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Minnie Pearl - The Star From Grinder's Switch

Updated: Jan 18

Iconic headshot of Minnie Pearl

Heehaw star, Minnie Pearl, always spoke highly of her hometown- Grinder's Switch.

Many people believed that this town was a figment of her imagination, but it is in fact a real place, located just outside of Centerville, TN... Except it isn't a town at all.

Grinder's Switch was a spur track where Minnie's father, Thomas, would load lumber from his nearby sawmill onto the train cars.

As a child, Minnie spent much of her time there as the men would load the train cars.

This later inspired her "Cousin Minnie Pearl" comedy routine.

Though the spur track is no more, the old loading depot is still sitting out there in the woods. In Minnie's autobiography that was released in 1980, she said that the place hadn't changed in over 50 years, and it still hasn't.

Minnie Pearl closes her autobiography by saying: People always ask me, "Where is Grinder's Switch?" As I grow older, the place is no longer a little, abandoned landing switch on a railroad in Hickman County. Grinder's Switch is a state of mind – a place where there is no illness, no war, no unhappiness, no political unrest, no tears. It's a place where there's only happiness – where all you worry about is what you are going to wear to the church social, and if your feller is going to kiss you in the moonlight on the way home. I wish for all you a Grinder's Switch."


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