When you visit Wartrace, Tennessee, you will meet kind people and discover shops, art and history that goes back centuries. When Tennessee's first railroad was built through the county in the 1850s, the settlement became known as Wartrace Depot. In 1853, a formal charter was granted to Wartrace Depot, and the name was later shortened to Wartrace.
When you explore Wartrace, you can still see and hear the train passing through town, adding charm to the experience. As you shop and dine in the area, ask business owners about the town’s history, and they’ll be happy to share stories with you. Wartrace offers a memorable shopping experience and the town’s biggest charm comes from its community.
One of the shops in Wartrace is the Sparrow’s Nest. The shop is a “restful gathering place for kindred spirits,” according to owner Terri Weakland. The Sparrow’s Nest also offers unique gifts, jams, pickles and relishes, honey and herbal teas, and you can reserve the space for events.
“Come visit us for laughter and fellowship,” Weakland said. “We offer children’s clothing, ladies’ apparel, and we have a lot of handmade gifts. We also have barnwood signs, from rescued barns. We do handmade Christmas ornaments, and we have a blacksmith that does welding with horseshoes. We have new clothing, and we also take donations.”
Often, you will find a group of friends at the shop, chatting and laughing.
“We have gatherings here that you can book for weddings, bridal showers, baby showers,” Weakland said. “We have a Bible study class that we do here, as well. The Sparrow’s Nest is just a gathering place. A lot of women come here, and they crochet or do some knitting, and we just gossip – it’s our little getaway.”
You can also read a book and relax at the store, or just take the book home and bring it back when you return.
“We have a free library,” Weakland said. “We have book donations – people come in and grab a book and then bring a book. We have a lot of fun.”
Weakland is a cancer survivor and aims to reach other cancer survivors and people who are in tough situations and to help make their journeys easier. She plans to launch a program, called Mama’s Purses, and provide purses and other items to women battling cancer.
“We are going to be donating purses for ladies in need, and once a year we will put all kinds of things in the purse, like a care package,” she said. “I’m a cancer survivor, and we try to cater to ladies that have gone through cancer and families that are in need. We hope to expand.”
The Sparrow’s Nest also provides an opportunity for artists to show their work.
“June Roseberry works with me, and she does a lot of crafting,” Weakland said. “Katy Ishee has some paintings. She also has a lot of paintings at the Iron Horse.”
Weakland invites you to visit the Sparrow’s Nest and the other shops in Wartrace. Enjoy browsing and a great meal and ask about the town’s history. Learn about the Tennessee Walking Horse and the railroad history. You may hear ghost stories, too. Most importantly, you will find a friendly community in Wartrace.
“Wartrace is a piece of history,” she said. “There is some paranormal history, for people who are interested in paranormal stories. We have a lot of ghost stories. It's a great community. We take care of each other. We are trying to stay that way. This is our little refuge. We all get together with other store owners and have gatherings, and we have a lot going on for the community.”