Hortense, a forgotten black community in Dickson County


Hortense is north of Dickson and I had never heard of it until my colleague Leigh Ann Gardner brought it to my attention and we went looking for the place last week. Leigh Ann’s research found that it was originally a planned segregated community for blacks. In its day it had a depot, school, churches.

The Missionary Baptist church remains to mark the Hortense name.

But the primary marker is the huge black cemetery behind the church, which the congregation is patiently clearing. Hortense is a neglected place in history but with a story worth exploring and a place and story worth celebrating.


11 thoughts on “Hortense, a forgotten black community in Dickson County

  1. jj tt

    I lived on Union Rd for a time. I always thought it interesting how the road Hortense suddenly became Union just because of a bend in the road. I remember that “better than thou” white family who pretty much controlled the First Baptist Church there in town. They live right at that curve. As far as I’m concerned, they way they treated my family, they can burn in hell!

  2. Rebekah Jo Aycock

    I am researching historic black towns across the United States at UNC-Chapel Hill. Is there any way I can get in touch with the person who researched this town?

  3. Lisa

    My dad preached at
    that church and it isn’t a forgotten black community. You don’t know what you are talking about.

  4. Bryan Mills

    My Grandmother was from Hortense. She grew up on that road. With her brothers and sisters. They attended Mount Olive Church and was laid to rest behind the church. The Long, Horner, Logan, Mills, Ludaway and Bryant family (Garret Long).

  5. Michael McCall

    My Great-grand Father was the original founder and organizer to build a city for Free slaves being transported from North Carolina & Virginia to Hortense, TN in August 1889. His name was Joseph B Mullins known as Rev JB Mullins. He was buried in Nashville, TN behind Cedar Grove Baptist Church. The article is in archives in the Tennessean news paper. Titled
    “NEGRO CITY TO BE BUILT AT HORTENSE by the UNTED HELPING SOCIETY” he acquired 1,350 Acres of land at that time.


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