Fly, Tennessee is rich in history, but did you know that a couple was once married at the fly bluff at spout spring? Or that there was once a Fly School just 100 yards away from the current Fly General Store? Fly has so much history which first began when John Fly (1802-1884) and his wife Serenor Fly moved to this area from North Carolina in 1805. In 1808, John Fly donated three and a half acres to build Goshen Methodist Church. John Fly’s mother, Sarah Fly (d. 1808), has the oldest marked grave in Maury County which began the Fly Family Cemetery in Lodebar now referred to as Kinderhook dating 1808.
A swinging bridge led students across creek to the Fly School which was approximately 100 yards away from the current Fly store near the bank of Leiper’s Creek. The school was built in 1885, and was moved in 1909 to a new location on Raleigh Elam Hill. The school was renamed to Elam School in 1910 after Raleigh Elam, then Roach School in 1916 after John Roach and lastly renamed Sylvan Heights in 1928.
The community of Fly once held three general stores. Maurice Fly opened the first general store in 1890 and ran the Post Office within his store from 1891-1903. Elections were held here the entire time the store was in operation. Women would walk to the store from miles away to have their cream separated, tested, and bought by the pound here at the store. The store was located at the intersection of Fly Road, Goshen Road, and Hay Hollow Road. In 1952, Gulf gas was added to the store. The store officially closed in 1955, and burned in 1986.
The second store was opened in 1897 by R.S. Elam on the banks of Leipers Creek about ½ mile from Fly. When the Middle Tennessee Railroad came through this store became the Elam Station train stop and remained open until the railroad ceased operations in 1929. A turntable for the train was located here at Elam Station. The general store closed in 1930.
The third store in Fly is the current Fly General Store owned and operated by Mr. Wilson Fly. The Fly General Store was built in 1909 by Maurice Fly who only rented the store to other community members and never officially operated it himself. The Fly General Store stayed in the Fly family between Maurice Fly, W.C. Fly, J.H. (Hautt) Fly until D.A. Groves bought and owned the store from 1923-1952. D.A. Groves sold the general store to B.G. Fly in 1952 and was later owned by Wilson Fly beginning 1990. Besides store operations, D.A. Groves also maintained the freight house while the Middle Tennessee Railroad was in operation.
The Fly Church, built around 1910 by the people of the Fly community, was a Holiness Church for all christian community members. Originally church members sat on wood planks upheld by wood blocks before the pews were constructed. A pot bellied stove was used to heat the church before electricity.
Spout Spring at Fly Bluff has provided the community fresh spring water for many years. On September 26, 1926 Lola Kelley and Claude Potts were traveling by horse-drawn buggy to be married when they met up with Reverend Bob Roberts who was riding horseback at spout spring. The couple decided to be married there at spout spring by Reverend Bob Roberts.
“There’s no place just like this place. Valley of rural peace and bliss”.
Hinson, C. and Hardison, Harold. Maury County Tennessee History and Families. Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing Company, 1998.
Walters, Salene. “Welcome to Fly, Tennessee”. Fly, Tennessee, 1996.