One sleepy little Middle Tennessee town has always been on the map - maybe just never the tourists' map - but that's changing.
Linden, TN, in Perry County enjoyed years of peace and quiet until that meant its storefronts started closing and sense of downtown disappeared.
Now those days of despair are over, and Linden boasts a welcoming attitude and thriving downtown sure to impress any visitor.
"There were 13 or 14 vacant store fronts. Now we're down to two," said Michael Dumont.
Linden is now a popular tourist destination with store fronts open with welcome mats everywhere.
Much of the credit can go to Dumont, who first arrived on a visit from Rhode Island. He took one look at the dilapidated old hotel on Main Street and wondered if it could be more than just a piece from the past.
"The building was rough. You could see daylight from lobby, see right through the roof. The windows were broken," Dumont said.
Hope and hard work helped transform the Commodore Hotel, which is alive again and now a major luxury attraction for those seeking a weekend getaway from Nashville or Memphis.
"I don't know any town like Linden," said Renee Schmidt.
Schmidt's variety store Dimples is as close as Linden gets to a convenience store.
"It's kind of like going back to Mayberry. It truly is," Schmidt said.
Now the town with a past has a bright future.
While Dumont and his wife Kathy are in charge of everything at the Commodore Hotel, many people in Linden agree it's the firm hand and gentle soul of Mayor Jim Azbill that makes that town tick.
Copyright WSMV 2013 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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