The Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce has an outstanding history because of the many volunteers who have given their time and resources to help make the community prosper. The organization's roots date back to March 9, 1928, when a small group of leaders came together to charter the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce.
The first officers included Dudley Fletcher, H.P. Allen, W.B. Horton, F.L. Spain Jr., W.B. Carnahan, and J.N. Bagwell Jr.. Additionally, other members of the Board included: H.L. Fox, C.B. Bell, O.C. Staley, W.E. Mullins, Dr. B.N. White, R.H. Stickney, John Nelson, H.C. Moore Jr., C.P. Blankenship, Leiper Freeman, James A. Ridley, Lewis Brinkley, W.H. Davidson, James F. Haynes and C.B. Leatherman.
The Chamber of Commerce was organized for the purpose of advancing the commercial, industrial, and civic interests of Rutherford County. The charter members specifically stated in the original by-laws that "the general welfare of the community, not individual profit" was the reason for establishing the Chamber of Commerce.
For many years, the Chamber office was housed in a log cabin at historic Cannonsburgh Village, a tourist facility constructed in 1976 by Middle Tennessee State University and many volunteers under the direction of Murfreesboro Mayor, W.H. Westbrooks. As history tells us, around 1800, Cannonsburgh was a small community in Rutherford County. One of the larger landowners, William Lytle, donated 60 acres to help create a "real town", but had one stipulation, he wanted to rename the town Murfreesboro in honor of his commanding officer in the Revolutionary War, Colonel Hardy Murfree.
The Chamber experienced exceptional growth from 1986-1996 and began looking for additional office space to continue to meet the needs of the membership. In 1994, Mark Pirtle, a local businessman and Chairman of the Board, purchased 15 acres of property from State Farm Insurance and donated a portion of this property for the Chamber to build a new office. Under the leadership of Ed Loughry Jr., with Cavalry Bank, and Don Moser, with SunTrust Bank, over $500,000 was initially raised to fund the new building. Completed in 1997, this 10,000 square foot building is a state of the art meeting facility. Four of the main rooms were named after business legends that endowed the completion of this project. These rooms are (1) The Thomas T. Martin Visitors Center, (2) The Grady R. Haynes Small Business Center, (3) The Dr. Carl E. Adams Board Room, (4) The Jennings A. Jones Business Information Center.
The Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce also has offices in Smyrna and La Vergne.