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Currey Hill to Rose Park: A Hill of Change

1000 Edgehill Ave. Nashville, TN

Circa 1800. Large 2-story home


The spot of Nashville has seen so much change: Currey Hill to Meridian Hill to gigantic rock quarry Rock Crusher Hill to Rose Park.


Robert Brownlee Currey (1774-1848) and Jane Grey Owen Currey (1792-1867) built Meridian Hill on a hill near downtown Nashville overlooking the growing town. It was built in 1800. His family came from Ireland, to North Carolina, then Tennessee. Jane was the granddaughter of famed Welsh poet Goronway Owen.


The Curreys accumulated land in the city and country. Currey was a Trustee of the Davidson County and Assistant Postmaster from 1802-1811. Then Postmaster from 1811-1826. Then became Mayor in 1822. In 1825, he organized a grand reception for Gen. Lafayette's visit. The first home burned, and Currey rebuilt elsewhere.


Generations later, his descendants helped to found Equitable Securities Corp., one of the country's largest investment houses. American Express merged with it and founded the fortunes of several local families.


In the Civil War, Ft. Morton was erected atop the hill as a Federal line of defense. Post war, it was abandoned, and locals called it Meridian Hill since it was between the other two hills to the south of Nashville: Kirkpatrick's Hills/ Ft. Casino/ McCampbell's Hill/ Reservoir Hill and St. Cloud/ Ft. Negley/ Ft. Harker. The hill then became known as Rock Crusher Hill because of the rock quarry.


In 1961, the city of Nashville gave the 5 acres of land to the parks department, and they began slowly filling the quarry up. In a 1963 The Tennessean article, Hugh Walker notes the following projects planned. E.S. Rose Park, Rose Park Junior High School, a federal housing project for the elderly, and the Easley Community Center. Rose Park Middle School opened in 1963 and was named for local pastor and Edgehill community leader Rev. E. S. Rose.


In 2024, the site hosts E. S. Rose Park, a baseball, softball, soccer, and track & field venue as part of Metro Nashville Parks system.


Sources:


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