Friday, July 25, 2014

Metro Historical Commission to present completed map of Bells Bend history tomorrow

This comes on short notice, but it looks like a worthwhile event for those of you with interest in local oral history and those of you who have been advocates of Bells Bend in the past. Tomorrow, Saturday July 26th, at 2:00pm at the Wade School Tim Walker of Nashville's Historical Commission will review a completed map of historic sites that have been identified via local knowledge.

The Historical Commission and the Nashville Public Library documented and recorded oral histories from Scottsboro-Bells Bend neighbors. They also gathered the neighbors together to pinpoint specific areas connected to those histories. The map that Mr. Walker will present is the culmination of that interaction. Organizers hope to recognize these important areas with historic markers.

UPDATE: Dozens of neighbors attended the Scottsboro/Bells Bend community meeting at Wade School on Saturday, which was designed to gather more historical information in light of the 70+ significant sites already documented in the community. Tim Walker told those in attendance that he made his first visit to Bells Bend a few years ago and was immediately impressed that such a unique place with rural culture existed so close to urban Nashville. He also asked the group to come up with more information that might have been missing from the oral histories they had collected and to identify more sites. Community leader Joe Engle told the audience that there was no deadline for collecting information and that the project would continue indefinitely.

While pressure might continue in the future to suburbanize or to urbanize Bells Bend, it is refreshing to hear a Metro official praise the unique culture of the area. Many of us have been believers in that kind of diversity for much longer. I want to believe that this exercise also has a way of defining community character which might be even more resistant to developers who drool at the thought of high-density infilling the Bend. Above all, the history should not be lost with the passing generations. This was a positive event all the way around.

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