History Gram - October 2019

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October 2019


MHC News

The MHC recently welcomed two new commissioners, John Bridges and Chakita Patterson. John is filling the expired term of Mark Rogers, while Chakita is filling the expired term of former Chair Jim Forkum.

John Bridges has a wealth of experience in writing and community service. He earned a B.A. in English from Lipscomb College (now Lipscomb University), an M.A. in English from Auburn University and a Ph. D. in English from Vanderbilt University. He has written numerous publications, including several books, articles and columns and was the editor for award-winning articles in the Nashville Scene.

Along with recognition for his writing, Bridges has been both a nominee and recipient of several awards, including the Community Leadership Award from the Tennessee Human Rights Campaign (2001) and the J. Thomas Powell Award for Community Service from Nashville CARES (2011). He held positions with the Tennessee Arts Commission, the Tennessean, Nashville Scene and was the Director of Cultural Affairs in the Mayor's Office (1999-2007). Welcome John!


John Bridges. Credit: John Bridges Facebook.

Chakita Patterson is the Founder of United Street Tours, a local company that specializes in black history walking tours. United Street Tours puts an unconventional spin on city tours, featuring the stories of African Americans that were left out of the storyline. The popular tours explore the strangest, embarrassing and deeply buried stories hidden throughout the city and cover everything from early black life to Civil Rights to Jefferson Street.

Chakita earned a Bachelor of Science from Middle Tennessee State University and a Master of Social Work with a School Social Work concentration from Radford University in Virginia. Through her work with United Street Tours, she collects historical information to preserve the history of Nashville and educates both locals and visitors alike. Watch her recent Tennessee Crossroads interview here. Welcome Chakita!


Chakita Patterson. Credit: Chakita Patterson Facebook.

MHZC news

 The MHZC’s September public hearing will be on Wednesday, October 16th at 2:00 p.m. at the Sonny West Conference Center/Metro Campus.

View the MHZC meeting schedule and application deadlines here.

Historic Preservation 101 for Realtors & Developers

On October 4th, the Metro Historical Commission Foundation will offer a one-day, preservation-based course for realtors and developers. Historic Preservation 101 will feature speakers Robin Zeigler, Historic Zoning Administrator with the Metro Historic Zoning Commission; Jenn Harrman with Metro Water Services and Historic Nashville, Inc.; and David Paine, realtor with Village Real Estate.

Learn about the regulations associated with historic zoning, identify common architectural forms, discover financial incentives and uncover myths about old buildings. The course qualifies for 4 Continuing Education Credits. Register online today!

2019 Living History Tour at Nashville City Cemetery

On Saturday, October 12th, the Nashville City Cemetery Association (NCCA) will host the 20th annual Living History Tour at the City Cemetery. Featuring our own staff member Fred Zahn, If Tombstones Could Talk: Triumph and Tragedy from the Wild, Wild Western Frontier will explore the first-hand stories of residents buried in the city's oldest cemetery.

The NCCA offers two options, both an afternoon (2:00-4:00 p.m.) and an evening (6:00-8:00 p.m.) tour. Free parking with shuttle service is available at Fort Negley Park, 1100 Fort Negley Blvd. Tickets are only $5 and help support the mission of the NCCA.

The Living History Tour coincides with the unveiling of the NCCA's new 28-stop tour app, available for free through the "Tour Buddy" app on Apple and Android devices. This self-guided tour leads guests through the cemetery and provides biographies for select residents, as well as pictures and extra information. Visitors can access this tour at any time!


New Bellevue Historical Articles

Bellevue's new weekly newspaper is running historical articles written by MHC Commissioner Bob Allen. Historical articles published to date include the DeMoss family, the quarry that became known as Hidden Lake, and prohibition and the resort at Hidden Lake. One article also recounted how the Bellevue FiftyForward Turner Center located inside the Bellevue YMCA got its fundraising start on 9/11. Upcoming articles will cover topics like the Myhr Home and Maple Row, the Doubleday House and Devon Farm.

Videos Now Available: Nashville 102 w/Dr. Bucy

The Nashville 102 history lecture series with Dr. Carole Bucy was a great success! Held across four sessions in September, the course covered Nashville's post-Civil War history up through the formation of the Metro government. All videos can be accessed online here.

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Dr. Bucy speaking at a Nashville 102 lecture. Credit: MHC.

What Nashville Historians are Reading

Ever wonder what Nashville's top historians are reading? Maybe you've even seen the new bibliography and source list from County Historian Dr. Carole Bucy's popular Nashville 101/102 lectures series. If you're interested in a few other new good reads, check out this article from the Nashville Scene.

Crossroads Symposium Examines Native American and African American Histories

The Historic Franklin Masonic Hall Foundation recently hosted Crossroads: A Symposium, a two-day event that examined the complex historical relationships between Native Americans and African Americans in Tennessee. Topics covered include the Archaeology of Chickasaw Peoples, The Colonial Indian Slave Trade and Regional Instability, the Choctow Nation and Indian Removal, and many more. If you were unable to attend, videos from the September 13-14th symposium are posted on the Foundation's Facebook page.


Check out our online newsletter archives!

Have a preservation-related event that you want us to include? 

Send a message to Caroline.Eller@Nashville.gov.


23rd Annual Belmont-Hillsboro Home Tour

The 23rd Annual Belmont-Hillsboro Home Tour will be Saturday, October 5th from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The home tour is the neighborhood association’s main fundraiser, allowing the association to support initiatives that improve the neighborhood and surrounding area. The tour is also an opportunity for the neighborhood to showcase its historic underpinnings, architectural diversity, and phenomenal restorations and renovations that continue to make the neighborhood a unique place to live, work, and play.

Tickets are available for $10.00 online, at Hillsboro Hardware a week before the tour, or the day of the tour at Belmont and Dallas.

bh home tour

Spooky Tours at Nashville's Historic Sites

It's that time of year again, and many of Nashville's historic sites are offering ghost tours and Halloween-related events. These are a great way to support and discover historic resources all over town. Here are just a few options:

Travellers Rest Plantation--Twisted Tennessee, October 12

Two Rivers Mansion--Spirit Legends Tour, October 12; Halloween at the Mansion, October 26

Cheekwood Estate & Gardens--Halloween Pooch Parade, October 26

Marathon Motor Works--Halloween Ball, October 26

Tennessee State Museum--Haunted Museum Storytelling Festival--October 26

Belmont Mansion--Death at Belmont Mansion, October 28-30

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History Exhibits and Programs at the Nashville Public Library

October 4--Bellevue YMCA--First Friday at the Metro Archives: "History of Mental Health in Tennessee" with George Spain--9:00 a.m.

October 10--Hermitage Library--Unsolved Mystery Discussion Group--10:30 a.m.

October 29--Main Library--Downtown Library 101 Tour (lunch included)--11:30 a.m.

thru January 3, 2020--Main Library--Some...of what I saw--this exhibit showcases the work of official Metro photographer Gary Layda from 1983 until 2013.

What's happening in Metro Parks? 

On Saturday, October 5th, the Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival will be held in Centennial Park from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. This free festival provides an opportunity to learn about various cultures through a variety of dance and music performances, food vendors, a World Market, Global Village and much more. There will also be a multicultural Celebrate Nashville Parade leading up to the Welcome Ceremony. Learn more about the festival here.


The Friends of Shelby Park & Bottoms will host the final Cornelia Fort Pickin' Party of the 2019 season on Saturday, October 5th at 7:00 p.m. Featured artists include Brazilbilly and King Corduroy. Tickets are only $12 and parking is free! All proceeds will support revitalization projects at the historic Cornelia Fort Air Park.

On Saturday, October 26th, the Warner Park Nature Center will offer a free lecture, "A Brief Inventory of Warner Park Historic Structures." Check out the many historic structures in the Park dating back over 200 years. Registration required, the talk runs from 10:00-11:30 a.m.

Upcoming Events at Fort Negley

Keep up with all recurring and special events on Fort Negley's Events page!

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On October 9th at 5:30 p.m., Fort Negley Visitor Center will host the Tennessee Historical Society (THS) for a lecture on Tennessee Statesman Harry T. Burn. Representative Burn's ratification of the 19th Amendment created one of the most dramatic moments in the state's history. Burns' great nephew Tyler Boyd will speak and his book will be for sale.

Fort Negley will also host a THS lecture "Nashville to Havana: The Croft Sisters & Grassmere" with Jennifer Randles and Tori Mason. The Nashville Zoo exists today due to the foresight of sisters Margaret and Elise Croft. Five generations of the same family lived at Grassmere Farm until the Crofts willed the property to be used as a nature preserve. The Nashville Zoo began management of the site in 1997. Learn about Jennifer and Tori's research on the Croft family and their recent travels to Havana!

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Fort Negley entrance. Credit: Fort Negley Facebook.

The Crowdrise campaign to help fund archaeology at Fort Negley still needs your support! The Metro Historical Commission Foundation is working with the Metro Historical Commission and Metro Parks to raise funds for this project that will provide critical insight to the role of African Americans in building the fort and their nearby community. Learn more and donate to this project here.

Bellevue History Day

On Saturday, October 12th from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., the Bellevue Harpeth Historical Association (BHHA) will host Bellevue History Day at Red Caboose Park. Learn about how Bellevue's founders lived through exhibits about blacksmithing, goats, clothing, basketmaking and cornhusk dolls. There will also be reenactments and tours of the Belle Vue I Cabin at Bellevue Park. This free event is sponsored by the BHHA and a grant from The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.


Dinner by the Bridge--October 3

Historic Preservation 101 for Realtors & Developers--October 4

Fort Negley Visitors Center--African American History and Genealogy Society Workshop--October 5

The Hermitage--7th Annual Fall Fest--October 5 & 6

Belmont-Hillsboro Home Tour--October 6

31st Annual Southern Festival of Books--October 11-13

Travellers Rest Plantation--Twisted Tennessee-October 12

Bellevue Harpeth Historic Association--Bellevue History Day--October 12

Barbershop Harmony Society--Lunch and Learn--October 17

Two Rivers Mansion--Lecture: The Significance of the Hardings, McGavocks & Donelsons with Dr. Carole Bucy--October 21 & 22

Bellevue History & Genealogy--Lecture: How Perfect was the Perfect 36? Tennessee's Battle over the 19th Amendment with Ann Toplovich--October 25

Warner Parks Nature Center--A Brief Inventory of Park Historic Structures--October 26

Cumberland River Compact--The Taming of the Cumberland: A Brief History of Floods, Locks and Dams on the Cumberland River & its Tributaries with Dr. Carole Bucy--October 31


Bellevue History and Genealogy--Lecture: The Notorious James Brothers in Nashville with Terry Coats--November 8

Travellers Rest Plantation--History and Whiskey--November 9

Cumberland River Compact--Tennessee's Historic Bridges: TDOT's Historic Preservation Successes--November 14

Nashville Public Library--2019 Literary Award Lecture at Hume-Fogg Magnet School--November 16

Warner Park Nature Center--Cemeteries of Warner Park--November 16