Monday, June 27, 2011

Inglewood - Just where do we live?

I wrote this in response to a question on the Inglewood listserve awhile back. A newcomer to Inglewood was confused by all the names that can be applied to the area and asked, "Just where do we live." it's sort of jumbled, with little editing, but I decided to share.

Inglewood Theater, courtesy of Metro Nashville Archives

There are a lot of answers as to where we live. When we pay our taxes, it's Davidson County. If the house is on fire, the Nashville Fire Department responds. If we call the police they consider us East Nashville. Mayor Purcell heads up Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County. When we pay our water bills, some of us send the money to Madison Utilities. Maplewood is an older name than Inglewood. Inglewood has been used for about 100 years, starting with the subdivision of the area around Inglewood Kroger. It is the right of any Inglewood resident to say he lives in East Nashville, or just Nashville, if he so chooses, but please don't forget the history of why it was called Inglewood in the first place.

The first town in the vicinity was Haysborough, chartered in 1799. It was located on the river bluff in back of where Springhill Cemetery is today. Much of Inglewood proper was the Williams place. On the East side of Gallatin at McGavock was the Maxey farm. Just north on the west side was the homeplace of Thomas and Martha Martin. The Maxey family graveyard is shown on a plat as being on what is now the southside of McGavock Pike about halfway between Gallatin and the railroad. Just about where the large grassy areas are between the street and the sidewalk. The Stull plantation was on the other side of Gallatin in this area. Stull's land ran south from Trinity Lane, all the way to where Nashville Auto Diesel College is now. Stull descendants built the historic house on the NADC campus that was later the home of Warner family of Warner Parks fame. The house was also used for Trevecca Nazarene College at one time. Near the East YMCA was the farm of Isaac Litton, who born in Ireland, became a wealthy landowner after settling in Nashville. You will find the memoir of Judge Litton Hickman, grandson of Isaac Litton here - http://freepages.history.rootsweb.com/~nashvillearchives/hickman.html).

Hickman described his neighborhood as "a very well defined one, extending from Tenth Street in East Nashville out the Gallatin Road to the Madison area. It was a distinct unit, apart from Edgefield on the one side and open country on the other." Hickman graduated from Vanderbilt in 1896 and was a practicing attorney in Nashville by the time Inglewood was developed. Back when there were county and city government Hickman served as county judge equivalent to county administrator. When the two were combined our Mayor's office was changed to more of a county administrator than the a municipal mayor.

Jere Baxter purchased land and a house from the Williams family on the West side of Gallatin Road. Baxter owned land from the Hart Lane area out to about Maplewood Lane. It was Baxter who gave the name Mapelwood to his farm and his home, which stood at the end of what is now Curdwood. We all know about Evergreen and the Craighead family who lived on that land. The Bradford family lived at Evergreen for many years. Just north beyond Evergreen was Glen Echo, built by Rev. Craighead about 1790 and occupied for many years by Emily Donelson Walton and her family. The Love family, and later the McGaughey's, owned much of the land where St. Joseph's Church and Springhill Cemetery is now and their property ran south to the Haysboro, Brush Hill neighborhood. The Riverwood neighborhood where I live, is made up from several old farms. The first being Riverwood, the land of which covered the south section of Riverwood, along Cooper Lane and Sandy Dr and McGinnis and that area. Brothers, Aaron and Jonathan Strech, had adjoining farms that covered the present streets of Milton, Avalon, Ivy, Fremont and some of Moss Rose. The restored 1855 homeplace of Aaron Strech, still stands on Warden St between Avalon and Moran.

Community names come from families, streets, subdivisions, rivers, creeks or sometimes just from the imagination of the residents. Community names can change over time. Donelson was first called Slip Up and later McWhirtersville. With the integration of neighborhoods, those communities that were traditionally African American have blended in with the surrounding area and the names and history of most are gone or will be with the last of the old folks. I hope we don't lose more. I'm writing it down as fast as I can.

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Inglewood - Just where do we live? by Debie Oeser Cox is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for all the info. I love Inglewood. Grew up on Ardee. From what I understand the area where my house is was once a Golf course/Country Club.

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