Posted by: smyrnatnhistory | January 12, 2008

Youth Incorporated

Originally uploaded by lorbsel

If you are looking for a summer camp for kids or a great spot for a retreat or corporate meeting, look no further than Youth Incorporated. Although I think it is actually in LaVergne, I am including it here because of its close proximity and historic ties to the Town of Smyrna.
The land was originally part of the vast holdings of Moses Ridley. (You can’t talk about the history of Smyrna without talking about Moses, but more on that later). Moses began building a house in the area that became Youth Inc. about 1813, along with a grist mill. At that time, the land was right on the banks of Stones River. (It is now lovely lakefront property!) Additions were built about 1820, by the nephew of Moses whose name was Moses Ridley Buchanan.
The house and land were later owned by Amzi and Lizzie Miller Jones and Alton Wade. Mr. & Mrs. Allen Dobson of Nashville acquired the property in the mid 20th century and used it as a summer home. Mr. Dobson was the founder of the Youth Incorporated  program and when the camp was displaced from its original location for the expansion of the Nashville airport, it was moved to Ridley’s Landing.  Though Ridley’s Landing (as the house was called) is no longer standing, some of the original 19th century cabins and outbuildings are still there. The one pictured has had some modifications made, but is still one of the oldest structures in LaVergne.


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