History of the Library
The Original White House
From 1838 through 1858, one of the stops along the Louisville and Nashville Turnpike stagecoach was a two-story inn built around 1829. The building happened to be painted white, which was particularly rare during this time, especially in the underdeveloped land between Louisville and Nashville. Stage coach drivers and others began to refer to this stop and the surrounding area as “White House”. The inn served early travelers along this primary route of travel north and south, between Louisville, Kentucky and Nashville, Tennessee. Troops later used this pike during the civil war.
Because of this historic inn, the community that grew up around it began to be called, “The White House.” However, the monument for which the town was named was torn down in 1951 to make way for new development.
Homecoming ’86 White House Replica Project
In 1986, the communities of Tennessee were encouraged by then Governor Lamar Alexander to adopt a Homecoming ’86 project. Members of the White House Chamber of Commerce conceived the ideas for the construction of a replica of the White House Inn and a public library. They decided to combine the two, and a committee was formed to plan and carry out the project.
Money for the project was raised by donations, auctions, selling of bricks, and other fund raising projects in the community. Many local businesses and residents contributed time, money and materials. The fourth grade class of White House Elementary contributed a check for $1,000. In addition, the City of White House contributed money, as well as the land for the project, and funding was also received by both Robertson and Sumner counties.
Opening of the Library
The library opened its doors on October 13, 1987 with approximately 5,500 volumes from the Warioto Regional Library Center. The museum is on the upper floor of the library and houses many artifacts and memorabilia depicting life in early White House. Exhibited are early tools, furniture, photographs and historic documents. The White House Area Chamber of Commerce is located in the west side of the building.