Grinder's Stand

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Grinder's Stand was a stand, or inn, located on the historic Natchez Trace. A replica can be visited today at the Meriwether Lewis Park, located on the Natchez Trace Parkway in Lewis County, Tennessee, south of Nashville, southwest of Columbia, and east of Hohenwald, Tennessee.

The inn is known as the place where Meriwether Lewis died, by suicide (as suspected by his friend and colleague, Thomas Jefferson) or murder (as suspected by his family and others who have studied the evidence).[1][2]


The tavern is believed to have been established in 1807 and was originally known as "Indian Line Stand". Its proprietors were Robert Evans Griner and Priscilla Knight Griner.[3] The establishment is properly "Griner's Stand", given the proprietors, but soon after it opened people mistakenly, but permanently, began calling it "Grinder's Stand".

The original stand consisted of two rough log cabins adjoined at right angles, with a dogtrot between them. Both rooms had doors facing the Natchez Trace; one room also had a door facing the detached kitchen behind the stand. A barn and stable were located on the property, although the original placements of these two buildings have not been determined.

According to tradition, Robert Griner sold whiskey to the Indians, whose lands came within a few feet of the cabin. The proper use of the stand was to provide food and lodging to travelers passing through the Natchez Trace.

In October 1809, Meriwether Lewis died there. As noted above, his cause of death is a matter of dispute.

In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps built a replica cabin less than 20 feet from the remains of the original stand. However, the current cabin does not authentically match the design of the original.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "People: Meriweather Lewis". PBS. 
  2. ^ Rollins, James. The Devil Colony. William Morrow. 
  3. ^ Davis, William C. (1995). A Way Through the Wilderness: The Natchez Trace and the Civilization of the Southern Frontier. New York: Harper Collins. pp. 32–33. 

Coordinates: 35°30′33.90″N 87°27′26.85″W / 35.5094167°N 87.4574583°W / 35.5094167; -87.4574583