Last night was the Smyrna Home Tour. There were a total of 8 locations to visit, but due to scheduling conflicts (also known as lack of time on our part!) we were able to visit 4. Because of the time shortage, our group chose to visit the historic properties on the tour: Sam Davis Home, Idlers Retreat and the Gwynn House. All were decorated beautifully for Christmas.
Most people know the story of Sam Davis, but his family home was actually built ca. 1820 by Moses Ridley. The Davis family moved into the house in (I think) 1855. Sam’s boyhood home is the cabin behind the new (and quite impressive) Visitor Center.
Idler’s Retreat is the former home of Brainard and Frances Cheney. Mrs. Cheney was a descendant of the Davis family. I’ll have to check, but I believe she was the grand-niece of Sam. The home has been beautifully restored.
The Gwynn home is now the location of Michael’s Photography. According to “The History of Smyrna” by Walter King Hoover, George W Gwyn bought this property from John Tucker in 1884. In 1886, he built the back 3 rooms and added the front two-story portion in 1892.
There are many old pictures of the property showcased in the front hall at Michaels. One of these photos shows a “conference of Mormon preachers working in the area in 1900”. This info is also taken from Walter King Hoover’s wonderful book (though it is out of print there are reference copies in both the Smyrna and Murfreesboro branches of the library).
We also visited Studio Z which is located on the same property as Michaels. Their studio was also well decorated for the holidays.
Hopefully, the Tour of Homes will become an annual event and showcase even more of the historic properties in Smyrna.