When it came time to name a new town east of Nashville, Lebanon came to mind for the section well known for its cedars that thrive on the shallow soil above the layers of limestone. It was from the biblical "cedars of Lebanon."
Around the town square, an old cabin is still at the spot by a spring at the site of the city's first habitation. The spring still flows at a brisk pace by the cabin that is not the original, but is one moved from nearby so it could be preserved.
Some interesting architectural styles are exhibited at the buildings that line the broad square. Most house either antique malls or lawyers.
Lebanon is the site where in 1969 Dan Evins started a new restaurant and old-timey store called Cracker Barrel. He launched it in a former service station. Mr. Evans died recently at the age of 76, still a resident of Lebanon though his restaurant chain was not far-flung. The Cracker Barrel headquarters is still at Lebanon.
It is also the home of the most popular county fairs in the state - the Wilson County Fair. This year it will be Aug. 17-25 and feature country singer Joe Diffie. Fiddlers Grove Historical Village with many historical buildings is at the fairground.
Cumberland University, which was founded in 1842, has produced over 80 members of Congress. Secretary of State Cordell Hull was a graduate.
In the vicinity of Lebanon, there are many cedar glades where a number of rare plants grow, including the Tennessee coneflower once thought to be extinct. Many of the plants are now protected at several state parks and wildlife management areas, including Cedars of Lebanon State Park.