Bellevue is steeped in history, having been one of the Nashville area’s only settlements at the time of its 1795 founding.
Bellevue was founded in 1795 when surveyor John Davis and Revolutionary War veteran Abraham DeMoss built their homes on along the Harpeth River just southwest of Nashville. Davis’ Devon Farm was located along what is now Highway 100 (the Ensworth School site), while DeMoss’ Belle Vue was located along what is now Old Harding Pike (near the railroad tracks). Over the years, various communities sprouted with settlers and their businesses with the intersection of Old Harding and Bellevue Road marking the center of the town.
In the 1860s, a commuter train provided transportation to Bellevue via a Nashville-to-Waverly line, supplementing the Highway 100 and Harding Road (now Old Harding Pike). In 1927, the Memphis-Bristol Highway (U.S. 70 South) was completed and businesses–including many gambling and bootlegging clubs–opened along the new road. Electricity was established in Bellevue in 1936.
Other landmark dates:
- Bellevue High School opened in 1931. It was closed in 1980.
- The Harpeth Valley Water District opened in 1963, allowing greater development in Bellevue
- The Westview Newspaper was first published in 1978.
- In 1967, Chaffin’s Barn opened as Nashville’s first professional theater.
- In 1978, the first Bellevue Community Picnic was held. It continues today.
- Bellevue Center Mall opened in 1990. It closed in 2008, and redevelopment efforts continue.
Today, Bellevue is an energetic community of growing families, young people, seniors, and entrepreneurs. With exciting developments like the new state-of-the-art library slated to begin construction, Bellevue looks toward a very bright future.
The information above comes from Metro Nashville’s Bellevue Community Plan, which cites author Doug Underwood’s “A History of Bellevue and Surrounding Areas” as its primary source.