Henry County

Men at Camp Tyson, in front of a barrage balloon
PHOTO: TN State Library and Archives


Do you know what a barrage balloon is?

During World War II, people in cities like London hung cables in the air meant to protect them from planes that might fly overhead and drop bombs. We didn’t end up using barrage balloons much in this country, but the U.S. government built a barrage balloon training base in Henry County. It was called Camp Tyson, and it was built in only a matter of months by as many as 8,000 construction workers.

Camp Tyson was shut down after the war. A business called the H. C. Spinks Clay Co. bought most of the base, and it has mined clay there since

Mordecai Johnson
PHOTO: Howard University

Paris, in Henry County, was also the birthplace of Mordecai Johnson, the first African-American president of a university in the United States.

Johnson served as the president of Howard University in Washington D.C. from 1926 until 1960.

Finally, Paris wouldn’t be Paris without an Eiffel Tower, or at least a replica of one. Talk about a science project! It was originally created by students at Christian Brothers University in Memphis.

Shown here, you will find it at Memorial Park in Paris.