Although the city is just turning 50, the land we call Brentwood has a long history dating back to the 15th century. The 15th century in Europe marked the end of the Middle Ages, the fall of the Byzantine Empire to the Turks, and the Age of Discovery when brave men began to circumnavigate the earth, finding the New World. Here are a few things other things you probably didn’t know about the history of Brentwood.
1Cottonport First Center of Business
Built by John Frost on land once owned by the Mayfield family, Cottonport became the first center of business. He not only built a home on the property, but also a post office, grist mill, cotton gin, general store, and smokehouse.
2Origin of Midway Plantation Name
Midway Plantation was so named because it sits halfway between Nashville and Franklin. It is now used by Brentwood Country Club. The plantation once boasted 1,000 acres that were tended by 38 slaves, growing cotton and tobacco. There is an African-American graveyard on part of the property.
3Brentwood is Higher Than the State Capitol
John Oden, in his book The Brentwood I Remember, says that he was told that the top of the cupola on the State Capitol is the same height above sea level as the City of Brentwood. Thinking that surely Brentwood was well below that level he did some exploring, discovering that Brentwood is actually 26 feet higher than the capital building.
4Asphalt Laid on Franklin in late 1920s
The first asphalt was laid on Franklin Road in 1929, after Reverend Morris Estes tried very hard to get the neighborhood children to school in Nashville when the Interurban couldn’t push through a deep snow. Previous to the asphalt, Franklin Road was made of crushed stone.
5Brentwood & Baseball
Brentwood was the place to go to watch baseball in the 1920s and 1930s. The city currently has a vintage baseball team called the Travellers that plays according to the rules of the 1860s. Follow the Travellers on Facebook to learn more.
6Home to Internationally Known Jazz Player
Ben Tucker, an internationally known jazz bass player and composer, was from one of the families who lived off Hardscuffle Road. He won a Clio for music he composed for a Hartford Insurance commercial, was one of only 15 African Americans to own a radio station in the 1970s, and he’s played great festivals like the Newport Jazz Festival.
7First Subdivision Type Community Created in 1850s
We think that the subdivision is a pretty new idea, but the first Village of Brentwood subdivision was created in 1857. Thomas Boyd bought the first lot, number 16. The home he built remained at this location until 1980, when it was torn down to build the new Huff’s Grocery Store.
8Navy Gunners Protected WSM Antenna During War
The WSM antenna was put in place in Brentwood in 1932. It is Brentwood’s most noticeable landmark. During World War II, Navy gunners were stationed on the roof of the building next to it to protect the antenna from sabotage.
9Green Hill Named After War Hero
Green Hill, the road, is named after a person. He was a Revolutionary War hero, preacher, and philanthropist. Born in 1741, he moved from North Carolina in 1799 to what is now Brentwood. He hosted the 9th session of the Western Conference of the Methodist Church in his home. The Methodist Church made his burial place, located in Liberty Downs Subdivision, a shrine in 1960.
10The Houghland Family
The Houghland family, who came to Nashville in the 1930s, bought an old plantation off Franklin Road and named it Green Pastures. Mason Houghland had previously started Spur Gas Company. The family was involved in many events in the area, including being one of the founding families of the Iroquois Steeplechase.