The Hillsboro Village business district may be the most successful of the surviving, suburban commercial areas that began to serve streetcar suburban residents in early 20th century Nashville. While other areas, 12 South in the Edgehill neighborhood and Five Points in East Nashville have made a comeback, the larger Hillsboro Village district, though seeing a decline for a few years, has always been a busy area.
|Hillsboro Village -Metro Assessor of Property|
As the streetcar rail companies ventured out from the city, cheap transportation enticed city dwellers to newly developing neighborhoods away from the city heat and pollution. Once part of the large Belmont estate owned by Adelicia Hayes Franklin Acklen Cheatham, the property around Hillsboro Village began to be subdivided into neighborhoods about 1890. When the streetcar lines were continued out Belmont in 1901, development boomed and by the 1920's the area was becoming heavily populated.
|1911 plat, University Place - Hillsboro Village area|
As more people moved into the area, a need for local businesses to the serve residents arose. By the early 1920's the business district spanned from Capers to Acklen. There were five grocery stores along 21st Ave. So. to choose from. White's Market, the G. E. Harris Grocery, Sanitary Grocery were mom and pop operations. Piggly-Wiggly, and H. G. Hill # 65 were both owned by large chain grocery companies operating in the South. Two drug stores served the neighborhood, Peabody Pharmacy, owned by the Wooldridge family, and Hillsboro Pharmacy owned by A. E. Godwin and G. A. Moore . Zeh Bakery was owned by German immigrant Richard Zeh and his wife Sarah. There was a Gulf station at the corner of Belcourt and 21st. At the corner of Acklen and 21st was an Indian Refinery gas station, managed by R. L. Sawyer. In 1925 the Belmont Theater opened on the corner of Blakemore and 21st Ave. So. Many of the original store buildings from the 1920's are standing.
Some businesses in the village in the 1950's and 60's were Mill's Book Store, McClures Dept. Store, Patty's Record Shop, Jones Pet Shop and Stokes and Stockell Book Shop.
|Hillsboro Village ca 1964 - Metro Nashville Archives|
Today, Hillsboro Village is known for great restaurants, coffee shops and bars, rather than pharmacies and grocery stores.
|BookMan, BookWoman - Metro Assessor of Property|
There are still a few neighborhood markets, a couple of gas stations and a book store. The business names and types have changed many times over the years but the old buildings are occupied and the businesses thriving.
|Hillsboro Village - Metro Assessor of Property|