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Braeburn - Misses Hood and Heron's Retirement Home

Updated: Jan 22, 2023

Sitting above Richland Creek at 211 Deer Park Dr., Braeburn was built by Miss Ida E. Hood (1848-1920) and Miss Susan L. Heron (1852-1933) in 1912. Constructed in Greek Revival style, the 2-story brick mansion sat in the newly developed Belle Meade subdivision overlooking Harding Rd. Misses Hood and Heron called the home Braeburn whose name is derived from brae which is Scottish for slope and burn is the Richland Creek.

Miss Hood and Miss Heron had Braeburn built after they retired from founding and running Belmont College for Young Women. They had started Belmont Collegiate and Preparatory School in 1889 in the old, dilapidated Belle Monte mansion. For about twenty-three years, Hood and Heron educated young women until 1913. They merged with Dr. Ward’s Ward Seminary for Young Women in 1913 and sold the Belmont estate to the new Ward-Belmont.

After 15 years of residence and Miss Hood’s passing, in 1927, John and Susan Cheek purchased Braeburn. After seven years, in 1934, they moved to Oak Hill. In 1940, Caleb “Cale” Powell Haun (1904-1963) and Julia Faye Norwood Chalfant (Haun) (1906-1991) became owners. He was a founder of Equitable Securities. In 1947, Haun and H.E. Rodes formed Franklin Limestone Co., and Julia Haun became a director.

Fourteen years later, in 1964, they sold Braeburn and likely moved to Locust Valley (et al) in Williamson Co. That same year, Vanderbilt University purchased the property to use as the Chancellor’s residence, and Alexander Heard (term 1963-1982) moved in. When Joe B. Wyatt (1982-2000) succeeded Heard, Wyatt and his wife primarily lived on their farm in Dickson county and stayed at Braeburn only when they had Vandy business there. When Gordon (term 2000-2007) and Constance Gee moved in, major renovations occurred. When Dr. Gee left Vanderbilt, his successor, Dr. Nicholas Zeppos (term 2008-pres), did not move into Braeburn but remained at his own home.

In 2020, Braeburn was on the market with nearly 8 acres. See Belmont, Oak Hill, Locust Valley/ River Grange/ Walker’s Bend


Nashville: A Short History and Selected Buildings, Edited by Eleanor Graham, 1974

Nashville Pikes Vol. 3 150 Years Along Harding Pike, p. 186

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