35.05194, -86.88917


Elkton has always been a closely knit community, where people know and depend upon one another. Residents would meet on Highway 32, or the Bee Line Highway, and in the shops of downtown. One resident recalls Elkton in the Mid-Twentieth Century as, "a booming little place." Indeed, groceries, taverns, barber shops, a cotton gin, an ice skating rink, a bus station, and fraternal lodges were all located in Elkton and provided for the everyday and recreational needs of the community.

Religion, as is evident through the many churches and cemeteries dotting the landscape, serves an important role in both the social and spiritual life of the community. Along with regular services, churches host vacation bible schools and community suppers. A congregation may move from one building to another, but cemeteries remain in place, sometimes falling into disrepair. Recent efforts to restore local cemeteries have revealed more graves than previously suspected.

As the only paved road in town for many years, Highway 31 dominates any resident's reminiscences of Elkton. Stretching from Michigan to Florida, Highway 31 was nationally significant. For residents of Elkton, it brought trade and traffic through town and connected the city to other towns in Giles County, such as Pulaski and Ardmore, and metropolitan areas like Nashville and Huntsville.

The Elkton way of life is based on rural values and small town traditions. Hard work, in the store, home, field, or classroom, is a defining characteristic. Neighborliness is an admired trait. The seasons pass with predictable regularity, each bringing reason to celebrate. Elkton now enjoys harmony among the races, but segregation remains a difficult past to accept.

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