Town of Brighton

Courtesy of David A. Gwinn, Tipton County Genealogist and Historian

Established in 1873, along the newly completed tracts of the Memphis and Paducah Railroad, the Town of Brighton was built upon the lands of A. W. Smith, Sr., who gave the initial five acres for the Depot grounds. The new town was named for Mr. Bright, the first conductor on the Memphis Division of the said road.

Brighton Depot built in 1903 and shown here ca. 1905. Passenger and freight depots were the centers of railroad
communities such as Brighton. (Source: TSLA).

The new town grew quickly. By the late 1870s, Brighton had a population of approximately 100 residents and two dry goods stores, three grocery stores, two saloons, two blacksmith shops, two wagon shops, one brickyard, one steam saw and grist mill, one steam cotton gin, a Baptist church, and two physicians.

In 1883, the veterans of the 7th Tennessee Cavalry, Confederate States of America made Brighton the permanent site of their annual reunion. At Brighton, the veterans’ reunion took on new dimensions and it grew into an event enjoyed by all Confederate veterans of the County and the surrounding area. Held annually in August, attendance grew each year before peaking at 15,000 in 1897. The Tipton County Confederate Veterans Reunion continued to be held at Brighton until 1940.

Brighton was incorporated by the Tennessee General Assembly in 1913 and the town today continues to operate under the same charter.