Saturday, July 25, 2015

Inglewood Business History

Each time an old building is demolished to make way for a new one, we all feel a bit of loss and sadness. Gallatin Pike through the Inglewood community is a mixture of old and new.  Many of the buildings that house businesses are relatively new.  The historic treasure of Inglewood lies in the older homes that line several blocks of Gallatin Pike. 

4205 Gallatin Pike, Beck & Beck Real Estate.

When I wonder what was once there, my thoughts always go back to the earliest times in the settlement, when there were only a few farms in the area. The original 640 acre grants the first settlers received for coming here, to settle and protect the area, when it was wilderness.  The plat map below shows just how few landowners lived along the main road, in the 1780's, from McGavock Pike all the way to Neely's Bend Road. 

Map showing grants along Gallatin Pike, 1780's, by Debie Oeser Cox

The original buildings on these farms were built from logs.  Later, larger houses were constructed, often around the log building, so that it remained hidden inside.  A few of the antebellum homesalong Gallatin Pike were Evergreen, Maplewood, Glen Echo, Martha Martin's home, the Maxey house, and William Williams' home.

Evergreen, Maplewood and Glen Echo. Photos from Betty Hadley
As the farms were divided into smaller tracts and finally into neighborhood subdivisions, the older houses began to disappear and newer homes with smaller lots of land were built. As neighborhoods became more densely populated, businesses opened, usually clustered together, around a crossroad. 

The area around the intersection of Gallatin Pike and Greenfield Avenue is certainly a busy one, today.  It has been the location of grocery stores, churches, schools and other businesses for many decades. Still all was quiet and mostly residential in the area, until about 1920 when the growing popularity of the automobile, brought changes.  A filling station and a garage opened nearby on Gallatin Pike. By 1930 there were several groceries, a barber, two drug stores, a restaurant and several filling stations, within a couple of blocks, on either side of the intersection. Following is a brief history of one Inglewood business.

Leslie C. Burrus was an Inglewood businessman from the 1920's until the 1940's.  He opened one of the first businesses, a filling station, on Gallatin Pike, near Greenfield. A Kentucky native, he was living in Inglewood by 1917, when he registered for the draft. World War I was raging in Europe, and in June of 1917, he became a was a member of the 114 Field Artillery Battery E, 30th Division, (Old Hickory) of the Army National Guard.  He served in France with his company, until he was discharged in April of 1919.

    The 114th & 115th U. S. Field Artillery, 30th Infantry Division marching on Capitol Boulevard.  TSLA

On August 7, 1922, the war hero, Leslie Burrus was once again living in Inglewood, when he married Charlsie Mai Wilkinson. In 1924 the couple purchased a lot at the corner of Gallatin Pike and Masonic Home Road (now Home Road) and that same year opened the Inglewood Burrus Filling Station. The couple also ran a cafeteria in the filling station building.

Inglewood Filling Station, 1925 Nashville Banner - Rotogravure collection, Metro Nashville Archives

A family member of Mr. Burris, in a story written for a Burrus family tree, called him the "Honorary Mayor of Inglewood."  The story goes on to say that Burrus, a successful businessman, started his small station with one gas pump.  He built a new larger building and eventually had 18 pumps, servicing neighborhood cars and the big trucks that traveled Gallatin Pike, in the years before interstate highways.  He and his wife operated a restaurant at the location called the Inglewood Cafeteria.  The family story says the restaurant offered curb service and live "big band" music, performed by Vito Pellettieri and his orchestra.  A 1930's ad for the restaurant states it was  "Home of Toasty Barbecue."

Leslie C. Burrus. proprietor of Inglewood Filling Station. Photo from Vicki Cheesman

Inglewood Filling Station and Cafeteria, ca 1935. Photo from Vicki Cheesman

In the early 40's Leslie Burris retired and leased his restaurant to Gus Gevas.  Gus and his wife Sophie, operated a restaurant called Creamland. Over the next few years the filling station was used for various purpose.  In 1944, Leslie and Charlese sold the property to Crescent Amusement Company.  Crescent bought the Burrus lot and several surrounding parcels.  For the next few years, until 1948 Gus Gevas ran Creamland, which was a neighborhood gathering place for teens.    By 1950, the Burrus building, which had housed the filling station and restaurant, was gone.  The Inglewood Theater opened on the site in 1950.

Inglewood Theater, 1950. Metro Nashville Archives

The Inglewood Theater closed in 1977. The building housed Joywood Salvage for many years.  In the late 1990's the old theater building was razed and an Eckard Drugstore was built on the site.  In 2015 a Family Dollar store is on the site.

Source - Burrus Family Tree, Vicki Cheesman
Source - Nashville City Directories,
Source - Tennessee State Library and Archives
Source - Metro Nashville Archives

Source - Nashville's Inglewood, authors; Crystal Hill Jones, Naomi C. Manning, Melanie J. Meadows

Related Articles - Links

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Lischey-Avenue and Meridian-Street Car.

The Wayne hand-book of Nashville, and the Tennessee centennial exposition

Lischey-Avenue and Meridian-Street Car. —Route: From terminal station around Public Square, across Cumberland Bridge, First street, Oldham, North Second, Foster, Third, Treutland street and Lischey avenue to Joy’s Floral Gardens. Also from Foster street, on Meridian and Wilburn street to Lischey avenue, passing Caldwell School, E. & N. Mfg. Co., East Nashville Depot, McFerrin Memorial Methodist Church, McNeilly Presbyterian, Foster-Street Christian, North Edgefield Baptist and Second Edgefield Cumberland Presbyterian to Lischey’s and Joy’s Floral Gardens. Returns same route.

North Edgefield 1908 Hopkin's Atlas

Caldwell School - North Edgefield

Edgefield and Nashville Manufacturing Company

North Edgefield Baptist Church, Meridian Street - TSLA

Lischey Floral Gardens


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Two Rivers Mansion, a Nashville Treasure

Two Rivers - Friends of Two Rivers Mansion

On McGavock Pike, in Donelson, stands the historic antebellum mansion called Two Rivers.  The home was built in 1859 by David McGavock.   Recently my husband Jimmy and I stopped by Two Rivers Mansion, for a tour.  Our guide was Phil Claiborne, Metro Coucilman for District 15.  He is a founding member of the Friends of Two Rivers Mansion, and in 2015 serves as President of the board of the friends group.

Two Rivers
Two Rivers Mansion
Mr. Claiborne is quite knowledgeable about the history of the mansion and of the families that lived in the house.  He led us through the first and second floors of the mansion, explaining the function of each room, when it was home to the McGavock family.  The house is furnished with period pieces, from the 1880's, reflecting the most prosperous time at Two Rivers.  He told us of the different generations of McGavocks, who owned and lived in the house, for more than one hundred years.

Two Rivers Mansion

We learned that in, December of 1966, Metro Nashville Government purchased the Two Rivers property, 460 acres, for $995,000 from the estate of Louise Bransford McGavock.  Mrs. McGavock died in 1965 and the property was sold to fullfill the bequests made in her will.  She was the last of the McGavock family to live in the house. 

Davidson County Register of Deeds, Book 4087 Page 7.

Today the house sits on a tract of 14 acres.  The remainder of the property was developed into Two Rivers Park and Golf Course in the early 1970's, with a parcel set aside for McGavock High School, which opened in 1971.

You will find an interesting history of Two Rivers on the Friends of Two Rivers Mansion website - Two Rivers History.

Tours are offered on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons from 12:00 until 4:00, June through August.  Become a member of the Friends of Two Rivers Mansion before you go.  Tours and  most events at Two Rivers are free for members.  It's easy to join, online or by mail.  For more information click here - support Two Rivers Mansion

The mansion and grounds are available for use for private events and weddings.  Visit the Friends of Two Rivers Mansion website for more information on fees and availability.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Confederate Veteran Magazine

and a few other things in my files concerning the Civil War.

The Confederate Veteran was published from 1893 until 1932. There are articles about the Civil War, reunions, obituaries and photographs.

This is a link to issues that are online.  Confederate Veteran Magazine.

You might find a relative, including a photo.  B. F. Binkley was my great-great-great uncle and lived in Nashville, TN.

Capt. B. F. Binkley, Confederate Veteran, Volume IV, No, 7a

Military Hospitals in the City of Nashville as published in The Daily Press, Nashville, Tennessee Friday January 15, 1864 

An Index of some Civil War Burials recoded by W. R. Cornelius, undertaker for the Union Army at Nashville, 1864 -1866

National Parks Service, Civil War Soldiers and Sailors database. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Edgefield Nursing Home

Several years back, I saw a postcard online advertising a nursing home in East Nashville. The caption read "Edgefield Nursing Home, 400 So. 5th St., Nashville, Tennessee, 5-8306"

Boston Public Library, Tichnor Brothers Collection, Tennessee Postcards

Anything with a connection to East Nashville piques my interest. I wanted to know more about the nursing home, and I really wanted to find the history behind the house it was located in.

Edgefield Nursing Home first shows up in Nashville City Directory listings in 1939. The address for the home was 720 Boscobel St. and the manager was Mary Kate Stone. She and her husband Thomas L. Stone, owned the house on Boscobel. Mary Kate had ten patients and was aided by two housekeepers who lived on the premises. In the early 40's Kate and Thomas L. Stone separated and they were divorced in 1942. Mary Kate gained possession of the house at 720 Boscobel and continued to manage Edgefield Nursing Home.

About 1946, Kate married again, to Robert Gilmore. Late in the year of 1947, Robert and Mary Kate purchased a big, two story brick house at 400 South Fifth Street. Back at that time, before the federal housing for the elderly was built at south Fifth and Shelby, Boscobel Street came all the way through to intersect South Fifth, almost across from the house that the Gilmore's bought. Robert and Mary Kate along with her children with Mr. Stone, continued to live at 720 Boscobel but moved the nursing home business to South Fifth Street in early 1948.

 I didn't find many details about Edgefield Nursing Home. A few online obituaries announced that the deceased passed away at the home. The latest date that I found was when Mrs. Missouri Maxwell, died there on Friday, February 4, 1966. Mary Kate Gilmore had already sold the property to Metro Nashville Government in 1964, but apparently was allowed to continue the nursing home business in the house. Finding enough about the nursing home to be satisfied, it was now time to find out more about the house.

Property records told me the property that the house was built on was originally a part of Shelby's Second Addition to Edgefield, that was filed in 1867. Alanson and Virginia Sanford bought several large lots of the property and in 1873, subdivided a large tract into 10 lots. Five of the lots fronted on Oak Street, now South Fourth Street and five on Tulip Street, now South Fifth Street each being 50 feet wide.

The lots backed up to one another and were divided by a narrow alley along the rear of the lots. In 1874 William Henry Webb purchased the five lots along South Fifth, numbered as lots 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10. William Henry Webb was in the grocery business and his firm, Webb, Scoggins & Company was located across the river in Nashville on Market Street. His partners were his brother, Robert Clark Webb, his son Leonidas Theodore Webb and Samuel Scoggins.

Webb soon built an house on South Fifth. The Italianate house was of red brick and two stories high. The windows and doors were arched and there were porches on the front and the back of the house. One record described the property where the house stood, as five lots that were used as one, embellished with trees, shrubbery and gardens. William H. Webb was married three times and was father to a total of eighteen children, many of whom were adults by the time he built the home on South Fifth Street, where he lived with his third wife Margaret Kerr Webb and some of the younger children. After his death in December of 1890, his wife Margaret and her son Dwight Webb, and her step daughter Mary Smith Webb lived in the house, that William had built for Margaret.

 In 1902, William Webb's daughter Mary married an Irishman name Andrew O'Brien. Andrew purchased the interest in the property held by Mary's siblings and by 1910, Andrew, Mary and her step mother Margaret shared the house with several servants.

Hopkins Atlas of Nashville - 1908, Nashville Public Library

Margaret died in 1915. In 1920, Andrew and Mary Webb O'Brien, Andrew's neice Mamie Burke and three servants were living in the house. Andrew passed away in 1920 and Mary and Mamie stayed in the house together, still employing servants in 1930. By 1935, they had taken in boarders, two couples who had their own apartments in the house. Mary Smith Webb O'Brien died in February of 1940. She left the house to her husband's niece Mamie Burke. It was sold several times before the purchase in 1947 by the Gilmore's.

Image from findagrave memorial #95293396 - image credit Chuck Schubert

A red X marks the spot where the William H. Webb home once stood.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Also see: History of the Tennessee State Fair

Davidson County Quarterly Court, April Term 1910 Minute Book H, page 152-154 

Inventory of State Fair Property:

(Much of the inventory had belonged to Cumberland Park, which was purchased in 1906 for $120,000.)

Club House
Barn (80 stalls)
Grand Stand
Betting Shed
Stable (20 stalls)
Stable (20 stalls)
Stable (20 stalls)
Stable (20 stalls)
Stable (20 stalls)
Stable (20 stalls)
Stable (20 stalls)
Paddock 12 stalls
Stable 15 stalls
Stable 10 stalls
Cottage & Books
Blacksmith Shop
Kitchen & ___
Kitchen & ___
Kitchen & ___
Kitchen & ___
Kitchen & ___
Kitchen & ___
Kitchen & ___
Kitchen & ___
Kitchen & ___
Kitchen & ___
Kitchen & ___
Kitchen & ___
Kitchen & ___
Kitchen & ___
Kitchen & ___
Pump Shed
Covered Track and 400 Cattle Stalls
Stable (156 stalls)
Stable 20 stalls
Stable 12 stalls
Stable 12 stalls
Stable 12 stalls
Stable 12 stalls
Shooting Lodge
Agricultural Building
Ticket Office and Gate Shed
Rains Cottage

110 Acres (Approximate) at $75.00 per acre

Mile Track

Office furniture & fixtures
Poultry Dept. Supplies
Dairy Dept. Supplies
Show Cases
Track Machines, Wagons & Live Stock
Club House Furniture & Fixtures
Turnstiles & Ticket Choppers
Concession Stands & Lumber

Water Plant & Plumbing


Electical Supplies
800.00 - - 224,100.00

I hereby certify this correct to the best of my knowledge.
John Early, Chairman Finance Committee.

Old Gray Mare
Bay Horse
Brown Horse

Manure Spreader
Road Machine
Spring Wagon
Handy Wagon
Cow Wagon
Tennessee Wagon
Dump Cart
Two Horse Mower
One Horse Mower
One Set Double Harness
One Set Single Harness
Hay Rake
Grass Mower
One Wheelbarrow
Two Brier Blades
One Hand Rake
Four Pitchforks
Three Picks
Two Shovels
One Spade
One Post-hole Digger
One Pipe Wrench
One Hatchet
One Hammer
Whitewashing Machine

Line Shaft
One Power Churn
One Babcock Tester

One L. C. Smith Typewriter
One Safe
One Standing Desk
One Roll Top Desk
One Typewriter Desk
Two Flat Top Desks
Six Tables
One Sectional Filing Cabinet
One Small Filing Cabinet
Four Stools
Six Office Chairs
Twenty Index Files
One "Jap Oak" Stove

1 Hat Rack
2 Wicker Settees
8 Wicker Chairs
3 Leather Chairs
3 Steamer Chairs
5 Lounging Chairs
13 Folding Chairs
28 Dining Chairs
76 Porch Chairs
1 Sideboard
1 Large Dining Table
2 Small Dining Tables
2 Extension Tables
11 Small Center Tables
1 Roll Top Desk
1 Mantel Mirror
2 Toilet Mirrors
Carpet for Stairway
Matting for entire second floor
33 Yards Tricker Carpet
11 Rugs
2 Small Square Rugs
2 Druggets
2 Pair portieres
21 Pair Curtains
91 Window Shades
1 Set Fireplace Fixtures (4 pieces)
4 Set Fireplace Fixtures (3 pieces )
1 Pool & Billiard Table with set Balls
1 Manhattan Pool Table "
1 Cue Rack
11 Cues
1 Range & Utensils
1 Furnace

200 Exhibition Coops
1700 2 x 4 various lengths
1800 1 x 6 various lengths
1200 Platforms
1800 Pen Sections
815 Benches
12 Fire Extinguishers
35 Show Cases
24 Water Barrels
11 Flags
51 Coats
54 Caps
51 Yale Locks
7 Conductor Punches
3 Lanterns
17 Cash Boxes
11 Ticket Boxes
5 Turnstiles
5 Ticket Choppers
3 Refrigerators
1 Pair Scales
2 Wire Puller
8 Steel Tanks