Founded in 1852, Bell Buckle was once a stop on the railroad between Nashville and Chattanooga, and in the 1870s, it housed a major stockyard. Trains no longer stop in Bell Buckle, but the tiny town is home to a number of antique stores and specialty shops. Victorian homes like the one above dot the town today. In its heyday, Bell Buckle's population was about 1000. The 2000 census lists 391 inhabitants in town.
There is dispute as to how the town was named. Some say that early settlers say a cow bell and buckle carved into a tree and thought them a sign from Indians to warn them off. Others say surveyors carved the symbols on the tree to advise others of good pasture land. Still others say that some settlers found a cow bell and a buckle tied to a tree and named the town after those.
Tomorrow: Main Street