Along The Byway
Putnam County was originally created in 1842.
Highlands Visitor Center
Cookeville, TN 38501
Diverging southward away from the original road bed—soon to be retraced by the proposed Cookeville-Monterey Rail Trail—the route continues on US 70N/TN 24/Monterey Highway reaching the town of Monterey. In Monterey the route follows US 70N/TN 24/TN 84/South Holly Street and then turns right onto US 70N/TN 24/East Stratton Avenue.
After passing through Monterey, visitors will continue on the Byway, US 70/TN 24/Crossville Highway, to the Putnam/Cumberland County line, where the Byway generally realigns with the old roadbed.
The important Walton Road passed through the length of the county, and many pioneers heading out of Knoxville stopped to settle in Putnam County along the road. The county’s 1860 population was 8,558, but its location subjected it to assault from both Union and Confederate armies. In 1870 the population had grown only to 8,698. But the county rebounded, and the population steadily grew to 16,890 by 1900, due in large part to two railroads, the Nashville and Knoxville Railroad and the Tennessee Central Railroad, both reaching the county by 1890. The railroads helped create new rail towns, such as Monterey, established in 1893. Other new communities to appear along the rails included Baxter, Algood, and Buffalo Valley.
Broad Street Church of Christ
Cookeville Railroad Depot
The Cookeville Railroad Depot was built by the Tennessee Central Railroad in 1909. The depot has been rehabilitated into a train museum and visitor’s center.
First Presbyterian Church
Visitor Sites & Attractions
Cookeville Depot Museum
Located in Cookeville’s historic Westside District, the Cookeville Depot Museum is a treat not just for rail enthusiasts. The building was constructed in 1909 and houses many Tennessee Central Railway artifacts, including a replica of what Cookeville looked like circa 1955, as well as a replica of a coal tipple with a model train loading up with coal. The park-like grounds of the Depot contain a 1913 Baldwin steam engine, a 1920’s classic red caboose, a 1960’s caboose, and two small track cars.
Cookeville History Museum
Cream City Ice Cream & Coffee House
Baxter Depot Museum
Monterey Depot Museum
The Garden Inn B&B at Bee Rock