By Rhonda Werner
There’s just something about a small town. As the old saying goes, when you grow up in a small town you cannot wait to leave, and once you leave, you cannot wait to get back. I know I somewhat felt that way growing up in Elkton. Now that I’m older and have a family, I couldn’t think of anywhere else I’d rather have my children growing up.
Our region is spotted with some hidden gems of small towns and over the next few issues, we will be highlighting some of those towns that perhaps aren’t on the beaten path anymore. It takes a specific reason to drive through them and hopefully we will give you a few reasons to make that detour.
Trenton is nestled in the far Southwest corner of Todd County near the Tennessee state and Christian County line.
Trenton is probably best known for its lush farm land and the railroad track that runs right through the center of town, but there is so much more to it.
When you visit any small town, time slows down, and you need to disconnect from technology and just enjoy what’s in front of you.
Trenton has had a bit of a resurgence of businesses over the past few years, and I reached out to a dear family friend Carrie Joy Brookshire, whom I would almost call “the spokesperson of Trenton,” for some added details to a local’s take on their hometown.
Carrie Joy, her husband and sons farm right on the south side of Trenton.
Agriculture is a huge part of Trenton, from WF Ware Co., a grain facility that has been a part of Trenton since the 1920s, to the new Ag Strong Canola refining and processing business that is just a couple yards down the road. Agriculture roots run deep in Trenton.
The people of Trenton are what makes it such a special and unique town. As Carrie Joy said, “It’s a sweet little town where you can actually know your neighbors and borrow a cup of sugar most hours of the day.” And knowing Trenton, I have no doubt that happens quite often.
What Trenton lacks in size, it makes up for in heart. The volunteerism in Trenton is strong, from many chipping in to help with Bale Trail creations, to the Volunteer Fire Department, the Farmers Market on Saturday’s and just all the work the churches do in the community.
There are many reasons to go to Trenton outside of just the people, their retail sector has really grown lately. Thanks to a billboard on Interstate 24, many folks who are involved in quilting are making the detour to head into town.
Denise Shivers started Golden Threads in 1996, which was her sewing shop for interior design pieces) and then in 2010 she opened up an adjoining shop called Quilt and Sew which is a full line quilt shop with fabric, thread, anything you can think of needing in regards to quilting, you will find at Quilt and Sew.
Earlier in September, right across the street from Quilt and Sew/Golden Threads, the Wooden Needle has opened up and they are all about yarn. Knitting and crocheting supplies and yarn as well as embroidery services and long arm quilting. Gayla Deal is the owner of The Wooden Needle, and said “our store and Quilt and Sew are not competitors, we complement each other well and help to draw even more of the crafty crowd to Trenton.”
What I find very unique about both of these stores is that each offer classes. If you want to learn to sew, learn to quilt, learn to crochet or learn to knit, Trenton should be your destination. These ladies will do all they can to help you increase your skills.
For antique lovers, Yester Year Antiques is just around the corner from the sewing and yarn shops and is a great place to find a relic of times gone past. Helen Gardner manages the antique shop. They focus on primitives, old farm tools and the owners hit up various estate sales and travel around to find just the right pieces to bring into the shop.
The antique shop used to be a Massey Ferguson Tractor shop and has now been re-purposed but elements of the old shop are still present which gives is a nice charm. The desire to re-purpose is ever present in Trenton, as the Black Sheep Bistro was and old gas station re-purposed into a restaurant and many of those old elements, like the car rack, are still used in the restaurant today. The old Trenton School Is now used as the Trenton Community Center. They find a way to keep history alive in Trenton.
All of these above mentioned stores are open on Saturdays, and weekdays Tuesday to Friday, so take a detour from the main highways and interstates and explore some of the small town gems that are in our area. You may even pick up a new talent such as quilting or knitting, and you will for sure leave with a full belly after a meal at the Black Sheep.
By Rhonda Werner