Longstreet Highroad Guide to the Tennessee Mountains
By Vernon and Cathy Summerlin
[Fig. 8] In the late 1800s, Bruno Gernt and M. H. Allardt founded a community of immigrant Germans at about the same time the British were settling Rugby. German land agent Bruno Gernt envisioned a self-sufficient city on the Cumberland Plateau. Gernt sold 9,000 acres owned by the Clarke family of Nebraska in parcels of 25, 50, and 200 acres at $4 per acre to farmers, miners, and lumbermen.
The town was laid out geometrically and named for Gernt's partner, M. H. Allardt, who died before settlement began. Gernt recruited skilled craftsmen, professionals, and experienced farmers from Germany, and soon Allardt led the region in production of hay, fruits, and vegetables. For more than 50 years, Gernt never ceased his efforts to have Allardt be all he dreamed it could be, and the community prospered for a time. Today, more than a dozen buildings make up the Allardt Historic District.
The Gernt House, home of Bruno Gernt, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the 1891 restored farmhouse can be rented for overnight lodging by calling (931) 879-1176.
October brings the Annual World Pumpkin Federation Weigh-Off and Great Pumpkin Festival, a weekend of pumpkin carvings, paintings, and weighings, as well as bake sales, auctions, craft vendors, music, games, and street dancing.