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IMAGES From Nostalgiaville
, TN- 9/15/98

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Your help is needed to make this site better for all the people inside and outside of CHEATHAM County, Tennessee.  We are particularly interested in documenting the history of CHEATHAM  County.  If you have useable information we are anxious to publish it on this site or will provide a link if you have it already posted on the net. Many thanks.

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Established 1856.  Named in honor of Edward S Cheatham(1818-1878), Speaker of the Senate, Tennessee.  Legislature, 1855 and 1861
Cheatham County was formed by as act of Tennessee General Assembly on February 23, 1856
Land for the new county was taken from Davidson, Dickson, Montgomery and Robertson Counties
The people residing in Cheatham County voted to approve the move for a new county in April 1856
The county was organized May 15, 1856
The first meeting of a governing body occurred at the town of Sycamore Mills on May 5, 1856
An election day for choosing county officers was set at this meeting
The next term of the county court took place on the first Monday of June in 1856
At the first meeting land was selected to form the town of Ashland
50 acres of land purchased from Mr. Lenox for $713 was set aside for the town
The town Ashland City was incorporated on December 3, 1859
A mayor and six alderman were elected in January 1861
The town lost its act of incorporation on March 29, 1883
Ashland City later regained its charter


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4.1 miles northwest, at The Narrows.  Montgomery Bell, pioneer industrialist, ironmaster, philanthropist, and turfman built a forge in 1818.  Power was obtained by tunneling water through the hill at the top of the Narrows to a point below it where the river returns after making a 7 mile horseshoe bend.


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In the year 1790, Benjamin Darrow began operating a cotton gin and grist mill along Sycamore Creek.  In 1835, on the site of the Old Darrow mill.  Robert and Edward Cheatham along with Samuel Watson erected a powder mill which operated until the fall of Fort Donelson during the Civil War.   Here in 1856 the first Cheatham County Court was held.  The DuPont Company acquired an interest in the mill in 1873 and it continued to operate until 1904.  Sycamore Mill became an important source for production of Civil War gunpowder


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Across the river are the remains of an 800 year old town built by ancient Native American Indians.  Almost surrounded by the river.  It was also guarded by a high palisade wall.  A large temple mound and several smaller mounds surrounded an open plaza.  Archaeologists believe this town had important political and ceremonial functions.  It is currently owned by the State of Tennessee.
The site is located on both sides of Highway 70 just after it crosses the Harpeth River
The ancient community covers about 300 acres
One of the largest prehistoric Mississippian Indian sites in the southeast

Has been designated a State Archeological Area
The site is closed to the public, but tours are sometimes conducted
An Indian community existed in Harpeth Valley from about 900 to 1350 AD
The end of the community is thought to be caused by disease from foreign explorers
The first modern survey of the area was made by William E Myer in 1923
Additional digs were made in 1974-75
A main feature of the area is the "Great Mound," measuring 500 feet by 1,000 feet
Fourteen smaller "residential mounds" surround the Great Mound
Petroglyphs can be found on bluffs along the Harpeth River



Adam was born in Pennsylvania in 1739
Adam later moved to North Carolina
His wife Mattie was born in 1744, and died in 1812
Binkley and his family were the first settlers in a area now known as Sycamore Valley in 1787
The valley is located four miles north of Ashland City
The family consisted of Adam and his brother Jacob, his wife, Mattie (Weller), and their children
Binkley died in 1837

8/18/03 S. B. Tarpley (Many thanks, SB for your info)
The records of the Moravian Church indicate that Adam was born on 13 August 1744.  The alternate date, August 1739, is not likely as an older sister was born in February of 1740.   

Although Adam's being the first settler in the Sycamore area is a cherished family story, I am not certain that it has been documented.   I have seen dates ranging from 1782 to 1787, but the first TN record that I have found for Adam is a deed he witnessed on 29 June 1790.  Records in NC indicate that he was definitely still in that state in 1786.  In addition to his wife and children, Adam was accompanied by his nephew Frederick.  The first record I can find for Frederick is from about 1791, when he did some work for Judge John McNairy.  It is unlikely that Adam's half-brother Jacob came to Tennessee with Adam although Jacob appears to have been in Tennessee by December 1799 when two Moravian missionaries recorded the arrival of a third brother, John, Frederick's father.   This account was published in Samuel Cole Williams' Early Travels in the Tennessee Country, published in 1928. The Binkleys were members of the Moravian Church in North Carolina.

Adam Binkley
Darrow settled at Sycamore Valley in 1790
He married Elizabeth, one of Adam Binkley's daughters
Benjamin constructed the first gristmill in the valley
Later, a cotton factory, a saw mill, and some years later, a powder mill was constructed at Sycamore
Some of Darrow's descendents were Christopher, James W, Henry, Christopher Jr., and George Darrow
Later, Jess and Bud Darrow were born
Benjamin Darrow
Was born in Fallowfield Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania on January 3, 1796
Bell was one of nine children born to John and Mary Pattison Bell
He migrated to Lexington, Kentucky to help his widowed sister manage a farm.
An interest developed in the construction of water-powered mills
He moved back to Tennessee about 1800
He settled at Cumberland Furnace and formed a partnership with James Robertson
He became sole owner of the iron producing furnace and dramatically increased its output
Other forges followed his first venture:
     Carroll Furnace on the Cumberland River
     Upper Forge on Jones Creek
     Bellvue Forge on Jones Creek
     Valley Forge on Jones Creek
     White Bluff Forge on Turnbull Creek
     Piney Forge on Piney River
     Worley Forge south of Dickson (Named for Bell's favorite slave)
     Pattison Forge on the Narrows of the Harpeth River
Bell bought a mansion on Franklin Road in Williamson County in 1850
He died at age of 86 on April 1, 1855
Montgomery Bell
Represented Robertson County in the State Legislature, 1843
A bill was passed in an attempt to establish Cumberland County, later named Cheatham County, 1843
The people living in the area voted against establishment of the county
Cheatham was appointed a trustee of Liberty Academy in 1843
He died while visiting Whites Creek Springs near Springfield on September 9, 1845
His original burial was in the old City Cemetery in Nashville
His remains were moved to Elm Wood Cemetery in Springfield in 1952
His wife, Susan, maintained the home place in Springfield until her death in 1867
Richard Cheatham
Edward was born at Springfield, in Robertson County Tennessee on July 31, 1818
His schooling was completed at the Liberty Academy in Springfield and the University of Nashville
Ellen Foster's father was a member of the Tennessee General Assembly
Richard Cheatham's widow and his son Edward continued to operate his business
They teamed with Samuel Watson to operate the powder mills at Sycamore.
The Cheatham heirs sold their interests to Watson in 1869
He married Ellen Foster on October 19, 1841
Cheatham was the first president of Louisville and Nashville Railroad in 1860-61
He was also connected with the Henderson and Edgarfield Railroad
Edward was appointed trustee of Liberty Academy
As a member of the Whig party, he served in the thirtieth General Assembly in 1853-55
He was elected to the Confederate General Assembly in 1855-57 and 1861-63
Cheatham was speaker of the Senate when Cheatham County was established in 1856
The county was named in his honor
Edward Cheatham died at Horn Lake, Mississippi on December 21, 1878
Edward Sanders Cheatham
Other Early Cheatham Settlers
John Hyde and Howard Alley settled near Pleasant View in 1790
John Hunt and his family settled near Pleasant View in 1796
Braxton Lee, John Lee, and Reverend Robert Heaton settled near present town of Ashland City in 1796
J J Lenox bought property and settled near Ashland City about 1796
James Turner of North Carolina received 3,840 acres on the Cumberland River below Ashland City
The land was in payment for Revolutionary War services of his father, Jacob Turner
Later James Wilson purchased the land and moved his family about 1800
Wilson gave 2,000 acres of the land to his son-in-law, Henry Williams
Marvel Lowe and family settled three miles north of Sycamore Mills about 1799
The Lowes church was erected some times later
Asa Bryant, David and Daniel Mosier and their families, Matthew Harris, and his sons, Henry, James and Nevil settled near Sycamore Mills about 1800
Allen Hunter, Matthew and William Rayburn, the Shaws, S Wilson, and Nicholis Shoate settled near Thomasville about 1800
Shadrack Hunt, William Shaw, Nathan Morris, Robert Pennington, and Dempsey Hunter settled near Pleasant View about 1800
Eatherlies and Stewarts settled near the Cheap Hill Community about 1800
Peter Woodson and his family settled on a large tract of land adjoining present site of Pleasant Hill in 1807
Richard C and his wife Elizabeth (Morris) Jackson now own the Peter Woodson settlement
Abner Gupton and his family settled in what is now known as the Gupton Neighborhood in 1808
James Mallory and his family settled near Thomasville postoffice in 1808
Nicholas Hale settled on Sams Creek in 1808
William Lenox settled at Sycamore Mills in 1810
William Crockett and J B Domombreun were the earliest settlers on Marrowbone Creek in 1810
Neal Thomas, S W Adkinson, Thomas Osborn, Maston Ursory, and L J Bell were among the earliest settlers near Kingston Springs in 1810
Samuel Watson settled at Sycamore mills and built a large frame house in 1835
Watson sent for David and William Nicholas from Dedham, Massachusetts to assist in the construction of a powder mill



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Blue Road       4+ Foot Paved Shoulder
Pink Road        1+ Foot Pavement with or without white line
Orange Road  Rideable Gravel, Dirt, or Rough Pavement Shoulder
Green Road    Scenic, but with Little or No Shoulder
The map can be enlarged by clicking your mouse on it.


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Cheatham County Fairgrounds Happy Hills Boys Ranch Camp Sycamore Hills Old Store Building in Pleasant View
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Nashville Zoo


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Casa Blanca  


A uniform system of public schools in Cheatham County was established in 1873
S D Power was the first superintendent
Wages for the average teacher were $30 per month and the schools ran five month a year
Cheatham County had 37 white schools and 15 black schools with an enrollment of 2,395 in 1873
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East Cheatham School Pleasant View Elementary School West Cheatham Elementary School


a70.jpg (46254 bytes) The church stood on a hill across Highway 12 on Neptune Road from 1888 until it was struck by lightning May 16,1984 and burned to the ground.   A grove of trees marks the historic spot.  The church was named for Edwin Clifton who built first a Meeting House on 1 plus A. of his land opposite a spring near Half Pone Creek, deeding it in 1825 to Church Trustees:  Mark Chambliss, Joseph Stroud, Robert Williams, Philip Duke, Thomas Bell, son William Clifton, and William Stewart, Wit. James Pool and Leml Clifton, Edwin's brother.  In 1803 Edwin & Nancy had given a M.H. on their Halfax County, North Carolina land to the Methodist Conference.
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Beech Grove Community Church Bear Wallow Road Church of Christ Bell Town Church of Christ Bell Town Church of God
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Bethel Freewill Baptist Church Bethlehem Church of Christ Bethlehem Freewill Baptist Church Big Marrowbone Church of Christ
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Brewers Chapel United Methodist Church Chapel Hill Church of Christ Cheap Hill Church of Christ Clarksville Highway Church of Christ
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Craggie Hope United Methodist Church East Cheatham Church of Christ Friendship Freewill Baptist Church Good Spring Freewill Baptist Church
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Grace Baptist Church Greenbrier Church of Christ Harpeth Valley Community Church Harvest Field Baptist Church
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Kingdom Hall of Jehovah Witness Church Lillamay Church of Christ Mallory's United Methodist Church Mt Pleasant Free Will Baptist Church
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Organized 1872
Building erected 1972
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Mt Zion Freewill Baptist Church Neptune United Methodist Church New Bethel United Methodist Church New Hope Freewill Baptist Church
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Founded 1913
Building erected 1977
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Building erected 1956
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New Hope Freewill Baptist Church No Name Church Oaklawn Freewill Baptist Church Oakwood United Methodist Church
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Established by Atlanta Victoria Williams 1910
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Petway Church of Christ Pleasant View Church of Christ Pleasant View First Baptist Church Pleasant View United Methodist Church
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Founded 1850
Building erected 1951
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Pond Creek Church of Christ Shacklett Church of Christ Sycamore Chapel Church of Christ Truth Center Church


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Established 1886
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Bethlehem Cemetery Evans Cemetery Neptune Smith Cemetery Scott Cemetery


Ashland City Opened: June 7, 1860 Closed: Operating
Binnacle Opened: June 13, 1882 Closed: August 21, 1882
Burney Opened: March 6, 1900 Closed: December 31, 1904
Chapmansboro Opened: December 1, 1921 Closed: Operating

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Cheap Hill Opened: August 6, 1877 Closed: December 1, 1921
Chestnut Grove Opened: March 29, 1856 Closed: September 22, 1866
Craggie Hope Opened: December 16, 1869 Closed: June 30, 1953
Dean Opened: December 13, 1880 Closed: September 5, 1882
Deep Spring Opened: March 20, 1878 Closed: July 1, 1896
Deepspring Opened: February 4, 1897 Closed: June 15, 1909
Dodge Opened: March 19, 1891 Closed: June 23, 1892
  Opened: July 23, 1892 Closed: June 20, 1895
  Opened: January 31, 1900 Closed: August 31, 1911
Fox Bluff Opened: September 15, 1904 Closed: December 16, 1932
Fremont Opened: November 6, 1874 Closed: August 20, 1885
Half Pone Opened: July 29, 1891 Closed: December 31, 1904
Harper Opened: June 8, 1900 Closed: June 30, 1905
Henrietta Opened: June 22, 1858 Closed: October 22, 1860
  Opened: June 19, 1877 Closed: April 15, 1905
Hoffasville Opened: March 18, 1886 Closed: September 15, 1904
Junkston Opened: July 19, 1883 Closed: March 31, 1903
Keith Opened: February 28, 1881 Closed: December 5, 1881
Kingston Springs Opened: October 6, 1865 Closed: December 16, 1869
  Opened: still operating Closed:
Lillamay Opened: September 1, 1887 Closed: May 31, 1908
Lockertsville Opened: May 23, 1884 Closed: June 30, 1905
Marrowbone Opened: February 29, 1876 Closed: May 10, 1877
  Opened: August 26, 1877 Closed: March 15, 1907
Narrows Opened: December 22, 1892 Closed: January 31, 1903
Neptune Opened: June 2, 1882 Closed: April 30, 1907
  Opened: October 26, 1908 Closed: April 30, 1857
Oceola Opened: June 22, 1859 Closed: September 22, 1866
Onecho Opened: 1856 Closed: February 6, 1860
Peagram Opened: August 29, 1882 Closed: Operating
Peagram’s Station Opened: October 9, 1866 Closed: October 25, 1867
  Opened: November 22, 1870 Closed: April 22, 1882
Petway Opened: August 20, 1885 Closed: August 31, 1911
Pinnacle Opened: August 21, 1882 Closed: November 29, 1902
Pleasant View Opened: March 5, 1869 Closed: Operating

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Pond Creek Opened: February 1, 1878 Closed: September 27, 1882
Rest Opened: April 21, 1891 Closed: April 4, 1896
  Opened: August 1, 1890 Closed: May 31, 1911
Rosebower Opened: October 21, 1891 Closed: April 6, 1895
  Opened: March 27, 1891 Closed: April 6, 1895
  Opened: June 23, 1899 Closed: November 30, 1903
Sewanee Opened: March 23, 1858 Closed: June 7, 1860
Shacklett Opened: May 17, 1897 Closed: June 30, 1904
Shaw’s Store Opened: June 24, 1856 Closed: July 22, 1859
Sobel Opened: March 5, 1890 Closed: May 15, 1918
Sycamore Opened: April 5, 1870 Closed: December 16, 1907
Sycamore Mills Opened: May 26, 1856 Closed: April 5, 1870
Thomasville Opened: January 16, 1867 Closed: April 30, 1950
Westernia Opened: August 17, 1882 Closed: August 15, 1903


The Post Office at Sycamore Valley
The first recorded post office was at the Marvel Lowe house, and Lowe was appointed the first postmaster
Marvel Lowe December 4, 1827
Alexander Lowe May 27, 1834
Mason S Ferguson June 14, 1834
Jacob Binkley and Thomas Shaw July 7, 1835
C Williams April 12, 1837
Robert Harris and Tame Watson April 12, 1843



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The Narrows is a horseshoe bend located on the Harpeth River
The Narrows was a low gap between Bell Hill and the Narrows Bluff
Indians lived around the gap for thousands of years
At the end of the Mississippian Period they used the area as a place of burial
Montgomery Bell purchased the property about 1818

His slaves tunneled 290 feet through a ridge from one side of river to the other
A 14 foot water fall provided power to turn huge water wheels
The tunnel was completed about 1820

Due to lack of funds, it was several years before a furnace and forge was put into operation
The largest forge was named Pattison, the maiden name of his mother
The tunnel was listed on the National Register of Historical Places in 1961

The State Park includes the Harpeth Narrows Historic Area
Access is off Hwy 70
The park covers 200 acres
Features a 100 yard  hand cut tunnel through solid stone
Listed on the National Historic Register
Montgomery Bell built a steel mill at site
Mound Bottom, a mile upstream, is an ancient Indian ceremonial center
The park has canoe access at:
     The1862 Newsom's Mill ruins
     Hwy 100 bridge

McCrory Lane Bridge
Meeting Rooms (600 persons)
Horseback Riding
Horse Rental
Planned Activities
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Cheatham Lock and Dam was authorized by the River and Harbor Act of 1946
Additional authorization provided for hydroelectric power in 1952
The project is located 148.7 miles upstream from the mouth of the Cumberland River
Cheatham lake extends 67.5 miles upstream to the Old Hickory Dam
Construction began in April, 1950
The lock portion of the project was opened in 1952
The powerhouse was completed in 1960
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Cheatham Dam (Right Bank)

Ball field
Boat ramps (2)
Fishing cleaning stations in tail water area
Fishing trail
Handicapped fishing platform
Picnic shelters and tables

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On River Road about seven miles from Ashland City
Boat launching ramps
Fishing Trail
Group shelter
Handicapped fishing platform

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"Rails to Trails" Trail Cheatham County Creek Cheatham Wildlife Management Area 

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On Highway 49 west toward Dickson County
Picnic tables
Boat launching ramp
On Champmansboro Road off Hwy 12 North
Shelter with picnic tables
Boat launching ramp
On Highway 12 South, between Ashland City and Scottsboro
Boat launching ramp
Bluff Creek Recreation Area Sycamore Recreation Area Sam's Creek Recreation Area
At the Cheatham Dam Resource area entrance
Full service, Class A campground
Water and electric hookups
Boat launching ramps
Courtesy floats
Fish cleaning station
Nature trail
Picnic shelter
On Highway 49 at the bottom of Harpeth River Bridge
Boat launching ramp
Camping, free on first come first served basis
No electricity or water
Lock A Campground Harpeth River Campground
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2 Lighted Fields
Bethlehem Community Center East Cheatham Ball Field
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Ball Fields

Pleasant View Athletic Association Park



Event Date   Description of Event
Pegram's Annual Fish Fry March A 50 year-old tradition that draws thousands of people to eat Tennessee River catfish that is served up fresh with all of the fixings.
May-Day Golf Classic May Held at the Sycamore Valley Golf Course in Ashland City.  Sponsored by the Cheatham County Chamber of Commerce.
Kingston Springs' Spring Fling May The city's largest event features top name country music entertainment, baking contests, crafts, and games.
Ashland City's Summer Fest June A day long family festival held at River Bluff Park.   Features music, games, petting zoo, a variety of vendors, and fireworks display.
The Golf Classic Tournament June Held at The Golf Club of Tennessee at Kingston Springs.
Pleasant View Bar-B-Que July A family oriented event complete with food, music, crafts, a carnival, and an auction
Pegram July 4th Celebration July All you can eat pancake breakfast begins the patriotic celebration, followed by a parade, contests, music, and a fireworks finale.
Cheatham County Fair August A week-long event features arena events, such as mud drag races, mule pulls, and demolition derby.
Cheatham County Christmas Parade December Sponsored by the Cheatham County Chamber of Commerce and features bands, floats, clowns, and Santa Clause.



Square Miles 303
Miles of City Streets   43.25
Miles of County Road 417.10
1950   9,167
1960   9,428
1970 13,199
1980 21,616
1990 27,140


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