The house museum, complete with period furnishing of the late Victorian period, has been welcoming visitors since the mid-1980's.
The present site of the Fite-Fessenden House Museum includes land owned by Revolutionary soldier James Meness, Jr. before Wilson County was organized.
On January 12, 1816, James Meness sold forty acres of this grant (including the 236 West Main Street lot) to Dr. Edmund Crutcher. Dr. Crutcher, one of Lebanon’s first physicians, was one of the five commissioners appointed to serve as the governing body for the town of Lebanon. In 1819, when the corporation of the Town of Lebanon was chartered, Dr. Crutcher became Lebanon’s first mayor. He also served as Wilson County trustee from 1814 to 1820.
Dr. Crutcher, then living in Davidson County, sold to John S. Topp on February 17, 1825, four acres of the forty-acre tract that included the home site. John Topp, an early attorney in Lebanon, served as Circuit Court Clerk for Wilson County from 1821 to 1827. Topp later moved to Texas and became prominent in Texas political affairs.
On June 17, 1826, John Topp sold to Dr. Samuel Hogg the same four acres. Dr. Hogg, another of Lebanon’s first physicians, served as one of the five commissioners for the Town of Lebanon. He served as surgeon under General Andrew Jackson in the War of 1812. Dr. Hogg represented Wilson County in the state legislature in 1813 and in 1817-1819 served in the U.S. Congress, the first from Lebanon to do so. Dr. Hogg later moved to Nashville and was one of the first officers in the Tennessee Medical Society.
In 1827, Dr. Hogg sponsored a lottery with the drawing held on September 12, 1827, offering a ten-acre lot that included the four acres and the home site lot to the holder of the winning ticket. Phillip Lindsley, an outstanding educator and President of Cumberland College in Nashville, held the winning ticket, number 1991.
The ten-acre lot remained intact until after Phillip Lindsley’s death when it passed to his son Nathaniel, a professor of languages at the newly founded Cumberland University in Lebanon and later founder of the noted Greenwood Seminary for Young Ladies four miles east of Lebanon.
A part of the 10-acre lot was sold after Nathaniel’s death by his estate to Dr. James Fite for $560 on December 20, 1869. The deed reads: 100 feet on south side of West Main Street, 361 feet south to Gay Street, 101 feet west on Gay Street and 161 feet north to West Main Street containing 4/5 of an acre more or less. It is assumed that Dr. Fite began construction on his home shortly after acquiring the lot.