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Antrim Farm - 1st Brick House south of Duck River


Photo from Visit Columbia


When Rev. Joseph Brown inherited land in what became Maury Co. and then purchased more, he settled his family south of Columbia.


Antrim Farm was built at 2759 Pulaski Pike in 1810 - south of downtown Columbia. Joseph Porter Brown (1808-1844) was the builder and owner. His wife was Jane S. Frazier Brown. It was the first brick home built south of the Duck River. The Brown patriarch, Rev. Joseph Brown, had moved from North Carolina to Nashville (near White’s Creek area), and finally inherited and purchased a couple thousand acres in Maury Co. Evidently, the Brown family was wealthy when they emigrated to America so were not settlers trying to scratch out a living. Several relatives settled in southern Tennessee while others moved on to Jackson, TN, then Oxford, MS, and Texas - where Joseph also moved later. Brown’s cousin Col. Joseph Brown also settled in the area, and when he established the first court in the area, Joseph was elected clerk. Future president James Polk received some early education with the cousins. Porter ended up in Galveston, TX where he died.


The next owners, John Mourning Frances (1804-1881) and Sabrina “Sabra” Boddie Lawrence Francis (1811-1893), added a white pillar front in the late 1840s and doubled the size with 300 acres of plantation. Sabra also inherited Walnut Grove after her mother passed away, and, unusual for the time, personally managed that plantation. After the Civil War, tenant farmers used the property for many years. Evidently, it was also sold out of the family.


In 1937, the property returned to Brown family ownership as Margaret Adam “Peggy” Dickinson Fleming (1918-2014) and (Stuart) Swope Fleming (1913-1967) purchased the property and worked to restore it. Peggy was a descendant of Joseph Brown. They married in the same year. Peggy served as the first president of the Maury County Hospital Auxiliary. She grew up at Travellers Rest as the daughter of Jacob McGavock Dickinson and Margaret Adams Dickinson. Swope was a descendent of the MeGavock family. He was a member of the board of directors of the Middle Tennessee Bank, owner of Southern Livestock Company, and had owned a large hardware store which his son took over. The Flemings named the estate Antrim - which recognized the Irish country of the McGavocks and Joseph Brown’s grandmother. Peggy owned the main businesses on the property: Travellers Rest Arabian Horse Farm, Travellers Rest Riding Camp, and Camp Nickajack. Since 2011, Antrim Celebrations has also been available for special events and weddings. Their children remain owners in 2019. See also Beechlawn, Travellers Rest, Walnut Grove

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