Posted by: smyrnatnhistory | February 4, 2010

More questions!

Hi everyone! Sorry for the delay since my last posting….life tends to get in the way sometimes.

For today’s post, we are going to venture once again to LaVergne. Some of you may be familiar with the Hill-Roulhac Cemetery that is behind the Krystal on Waldron Rd near I-24. It is the final resting place of Francois L. G. Roulhac. Mr. Roulhac, born in Limoges, France in 1767, was one of the earliest settlers in LaVergne. His wife, Margaret is also buried here along with several members of the Hill family.

Many of the maps of the area list 2 cemeteries in this vicinity….the Hill-Roulhac and a Gambill Cemetery. According to the tax maps, there is just the Gambill Cemetery. I have not seen any Gambills buried in this quaint cemetery, surrounded by a charming rock wall. According to the 1975 Cemetery book published by the Stones River SAR and the Rutherford County Historical Society, the cemetery faces “Gambill Lane”. The book also states there may be some sunken graves to the right rear of the cemetery. Now, is this the “right rear” as you are standing on the I-24 side, where the entrance to the cemetery is? If so, would that mean the possible sunken, unmarked graves are now covered with a parking lot? Would those possible sunken, unmarked graves be the missing Gambill Cemetery? I honestly have no idea. If anyone can shed any light on this, I would really appreciate it!

Also, if you know of any small family cemeteries in the Smyrna or LaVergne area, please leave a comment! Thanks!

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Posted by: smyrnatnhistory | September 15, 2009

Omni Hut

The Omni Hut is a Smyrna landmark. Since the 1960’s it has stood on the southern end of town. Major James Walls started the restaurant and patterned it after many of the places he visited during his time in the Air Force. If you’ve never eaten there, you should give it a try. More history is available here.

Posted by: smyrnatnhistory | September 2, 2009

2009 Smyrna Depot Days

It is once again time for the Smyrna Depot Days. If you have never been, you should check it out this year. Scheduled for October 10, it takes place on Front Street in the historic downtown section of Smyrna. More info is available here.

Posted by: smyrnatnhistory | May 25, 2009

Waldron Cemetery

Though the actual location is in Davidson County, I am including the William Waldron Cemetery because of its proximity to Smyrna.  The 1975 cemetery books record the cemetery as being “on Carothers Rd 3/4 of a mile east of Battle Road on top of a hill with some large cedar trees.  All unmarked and some are slave graves.”  There is another Waldron Cemetery that has been surveyed and is on the Davidson County Cemetery site.

In danger of being lost as the area around it is developed, it is chronicled here in hopes its location can be marked and preserved.  It is known to be the final resting place of William Van Buren Waldron and his wife Sarah Boyd Waldron.  William was born in Elizabeth City, NC and was a soldier in the War of 1812.  His will was probated in Rutherford County, TN in 1857.  Sarah, his wife, is thought to have died in 1833 or 1834.

Anyone with more info on this family or the exact location of this cemetery, please leave a comment.

Posted by: smyrnatnhistory | May 5, 2009

The Streets of Smyrna

There is a new website in town! Gunner Miller has put a lot of effort into The Streets of Smyrna. It is full of interesting, historic information on how the streets in Smyrna acquired their names.

Posted by: smyrnatnhistory | March 30, 2009

More random tidbits…

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to talk with Marty Luffman. Marty knows a great deal about Smyrna history and shared a bit of info to be posted here for your reading enjoyment.

**Peebles is a family name that is seen in the Almaville Rd area. The Peebles Plantation was located at the end of Seminary Rd.

**Old Nashville Highway in the Stewartsboro area was originally a toll road. Lowry Street (Hwy 41/ Murfreesboro Rd) started out as not much more than a dirt trail. Traffic increased in this part of town due to people not wanting to pay the tolls.

**In the 1800s, the only good water in Smyrna came from 1 of 2 wells. Both of those wells were located on Lowry Street behind what once was Larry Lee Exxon. I believe this to be the building across the street from Pinnacle Bank.

**The Coleman Building on Lowry street started out as a livery stable.

There is more to be posted later. Thanks Marty!

Posted by: smyrnatnhistory | March 23, 2009

Street Names

So, I’ve been a real slacker lately and rather than write original posts for this blog….I am sending you to other places for interesting tidbits of info.  I just found this entry. It was written by Gunner over at This is Smyrna and it contains some really neat information on some of the local street names.

Does anyone know when Madison Street was changed to Sam Hager Street?

Check out Gunner’s post….you’ll be glad you did!

Posted by: smyrnatnhistory | March 19, 2009

Cemetery Vandalism

I am always saddened and angered when I hear of cemetery vandalism.   In a perfect world, burial grounds would be respected.  Inevitably, that is not always the case, especially with many of our older cemeteries.  In Smyrna, there is an African-American Cemetery tucked into a corner of land between a subdivison, an apartment complex and Sam Ridley Parkway.  Most folks in the area are probably unaware of its existence.

In 1905, the three acres of land that comprise the cemetery were sold to the Colored Mutual Aid Society of Smyrna by John  and Linnie Jones Tucker.  Due to issues of vandalism the cemetery is suffering and  a revitalization effort is currently being planned that would enable easier access to the cemetery as well as provide for its continuing care and upkeep.  A clean-up is being organized  for March 28th.  If you are local, consider going out and lending a hand.  It is a worthy effort to help preserve part of Smyrna’s history.

Posted by: smyrnatnhistory | March 12, 2009

LaVergne History Day

Saturday, March 14 you are invited to celebrate LaVergne History Day. 3-5 pm at the Civic Auditorium. For more information call 793-3224.

Posted by: smyrnatnhistory | March 6, 2009

Do you remember…

….when the only things at exit 70 off of I-24 were Taylor’s Exxon, a Stuckey’s Restaurant and Dad’s Restaurant?
….when the only things at the intersection of Hazelwood and Old Nashville Highway were a Jim Dandy Market, the apartment complex and the Vet’s office?
….when Sam Ridley Pkwy was constructed? (What year was that?)
….when Smyrna Middle School was Smyrna High School?

Feel free to share any other memories you have of Smyrna!

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