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Belle Vue (II) (Old Harding Pike)

Updated: Nov 17, 2023

Photo by Roy and Jerry Klotz

Built on the Richland Turnpike (present-day 7306 Old Harding Pike) in 1820, Belle Vue and 15 acres was owned by Abraham (Abram) Louis Demoss, Jr. (1779-1849) & Elizabeth (Betsy) Knight Newsom DeMoss (1791-1861).

They married in 1805. Betsy’s family owned and operated Newsom’s Station and Mill to the west of the Belle Vue area. The farm was southwest of the Hick’s land at Devon Farm. The home was a 2 story log cabin that Betsy transformed into a 2 story home in Classical Revival style. Abram operated an important grist and a saw mill. The DeMoss family was very involved with the surrounding community, and the area became known as Belle View (now Bellevue). In 1859, the Nashville and Northwestern Railroad extended a line west of Nashville, and the station was named Belleview Station for the DeMoss home. The DeMoss family had 10 children including 3 sons: William became a physician and Abram became a judge. After Abram died, his widow and son stayed.

When Betsy died, her son, William Eldridge DeMoss (1832-1877), inherited the property. He was a physician. After the Civil War, DeMoss married Tabitha “Bitha” Allison (1847-1926) in 1871. Tabitha bought the Norman Morton general store in the middle 1870s and rented space for a local post office. She also bought and operated a granary on Old Harding Rd. just west of Bellevue Rd. It is currently being used as a Masonic Lodge. Along with a couple other business enterprises, Tabitha helped propel the Belle Vue commercial growth and secure it during the post-Civil War economic troubles. For years, the stretch on Old Harding Rd. between the general store and the Belle View railroad station and another general store at Hicks Rd. was the heart of the Bellevue community.

After Tabitha’s death in 1926, her nephew, Thomas Allison (T.A.) Baugh (1886-1971), received Belle Vue. T.A. made renovations to the home and married in 1950 to Mary Hill Hicks (1890-1972). Mary was a member of the Hicks/ Cockrill clan and daughter of E.D. Hicks III and Harriet Cockrill Hicks. After both spouses died within 2 years of one another, Sparky Foster and his wife bought the house with 7 acres.

Belle Vue was named for the house Abram’s father, A. L. DeMoss, Sr., had built nearby in 1797 overlooking the Harpeth River. It was restored by the Harpeth Bellevue Historical Association and relocated to Bellevue’s Red Caboose Park. It honored the family’s French heritage: Belle Vue translates from French “beautiful view/ sight.” DeMoss, Sr. served as Justice of the Court of Davidson County for years. Per historical markers, the name was eventually given to the Nashville & Northwestern Railroad depot, the U.S. Post Office branch, and the local community. The family is remembered by Baugh Rd., the community of Bellevue, and Bellevue Rd. NRHP 1973 See also Beech Grove, Devon Farm, Mt. Solitude @ Cockrill Srpings


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