Nashville in Davidson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
Belle Meade Plantation
In 1884 the dairy house was completed with walls measuring two feet thick made of ashlar limestone, perfect for the cool keeping of dairy products. Nashville stonemason, Con Callaghan, constructed the building in the Romanesque Revival style and added all of the latest technology to his design. Originally constructed with two floors, a staircase was added on the south side of the building allowing access to the second floor. A wooden engine house was also constructed to enclose the mechanized churns, which allowed Belle Meade to produce an enormous amount of dairy products each day.
The dairy was situated near a spring which, “was part of a year-round fresh water system which originated south of the family mausoleum and in wet weather flowed west as a little branch into Richland Creek.” This constant flow of cold water allowed the dairy staff to keep products cool at all times. In 1888, more than 40 cows were milked daily, with each cow yielding four to six pounds of butter per week. The Belle Meade Farm provided milk for a local Nashville grocer, W.C. Collier, and delivered dairy products along a daily route into
Under such conditions, it is not to be wondered at that the product from this dairy should take the very first rank in general excellence. Old methods will not do for these new times, and the day is not far distant when the Southern dairyman will realize more fully than he has yet done that in order to get the best results and the largest profit from his work, he must adopt the modern and improved appliances and machinery.
— The Nashville American, 1899
Dairy Barn “The skimming-room is situated in one corner of the court, and its equipment, which has just been installed, is most complete and elegant, having been built especially for the Belle Meade Farm by P. M. Sharples of Westchester, Pa. The vats are handsomely finished in natural wood and the separator is of the most improved Sharples tubular pattern; having a capacity of 2,560 pounds of milk per hour, and producing the finest quality of cream. By using this centrifugal system of separating the cream from the warm, fresh milk, not only is butter produced in much larger quantities, but is of a greatly superior quality.” — The Nashville American, 1899
Dairy 1890 "The building is a very handsome stone structure, and is most admirably adapted to its purpose. In one end of the cream-room is an oblong stone basin, through which a stream of cold water is constantly flowing by means of a siphon from a wall nearby. Into this room the cream is taken direct from the separator, and after being thoroughly cooled and aerated on a “Star” aerator, is set-away in cooling cans to ripen for churning.” -The Nashville American, 1899
Caption: Belle Meade Milk can c.1890 Belle Meade Plantation permanent collection.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Agriculture • Architecture • Industry & Commerce.
Location. 36° 6.385′ N, 86° 51.872′ W. Marker is in Nashville, Tennessee, in Davidson County. Marker can be reached from Harding Pike (U.S. 70S) 0.1 miles north of Leake Avenue, on the right when traveling north. Marker is on the grounds of Belle Meade Plantation Historic Site. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 5025 Harding Pike, Nashville TN 37205, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Slave Cabin (a few steps from this marker); Belle Meade Plantation (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Belle Meade Plantation (within shouting distance of this marker); War on the Home Front (within shouting distance of this marker); Belle Meade Bourbon (within shouting distance of this marker); Ice House (within shouting distance of this marker); Slave Burials (within shouting distance of this marker); Mausoleum (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Nashville.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 19, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 48 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 19, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.