Everyone in Lynnville, Tennessee knows Col. Littleton. Between his larger-than-life personality and keen ability to craft some of the South’s most beautiful leather goods, the Colonel is a local legend. When Mint Julep Experiences’ owner Sean Higgins first met Col. Littleton, he knew he had to find a way to incorporate a trip to visit Lynnville into new Nashville tour packages.
About Col. Littleton
Since 1987, Col. Littleton has been crafting premium accessories. What started with a few handmade cufflinks has now grown to an impressive leather operation. Each item in Col. Littleton’s shop in Lynnville is designed personally by the Colonel. With quality and durability in mind, pieces from his shop are meant to become family keepsakes, passed down through generations. As demand increases for fine American made leather goods, the Colonel’s business continues to grow 30 years later.
On a recent visit to Col. Littleton’s production facility, a team from Mint Julep learned all about his processes. From hand-picked leather from cows, bison, aligators and beyond to top of the line metal fixtures, every bit each product is special. All hides are full-grain and American. He uses a small local tannery to tan to his specifications. The Colonel especially enjoys using hides with interesting markings or brands to make truly one of a kind leather products.
Col. Littleton operates two retail locations on Mill Street in Lynnville. One shop, the Classic store, offers many of his most popular designs. A few doors down at the Private Stock store, additional unique products and limited releases are available. Shopping is available Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST.
About Lynnville, Tennessee
If you want to experience the charm of a small Southern town, Lynnville is a fantastic destination. With a population of less than 400, Lynnville is a little over an hour drive from Nashville in Giles County, Tennessee. Their town motto is “striving to be the best small town in America.”
In addition to Col. Littleton’s Great American Leather Company, you’ll find several small businesses on the main drag of Mill Street. Lynnville Pie Company serves Tennessee turnovers in flavors like peach, cherry and chocolate. The Lynnville Railroad Museum includes a replica of the L&N Railroad Depot. You can even tour the steam locomotive, passenger car and caboose.
For Southern cooking, old-fashioned ice cream and milkshakes and some of awesome burgers, Soda Pop Junction must be on your itinerary! Big “Johnny” burgers made from certified Blackwell Angus beef here were ranked Tennessee’s #1 Burger. Hand dipped Mayfield ice cream cones, sundaes, floats and more make a perfect pairing.
Nearby Tennessee Attractions
Liquor and leather make for a great day of touring! Not far from downtown Lynnville is Tenn South Distillery. This newer distilling operation crafts small batch Tennessee whiskey and other spirits. Its custom made pot still with platinum-filtering compartment is used to make Big Machine Vodka (owned by the record label that is the home of superstars like Taylor Swift, Florida Georgia Line, Reba McEntire and Rascal Flatts). Other house-made spirits include Clayton James Tennessee Whiskey and All Mighty Shine.
The historic property of Milky Way Farm is a short trip away. With more than 1000 acres of green pastures, this scenic destination was build by Frank Mars of Mars Candy fame. After the success of his Milky Way candy bar in the 1930s, Mars began his vision for Milky Way Farm to include incredible barns, stone houses and a massive manor house. The elegant 25,000 sq. ft. manor includes 20 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, and the biggest dining room table you will ever see!
Book A Liquor & Leather Tour
Starting July 2018, you can book a private trip to Lynnville to see Col. Littleton’s leather goods shop and even potentially meet the Colonel himself! Partnered with distillery tours at Jack Daniel’s and Tenn South, the Liquor & Leather full-day adventure will be one you won’t soon forget. Request your tour on our website and start planning today!
About the Author – Rachel Nix
Rachel Nix has been Director of Marketing at Mint Julep since 2017. Her extensive bourbon education includes becoming an Executive Bourbon Steward through the Stave & Thief Society and graduating from Woodford Reserve’s Bourbon Academy. She is a Certified Tourism Ambassador and enthusiastic advocate for her adopted hometown of Louisville. When she’s not promoting Mint Julep’s portfolio of southern experiences, she can be found walking her dog or enjoying a drink on a Germantown patio.