Charlotte [†] was established in 1804 as the county seat for Dickson County, created in 1803 from the western part of Davidson County. Realizing the rich agricultural and mineral resources of the Highland Rim country west of Nashville, James Robertson explored Barton's Creek to the north of Charlotte and he established the first iron furnace industry there before 1390. Other early settlers in this area include Montgomery Bell, James R. Napier, Anthony VanLeer and others who were destined to become prominent leaders in state politics and the development of industry and agriculture in Middle Tennessee.
† Adapted from: Gail Hammerguist, Architectural Historian, Tennessee Historical Commission, Charlotte Courthouse Square Historic District, nomination document, 1977, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
Beginning in 1804 the first town lots were offered for sale by the county commissioners who used the profits to build the first courthouse. The present antebellum courthouse is the oldest courthouse in the state of Tennessee still in use. Charlotte developed rapidly as an enterprising trade center, located on the main stagecoach routes between Nashville, Clarksville and Memphis. The town lots centering around the Public Square were quickly bought-up for shops, offices and residences. Before the first courthouse was built on the square, the principal gathering place was Molton Dickson*s general merchandise store located on the square. The scene of public rallies and sales, these events were attended by settlers from all across the region.
An important landmark in Charlotte is the Charlotte Cumberland Presbyterian Church organized in 1837 and built in the 1850s. It was financed largely by donations from L. L. Leech, Benjamin Corlew, and Clark Larkins. The building was constructed of brick fired in James Dickson fs kiln and built by donated slave labor. The church building is located on town lot 38, at the corner of Spring and Clark streets. It seats 300 persons and was used for town meetings. Services are held in the church on Sunday mornings and for special events throughout the year.