When you think of The Nations, you probably think of the rows upon rows of ‘tall-n-skinny’ homes lining the landscape. But, before The Nations helped give rise to the popularity of the HPR in Nashville, it was known for much more. The Nations has a rich history dating as far back at 1780 (we think?).
The (often disputed) story told ‘round the neighborhood is that this area of West Nashville is named after the Chickasaw Nations of Native Americans that lived there in the 1700’s. Settler James Robertson is said to have met with tribal leaders at what is now 61st and Louisiana AVE to sign a pact guaranteeing the rights of Chickasaw Nations in exchange for their help in protecting the new Nashville settlement.
Other long-time residents of The Nations dispute the claim that the name is based on Native American history. Rather, they say, the name is related to the fact that the streets are named after multiple sates. Or, perhaps because residents initially moved to the neighborhood to be near the prison, attracting families of a wide variety of ethnicities.
Whatever the reason, The Nations has come back from the decline it saw when relocating from city to suburbs became popular in the 1950’s. Bouncing back from an era of crime in the 80’s, the hotspot is now home to thousands of newly constructed or renovated homes, retail and restaurants. From a cup of high end coffee at Frothy Monkey to handmade pasta at Nicky’s Coal Fired, The Nations is not to be overlooked. We’d be remiss not to give a shout out to all those residents who lived in the Nations before it was cool, paving the way for the rest of us.