Friday, January 26, 2018

Militia Companies, Davidson County, Tenn. 1836

Following is a list of those appointed to compile lists of taxable property in their district. In 1836 counties districts were designated as militia companies rather than by number. The name of the person appointed is given as well as the name of the Captain of the Militia Company district.The able bodied free adult men who lived within these companies or districts were part of the militia, to be called upon if needed by county officials for protection of Davidson County.

Records of Davidson County Court, Page 61, October Sessions 1836

The court appoints the following Gentlemen Justices to take in Lists of Taxable property in different Militia Companies in Davidson County for the year 1836 to wit:

Thomas W. Sharon Esquire in Captain Dennis Dozier’ Company
Thomas Hickman Esquire in Captain Michael C. Ellis’ Company
William James Esquire in Captain James Yarborough’ Company
Allen Knight Esquire in Captain Lewis Morgan’ Company
John C. Bowen Esquire in Captain David Ralston’ Company
Enoch P. Connell Esquire in Captain Stephen C. Bowers’ Company
John J. Hinton Esquire in Captain James Faulkner’ Company
Edmond Goodrich Esquire in Captain John E. Menees’ Company
William Williams Esquire in Captain Alanson Brown’ Company   
William Faulkner Esquire in Captain John Patterson’ Company
James H. Foster Esquire in Captain William Bennett’ Company
Edward H. East Esquire in Captain Henry Sangster’ Company
Thomas Bell Esquire in Captain John Surls’ Company
Joseph W. Clay Esquire in Captain Robert S. Hill’ Company
William Donelson Esquire in Captain Stokley Donelson’ Company
George M. Charlton Esquire in Captain Gilpin Hallum’  Company
William Ramsey Esquire in Captain Thomas Lynch’ Company
Enoch Ensley Esquire in Captain James Rains’ Company
James Thompson Esquire in Captain Joel A. Battle’ Company
William H. Nance Esquire in Captain Josiah C. Nance’ Company
Joseph T. Elliston Esquire in Captain Frederick Harwell’ Company
Francis McGavock Esquire in Captain ____ Moseley’ Company
Philip Campbell Esquire in Captain Willis White’ Company
John Davis Esquire in Captain James Crowder’ Company
John Berry Esquire in Captain Alexander Allison’ Company
Thomas Ferebee Esquire in Captain Franklin Shelton’ Company
William Shelton Esquire in Captain James R. Allen’ Company
Thomas Scott Esquire in Captain McIlwaine’ Company
William L. Willis Esquire in Captain Alexander Kerr’ Company
H. R. W. Hill Esquire in Captain Jacob Brasher’ Company
William M. Berryhill Esquire in Captain George Ament’ Company
John Wright Esquire in Captain Joseph Litton’ Company
Robert Farquharson Esquire in Captain J. P. H. Vest’ Company
John P. Erwin Esquire in Captain Peter Cox’ Company
Joseph Norvell Esquire in Captain Michael E. DeGrove’ Company
Elihu S. Hall Esquire in Captain Jeremiah Dotson’ Company 

 This is a link to the 1812 militia companies and includes name of those taxed. 1812 Davidson County

Friday, January 5, 2018

Fatherland at 17th

On the southwest corner of Fatherland Street in East Nashville sits a nice commercial building that is a great example of what can happen with restoration and re-purposing. When so many buildings are being demolished this one looks to a bright future.

1628-1630 Fatherland Street, google image 2012.

The official address of the building is 1628 Fatherland. The lot is designated as lot 86 in the A.V. S. Lindsley subdivision plat, as recorded in Chancery Plan Book 2, page 24. The plat shows lot 86 at the corner of Priest Avenue, now 17th and Van Sinderin Street, now Fatherland Street.

A.V. S. Lindsley subdivision plat, as recorded in Chancery Plan Book 2, page 2.

Over the years it was often 1628 and 1630 with two storefronts. For many years one storefront was occupied by a pharmacy and the other by a grocery.  The Hopkins Atlas of Nashville shows the lot was empty in 1908. In January of 1910, Millard F. Fry purchased this lot from Benjamin Enloe for $750. By 1912 Mr. Fry and his brother Sherman were operating a grocery at 1628-1630 Fatherland Street, according to the Nashville City Directory. The building had two storefronts and is probably the building on the site today. It was built about 1910. Lot 86 was 50 feet wide and the sides varied  slightly in length, about 145 feet, with an alley to the rear.

Atlas of Nashville, 1908. A red X marks lot 86, 1628 Fatherland, showing an empty lot.

For several years Fry Bros is listed as 1628-1630. In 1916, there are two businesses, 1630 was Fry Bros. and 1628 was Park Drugs. Fry Bros is there through 1918. In the 1920 directory we find H G Hill at the 1630 Fatherland address for the first time. H. G. Hill Company opened their first grocery store in 1895, in downtown Nashville. By 1920, when they moved into the building at 1628-1630 Fatherland Street the H. G. Hill Company owned many stores around Nashville. They leased the building for a few years. In 1923, H. G. Hill purchased the store building from M. F. Fry and his wife Fannie.

Davidson County Deed Book 612, page 453. M. F. Fry to H. G. Hill Company

Through 1945, a pharmacy operated in the smaller store front at 1628, but in the same building. H G Hill closed this location in the early 1950's. In 1955, Red Byrd Grocery was located in this building.

Summary of listings from Nashville City Directories

In 1910 there is no 1628 or 1630 Fatherland Street, indicating there was no building.

1912 - 1628-1630 Fry Bros. Grocers

1916 – 1628 Park Drugs; 1630 Fry Bros. Grocers

1917 - 1628 Vacant; 1630 Fry Bros. Grocers

1918 - 1628 Vacant; 1630 Fry Bros. Grocers

1920 - Sweetland Cash Meat Market; 1630 H. G. Hill

1924 – 1628 Hagan's Pharmacy; 1630 H. G. Hill

1930 – 1628 Cook-Peery Drug Co.; 1630 H. G. Hill

1935 - 1628 Charles Brooks, Jr. Drugs; 1630 H. G. Hill

1940 - 1628 Charles Brooks, Jr. Drugs; 1630 H. G. Hill

1945 - 1628 Charles Brooks, Jr. Drugs; 1630 H. G. Hill

1950 – 1628 no; 1630 H. G. Hill

1955 - 1628 no; 1630 Red Byrd Grocery

1958 – 1628 no; 1630 Wright's Bi-Rite

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Engine Company 18 - The Station

Engine Company 18  

The Station

by Debie Oeser Cox

A rendering of the new fire hall proposed for Gallatin Road appeared in the Tennessean on Oct. 3, 1929

 A rendering of the new fire hall proposed for Gallatin Road appeared in the Tennessean on Oct. 3, 1929. The architects were C. K. Colley & Sons. The building contractor was W. R. Smith & Sons. The Art Deco design was very popular in the United States in 1930. The stepped lines on each side of the parapet over the bay door and the flat roof are additional Art Deco elements. One can almost see the flames leaping around the smaller door.  The chimney is reminiscent of the tower design used in some Art Deco buildings. Other Art Deco features are the portholes and keyholes used in the design of the facade. The hose nozzles that sat above the keyholes, completed the Art Deco touches. They were removed at some point, possibly when the fire station was abandoned about 1990.  The brick pattern and the arched doors, bring in the suggestion of Tudor Revival influence.

City Property Collection, Metro Nashville Archives, ca 1940.
Engine Company 18 was in business by mid-May and was officially opened on Thursday, June 5, 1930. The crew assigned to the company was Capt. J. W. Smiley; Lieut. A. L. Mitchell; Eng. H. F. Leitenberger; Asst. Eng. F. C. Heist and J. M. Freeman, John Curran, J. S. Woods, L. S. Porter, W. J. Maloy and C. E. Willis as pipemen.[Tennessean, April 24, 1930]

Nashville Banner, June 1930

This fire station provided fire protection for East Nashville along the Gallatin Pike corridor, to the Nashville City limits. They also provided backup for the private Inglewood-Madison fire department as needed. Before this fire hall opened, the nearest stations were on Holly St. at 16th and on Meridian St.
The building was abandoned as a fire station about 1990 and sat empty for years after. Around the year 2005 Walmart acquired the land, including the fire station, to build a retail grocery store. In 2006, former Councilwoman Pam Murray and her non-profit group NEON took possession of the building, with a promise to Walmart to renovate and reuse the old fire hall. The group did not follow through with the plans. A fire in 2011, caused heavy damage. The building was almost lost when a demolition order was issued after the fire. Walmart worked to regain ownership of the building from Murray and in 2013 the court ruled in Walmart's favor.

2015 Google Image

This Art Deco design can be used to see the lines of the Art Deco features in the building.

In 2015, local interior designer Karen Goodlow became the new owner. The building was completely renovated and given the name "The Station". Goodlow's design company, along with several other businesses now occupy the building. The building also serves as a community event space. The logo adopted for The Station is beautiful and I hope it is permissible for me to share it here. In 2016, the building was added to The National Register of Historic Places. If not for Ms. Goodlow, the little building would probably have been demolished.  The Station is a wonderful example of how to save and repurpose and historic building.
The Station logo, from

This fire hose nozzle is similar to the concrete nozzles that were place above the parapet keyholes over the bay door.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Shelby's Pond

 by Debie Oeser Cox
all rights reserved
Map of the City of Nashville and Vicinity, Wilbur F. Foster 1877, LOC

Many old maps and plats of lower East Nashville/Edgefield area, show Shelby's pond in an area near the current streets of South Second and Crutcher Street. The area, just across the Cumberland from the downtown, and south of Shelby Avenue, was known as Shelby Bottoms, long before the Shelby Bottoms of today. John Shelby's land covered an area bound on the west and south by the Cumberland River, and on the north by Main Street and on the east by 8th/9th Streets. The pond, which covered 16 acres at one time, was in the southeastern part of his land, near the river.
Chancery Court Plan Bk 1, Sheet 64. Shelby's 2nd Addition. Shelby's Pond, ca 1850

In the early years, the pond belonged to the Shelby family. It was probably used as a watering place for stock and for fishing.  The Shelby's subdivided their land in the 1850's and sold it over the next 20 years.

The pond was described as a place of beauty at times, and a nuisance and public health risk at other times. In 1888 the city health officer wanted the pond drained for health reasons. In fact, there seemed to be a proposal every couple of years to drain the pond. 

Nashville Union and American, Jul 29, 1873

It was also a place of tragedy.  Several persons drowned in the pond. Most were children.   

The Nashville American, Jan 5, 1884

It was a place of recreation for the neighborhood in the latter half of the 19th century. In the winter, when the pond was frozen over it was used for ice skating. William Webb, in William Waller's, Nashville in the 1890's, described the pond.  

"From the foot of Shelby Avenue, extending over a large area of Shelby Bottom, was a huge pond known as Shelby Pond.  This was where all the skating took place, and most any cold afternoon and well into the night, with two or three big bonfires, burning on the edge of the pond, you would find hundreds of skaters of all ages."  

In the other seasons, it was a favorite for fishing.  When migrating ducks gathered at the pond in the fall, it became a neighborhood hunting spot.  It was not a favored as swimming hole, as the water became stagnant in the dry hot summer months. The pond was probably spring fed.  In spite of many attempts to drain the water away, it would fill up again.

Not much mention of Shelby Pond, in news stories after 1900.  The area along the river bank became increasingly industrial.  The pond no longer covered the amount of area that it did in the 19th century. A 1932 topo map shows that the southern section of the pond is dry.  The map has a pond near the Shelby Avenue Bridge that is oval in shape and may have been a sort of reservoir. 
The Shelby bottoms property was subdivided and changed hands many times. Tracing the deeds is almost impossible.  It was part of the D. B. Cooper subdivision that was filed in 1890. Cooper had purchased the property from Shelby family heirs.  In the early 20th century, W. T. Hardison purchased several tracts in the old river bottom, some of which included what had been the southern part of the pond. He transferred the property to his son Humphrey Hardison. The Hardison's had a building supply company located on the banks of the Cumberland in the area south of Shelby Avenue.

I had almost given up on finding more about the pond.  Then in 1936, it was reported in the Tennessean that a young boy, Henry Clay Rains, had drowned in Hardison's Pond in East Nashville.  With more research, I was soon convinced that this was what remained of the old Shelby Pond. By the 1940's Hardison's Pond was mentioned in news stories on a regular basis.  It was a called Hardison Lake as well and covered several acres. For a fee, a person could fish all day.  The lake was stocked with bass, bream, crappie and channel catfish. It was not as large as the original Shelby  Pond, but still large enough to cover several acres.  The lake was bordered by Davidson St on the south and Crutcher on the north and ran west to east from South Second St to South Fourth St.  

State of Tennesse, 1952,'s Lake

Robert Eller, a state game warden, operated the private fishing lake.  Fishing continued there through the 1950's and likely up to the time that the Silliman Evans Bridge was built across the river.  Much of the Hardison's Lake can be seen in a ca 1961 photo, showing the progress of the bridge construction.

Silliman Evans Bridge Construction, 1961, Metro Nashville Archives, Hardison Lake just west of the bridge.

The lake was filled in the early 1960's and became the property of the Steiner-Liff Metal Recycling Company. A plat of that property shows the outline of the Hardison's Lake and is labeled old Hardison property.  It belongs to Steiner family members today.

Steiner-Liff property in East Nashville, 6791-172, 1983.  The area shaded in pink was Hardison's Lake.
 Scroll down to see news clipping about Shelby's and Hardinson's Pond.

Republican Banner, Dec 23, 1870  

Daily American, Nov 13, 1878.

Daily American, Nov 1, 1878

Daily American, Jan 16, 1893

The Tennessean, Apr 11, 1945

The Tennessean, Oct. 5, 1958

The map above is a current google map.  The area where Hardison's Lake was once located is shaded blue.