McMinnville is a city located in Tennessee, more or less halfway between Nashville and Chattanooga. The city is county seat for Warren County, and is also the largest city located in its respective county. With a population of approximately 13,700, McMinnville is a small city. But don’t let that fool you, the city of McMinnville still has a lot to offer residents and visitors!

History of McMinnville

The history of McMinnville goes back all the way to the year 1810, when the county court of Warren County appointed commissioners to buy land. The reason for this land purchase was to establish the county seat of Warren County, McMinnville, in the area just north of the Barren Fork River.

McMinnville was named after the speaker of the Tennessee Senate at the time, Joseph McMinn. He later also became Governor of Tennessee.

At the time McMinnville was established, the area of Warren County was a popular place for settlers because of its temperate climate, adequate water sources and large treeless spaces known as “Barrens”, making it a good place for agriculture. McMinnville’s agriculture was mainly focused on raising hogs for the production of pork, as well as raising mules and horses for use in cotton plantations in neighboring areas.

Early settlers in the area of McMinnville came mainly from Scot-Irish, English and Huguenot descent, and moved to Tennessee from North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

History of Warren County

On November 26 of the year 1807, the Tennessee General Assembly established Warren County (the county was established prior to its county seat, McMinnville). At the time, Warren County was the 30th county to be established in Tennessee. Currently, there are 95 counties in the state of Tennessee, making Warren County one of the earlier counties to be established within the state.

Warren County was named after General Joseph Warren, who was a patriot and the first general to pass away during the American Civil War.

From the years 1836 up until 1844, Warren County was made smaller due to the formation of 5 new counties which were all sectioned off from the area originally allocated to Warren County. The new counties formed within this time were Dekalb, Cannon, Coffee, Van Buren and Grundy.

What to See in McMinnville

McMinnville’s rich history combined with its beautiful natural surroundings offers inhabitants and visitors a variety of activities and sight-seeing opportunities to enjoy.

Some of the more popular places to visit in McMinnville include Cumberland Caverns, Rock Island State Park, McMinnville Civic Center and The Black House.

Cumberland Caverns

Cumberland Caverns is one of the most extensive caves in America. The caverns have more than 32 miles underground passageways, with underground pools and waterfalls along the way. The caves were discovered in 1810 by the surveyor Aaron Higgenbotham. Since that time, it’s been a place of fascination for various explorers, visitors and curious persons passing by! New entrances and tunnels have been discovered since the cave’s original discovery, and more may have yet to be found!

Visiting the Cumberland Caverns is sure to be an adventurous experience which will leave visitors feeling closer to the breathtaking wonders of nature.

Rock Island State Park

Rock Island State Park is the ideal place for nature lovers to visit. The park is especially known for scenic water landmarks such as Center Hill Lake and the Caney Fork River Gorge. Rock Island State Park’s beautiful natural surroundings make it a popular place for camping, hiking and other outdoor activities.

McMinnville Civic Center

McMinnville Civic Center provides residents and visitors with various useful facilities, such as tennis courts, exercise equipment, a children’s play area and a pool. The center also provides green, open spaces for picnicking and relaxation. McMinnville Civic Center boasts a 4800 seat arena for hosting concerts and events.

The Black House

The Black House is the oldest house in McMinnville, making it a historical landmark in the area. The Black House is named after surgeon Thomas Black, who lived and practiced in the house in the years after the War Between the States.

The house was originally built by Jesse Coffee in 1825 and was also home to James Sheppard, Samuel Laughlin and Judith Harrison is its time.


Warren County is known as the nursery capital of the world. With more than 450 nurseries in the area of McMinnville, it’s is a paradise for gardeners, who are sure to enjoy shopping around for plants and gardening equipment in the McMinnville area.

McMinnville Climate

McMinnville has an overall comfortable climate throughout the year.

Temperature in winter months range between a minimum of 34 degrees and a maximum of approximately 46 in during the coldest months. Summer is pleasant, with minimums of 51 and maximum temperatures of 83.

McMinnville gets more or less 53 inches of rain per year (which is above the US average of 39) and about 5 inches of snow.