Saturday, April 4, 2015

Belle Meade Plantation

Belle Meade Plantation is a beautiful old Southern mansion accompanied by several outbuildings situated in Belle Meade, southwest of downtown Nashville. Belle Meade actually means 'beautiful meadow' and I definitely enjoyed the meadow surrounding the mansion today as I stopped for a visit. I wanted to photograph the property near the road away from the mansion.

John Harding purchased 200 acres in the mid 1800's and brought in slaves from the deep South to construct the mansion. Harding bought the land from the money he saved working for his father, who was also a farmer. Later Harding built a cotton gin on the property along with a grist mill and saw mill. Those buildings still stand on the property today. This image is the bridge off the main highway which is the entrance to the plantation.

As years passed and Harding's effort thrived Belle Meaade became a famous Southern Plantation visited by dignitaries, and at one time President and First Lady Grover Cleveland stayed at Belle Meade. Later Harding's son who was an avid horseman took over managing the plantation. Giles, was an avid horseman and raced at all the local race tracks. Giles purchased more and more land over time and eventually the plantation exceeded 3600 acres. As I walked back toward the drive that circumvents the property, I stopped to take a photo of a small Crab Apple tree in bloom.

Later, Harding's daughter married a general from the Civil War and they moved into the mansion. The general was also an avid horseman and maintained the property until the late 1800's when the economy weakened and by the early 1900's most of the plantation and the mansion had been sold or auctioned off. Luckily, the historical society saved the mansion and the outbuildings. Wouldn't it be fantastic if you could have visited back in the day of the great Southern Plantation. I can only imagine what it would have been like. As I walked back toward the main house I captured this image. I can't wait to visit and tour the house. It is a beautiful day here in Tennessee. Everywhere I looked there were flowering trees and pops of color from blooming tulips, daffodils and pansies. I hope all of you have a wonderful Easter Sunday. I'll be back soon to share a few other images I captured this week. ENJOY!

Linking to The Scoop


  1. Those were grand days, and I wonder if anyone can remember visiting there. If it has "Open Days" what an opportunity, your photos and words tell a wondrous story.

  2. It looks very beautiful there with the green grass and lovely scenes. The mansion is very grand indeed. I would enjoy a tour of the house and property.