The historic centerpiece of the City of Belle Meade, which gave rise to the city’s establishment, is the Belle Meade Plantation. In 1807, John Harding of Virginia purchased 250 acres of land near Richland Creek, and by 1820 had commissioned the construction of a house, which he named Belle Meade. The mansion was later updated to the Greek revival style. After the American Civil War, the plantation thrived as the breeding place of nationally acclaimed racehorses. Unfortunately, in 1906, the Harding family went into debt and was forced to sell the estate along with the 2,600 acres they had acquired over the years.
The Belle Meade Land Company consolidated the mansion and 40 acres, which was ultimately bought by the State of Tennessee and dedicated as a monument. The Belle Meade Land Company then paid for the construction of the first road, developed the neighborhood, and in 1938 the City of Belle Meade was established.
Today, many of the families that first inhabited Belle Meade still reside in the community, passing their homes down through the generations. This family oriented community is home to approximately 3,000 residents is one of Nashville’s most prestigious communities, and one of the wealthiest in the country. Though Belle Meade is integrated into the Nashville government, it operates as an independent city with its own city hall, regulations and police force.
Marked by rolling green hills, meticulously maintained landscapes, and remarkable homes, Belle Meade offers a glimpse of the opulence most can only dream of.
To learn more about the history of Belle Meade, click here.