A History of Nashville, North Carolina

Nash County Court House - Nashville, North Carolina - 2016

Nashville is the county seat of Nash County and is the location of many county as well as municipal offices, including the Health Department, Social Services, Emergency Services, and the Sheriff's Department. The Nash-Rocky Mount School System's administrative offices are in Nashville and there are three public schools in the area: Nashville Elementary, W.L. Green Middle School, and Nash Central Junior High School.

Old Nash County Court House - Nashville, North Carolina - 2016

Nash County, named in honor of Revolutionary War hero Brigadier General Francis Nash, was formed out of Edgecombe County in 1777. About the year 1780, a small court house was erected on a lot bought from Micajah Thomas, a wealthy land owner, and the place was called Nash Court House. In 1815, Nash Court House was incorporated as Nashville, and several years later this Nashville became the county seat of Nash County. The "Father of Nash County," Nathan Boddie lived at Rose Hill Plantation; this historic landmark was among the largest in Nash County, at one time consisting of 9,400 acres of rolling land on Peachtree Creek.

Until the time of the American Civil War, Nash County and Nashville experienced little growth. The main, or Washington, street of Nashville was part of the highway from Tarboro and Rocky Mount to Louisburg and Warrenton. The old tavern or hotel on the north side of the street was very popular in the stagecoach days. An opera house erected on the corner of Washington and Barnes Streets and barrooms provided local entertainment. Few, if any, events have been of more importance to Nashville than the coming of the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad. Most things bought or sold in Nashville had to be hauled to or from the nearest river port or railroad depot.

The Bissette-Cooley House of Nashville epitomizes the Neoclassical Revival style as it appeared in North Carolina in the early twentieth century. Built in 1908-1910 by George N. Bissette, a prominent Nashville businessman, the house features a dual level porch with full height wooden Ionic columns in groups of three on each side with Tuscan columns as part of the railing. An oval leaded Palladian window is centered in the pediment. The house is attributed to Rocky Mount architect John C. Stout, who designed a number of Nash County and eastern North Carolinds Neoclassical Revival dwellings in the early 1900s.

Bissette heirs sold the house in 1945 to Congressman and Mrs. Harold Cooley who named it Cooley Manor. The Cooleys occupied the house until Mrs. Cooley's death in 1981. It was purchased in 1985 by Braswell Properties and renovated according to the Secretary of Interior's standards for rehabilitating historic buildings. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was purchased as a private residence by Betsy Owens and Jack Lawrence in 1991.

Nash Court House was granted a U.S. Post Office on May 28, 1796, and its first Postmaster was Henry Vick. In 1823, the name was changed to Nashville Court House. In 1832, the name was changed to simply Nashville. This Post Office has been in continuous operation ever since inception.

© 2007 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved