Saturday, May 21, 2016

201 Woodland Street

Do you remember E. B. Smith at 2nd and Woodland? Or Coggin Chevrolet earlier? The showroom is the only original building left on Woodland Street, west of the interstate. The property is probably going to be developed soon. The building is not pretty, nor does it have any architectural significance. No reason to save it. But before it passes into oblivion, I wanted to take a few minutes to remember.  

The Walter Williams, Jr. Collection may be my favorite of all the collections at Metro Nashville Archives. Mr. Williams, and his father, both pilots, made many of the vintage aerials and skyline shots, from the 1920's through the 1950's.  Over the past 15 years or so, Mr. Williams has donated many photographs to the archives or allowed us to scan some of those he wanted to keep in his possession.  

 One set of photos in the collection depicted the flood in Nashville in December, 1926 and January, 1927.  Every time I looked at one of the photos from the set I would spot something new.  A view looking towards East Nashville had the Shelby Ave. Bridge in the foreground.  The background was not clear,  but I could pick out First Street and Shelby Street and Woodland Street easily.  The Meridian St. Viaduct was visible.  With a magnifying glass I could see the National Casket Company and just across 2nd from the casket company, was a one story building. The building didn't look quite the same as the present building but had the general shape and was the same height.


1927 Flood, East Nashville, Walter Williams Collection, Metro Nashville Archives


Crop of the 1927 Flood photo above, building at 201 Woodland is circled. East Nashville, Walter Williams Collection, Metro Nashville Archives

I want to share some of the photos and news ads, that I gathered for the building.  Below is an image from the 1927 flood, taken from Woodcock collection at Metro Nashville Archives. The building would have been home to Dressler-White at this time.
1927 Flood , 201 Woodland Street, Woodcock Collection, Metro Nashville Archives

Nashville City Directories and deed records were my next stop.  It did not take long to find out that an auto dealership had been on the site since 1920.  I also did a deed search on the property and found out a bit more about the earlier history of the building site.

The building is still standing today, at 201 Woodland street. It appears that several feet may have been cut from the front of the building when Woodland Street was widened.  The front facade has been changed more than once, I suspect.  It has been home to several auto dealers, other than Coggin.  The first was Hippodrome Motor Company, in 1920, owned by Tony Sudekum.  Mr. Sudekum also had a branch of his auto company at 910 Broadway.

Nashville City Directory, 1920.
In 1922, Dressler-White Company was in the building selling Ford autos and Fordson tractors. 

news ad 1922

By 1928, Dresslar-White was still there, but Fords were out and Willys-Knight and Whippet autos were for sale.  They probably should have stayed with Fords.

Nashville City Directory, 1928.

Later, Dresslar-White became a dealer for the Chevrolet Company.  Dresslar-White Company was in business at 201 Woodland until 1953.  They had expanded down the block a bit, covering lots from 201 to 207 Woodland.

Nashville City Directory, 1944.
Nashville City Directory, 1952.

Coggin Chevrolet opened in 1953 in the old building at Woodland and 2nd.  The dealership was owned by William E. Coggin.  Mr. Coggin had been in the auto business for many years, both in Nashville and in Florida.  He had previously worked at Jim Reed Chevrolet as sales manager.



March 1955, The Tennessean. Thanks to Linda J. Bordenave for the image.



1955, The Tennessean. Thanks to Linda J. Bordenave for the image.

 In 1955 Coggin Chevrolet announced plans to build a 35,000 square foot building on the south side of Woodland Street.  The showroom would be in the new building, along with parts and service.  The used car lot was to be moved to the north side of Woodland.  With buildings on both sides of Woodland Street occupying much of the block, Coggin Chevrolet was one of the largest dealerships in Nashville. 

Coggin Chevrolet, 1968.  Metro Nashville Archives


Automobile News, Sept. 1967. Thanks to Linda J. Bordenave for the image.

Coggin Chevrolet, about 1967.  Nashville Public Library


In 1968, Coggin sold the auto dealership to E. B. Smith.  The new owner advertised a grand opening in May of 1968.

May 1968, The Tennessean. Thanks to Linda J. Bordenave for the image.




E. B. Smith was located on Woodland until 1985, when the business moved to Hickory Hollow.  In November of 1985 an auction was held at the Woodland St. location.

November, 1985.  The Tennessean.  Thanks to Linda J. Bordenave for the image.


Since 1985, there have been many different businesses in the old building.  For a few years there was furniture store, operating there.  The building has been home to more than one night club and bar, most recently The Limelight.  East Nashville is changing rapidly and the block where the auto dealership began in 1920, is on the threshold of development.  So many old landmarks are disappearing every day.  This building doesn't hold any real historical value.  It has been changed and altered a great deal over the years.  It does have a place in the memory of all who lived in East Nashville and passed by on a regular basis.  There must be many good memories for those who bought a first car off of the lot on Woodland Street.

Recent Google image of 201 Woodland.

Recent Google image of 201 Woodland.



Memories are all we have left, of so much of Nashville.




Saturday, April 9, 2016

East Ivy


East Ivy, photo by Yvonne Eaves, 2016


Jimmy and I had the pleasure of touring an historic East Nashville home on a beautiful spring Saturday morning in March.  The members only event was arranged by Historic Nashville, Inc.    
Become a member to have an opportunity to attend behind the scenes tours of Nashville's historic sites.

This old home, now called East Ivy, has been a landmark in East Nashville for about 150 years. It is now used as event space and is very popular as a wedding venue.  The house is located at 209 South Fifth Street, between Russel and Fatherland Streets. South Fifth was originally called Tulip Street. The first address given in city directories was 48 South 5th.

This couple from an earlier time waited at the door to greet us.


The Tulip Street Methodist Church was originally built about 1860, on the lots across the alley from the house, at Tulip or 5th and Russell Streets. The church moved in 1892 to the corner of 6th and Russell.

1882 listing for Tulip Street Methodist Chuch.


In 1850 Felix Zollicoffer purchased about seven acres of land from Will Foster, agent of John Shelby and Ann Minnick.  The land was bound by Tulip (South 5th Street) and Minnick (South 6th Street) Streets on the west and east, by Fatherland Street on the south, and on the north by an alley that was 170 feet north of and parallel to Russell Street. In 1854, Zollicoffer filed a plat showing his plan of lots, numbered 1 to 37.

Felix Zollicoffer Plan of Lots, Addition to Edgefield. Registered November 24, 1854.

In August of 1866, Alanson G. Sanford purchased an undivided half interest in lots 1 through 4 for $2900, from James Davis. Sanford bought, in February of 1867, the other undivided half interest in lots 1 through 4 for $5000 from George B. Guild. 


Research shows that lots in the Zollicoffer plan sold for 500 to 600 dollars each, at that time. Sanford gave a total of 7900 dollars for lots 1 through 4. Sanford also purchased adjoining lots, 5 and 6, in 1867 from James Bostick for 1220 dollars. Sanford's investment of over 9000 dollars for six lots, strongly suggest that when Sanford bought the property, a house had already been constructed.  Sanford owned the property until August of 1870, when he sold to Henry G. Cooper for 16,000 dollars. Inflation might account for some of the increase in the price of the property.  Sanford may have made improvements to an existing house.  He may also have caused to be constructed other buildings on the property, stables, servant quarters and even an additional residence somewhere on the property.

Many of the early owners of the land and the house were notable, in the military, business and in politics.

Owner/Probable builder 1857-1867 Guild and Davis
George B. Guild purchased the property an undivided one half interest in lots 1, 2, 3, and 4 in 1857 for 1,657 dollars. It is likely that Guild and James Davis had the house at 209 South 5th, built in the mid 1860's. Guild was a lawyer, son of Josephus Conn Guild of Sumner County. He served as a Major during the Civil War in the 4th Tennessee Cavalry. Guild served in the Tennessee General Assembly in the House 1871 - 73.  He served in the Tennessee General Assembly in the Senate 1897-1899.  He was elected Mayor of Nashville in 1892.


George B. Guild

Owner/Resident 1867-1870 Sanford
While deed records can show who owned a property, city directories may tell us who lived there.  Alanson G. Sanford was likely the first resident of 209 South 5th Street. Sanford was born in New York and came to Nashville by 1855.  He worked as a bookkeeper. He had previously served as cashier for the Savings Bank of Cincinnati.  In 1863, he was one of the organizers of the First National Bank of Nashville and was chosen to serve as president.  In 1870 Sanders resigned his position with the bank.  He sold his home to Henry Cooper in August, 1870.  In September the Sanford's held a sale of the furnishing of their house, and announced their plans to move to Chicago.

Nashville Union and American, September 6, 1870


Owner/Resident 1870-1877 Cooper
Henry G. Cooper was the next resident, purchasing the A. G. Sanford residence in 1870.


Republican Banner, August 13, 1870

Cooper served in the Tennessee House of Representatives 1853-55 and 1857-59.  He served in the Tennessee Senate 1869-70.  Cooper was an attorney, served as judge of the seventh judicial circuit of Tennessee and was a professor of law at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee. He was a brother of William F. Cooper, who owned Riverwood Mansion in East Nashville.  Henry Cooper lived at Riverwood with his family, before moving to the house on South Fifth Street. When Cooper sold the house in 1877, he divided the property.  The house lot began at the alley and ran south, along South 5th for 100 feet, then east 200 feet, then north 70 feet and then west 200 feet to the beginning.  The other tract began at the corner of South 5th and Fatherland, ran east for 200 feet along Fatherland Street, then north 70 feet, then west 200 feet and then 70 feet along South 5th to the beginning.

Owner/Resident 1877-1892 Woodard
John Woodard served in the Tennessee General Assembly 1859-61, 1867-69 and 1881. He owned an operated a large distillery of sour mash whiskey in Robertson County, Tennessee.

Nashville Daily American, Feb. 20, 1882


He served as president of the Springfield National Bank in 1872.  He moved to Nashville and was in the grocery business.  He was a judge in Robertson County.  He was father in law to Joseph W. Byrns, Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives in 1935. Woodard lived in the house from 1877 until 1881, though his wife remained much of the time at their home on Robertson County.  In 1881 Woodard bought a house on Belmont Boulevard.  Though he owned the house on South Fifth for another ten years he lived in the Belmont house after 1881.

Renter/Resident/Owner 1883-1920 Huggins
William S. Huggins and wife Sophia, rented the house from John Woodard from 1883 until 1892. William S. Huggins died and Sophia bought the house from John Woodard in 1892. The property description was "beginning at the alley, then running along Tulip Street (South 5th) for 100 feet, then east 200 feet, then north 70 feet and then west 200 feet along the alley,to the beginning.  The other tract began at the corner of South 5th and Fatherland, ran east for 200 feet along Fatherland Street, then north 70 feet, then west 200 feet and then 70 feet along South 5th to the beginning. Deed records show that a house was built on the adjacent tract, probably in the 1880's. Both houses are shown on the map in 1908. Sophia died about 1920.


1908 Atlas of Nashville. Map shows the north section of lots belonging to Mrs. Sophia Higgins.(Should be Huggins).  The Tulip Street Methodist Church was originally built on lots 14 and 15 of the Zollicoffer Plan of Lots.


Owner 1920-1930 Warden
In 1920, James G. Warden and wife Mary bought the house. Warden was in real estate and worked for a loan company. The Warden's built a new house on their lot, between East Ivy and the corner house.  The Warden's lived in the new house. They divided the old mansion into apartments and rented to several tenants.


Nashville City Directory, 1924 showing three houses, 209, 211, and 215.

In 1925, James G. Warden sold the old house at 209 South 5th to Rose and Margaret Doyle.  In 1930 Mary J. Warden, now a widow, sold the newer house with 40 feet of frontage on South 5th to her daughter, Jewell Warden.  At the same time Mrs. Warden sold the lot at the corner of Fatherland and South 5th to Southern Securities.  That lot designated as 215 South Fifth was sold by Southern Securities,in 1930 to Mattie Halliburton.

Owner 1925/1973 Doyle
Rose Staub Doyle and Margaret Stuab Doyle were sisters who married brothers.  The sisters never lived in the house at 209 South Fifth.  In 1935, the house was deeded to Anna Mathis Doyle, daughter of Rose and niece of Margaret, by Margaret Doyle. During the time the Doyle family owned the house it was rented to many tenants, just as it had been since the Warden's had owned it from 1920.

Resident/Owner Schumaker and West
By 1973, it was thought the old house had seen it's best days. And then came Larry Schumaker and Larry West.  The two purchased the house and the north 60 feet of lots 1, 2, 3, and 4 from Anna Doyle, for 15,000 dollars.  Certainly many thought the price was outrageous and saw the house as a lost cause.  Not the Larry's.  They must have fallen in love with the house and jumped in feet first.  They started acquiring adjoining lots, those that had been a part of the original property in 1867. The new owners updated and replaced wiring, plumbing, heat and cooling systems. A brick wall was built completely enclosing the property, except for a small front lawn and front of the house.

A guest house, a three car garage, a swimming pool and a pool house were added.  The grounds were landscaped and walkways constructed using brick pavers. The gardens at the rear of the house contain many species of trees and plants, two Koi ponds and a water fall.  A fountain in the rear courtyard, for many years, featured a statue of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine. That statue has been replaced with the lovely "jug lady" below.

East Ivy, photo by Debie Oeser Cox, 2016


After nearly 40 years of owning and living in the house, Schumaker and West decided to sell.  In 2011, the house was purchased by Joseph M. Swanson as trustee for Charitable Remainder Unitrust, Joseph M. Swanson, located in Murfreesboro, TN.

Water Fall and Pond at East Ivy, photo by Debie Oeser Cox, 2016


The house and grounds are now used as event space, for weddings, corporate retreats and other occasions. Today the house property is once again made up of lots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and six of the Felix Zollicoffer Plan, Addition to Edgefield.



Click the links below to view photos and learn more about the house.
The Nashville Garden House as featured in the Wall Street Journal, 2010.
East Ivy Mansion

Sources:
Davidson County Register of Deeds (see deed abstracts posted below)
Davidson County Register of Deeds, Plat Book 19, Page 162
Nashville City and Business Directories
1908 Atlas of the City of Nashville
Biographical Directory, Tennessee General Assembly Vol. 1 and 2.
Wall Street Journal, 2010
East Ivy Mansion website.

Odds and Ends -

A. G. Sanford home north east corner Tulip and Fatherland, 1870 city directory,
First National Bank of Nashville, A. G. Sanford listed as one of organizers.


First National Bank of Nashville A. G. Sanford, President

Sale of Sanford furniture 1870, at the residence, corner of Tulip and Fatherland.


A. G. Sanford sells to Henry Cooper, lots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.  Deed Book 43, page 485, August 1879

Henry Cooper, home Tulip between Fatherland and Russell, City directory 1873.
John Woodard, Resides S. 5th, near Fatherland, Edgefield, City directory 1878.

Partial Deed History of house at 209 South Fifth Street and adjoining property.
Davidson County Register of Deeds

Book 37, Page 39 – Registered August 21, 1866, James Davis sold to Alanson G. Sanford for $2900, one half undivided interest in lots one, two, three and four, of the Felix Zollicoffer plan of lots in Edgefield. Fronting 50 feet each on Fatherland Street and running back 170 feet to an alley. (House lot)

Book 37, Page 655 – Registered February 25, 1867, George B. Guild sold to A. G. Sanford for $5000 one half undivided interest in four lots fronting 200 feet on Fatherland Street, running back 170 feet to an alley, lots one, two, three and four, in the Zollicoffer plan of Edgefield. (House lot)

Book 38, Page 485 – Registered October 11, 1867, James Bostick to A. G. Sanford for $1320, lots four and five in the Zollicoffer plan, each fronting 33 feet on Fatherland Street and running 170 feet to and alley. (was added to house lot)

Book 43, Page 485 – Registered 1870, A. G. Sanford of Edgefield sold to Henry G. Cooper for $16,000, fronting 266 feet on Fatherland Street, corner of Tulip Street, embracing lots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, in Zollicoffer's Addition to Edgefield, Tennessee. Said lots run 170 feet to an alley, including all improvements thereon. (House lot, 209 South Fifth.)

Book 58, Page 443, Registered November 3, 1877, Henry G. Cooper sold to Cora Buck, wife of Walter Vernon Buck, for $10,000, beginning at an alley south of and next to the Tulip Street Methodist Church.  Running along Tulip Street in a southerly line for 100 feet, then easterly along Fatherland Street, parallel with the alley 2-- feet, then northwardly 100 feet and then westerly along the alley to the beginning.  Deed was written on November 5, 1872 but not recorded until 1877. Deed was written on November 1, 1877. (Tulip Street Methodist Church was originally located on Tulip Street (South 5th Street) at Russell Street.) (House lot, 209 South Fifth.) At this time Cooper divided the house lot into two tracts.

Book 58, Page 444, Registered November 3, 1877, Walter Vernon Buck and wife Cora Buck sold to John Woodard,  beginning at an alley south of and next to the Tulip Street Methodist Church.  Running along Tulip Street in a southerly line for 100 feet, then easterly along Fatherland Street, parallel with the alley 200 feet, then northwardly 100 feet and then westerly along the alley to the beginning.   (House lot, 209 South Fifth.)

Book 61, Page 12, Registered September 17, 1878, Henry Cooper sold to Michael Burns in return for release of liability for two notes totaling  $1840.00, beginning at the intersection of Fatherland and South Fifth, formerly Tulip Street, then running east with Fatherland St. 200 feet, then north 70 feet, then west 200 feet, and then south with South Fifth, 70 feet to the beginning.  (This is adjoining lot, divided from house lot by Cooper, later became 215 South Fifth.)

Book 66, Page 141 , Registered June 15, 1880, Michael Burns sold to J. A. Payne, for $2500, beginning at the intersection of Fatherland and South Fifth, formerly Tulip Street, then running east with Fatherland St. 200 feet, then north 70 feet, then west 200 feet, and then south with South Fifth, 70 feet to the beginning. (This is adjoining lot, divided from house lot by Cooper, later became 215 South Fifth.)

This parcel containing the southern part of lots 1, 2, 3, and 4, beginning at the intersection of Fatherland and South Fifth, formerly Tulip Street, then running east with Fatherland St. 200 feet, then north 70 feet, then west 200 feet, and then south with South Fifth, 70 feet to the beginning was transferred from J. A. Payne heirs to John W. Love and wife Mary Lena, on August 16, 1898, for $5000 and recorded in book 230, page 27.  John W. Love sold this tract on November 2, 1905 to John W. and Nellie Boyd for $8000, recorded in book 324, page 31.  John W. Boyd sold to Louise Monohan on September 12, 1918, for $6,000, recorded in book 416, page 313.  Monohan sold the tract to Anna Mary and Johnson Bransford on May 2, 1919 for assuming  the lien held by John W. Boyd. Recorded in book 518, page 657. Bransford sold the tract to J. G. Warden, combining the two parts of lots, 1, 2, 3 and 4, once again. (This is adjoining lot, divided from house lot by Cooper, later became 215 South Fifth.)

Book 164, Page 184, Registered January 20, 1892, John Woodard and Julia E. Woodard his wife, sold to Sophia C. Huggins, beginning at an alley south of and next to the Tulip Street Methodist Church.  Running along Tulip Street in a southerly line for 100 feet, then easterly along Fatherland Street, parallel with the alley 200 feet, then northwardly 100 feet and then westerly along the alley to the beginning.  (House lot, 209 South 5th)

Book 560, Page 91, Registered July 14, 1920, E. C. Huggins and others, heirs of Sophia Huggins, sold to J. L. Sinor, for $5000, beginning at an alley south of and next to the Tulip Street Methodist Church.  Running along Tulip Street in a southerly line for 100 feet, then easterly along Fatherland Street, parallel with the alley 200 feet, then northwardly 100 feet and then westerly along the alley to the beginning.  (House lot, 209 South 5th)

Book 553, Page 331, Registered July 16, 1920, J. L. Sinor sold to J. G. Warden and wife Mary J. Warden, for $5800, beginning at an alley south of and next to the Tulip Street Methodist Church.  Running along Tulip Street in a southerly line for 100 feet, then easterly along Fatherland Street, parallel with the alley 200 feet, then northwardly 100 feet and then westerly along the alley to the beginning.  (House lot, 209 South 5th)

Book 633, Page 604, Registered June 28, 1924, Johnson Bransford sold to J. G. Warden, for $6600, beginning at the intersection of Fatherland and South Fifth, formerly Tulip Street, then running east with Fatherland St. 200 feet, then north 70 feet, then west 200 feet, and then south with South Fifth, 70 feet to the beginning. (House lot, 209 South 5th)
Book 682,Page  271, Registered August 13, 1925, J. G. Warden to Rose and Margaret Doyle, for $4,000, beginning at an alley south of and next to the Tulip Street Methodist Church.  Running along Tulip Street in a southerly line for 60 feet, then easterly parallel to Fatherland Street, and parallel with the alley 190 feet to a private alley, then northwardly 60 feet to the alley and then westerly 190 feet along the alley to the beginning.  Being parts of lots 1, 2, 3, and 4.  (House lot, 209 South 5th)

Book 785, Page 745, Registered September 13, 1930, Mary J. Warden, widow of J. G. Warden, transferred the poperty to her daughter, Jewell E. Warden, for love and affection, two tracts.  Tract one, Parts of lots 1, 2, 3, and 4, of the Zollicoffer plan, at a point in the east margin of Tulip Street now 5th, 60 feet south of the alley, south of and next to the Tulip Street Methodist Church, then south along Tulip Street 40 feet, east and parallel with alley 200 feet, then north 100 feet, then west with alley 10 feet, then suth 60 feet, then west and parallel with alley 190 feet, to the beginning.   Tract two, Being the easterly 45 feet of the southerly 70 feet of lot no 4. Said part of lot no. 4 fronts 45 feet on the northerly side of Fatherland and runs back between parallel lines 70 feet to a dead line. ( A new house was built on this lot and became 211 South Fifth.)

Book 802, Page 153, Registered September 4, 1930.  Mary J. Warden to Southern Securities Company, Second tract, Being the northerly 70 feet of lots 1, 2, 3, and 4, fronts 70 feet on the easterly side of south fifth Street and runs back along parallel lines with the northerly margin of Fatherland Street, 155 feet to a dead line. (This is adjoining lot, divided from house lot by Cooper, later became 215 South Fifth.)

Monday, February 22, 2016

A Bridge By Any Other Name, Shelby Avenue

 


East Nashvillians have long held the belief, that the Shelby Avenue Bridge, belonged to East Nashville.  The bridge, that we knew and drove and walked across, is much changed. Even so it will always be the Shelby Avenue Bridge to many. There was disagreement, even as preparations were made to open it, as to how it should be named.  Sparkman Street and McGavock Street were popular suggestions.





An abstract of the above news article was sent to me in June of 2012, while I was working at Metro Nashville Archives, by a patron, John Zuccarello.

T. P. Weakley writes as follows:
"A petition has been sent the County Court for the July term to give the name of the lower bridge as "Jefferson-street" and to call the upper bridge "Shelby-avenue Bridge."  Sparkman street is short, only from Front to Market, and has long ago been forgotten.  This bridge crosses the river and enters Shelby avenue at Second street.  Shelby avenue is 100 feet wide and is destined to be the route of the new boulevard.  Can you advocate Shelby-avenue Bridge as the appropriate and proper name?"....."I notice in papers it is proposed to call it McGavock-street Bridge.  McGavock street stops at High or Sixth avenue and does not touch the new bridge at all.  Shelby avenue is a large, wide street and perpetuates the name of Dr. John Shelby, who owned all the land east of the city across the river. 
T. P. W."

The bridge was opened to traffic on July 5, 1909 and was officially named on that day, as the Broadway Bridge.  The name did not take.  Eventually the sentiment of East Nashville residents, won out and the structure became popularly known as the Shelby Avenue Bridge.

  




The Shelby Avenue Bridge was closed in 1998.  Both the East and West approaches were demolished and reconstructed, and now fall short of the original landings. On the downtown side the bridge ends at 2nd Avenue, rather than 4th Avenue, where it originally ended.

In 2003, research conducted by staff members at Metro Nashville Archives, did not find any evidence of an official name change from the 1909 designation as the Broadway Bridge.  The research was in response to a question of a Tennessean staffer.

The bridge reopened in 2003 as a pedestrian bridge.  In 2014 the bridge was renamed John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge in honor of the well loved, Nashville journalist and newspaper publisher.

By Kaldari (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons





 



Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Early Roads and Forts in the Cumberland Settlements

Map of Davidson County, Tenn. Wilbur F. Foster, 1871.



The earliest forts or stations of the Cumberland Settlements, in what is now Davidson and Sumner counties were;
1. French Lick Fort/The Bluff Station at Nashborough.  
2. Freeland's Station in North Nashville.
3. Stone's River Station at Clover Bottom.
4. Heaton's Station on the north side of Cumberland just north of downtown.  
5. Mansker's at Goodlettsville.
6. Asher's Station in Sumner County.
7. Bledsoe's Station in Sumner County.  
8. Fort Union at Renfro's Settlement.   

Stone's River Station (3.) was abandoned soon after it was established, with some of the inhabitants going to Freeland's and others to Mansker's.  Fort Union (8.) was also abandoned, by June of 1780.  In the late summer of 1780, fear of Indian attacks, caused the settlers at Asher's (6.) to pack up and move to Mansker's Station. The same fate met Bledsoe's Station, though it was taken up again about 1783.


The Bluff Station, Freeland's, Heaton's and Mansker's survived the early years of the settlements, as in April of 1783, the Committee of the Cumberland Association ordered that officers be chosen for each station for safety.  The named stations at that time were Nashborough Station, Freeland's Station, Heatonsburg, Mansker's Station and Maulding's Station.  Maulding's/Maudin's was north of Mansker's near the Kentucky line and was established after May of 1780 as it is not mentioned in the Cumberland Compact. Heatonsburg was at a different, but nearby, location from the old Heaton's Station.


The first roads through Nashville and surrounding area were trails, made by buffalo.  Though the correct term is bison, everyone calls them buffalo.  These trails or traces, were often several feet wide and tramped down over time.  This area was heavily forested and where there were no trees, cane grew so think, that it sometimes could not be penetrated.  The large number of buffalo in this area kept the trails clear of cane and of trees and often offered the only path to travel through. As pioneers moved into what is now Davidson and Sumner counties, these trails became a important as a way to move between the forts and stations in different parts of the settlement

Prior to the creation of Davidson County, the Committee of the Cumberland Association met to take care of local business.  In April of 1783, the committee made a motion to lay out the first official road in the settlement, to run from Nashville, north to Manker's Station and from Mansker's Station.  

Davidson County was created by the North Carolina Legislature in April of 1783 and by October the duties of the Cumberland Association were turned over to the newly created Davidson County Court.  In the first days after the court was established on October 7, 1783, the road from Nashville to Manskers was ordered by the court.  The next road ordered, in October of 1784, followed the path of the current White's Creek Pike. By the end of 1786, more than a dozen roads had been ordered to be layed out.  A person was named by the court, to determine the best path for the road, from point to point. The court ordered those persons who lived and owned land along the road, or that would be served by the road, to provide labor.  The road hands would help level and widen the roads that followed the old buffalo paths. Trees were cut and stumps removed.  Following is a list of roads mentioned in Davidson Court minutes from 1783 through 1786. Most of the early roads went north of the Cumberland River.

The information was abstracted from the book, Davidson County Court Minutes 1783-1792, by Carol Wells. Published by Heritage Books, Inc. Bowie Maryland

(p. 4) Oct 1783 - Road, Nashville to Mansco Station: Jas. Freeland to be overseer to Buchanan's Spring; Jas Shaw spring to Manco's.  

(p. 58) Oct 1784 – Ordered that Frederick Stump lay a road from Heaton's Bluff to Sycamore; Capt McFaddin from thence to Red River. Andrew Tomson to oversee the clearing out that part that Capt McFaddin lays off. Phenix Cox that part that Fred Stump lays off, and the inhabitants work thereon.

(p. 126) Apr 1785 – Road to be laid off from Dry Creek to Bledsoe's Lick. Capt Mansco and Ed Hogan to lay off road from said creek to Station Creek. George Mansco from Station Creek to the Lick.  Inhabitants from ridge between Mansco and Drake work on lower part; those above on upper part.

(p. 133) Jul 1785 – Isaac Johnson and John Cockrill to lay off road from John Fletchers Lick to Nashville. William Collins to oversee the clearing out road & call together for that purpose inhabitants at John Cockrills and on the waters of Richland Creek.

(p. 133) Jul 1785 – James Bosley and Elijah Robertson to lay off a road from Nashville to John Barrows ferry; John Bosley to oversee the clearing out of the same.

(p. 133) Jul 1785 – Jas Martin and Geo Frazer return they laid off a road from ridge above Frederick Stumps, past Thomas Cox. Wm Mitchell, John Frazer, (p. 134) Wm Loggins, and thru part of the clear lands of the old station, leaving Hoopers to the south. Wm Loggins & Haydon Wells to oversee the clearing of the same. Wells from Rays cabin; Loggins from that to the ridge.  Inhabitants below the road leading from Nashville to Mansker, and from the head of White Creek to the mouth work on the same.

(p. 134) Jul 1785 – Gasper Mansker returns that he has marked a road from the Station Camp Creek to the French Lick Road near Dry Creek.  John Blackamore to oversee clearing out said road from Dry Creek to Drakes Creek. Wm Montgomery there to Station Camp Creek.

(p. 139) Jul 1785 – John Phillips and Jacob Pennington to lay off a road from Manskers Station to William Grimes on Richland Creek.  Bazzel Boren to oversee the clearing out of said road.

(p. 140) Jul 1785 -  Frederick Stump and Wm Ramsey to lay off a road the nearest and best way from John Barrows ferry.  David Rounsevall to oversee the clearing out the said road

(p. 155) Oct 1785 -  Ordered John Rains and John Buchanan to lay of a road from John Mulherin's to F. Armstrong's mill; report to ensuing court. William Ellis and Bradley Gambrel to oversee clearing out of same.

(p. 159) Jan 1786 – Isaac Titsworth, Benjamin Drake, Benjamin Rogers and Jacob Pennington to mark a road from the mouth of Red River to Maulden's old station; report to ensuing court.

(p. 166) Apr 1786 - Isaac Titsworth, Benjamin Drake, and Jacob Pennington report they laid off a 
road from the mouth of the river to Maulden;s old station, supposed to be 25 miles

(p. 166) Apr 1786 – Sam Handley, Moses Winters, Wm Gilkison, and Caleb Winters to lay off a road from Shaw and Barrow Road where they come together on Whites Creek to ford of Sycamore, to Moses Winters, to Red River; make return to ensuing court.

(p. 170) Apr 1786 – Ordered John Drake and Isaac Rounsevall to lay off a road from Barrows ferry to the ford of Sycamore.

(p. 200) Oct 1786 - Order a road be laid out to John Buchanan's mill & that James Bryant, Jonas Manifee, Jos Davis, Isaac Thomas, John Estes, Robert McMullen, John Everitt, John Buchanan, John Kennedy, John Butler, Martin Hardin, William Thomas mark and lay off said road, and William Thomas oversee the same and Capt Buchanan's and Hay's company work on same.

Thanks to Paul Clements, for helping me to confirm and add to my recollections of this time.  I often check with him when I need help with early history.  I use his wonderful book, Chronicles of the Cumberland Settlements 1779 - 1796, on an almost daily basis.

Davidson County Court Minutes 1783-1792, by Carol Wells. Published by Heritage Books, Inc. Bowie Maryland is a shortcut to the early Davidson County Court Minutes with can be so difficult to read. 

You can view and download the 1871 map of Davidson county  at this link.