When you ask a person about the oldest structure in the world, many people would immediately think of the enchanting Taj Mahal. Though there are many recorded structures from earlier than 1653, the Taj Mahal comes to mind quickly due to its enchanting architecture and beauty.
When speaking of my hometown and home county, that is celebrating 175 years during 2017, we are newbies in the world history arena. Though we cannot speak of buildings thousands of years old, we are attempting to preserve the local beauty while growing exponentially in the last few years.
The Depot Museum is one of the most beautifully preserved buildings in the historical part of Cookeville. Cookeville is full of rich history and wonderful stories. Across Broad Street from the Depot Museum is the Creme City Ice Creme & Coffee House. It is not the original building at the location as noted by the historical society photo of P. M. Smith Building in the late 1800’s. Many of Cookeville’s early structures were lost to fire. The P. M. Smith Building was lost during the 1920’s.
The neon sign that sits atop of the Creme City Ice Cream & Coffee House, was erected in the early 1950’s. Remembering that Putnam County/Cookeville was a rural farming community, having a neon sign was quite an accomplishment. The glowing wonder of the sign was enjoyed by people from surrounding counties. People would plan trips specifically to admire the wondrous neon sign. Having an attraction such as the Creme City neon sign drew people to visit Cookeville and helped establish the growth of the 1950’s & 1960’s.
Preserving these landmarks are a part of the heart of Cookevillians. Standing proudly today as it did in the 1950’s, the neon glow draws visitors from across the state and across the country. Some of the original homes have been converted into businesses such as the Vintage Rose Antique store just west of the coffee shop on Broad Street. Walking the streets of Historic Cookeville is a reminder that our heritage is important and we are happy to share it locally and for visitors alike.
True is the statement, “There’s Only One Cookeville.”