Wednesday, November 23, 2011

National Road

In 1908, representatives of the Davidson County Court asked the United States Congress to provide $25,000 for construction of a boulevard leading from downtown Nashville to the National Cemetery on Gallatin Pike as a memorial to the soldiers buried there. The United States government had constructed such roads in other states, fine boulevards leading to many national cemeteries across the country. The Nashville National Cemetery consisted of about 65 acres and was the burial place, in 1908, of almost 17,000 soldiers. It was the second largest National Cemetery in the country. The Secretary of War had recently been authorized to accept that portion of Gallatin Pike, leading from downtown Nashville to the cemetery, about 4 and one half miles, for the United States Government. Davidson County had pledged to appropriate $1,000 per year to maintain a boulevard. The citizens of the district had presented a petition in favor of such a road. The property owners along the road had agreed to give up enough of their property, without compensation, so that the road could be widened from 40 feet to 75 feet. The researcher has not determined if the bill was passed by the U. S. Congress. The Gallatin Pike remained unchanged and no boulevard was constructed there.