Scott Sohr, Nashville land developer, has always held a keen interest in antebellum architecture. He says that many of Nashville’s structures retain a certain Southern charm rivaled only by those hidden in the shade of ancient Louisiana magnolias. As a real estate professional, Scott Sohr of Nashville says he looks to the city’s past to provide inspiration for the future and claims that Belmont Mansion and Belle Meade Plantation are just two sirens of creativity that deserve special recognition for their prominent place in Tennessee history.
Belle Mont, a symbol of strength for women
According to Scott Sohr, Nashville landmark Belmont Mansion is credited to one woman: Adelicia Cheatham. The original structure, completed in 1853, was the focal point of the elaborate and open grounds upon which it was built, says Scott Sohr. Nashville native Cheatham, who was previously married to Isaac Franklin and Joseph Acklen, designed Belmont to be a focal point of the community. Scott Sohr of Nashville notes that the grounds contained a 200-foot long conservatory and greenhouse, an art gallery, a bowling alley, and a zoo.
In 1859, Adelicia redesigned Belmont to include what most architectural historians describe as antebellum Tennessee’s most elaborate domestic space, says Scott Sohr. Nashville residents have seen numerous additions to Belmont including the grand salon and an expansion of basement service area.
Scott Sohr of Nashville says that Adelicia was one of the strongest female figures of her time and is notable for risking her own life to secure a nearly $1 million cotton sale.
After the death of her first two husbands, Adelicia married a prominent Nashville physician and later relocated to Washington, D.C. Scott Sohr, Nashville entrepreneur, explains that soon after her death, Belmont was purchased by Ms. Ida Hood and Ms. Susan Heron. These two converted a good majority of the Belmont grounds into a girls’ school. This junior college changed ownership in 1952 and became what is now known as Belmont University. Scott Sohr of Nashville says that although Belmont is a highly acclaimed coeducational liberal arts college, its historic emphasis on female independence makes it a popular tourist attraction for women’s groups.
Belle Meade plantation, a thoroughbred property
Belle Meade Plantation was founded in 1807, says Scott Sohr. Nashville residents flock to the property’s focal point—a sprawling Victorian-style mansion—that was originally set among 250 acres of prime Tennessee land. Scott Sohr of Nashville says that the property was originally designed for racing and later breeding thoroughbred horses. Nashville native Gen. John Harding and his family maintained ownership of Belle Meade plantation until 1906. At that time, the land was divided and sold, says Scott Sohr of Nashville.
As noted by Scott Sohr, Nashville attraction Belle Meade Plantation is viewed as an important factor in the careers of prominent African-American horse jockeys.
Today, Belle Meade Plantation is managed by the Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities and is owned by the state of Tennessee. The property, including the main house and its many outbuildings, are open to the public and has numerous events throughout the year.
Although structurally very similar, each building retains a unique personality and are absolute musts for those visiting Nashville. And if the beauty and history are not enough, Scott Sohr and Nashville art lovers have long known that visitors are given the opportunity to discover fine arts and unparalleled Southern hospitality. According to Scott Sohr, Nashville couples can use both properties as wedding facilities.