Reports, news, and stories on quirky roadside attractions! Not all tips verified -- call ahead! Submit your own tip.
In Minnie Pearl's comedy act she always said she was from Grinder's Switch, Tennessee. Many people thought she made the place up, but it is a real place -- only it isn't a town. Grinder's Switch was a place where a spur track came off the main railroad and her Father would load lumber from his nearby sawmill onto the train cars. As a child she spent many hours there with her father and watching the men work and playing. The depot is still there. In her autobiography from 1980 she said the place hadn't changed in 50 years.
It still hasn't changed much, the spur track is gone but the old loading depot is still there sitting out there in the woods. At the end of the book Minnie states, "I wish for all of you a Grinder's Switch"[Bill Carter, 02/18/2010]
- Out of Nashville take highway 100 West for about 45 miles and you will come to Centerville, keep going through town and you will soon come to highway 50. Turn right go over the bridge across the Duck River and go about 4 miles, you will come to two signs one says Hickman County Fair the other says Minnie's Grinder's Switch, turn right and past the fairgrounds the road ends, turn left and the old Depot is behind the fairgrounds, there is a road right in front, there is no parking lot but I pulled off the road at the junction. If you are coming from I-40 east or west just east of Dickson there is a new highway 840, go south down this road and it will take you to highway 100.
- daylight is best
I'm making a Minnie Pearl statue from chicken wire! My name is Ricky Pittman, a local artist from the town of Centerville, same as Minnie Pearl. I created a project that includes six different statues of Minnie Pearl made from chicken wire. I started this project as a personal endeavor with an eight-foot-high head of Minnie Pearl (40 percent completed) that will be donated to the town of Centerville.
Realizing that this project is quickly becoming more expensive than I had originally thought, I've turned to Kickstarter to raise the funds needed to complete what I have named, "The Minnie Pearl Project."
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Hickman County Chamber of Commerce: "Ricky, you are a wonderful asset to our community and your talent is amazing. Your support and generosity to our county is helping our community more than you know! What an amazing project!" Gary Jacobs, Mayor of Centerville: "This is a great project and the City of Centerville wholeheartedly supports you! We are so proud to have you and your creative talent in our community!"[Ricky Pittman, 04/28/2016]
In the 1960s Grand Ole Opry legend Minnie Pearl had a chain of fried chicken restaurants, so it's fitting that Ricky is making her giant head out of chicken wire. Fans of the Project can contribute here.
- Proposed for town of Centerville.