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The Smith County Historical Tourism Society (SCHTS) is dedicated to preserving, promoting, and celebrating the rich history and cultural heritage of Smith County, Tennessee. Our mission is to ensure that the fascinating stories and significant events that have shaped our community are remembered and appreciated by both residents and visitors alike.

Our Mission

At SCHTS, we believe that understanding our past is crucial to appreciating our present and shaping our future. Our mission encompasses several key objectives:

  • Preservation: We are committed to preserving the historical sites, artifacts, and stories that define Smith County’s heritage. Through meticulous research, conservation efforts, and community engagement, we strive to protect our county’s historical treasures.

  • Education: Educating the public about the rich history of Smith County is at the heart of our mission. We aim to make history accessible and engaging through events, tours, educational programs, and informative publications.

  • Community Engagement: We work to foster a sense of community pride and involvement by bringing people together to celebrate our shared heritage. Our events and projects are designed to engage individuals of all ages and backgrounds.

  • Tourism Promotion: By highlighting the historical and cultural significance of Smith County, we aim to attract tourists and history enthusiasts, thereby boosting local tourism and supporting the county’s economy.

Key Projects and Initiatives

The Smith County Historical Tourism Society is involved in a variety of projects and initiatives that highlight the county’s historical significance. Some of our notable endeavors include:

  • Annual Tennessee Maneuvers Remembered Event: This annual event commemorates the World War II training exercises known as the Tennessee Maneuvers, which were conducted in Smith County. The event features reenactments, historical displays, guest speakers, and community activities that honor this important chapter in our history.

  • Self-Guided Driving Tour: We are excited to introduce an eight-stop, self-guided driving tour of key Tennessee Maneuvers locations in Smith County. This tour, scheduled for launch later this summer, will provide an immersive historical experience with detailed Way Side Signs at each stop, featuring photos, video interviews, and archival articles.

  • Historical Markers and Signage: In addition to our driving tour, SCHTS is actively working on erecting historical markers and informative signage at various significant sites throughout the county. These markers serve to educate the public and preserve the memory of important local events and figures.

  • Educational Programs and Workshops: We offer a range of educational programs and workshops aimed at schools, community groups, and history enthusiasts. These programs cover various aspects of Smith County’s history and provide hands-on learning opportunities.

SCHTS has been approved by the IRS to be designated as a 501(c)3, which means your donation is tax-deductible. In addition, we’ve met the State of Tennessee criteria allowing us to solicit donations.


Tressa Bush is the passionate and dedicated founder of the Smith County Historical Tourism Society (SCHTS). Her deep-rooted love for history and commitment to preserving the rich cultural heritage of Smith County have been the driving forces behind the formation and success of SCHTS.

From the very inception of the society, Tressa has played a pivotal role in its growth and development. She is the mastermind behind our annual Tennessee Maneuvers Remembered event, which commemorates the significant World War II training exercises that took place in Smith County. This event not only honors the past but also brings the community together to celebrate and learn about our local history.

In addition to organizing our annual event, Tressa is nearing the completion of an ambitious and exciting project: an eight-stop, self-guided driving tour of key Tennessee Maneuvers locations in Smith County. Set to be launched later this summer, this tour will offer residents and visitors alike a unique opportunity to explore historical sites, enriched with photos, video interviews with locals who witnessed the maneuvers, and archival newspaper articles. Each stop on the tour will feature a two-foot by three-foot Way Side Sign, providing detailed information and historical context.

Tressa’s contributions to SCHTS extend beyond event planning and project management. She currently serves as the Secretary and Treasurer of the society, where she meticulously oversees the organization’s operations and financial health. Her leadership and organizational skills have been instrumental in achieving our IRS designation as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, ensuring that all donations to SCHTS are tax-deductible. Additionally, Tressa has successfully met the State of Tennessee’s criteria, allowing us to solicit donations to support our ongoing projects and initiatives.

Tressa Bush’s unwavering dedication and hard work have been the backbone of the Smith County Historical Tourism Society. Her vision and efforts continue to inspire our community and ensure that the rich history of Smith County is preserved for future generations. We are incredibly grateful for her leadership and look forward to the continued growth and success of SCHTS under her guidance.

Tressa currently acts as Secretary and Treasurer for SCHTS.

Tressa Bush, Founder - Smith County Historical Tourism Society

Tressa Bush, Founder – Smith County Historical Tourism Society