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The Promise Land Historic Site

The Promise Land Historic Site



Located in Charlotte, TN, The Promise Land Community was established and settled by former slaves during the Reconstruction Period (1870-1875). Deed records and Census reports reveal that some of the early settlers were Nathan Bowen, Joe Washington Vanleer, William Gilbert, John Grimes, Jeff Edmondson, Charles Redden, George Primm, and U.S. Colored Troop Veterans brothers, John and Arch Nesbitt, Clark Garrett, Landin Williams, and Ed Vanleer. In time the community encompassed approximately 1,000 acres with more than 50 homes, several stores, three churches, and an elementary school.

Many of the early settlers were former slaves at the nearby Cumberland Furnace. The Furnace continued to serve as a source of employment for many of the residents after emancipation. Deed records reveal that many of the early settlers became landowners. Some of the descendants of these early settlers continue to own inherited property in the community. As the Civil Rights Era approached in the mid-1950s, this once thriving community had diminished to only a few remaining families. Today, only the St. John Promise Land Church and the old Promise Land School Building remain.

In 2007 the Promise Land School Building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In July 2010 a Civil War Trails Marker was placed on the site of the historic school building in recognition of the Civil War records of John and Arch Nesbitt and their contributions to the community.

Administered by a non-profit cor

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The Promise Land Historic Site

707 Promise Land Road, Charlotte, TN 37036


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