Happy Birthday, Brentwood! On April 15, 2019, the city will be celebrating its 50th birthday. Once nothing more than a coach-stop on the road between Nashville and Franklin situated in a valley of small family farms, it has grown from a city of just over a thousand in 1960, to one of more than 37,000 according to the 2010 census.
Beginnings of the City
With only well water to support the potential city, there was no growth until 1967 when I-65 was opened. The first subdivisions, Iroquois Estate and Meadowlake, began to grow soon after. Brentwood blossomed with the development of a safe water supply and because of the open country feel just a short jaunt from the city.
Telling Brentwood’s Story
Over the next year, the Williamson Source will provide a series of articles covering the history of Brentwood. The stories will cover people and places, business, education, government, culture, events, and living.
Brentwood’s is a commanding history, beginning as a Native American hunting ground and exploding into the twenty-first century as a vibrant town bustling with activity and new office and retail developments.
The city offers almost a thousand acres of park land, an award-winning library, and miles of biking paths. It has been distinguished as one of the best places to live in Tennessee, as one of the safest places to live in the country, great for kids, the most educated, and the most business friendly in the state. In 2013, Livability.com listed Brentwood as the most desirable suburban location in Tennessee.
This is not to say that there hasn’t been controversy. Early discussion about the creation of Maryland Farms Office Park caused emotions to run high. And then there were the Mall Wars, which played out on the grounds of Cool Springs Farm.
Yet, Brentwood’s story unfolds as a chain of firsts, from the first police chief, Howard Buttrey, to the first woman elected to the City Commission, Betty Reagan, to the launching of the city’s first website, www.explorebrentwood.org.
Now, the sleepy little town that once ran between Old Hickory to the north, Church Street to the south, I-65 to the east, and Franklin Road to the west, reaches from Old Hickory to Mallory Lane. The former farm land now cradles homes and schools, businesses and churches, retail stores and office buildings, restaurants and grocery stores, fire and police services, parks and libraries. Its arms support a population that has, like the rest of the country, become a melting pot of people who have come from all over the world.
Building for the Future
While the people and events you will be reading about over the next year built the foundations upon which Brentwood is experiencing unprecedented growth, it is up to those living here today to stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before and see beyond their range of vision. It is a time for making plans for Brentwood 2020 and beyond.