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Shelbyville, Tennessee

Shelbyville is the seat of Bedford County, Tennessee.  Home to over 22,000 residents, Shelbyville is also known as "The Walking Horse Capital of the World."


The Tennessee Walking Horse originated in the area beginning in the late 1700s and has since developed into a trail and also show horse known for its smooth easy-going gait.  The Tennessee Walking Horse was named the Tennessee official state horse in 2000.  Shelbyville host the annual Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration, known as "The Celebration", every August.

Bedford County Courthouse

The center of Downtown Shelbyville is the Bedford County Courthouse.  Built in 1935, it is the fifth courthouse to be located within Shelbyville's Public Square.  This courthouse replaced one that was destroyed by fire a year earlier when a lynch mob - angry over a declared mistrial and moving of a young African-American suspect to another county for his safety - set the courthouse ablaze.  


The classical revival design is also the centerpiece of the Shelbyville Courthouse Square Historic District. Established in 1982, the district highlights the 1810 layout of the courthouse square and some of the buildings that surround it.  The design - a central courthouse block - consisting of four streets - and surrounded by square blocks of approximately the same size.  This design called the "Shelbyville Square" or "Shelbyville Plan" was emulated in the layout of many county seats in the Mid-West and South in the 19th Century.

Shelbyville also has a unique history with pens and pencils.  Known as the Pencil City, Shelbyville once had six different pencil manufacturing companies within the town.  Pens and pencils are still made here today.

All photos taken by post author - March 2008.

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