Rogana: A Crossroads Community

      To a large extent, crossroad villages provided identity and vitality to the surrounding countryside and a sense of community in the early years of settlement. Villages began to appear on the landscape when farmers had produced enough good harvests to erect satisfactory homes, barns, fences, and wanted goods and services beyond their capacity and that of their neighbors to produce.

      The owners of farmland along a frequently traveled trail, path, or road, often paralleling a water route, would plan a village where two or three roads crossed. The village that developed at the crossing of the trails or roads was usually named after one of the area's first settlers and a general store, tavern, and a few other buildings would be erected. Near these villages, the social, commercial, educational, and religious aspects of the emerging society originated and were supported.

      The unincorporated community of Rogana followed this pattern of development emerging in the early nineteenth century at the point where animal paths, then Native American and later early settler's trails paralleled and met at the place where three creeks converged. Named for Hugh Rogan, the village of Rogana supplied the needs of nearby farm families for over a century. A flour mill, a general store, and a few other businesses were located at Rogana. When the railroad came to Sumner County, the tracks branched east off the north/south line at Rogana. A depot was erected by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad in the mid-1800s and passenger service was available into the twentieth century. Rogana was also a shipping point for livestock.

      Today the paved Rogana Road follows the old trails, intersecting at the junction where remnants of the Rogana community remain. This gives credence to cultural geographer Estyn Evans' conclusion that the trails followed by the Scotch-Irish became roads, and their system of settlement and land-use is stamped on the landscape.

Topographic Map of Sumner County
This topographic map of part of Sumner County shows Rogana as well as several of the other communities nearby. (Click on image to enlarge.)