Our History




Carthage is a town in Smith County, Tennessee. It is the county seat of Smith County, and perhaps best known as the hometown of former Vice President Al Gore, and his father, Senator Albert Gore, Sr.
The earliest known settler in what is now Carthage was William Walton (1760–1816), who arrived in the late 1780s.  Around 1800, Walton directed the construction of the Walton Road (Cumberland Turnpike), an early stage coach route connecting the Knoxville area with Middle Tennessee. The road, which  paralleled what is now US-70, would prove influential in the early settlement of the Cumberland region.


L.A. Ligon safe was recently donated to the museum by his grandson, John Alex Ligon. L. A Ligon was  the first mayor of Carthage, serving from 1901-1909. Current Mayor Donnie Dennis (pictured left)