Centerville, Tennessee: Grinder's Switch: Minnie Pearl

Grand Old Opry comedienne Minnie Pearl always said she came from Grinder's Switch. A small sign on a rural country road marks the spot.
Address:
1105 Grinders Switch Rd, Centerville, TN
Directions:
From Hwy 100 just north of Centerville and the bridge across the Duck River, turn west onto Hickman Springs Rd at the brown "Camp Mariah" sign. Drive two miles, bearing left twice as the road splits (These are narrow country roads). You'll cross a train track and come to a T intersection. The Grinder's Switch depot and sign are straight ahead, just to the left.
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Grinders Switch.

Grinder's Switch: Minnie Pearl

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]

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In the region:
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January 26, 2020

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