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LaGrange Holiday Parade


By Nancy Brannon; photos by Tommy & Nancy Brannon

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The Christmas season is filled with traditions hundreds of years old. And right in step with holiday traditions, the historic village of LaGrange, Tennessee hosted its first annual Christmas parade on Sunday afternoon, December 15, 2019. In keeping with the history of the town, the parade included the Longreen Fox Hounds, sidesaddle riders, and plenty of horse/pony-drawn carriages all decked out in holiday décor. The Germantown Charity Horse Show (GCHS) was well represented with Ross Herrin heading the GCHS “people mover” and tossing candy to parade-watchers. Spoiler alert!
The 2020 GCHS Queen was also on board: Charlotte Livesay, who was also a GCHS Princess in 2016.

LaGrange is the oldest town in Fayette County, Tennessee and was originally a Chickasaw village named “Itey Uch La,” meaning “Cluster of Pines.” In 1818, all of West Tennessee was purchased from the Chickasaw nation and its inhabitants were removed to regions west of the Mississippi River.

The sign welcoming visitors to LaBelle Village in LaGrange, Tennessee dates the town at 1819. Historic records state that LaGrange was laid out in the 1820s with 274 acres of land acquired by the heirs of William Rains and 167 acres acquired by Samuel B. Harper. Harper is credited with laying out the town. Initially there were seven owners and proprietors of LaGrange, and the first store was opened in 1827 by George Gray. The Post Office was established in 1828 with Amos David as Postmaster, and the town was first chartered in 1829. Immanuel Episcopal Church was organized in 1832, as was the town’s (and Fayette county’s) first newspaper, called the Western Whig and the La Grange Herald. In 1833 the first bank was located in LaGrange – a branch of the Planter’s Bank of Tennessee.

There are at least 22 historic homes in LaGrange, dating from the 1830s to the 1850s.

Presently, commerce has returned to “downtown” LaGrange as the General Store, 20 Main Street, is open for business, mainly operating as a restaurant. It dates to the early 1890s and was originally known as the C.L. Pankey General Store. Nora Whitmer Miller runs the General Store, as well as the La Grange Inn, a bed and breakfast on Pine St. There’s also Nora’s Grab & Go, pre-packaged casseroles, soups, and baked goods.

There are other stores, mainly selling antiques, the real estate office of Hunt Treadwell, and a “new” boutique store named Fern, owned by Allison Treadwell.

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