Archaeology for Fort Negley Park Crowdrise Campaign


Metro Historical Commission Foundation Announces Crowdrise Campaign for Fort Negley Park Archaeology

Aerial View of Fort Negley Park. Credit: The Cultural Landscape Foundation.


The Metro Historical Commission Foundation is working with the Metro Historical Commission, the Friends of Fort Negley and Metro Parks to raise funds to complete archaeology at Fort Negley Park. Archaeology is needed for better understanding of the site including the role of African Americans in building the fort, by analyzing the areas outside the fort's walls where the African American community that constructed and maintained the fort were camped and potentially buried during the Civil War. It will also assist us in learning more about the African American neighborhood that grew up around the fort after the war, which was displaced by the construction of the I-40/I-65 interchange in the 1960s.

A legion of experts have underscored the significance of Fort Negley and called for protection of the surrounding hallowed ground. Fort Negley has been recognized as one of Nashville's most important and fragile historic resources by many preservation partners, including Historic Nashville, Inc., the Battle of Nashville Preservation Society and The Cultural Landscape Foundation. The fort, which is Nashville's only intact Civil War-era fort, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and designated a local Historic Landmark District in 2005. A 1996 master plan, updated in 2007, called for the Greer Stadium site to be restored to a public park, land which includes archaeological resources requiring further study. In 2013, a Historic Structures Report commissioned by Metro Parks and Metro Historical Commission documented the fort's condition and made recommendations for restoration priorities. Metro Historical Commission is currently working on a Cultural Landscape Report to inform the Metro Parks Board's decisions about the site, including development and interpretation of this rich history.

Since these master plans were published, initial archaeological studies (including a 2018 report by TVAR) have concluded that cultural and natural landscape features exist that connect to virtually every era of Nashville's past. TVAR's research determined that, among other historic features, there is a high likelihood that the site contains human remains of the African American community that constructed Fort Negley. Now, intensive archaeological study is needed to document these resources so we can plan how to protect them and share these stories. 

Our goal is to raise $50,000 for this archaeology work. Please help by donating to this extremely worthy cause and sharing with anyone else who you think can help. Thank you to all who have given their support!