According to a 1988 study of Williamson County historical resources, conducted by staff of the Tennessee Historical Commission:
Bethesda was formed along Rutherford Creek in the early 1800s as a small community serving the needs of area farms. Several early settlers built log and frame homes in the area such as the Bond and Steele families. The Bethesda Methodist Church was organized in 1832 and a brick church was constructed in 1844. Of the homes constructed in the Bethesda area the William Steele House is the most notable and unaltered. No historic commercial buildings survive.
Properties on the National Register of Historic Places
The locations in Bethesda include Bethesda Elementary School, Bethesda Market & Deli, and the now closed Bethesda High School building that is adjacent to the elementary school and now serves as a spot for recreational basketball and baseball. The school's old library is also utilized and is the Bethesda Public Library.
- Dr. Carroll Van West and Elizabeth H. Moore (November 16, 2006). "NRHP Inventory-Nomination: Smithson-McCall Farm / Smithson-Fisher Farm; Happy Hills Farm; WM. 1043; Fisher Farm; Bag End Farm" (PDF). National Park Service.
- Thomason Associates and Tennessee Historical Commission (February 1988). "Historic Resources of Williamson County (Partial Inventory of Historic and Architectural Properties), National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination" (PDF). National Park Service. p. 22.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13.
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