I love history. I inherited the appreciation of history from my father. The past year I have pondered on the question of .. " Who is Katie? " Katie Hill consist of the following street names: Katie St. , Fern Avenue, Bessie Ave. , Vester, Weakley Ave., Aline Ave, and few roads that are named, but no longer in service. I had heard of the last name " Haynie" from Matthew. He stated that the old beautiful home on the hill used to have this gorgeous roof and it stated "Haynie's Grove". So that is where I started. I decided today to head down to the Nashville Archives in Leau of a lunch break. I was approached by very helpful, knowledgeable individuals that helped me navigate through several of the old Nashville maps. Fern Avenue was actually the cut off for "Nashvillle City Limits" so many of the maps stopped right in front of the street. After finding the maps, one of the kind gentleman even found the Titles for the Haynies Grove site plan. AKA, the original Katie Hill. Here are some of the fun facts I have researched, and then I will tell you what more is to be done.
1. Fern Avenue actually was not fully Fern Avenue. According to the maps below, my home would have fern Avenue stopped pretty much in front of my home and changes into Highview Street. What an appropriate name right!?
2. The plots from the original plan in 1912 are literally still the same today. The neighborhood was literally designed in all 50ft wide lots to obviously build a community and small homes.
3. What I know about the Haynie's that could potentially correlate to a few of the street names:
- Joseph ( J. B. ) Haynie was Married to a lady named Lula S. Haynie (1864-1925). ( take a look at the 1912 maps, Weakley street actually turned into Lula Ave. They purchased the plot of land sometime around the 1898-1900. I found an old court docket regarding a lawsuit with the previous owner and liens of the property, but that is a totally different post. Very interesting!
-Joseph and Lula had one daughter. Her name was Bessie Hall. Bessie was married to a man named William Hall, and they later had 2 children.
-Joseph Haynie was the son of Kate Haynie. From what I can gather right now, Katie Haynie (1836-1910) is our Miss Katie Hill.
The family seemed to have been very small, but close. I found in some of the old directories online that JB and Lula owned a real estate company and in census documents, Mrs. Lula is titled a "saleslady" and a "dressmaker" . They later moved to Fatherland Street according to the census documents and all lived within the same household.
The other 2 families according to the maps that I am having a hard time finding anything on is the Weakley family and the Dodd Family. I originally thought Weakley may have been from the famous Nashvillian Pioneer, Robert Weakley, but I have a feeling it is someone that helped develop the little community.
I have been digging around ancestry.com looking for family history and it is so much fun. I also talked to Mr. Black, one of my older neighbors who has lived on Katie for 45 years and he shared some information with me about the family that actually built his home and the stories regarding why they are built the way they are ( small with cinder block frames )
Needless to say, as of right now, we still can't confirm 115% as to who Katie is .... But we are getting close, and I think she was a sweet housekeeper named Mrs. Kate Haynie.
Super cool stuff and I am just in love with the idea of bringing light to some of the history of our little hill. I want to know everything I can about our streets, our heritage, and how we came about. Dickerson Road was the first road in Nashville and we are sitting right off of it. Wonder where the name Fern came from? Maybe that is just the them along with Evergreen, and Burch? Who knows, but more history to come on Katie Hill.
We held our 4th Nashville North By Northeast United meeting on the 8th of April. It was a great meeting to discuss the happenings around our newly energized part of Nashville. I am amazed at the amount of involvement and engagement from at least over 40-50 people each time. We also have new people show up every meeting and I fond that extremely encouraging. I keep saying it, but commercial and residential have to come together to help improve our community. We all must maintain a common goal to encourage a safe community and begin to experience the economic growth that other Nashville communities are experiencing. I will continue to preach the same message of building a diverse and organic community of individuals who have the same vision as myself and people like Ross & Matthew. I am so thankful to have people around me who inspire me to speak up and spread our vision and mission here on Katie Hill !
Not too many people get excited about bulldozers, hard hats and metal buildings, but I do. The birds are chirping and the sun is shining on Katie Hill! As many of you know, we have been working hard to get FAV off of the ground, but we first have had to knock down a few colorful old auto shops that have been on Katie Hill for years. Every day when I drive home from work, I get to see the progress, AND the view that the lucky people who get to live at FAV will enjoy every day. (www.fernavenueview.com) I also am reminded why I love our Katie Hill and what it will become. One of the great things about us is that we are not the typical "gentrified" communities. No one is going anywhere. We have plenty of space and opportunities to purchase land, where no families currently live.
I am so sensitive to the term "gentrification", and get super offended when someone accuses me, or Katie Hill of becoming gentrified. Folks, we are taking a place that NO ONE has desired to call home or work, and making it into our neighborhood. That is the beautiful part about it. If a family is not on Katie Hill in 2-3 years, that is because it is a choice due to the fact their landlord hasn't taken care of the property, or they were involved in activities in which don't cultivate a safe community for all of us.
Get excited to see more abandoned properties becoming prime real estate and future dream homes! P.S., no i am not a Realtor and I don't get paid to write this blog. I am just a simple girl trying to build a community. :-)
With Katie Hill Love-