Along Highway 57: Rossville, Tennessee

001 Rossville TN002 Rossville TN003 Wolf River Cafe, Rossville004 Rossville TN005 Wolf River Cafe, Rossville006 Rossville TN007 Rossville TN
In 1838, early investors dreamed up the idea of a railroad east from Memphis to the Atlantic Ocean at Charleston, South Carolina. Such a railroad would connect the cotton-growing areas along the Mississippi River with an Atlantic port, where such goods could be exported to Europe or the Caribbean. Economic downturns killed and delayed the plans repeatedly, and the railroad initially only got to the Fayette County town of LaGrange, Tennessee. Yet, by 1857, the Memphis & Charleston Railroad was a reality, and this rail line was to have a profound influence over a number of the towns that today are located along Highway 57, which runs from Collierville to Pickwick Landing. Rossville, the first town of any significance after crossing over into Fayette County, was a beautiful town when I was young, and still is. Despite its proximity to booming Collierville, it doesn’t seem to have grown all that much, perhaps due to the lack of schools (the nearest public high school is almost 20 miles away in Somerville, although there is a private academy). Old houses, some of them elaborate line the few streets, and there is a newly-restored town square, and the Wolf River Cafe, a restaurant that I haven’t tried yet but which I’ve heard good things about. Sadly, one thing I remember from my youth is long gone, the row of Black jukes on the north side of the railroad opposite the square. As I recall one of them was called Phase II, but they are all gone without so much as a trace.

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