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Robertson County is home to the infamous Bell Witch, said to have haunted the Bell family in the 1800s.

If you're looking for a mix of rural beauty and big-city excitement, Robertson County's a great place to be. Located on the northern edge of the state, you'll find yourself with plenty of space for quiet relaxation only a half hour's drive down to Nashville.

Springfield, the county seat, has pitched itself as a great place to relax, with the charm and quality of a small town. At the same time, it is a community where businesses have taken hold and grown quickly in its downtown,.

"Things are changing rapidly here," says Robertson County Chamber of Commerce President Margot Fosnes. "We're getting the effects of the growth of the Middle Tennessee region and the Nashville area in a big way."

The area offers fun events year-round, like the Taste of the County Festival, Christmas in the Square or the monthly art walk. Plus, with such a nice, revitalized historical district, visitors can walk to a selection of great shops. Try the high-fashion Hey Belle Boutique or the tasty Burdett's Tea Shop, just for starters.

AT A GLANCE

*Population: 69,000

*Biggest employers: Electrolux, Martinrea Fabco, NorthCrest Medical Center

*Landmarks or geographic features: The Red River, a major watershed; the Bell School in Adams, famous for the Bell Witch legend; and the historic district of downtown Springfield.

*History: When the area was included in North Carolina's boundaries, it was called Tennessee County. The county was sliced in two in 1796. The western portion became Montgomery County while the eastern part became Robertson County.

*Famous residents: The Bell family, of the Bell Witch legend; and Jessie Helmen Jones, U.S. secretary of commerce from 1940-45.

*Unique traditions: Every July 3 in Greenbriar, Tenn., residents perform the "turning of the pig" celebration in preparation for the Fourth of July, roasting pigs overnight on a spit. In another part of Robertson County, Cross Plains, Tenn., residents put on one of the biggest yard sales in the world, dubbed "Trash and Treasure," the last week of June.

'WITCH' WAY TO FUN?

*Every fall, head to Robertson County's Adams, Tenn., for the annual Bell Witch Fall Festival, a celebration of art, culture and music. The 2017 festival, comprising several events throughout the course of October beginning on the 4th, features folk acts and stories from historians.

*Legend has it, an Adams-area pioneer family in the 1800s fell victim to a witch's attack, inspiring the festival. (bellwitchfallfestival.com)

BUSINESS GROWTH

*Last year, Robertson County had the honor of becoming the location of Lowe's Home Improvement's first direct-to-consumer fulfillment center. Located along Interstate-24 in Coopertown, the facility will be 1 million square feet and should lead to 600 jobs by 2022. Business officials say they chose this area because of its solid workforce and proximity to the interstate.

EAT

*The Catfish House, located on Springfield's Tom Austin Highway, is a great, laid-back spot for seafood and Southern cuisine. Stop by for shrimp, steak, oysters, crab, scallops and — yes — catfish. The restaurant is open from 4-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. (3424 Tom Austin Hwy.; 615-382-1382; thecatfishhouse.com)

AND DRINK

*Sumner Crest Winery and Chateau Ross Winery, located on opposite ends of the county from each other, offer visitors a chance to sample both wine and culture.

*Chateau Ross Winery includes 13 acres of vineyard property nestled near Robertson County's first settlement, Cross Plains, which reverberates with nostalgia in the form of an old-fashioned drugstore with a soda counter, antique shops and beautiful old homes. (5823 Fulton Road, Springfield, Tenn.; 615-654-9463; chateauross.com)

*Sumner Crest Winery hosts an annual grape stomp that includes live music and food vendors in addition to fine wine. While visitors surely come for the wine — which has won 19 medals since 2000 — the museum-quality antique collection, including classic cars housed on-site, also draws guests. (5306 Old Hwy. 52, Portland, Tenn.; 615-325-4086; sumnercrestwinery.com)

DID YOU KNOW?

*Many smoking barns, used in the curing of black tobacco, dot the county, prompting misplaced 911 calls to fire departments, especially in the fall.

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Robertson County is home to the infamous Bell Witch, said to have haunted the Bell family in the 1800s.
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