“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Nashville in Davidson County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)

Old Harding Pike

Old Harding Pike Marker image. Click for full size.
By Caroline Mitchell Carrico, April 15, 2017
1. Old Harding Pike Marker
Inscription. When Lewis DeMoss first settled less than a mile here around 1800, there was an old north-south trail across this river bottom, which is still known by many as DeMoss Bottom. It was one of several approaches to the northern end of what in the 1700s was called the Chickisaw Trace and, by the early 1800s, was called the Natchez Trace.

The route became a passable dirt wagon road by 1810. It was a direct route to Nashville. From Cockrill Spring, which is located in present day Centennial Park, it led up the valley of Richland Creek, climbed what would later be known as Nine Mile Hill and descended along Flat Creek to cross the Big Harpeth just upstream from DeMoss's mill. By 1814 the road extended all the way to Centerville.

In 1843, DeMoss and other Harpeth River valley settlers successfully petitioned the Tennessee General Assembly for a "Charter of Incorporation for the Richland Turnpike Company." This macadamized road was completed in 1849 at a cost $35,000 which was to be recovered, along with a return to stockholders, by collected tolls from its users.

William Giles Harding, owner of Belle Meade plantation, was a principal stockholder in the Richland Turnpike Company. By the Civil War, the road was generally known as Harding Pike.

The Richland Turnpike crossed the Harpeth here on a new bridge and continued

Old Harding Pike Marker image. Click for full size.
By Caroline Mitchell Carrico, April 15, 2017
2. Old Harding Pike Marker
south .75 miles to a tollgate. The old tollhouse still standing as late as 1971, housed the gatekeeper who collected tolls and raised or turned the gate, which was a pole or pike. Passing through Pasquotank, the new improved road crossed Backbone Ridge and ended at the new Providence Church in the South Harpeth Valley.

The Beautifully crafted white church building just across the river here was a key part of what was once a close-knit rural community. It was completed and dedicated 1912 on land donated by J.F. and Anna Joslin Thompson for the construction of a new Methodist church.

By 1926, the old Harding Pike had been repaved from the South Harpeth at Linton to the present-day junction of U.S. 70 and Old Harding Road. The re-routing of Highway 100 from Pasqup through Vaughns Gap to its present junction with U.S. 70 was completed in 1933 because of the weak, narrow bridge across the Harpeth and its flood-prone approach to DeMoss Bottom.
Erected by Metropolitan Board of Parks and Recreation.
Location. 36° 3.533′ N, 86° 56.7′ W. Marker is in Nashville, Tennessee, in Davidson County. Marker is on Old Harding Pike 0.1 miles north of Morton Mill Road. Touch for map. Located along the Harpeth River Greenway. Marker is in this post office area: Nashville TN 37221, United States of America.
Other nearby markers.

Old Harding Pike Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ilene Jones Cornwell, 1967
3. Old Harding Pike Marker
Across the Harpeth Valley from the Davis-Hicks home stood the circa 1845 tollhouse beside Richland Turnpike (now Old Harding Road), west of the Harpeth River bridge. The general route of the Richland Creek and Wharton Road was in existence in 1809, but it wasn't until 1843 that the Richland Turnpike Company was chartered to extend the road to the "west bank of Harpeth and bridge the same." The tollhouse was staffed by a gatekeeper, who collected the appointed (by turnpike charter) tolls and raised the long wooden tollgate to allow passage for those traveling to and from Nashville through the Harpeth Valley. The log structure stood until 1971, when it was demolished. In: Big Harpeth River by Ilene Jones Cornwell (Photograph copyright (c) 1967 by Ilene Jones Cornwell.)
At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Luke Lea Heights (approx. 4.6 miles away); Percy Warner Park (approx. 4.7 miles away); Leigh-Morgan Property at Grassland (approx. 5.3 miles away); The Natchez Trace (approx. 5 miles away); Belle Meade Farm Freedom (approx. 5.6 miles away); War on the Home Front (approx. 5.6 miles away); Belle Meade Plantation (approx. 5.6 miles away); a different marker also named Belle Meade Plantation (approx. 5.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Nashville.
Categories. Bridges & ViaductsMan-Made FeaturesRoads & Vehicles
Credits. This page was last revised on April 23, 2017. This page originally submitted on April 18, 2017, by Caroline Mitchell Carrico of Memphis, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 183 times since then and 75 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 18, 2017, by Caroline Mitchell Carrico of Memphis, Tennessee.   3. submitted on April 20, 2017, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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