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Ashcrest Farm/ Bellwood Farm

Ashcrest Farm/ Bellwood Farm was built from 1858-1866 in classical/ Colonial Revival style at 410 Gallatin Rd. While the original property encompassed up to 1,000 acres, the remaining 74 acres in 2014 is on East Main Street.

Clara Reed Harper (1830-1914) married Prof. Cornelius Weistlling Calender (1822-1885) in 1851 after he had graduated from Allegheny College. He came to teach at Washington Institute in Davidson Co. and stayed until 1855. He then became President of Old Soule College in Murfreesboro in 1851 and remained there until 1858. In 1853, Robert Harper, Clara’s father, bought land and resold it to Calendar on which Ashcrest would be built. In 1858, Callender bought into and became President of TN Female College in Franklin. During this time, the farm purpose changed from grazing to being a working farm. After Callender died, Clara divided her time between Gallatin and Columbia where her son (Samuel) Ewing Callender (1860-1917) and daughter-in-law Pauline Talbot Dunn Callender (1875-1951) lived.

The family home had been inherited by one son, William Sample Callender, but his brother Ewing purchased it In 1906 from Will’s widow Laura. In 1913 Ewing, Pauline and new daughter Elisabeth Ewing Callender moved from Columbia to the family home on Gallatin Rd. which they named Ashcrest. Ewing managed his farm and was a wholesale grocer.

After Ewing’s death. Elisabeth “Libby” Ewing Cal lender (1908-1999) married Charles Cornelius “Neil” Chenault (1894-1962) in 1926. Neil was a relative of David and Louisa Chenault of Greenfield. Neil made a business deal with his wife and developed a dairy operation which sold milk to Nashville company Truli-Pure Milk and added tobacco to the crops raised. Their son Neil Chenault, Jr. (1928-2014) married Jomelia “Jo” Duke in 1957, and they built a house nearby on the property. The property has remained in the family as of 2014. Ashcrest name comes from the ash trees on property and a geographic crest feature and was named by the Ewing Callender family. NRHP 1992. See Greenfield/ D. Chenault House

Photo by Sydney Smith

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