember. Granville will give you the chance to breathe and enjoy and celebrate with your friends and family.