Sumner County Land Grant Project

Jack Master has donated his Sumner County, Tennessee Land Grant project to the Sumner County Archives for patron research. Jack’s project, with Shirley Wilson’s assistance, includes Tennessee Land Grant deed transactions issued for Sumner County after 1806. The project is in addition to North Carolina land grants issued for Sumner County as shown in the book “Founding of the Cumberland Settlements”.

Jack and Shirley have worked on the project for several years and now the completed project identifys the earliest land owners of Sumner County from North Carolina and Tennessee land grant recipients. The Archives staff is frequently asked who originally owned the land and where was it located.  Jack's research will certainly aid families in their search. The Archives has available maps of land grants overlaid on a modern map of Sumner County.  In addition to the maps patrons are able to examine an all name index and files of related research material. Maps, index's and research material are available for sale, the proceeds will directly benefit the Archives. 

The project is the only known work of its kind in Tennessee and an invaluable source for original land transfers in Sumner County.

E.M. Stark glass plate negatives

The Sumner County Archives has acquired John Garrott’s collection of renowned photographer E.M. Stark’s glass negatives.  John Garrott donated the collection of an estimated 7,000 negatives to the Archives for historical preservation. 

Photographer Earnest Merle Stark began his career in the early 1900’s traveling a 300 mile circuit through Nebraska and Kansas.  Mr. Stark moved from town to town by mule drawn wagon, setting up his studio for several weeks before moving to the next town.  Families were eager to capture loved ones in photographs and Mr. Stark’s business flourished.

While visiting in Tennessee Mr. Stark heard of a studio for sale in Gallatin, Tennessee and by 1906 Stark’s Photographic Studio was open for business. For over 65 years Mr. Stark’s photos of high school graduates, families, babies, children and local citizens graced the homes of Sumner County. “Starkey” as he was affectionately called, received many awards and accolades for his outstanding photography.

The Archives has preserved over 4,000 glass plate negatives converting negatives to positive images.  The charming photographs of Sumner County family’s date from 1905 through the 1920’s.  The project is ongoing  and available for public viewing. Your family may be part of the collection, several patrons have discovered great grandparents and other relatives.

Newspaper Microfilm additions

The Sumner County Archives has acquired all available microfilmed News Examiner newspapers dating to December 2013. Many patrons interested in sports, crime and human interest articles had requested additional years of microfilm.

Hendersonville Star News microfilm was also purchased dating from 1961 to 2011 and now accessible for patrons interested in Hendersonville growth and news.