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North Nashville neighbors preserving history in Enchanted Hills subdivision

Enchanted Hills.jpeg
Posted at 5:51 PM, Aug 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-03 19:30:38-04

It's called Enchanted Hills — an area historically known as one of Nashville’s most prestigious Black neighborhoods. And now it could be getting a Metro historical marker.

Enchanted Hills subdivision in North Nashville has enough history to surprise those who call the neighborhood home.

"We bought our house here, and I would think it was like '89 and we moved in here in November of '91," said resident Bernice Campbell.

Campbell said there were many reasons why she and her husband chose the Enchanted Hills subdivision.

"You know your neighbors, and everybody's so nice in the neighborhood, and we've not really had any problems or any conflict here. And I just really love it here because I like the peace and quiet," said Campbell.

Campbell said that even when she and her husband moved in it was still a Black, middle-class community, and she remembers when neighbors fought to keep the subdivision from developers.

"It was strictly Black, all Black, and the land between these houses was like a strip, and then they wanted to probably put some property — bits of townhouses or some — between, so everybody got together in a neighborhood and purchased a strip of land between our houses," Campbell said. "If we had not purchased the land, then we would have to give them a right of way on our property to get to this land."

The Metro Nashville Historical Commission Facebook post from 2021 got the attention of residents like Ashley Woodland.

"I grew up here my whole life; I didn't know about the history at all of, like, the neighborhood," said Woodland.

Woodland said she's raising money through a GoFundMe page to get a historical marker placed in Enchanted Hills — the place once deemed the "Belle Meade of North Nashville" in a 1988 real estate advertisement.

"The city of Nashville has been growing and it's been changing, and I thought that it was important to commemorate the history of this neighborhood," Woodland said.

Many details, from the mid-century modern and contemporary architecture of the homes to neighbors protesting more than 40 years ago against environmental injustices threatening their health and property values, make this subdivision also eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

"We’re happy to have these homes that are kind of on land. We understand that the city is growing and it's changing, but hopefully, we can have these homes stay here as long as possible," Woodland said.

A new subdivision is being constructed not too far from Enchanted Hills and close to where Woodland would love to see a historic marker.

Woodland said the cost for this marker is $2,754 and will go towards the funding needed for the Metro Historical Commission.