Driving along Highway 25 through Cottontown, you are more likely to notice the longhorn cattle and the local volunteer fire department than the log house, known as the Bridal House, which sits at the center of this centuries-old community.
Tucked into a shady lot on the bank of Station Camp Creek, the demure structure built of huge logs was home to Elizabeth and Richard Hobdy and their nine children. Elizabeth was the first generation of her family to be born in the new state of Tennessee. Her grandfather and father-in-law were both Revolutionary War veterans and early settlers of the region.
Built on the edge of a cultural shift from the untamed wilderness of a new country to the civilized cities and towns of a new state, this humble house has stories lost to history and alluded to in local lore. Did Moore Cotton really build the house near his own because he didn’t like Elizabeth’s choice of husband and wanted to keep an eye out for his precious daughter? Was Richard indeed the Richard D. Hobdy who served in the War of 1812? Was Richard a carriage maker like his father Robert, who had a shop and homestead near Drakes Creek? Why did they use such large logs for the structure, which were cumbersome and difficult to move? What happened to their descendants? Do any of them still live in Sumner County?
A local community group, Friends of the Bridal House, is taking on these questions and more.
“Our goal is to help with the restoration and preservation of the historic Bridal House, so that it can be opened as a house museum for the people of Sumner County,” said Jane Wright, founder of the group.
A Genealogy Committee is being formed to do historical research, while the Collections Committee is challenged with finding furnishings and objects that might have been found in a house of this period. Those who have stories to share or who would like to participate in Friends of the Bridal House should contact the office of County Executive Anthony Holt at 615-452-3604, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or send a message via Facebook to friendsofthebridalhouse.
The Bridal House was generously donated to Sumner County by Donald Brickey, who was a longtime supporter of historic preservation in Sumner County. Proceeds of an auction of his personal property, also left to the county, will go toward preservation of the Bridal House. The auction will be held on Saturday, July 15, beginning at 9 a.m. on the property at 2315 Highway 25, Cottontown.