HISTORIC MARKER FOR STONE WALLS DEDICATED ON GRANNY WHITE
Representing the Battle of Nashville Preservation Society at the dedication of the new “Stone Walls” historical marker are, left to right, BONPS Board members Gary Burke, James Kay, Ross Massey, and Sidney McAlister.
Among the distinguished guests at the historical marker dedication were, left to right, Oak Hill Mayor Tommy Alsup, Metro Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, Historian Fletch Coke, and BONPS President James Kay.
Oak Hill residents and history buffs gathered on a beautiful October afternoon at the home of Margaret and Patrick Boyd on Granny White Pike to celebrate the unveiling of a Metropolitan Historical Commission marker in honor of the neighborhood’s dry-stacked stone walls.
Metro Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and Oak Hill Mayor Tommy Alsup praised the efforts of the Metropolitan Historical Commission and state Senator Douglas Henry in preserving and protecting dry-stack walls in Middle Tennessee. Jim Kay, president of the Battle of Nashville Preservation Society, read a passage from the diary of a Civil War soldier, written from the same spot where the historic marker now stands.
Historian Fletch Coke intrigued the audience of about 75 with stories of how the stone fences often were constructed to mark property lines. She shared maps showing the stone wall along Granny White Pike as a boundary for the Lealand plantation, presented by Travellers Rest owner John Overton to his daughter to celebrate her marriage.
Oak Hill interim city manager M.C. Sparks serenaded guests with performances on a bowed psaltry, an instrument related to lyres and zithers, played something like a handheld violin.
Mayor Alsup said the City of Oak Hill is indebted to Margaret for her diligence and dedication in researching the stone walls and working with the Metropolitan Historical Commission in getting the marker approved and installed. He said the City’s Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to fund the marker upon learning of Margaret’s efforts to obtain the marker.
“Fortunately, many residents—like the Boyds—cherish this tie to our past and spend time and money to see that they remain for future generations to enjoy,” the mayor said in his opening remarks. Boyd said the stone walls are a treasure, giving special character to Oak Hill and to greater Nashville.
She paid tribute to those who nearly two centuries ago gathered stones from fields and laid the miles and miles of walls, many of which are still standing today.
“Those of us who are caretakers of dry-stacked stone walls know they are constantly moving,” she said, “expanding and contracting, and occasionally heaving. Cars crash into them, deer jump them, tree limbs fall on them, a battle was even fought among them. They are repaired, and they endure.”
These walls “remind us of a simpler time and connect us to our heritage,” she said. “They were here long before we were born, and with the grace of God, they will be here for another century and a half.”
“The stone walls are very special and I am proud to be the humble caretaker of a portion of the walls for a portion of time in history,” she concluded.
Among the other guests at the dedication celebration October 2 were Metro Council members Carter Todd and Parker Toler, Travellers Rest president-elect Fred Crown, “Civil War soldier” David Ragan who is senior interpreter at Travellers Rest, Tara Mielnik and Scarlett Miles from the Metropolitan Historical Commission, and four Commissioners — Joan Armour, Lula Brooks, George Cate Jr., and Ann Roos.
“BATTLE OF THE BARRICADE” HISTORICAL MARKER DEDICATED
On Feb. 28, 2008, a new Battle of Nashville historical marker was dedicated with ceremonies at the site of the Battle of the Barricade, fought Dec. 16, 1864. This is the first new Metro Historical Commission marker in 16 years. The marker is located on Granny White Pike at the entrance to Richland Country Club. The marker discusses the Battle of the Barricade and the attack by the United States Cavalry under General James H. Wilson on Colonel Edmund Rucker’s Confederate position. Pictured left to right are the Honorable Walter Kurtz, BONPS Board member; James Kay, president of BONPS; and Hal Johnson, former president of Richland Country Club.
For additional research into the various historical markers which interpret events and places surrounding and during the Battle of Nashville, see BONPS Publications and browse the links below: