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Hidden History of Nashville

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Overview

Perched on the Banks of the Cumberland River, Nashville is best known for its role in the civil rights movement, world-class education and, of course, country music. In this unique collection of columns, longtime journalist and Tennessee native George Zepp illuminates a less familiar side of the city. Learn the secrets of Timothy Demonbreun, one of the city's first residents, who lived with his family in a cliff-top cave; Cortelia Clark, the blind bluesman who continued to perform on street corners after winning ...

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Hidden History of Nashville

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Overview

Perched on the Banks of the Cumberland River, Nashville is best known for its role in the civil rights movement, world-class education and, of course, country music. In this unique collection of columns, longtime journalist and Tennessee native George Zepp illuminates a less familiar side of the city. Learn the secrets of Timothy Demonbreun, one of the city's first residents, who lived with his family in a cliff-top cave; Cortelia Clark, the blind bluesman who continued to perform on street corners after winning a Grammy award; and Nashville's own Cinderella story, which involved legendary radio personality Edgar Bergen and his ventriloquist protégée. Cleverly rendered, using questions from readers across the nation, these little-known tales abound with Music City mystery and charm.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596297920
  • Publisher: History Press, The
  • Publication date: 10/28/2009
  • Series: American Chronicles Series
  • Pages: 159
  • Sales rank: 526,063
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface 9

True Tall Tales: Coffee, Cave and Curse

Maxwell House Coffee, "Good to the Last Drop" 11

A Music Row Mansion's Strange Curse 14

Demonbreun's River-View Cave 17

Mysticism, Eccentricity and a Funeral Home 19

Street Blues Nets Dimes and a Grammy Award 21

Shrunken Heads, Big Museum Mysteries 24

Nashville at Play: Swimming, Skating and Movies

Cascade Plunge's Fifty-two-Year Splash 27

Landlocked Ship in Centennial Park 29

J. Percy Priest Dam and the Plot to Explode It 32

Hippodrome's Smooth Skating and Rough Wrestling 34

Hillsboro Village Theatres, Belmont and Belcourt 37

Naughty Nashville: Drinking, Stripping and Cavorting

Heaven Lee, Star of Printers Alley 41

Saloons Everywhere, Even the Old Public Square 44

Streaking Through the 1970s 48

Gerst, the Brew that Made Nashville Famous 51

Legal Prostitution in Nashville? 53

Lingering or Lost: Mansions, Fires and Schools

President Polk's Downtown Mansion Vanishes 59

Firehouses as Historic Landmarks 61

Stahlman Building Survives a Century 63

Hillsboro High School Goes Up in Flames 66

Father Ryan, a Battlefield Chaplain and a School 69

Colemere Site Becomes Ritzy Club, Restaurant 71

Nashville Notables: Performers, Pilot and Writers

A Peter Pan Original at Ward-Belmont 75

Delbert Mann, a Hollywood Artistic 77

Cornelia Fort's Wartime Sacrifice 79

Tennessee William's Early Nashville Days 81

Ventriloquist Edgar Bergen's Unknown Protégée 85

Writer O. Henry's Secret Nashville Visits 89

Distant Troubles: Outlaws, Slaves and Slums

Jesse and Frank James in Nashville Hideouts 93

Eighth Avenue Reservoir Washout 95

Slave Dealings in the City98

A Frozen Cumberland River Walk 102

Coal Brings a Smoky City Haze 104

Slum Living in Capitol Shadows 108

Nashville Together: Prisoners, Paupers and POWs

Remnant Lingers from State's Early Penitentiary 111

Boy Scout Founder's Nashville Appearance 113

Poor Asylum Takes Paupers, Lunatics 116

Presbyterians' Long Stay on Church Street 118

German POWs Help with Wartime Chores 120

Watkins Institute Goes Modern with Filmmakers 123

Briggs Infirmary among Early Hospitals 125

Out on the Town: Eating, Shopping and Celebrating

Cross Keys Restaurant Draws Diners, Protesters 129

Tinsley's, One of City's Shopping Paradises 131

Fred Harvey Brings Christmas to Centennial Park 133

Opryland and Its Great Flood 135

Vendome Theatre's Posh Venue Up in Flames 137

Moving Nashvillians: Train, Plane and Ferry

Union Station Once a Travel, Shipping Hub 141

Berry Field Boosts Nashvillians Skyward 143

Auto Pioneer Dorris, from Bikes to Engines 145

Marathon Cars Drive Nashville Forward 147

Hyde's Ferry from Boat to Bridge 150

Interurban Railway Delights Commuters 152

Reading List 157

About the Author 160

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 12, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Getting to Know the Real Nashville

    George Zepp has been a quiet hero to Nashville history lovers for years. His weekly Tennessean column unearthing the city's secrets and dispelling its rumors has been a must-read since 2002. Those of us who have faithfully clipped the columns and stuffed them into over-flowing folders have long urged him to anthologize them. What a delight to discover that HIDDEN HISTORY OF NASHVILLE, featuring many of our favorite "Learn Nashville" columns, is finally available. It's a great-looking book, from its attractive cover to an inviting layout adorned by a generous collection of historic photos. The Preface is fascinating, and the reading list and references at the end of the book are extremely valuable.

    But best of all are the columns! Each one sparked by a question from a reader, these meticulously researched and well-written narratives deepen our understanding of this colorful and historic city. The chapter headings alone will lure you in: "True Tall Tales: Coffee, Cave and Curse," "Distant Troubles: Outlaws, Slaves and Slums," and the tantalizing "Naughty Nashville: Drinking, Stripping and Cavorting," just to name a few. Read about settlers & strippers, brewers & blues singers, entrepreneurs & Presidents. Life in any city is filled with surprises, but Zepp has discovered Nashville's untamed heart and offers it to us with a grin. Who would expect to find Teddy Roosevelt and Jesse James, James K. Polk and O. Henry, Edgar Bergen and Tennessee Williams, all making history here? Nashville has so much more to offer than the usual tourist fare - HIDDEN HISTORY OF NASHVILLE is a real joy for everyone who loves this city.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 4, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    So-so book

    This was an OK book, probably more interesting if you live in Nashville or are familiar with landmarks there.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2010

    Great Read

    I bought this for my husband and he has already read it twice. Loved that the author included history we have all heard and the little things we have not.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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