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East Ivy: A Beautiful Italianate with a 3-story tower

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

Built in 1867 for Alanson G. (A.G.) Sanford, East Ivy stands at 209 South 5th Street. Sanford owned the Italianate style home with a 3 story tower from 1867-1870 until he departed for Chicago.

In 1863, he organized and was the first president of the First National Bank of Nashville which opened in 1864. Sandford was a Unionist in the Civil War and was appointed a judge on the 7th Circuit by his friend Andrew Johnson until 1866. Sanford sold the property to Henry Cooper and moved to Mexico to develop a silver mine with his brother and Van Lee Polk. Sanford was killed in 1884 by bandits.

In 1870, Tennessee Senator Henry G. Cooper bought East Ivy and lived there until 1877. Cooper served in the Tennessee House. Then he served as a judge on the 7th judicial circuit court. In 1872, he was elected for one term in the TN Senate. He was the brother of William F. Cooper of Riverwood Mansion. In 1877, the property was divided into 2 lots.

The next owner from 1881-1892 was Judge John and Caroline Woodard of The Beeches. He served in the Tennessee General Assembly (1859-61, 1867-69, 1881.He also owned a sour mash distillery in Robertson Co. and sold liquor in Nashville under brands: “Silver Springs” and “Belle of Tennessee.” In 1872, he served as president of Springfield National Bank. After he moved to Nashville and purchased East Ivy, he entered the grocery business and the wholesale whiskey business through Woodard & Moore Co. Woodard’s wife remained in Robertson Co. [Woodard moved to a house in Nashville at Belmont & Division, then to Bethell Place.] From 1883-1892, William S. Huggins and wife Sophia rented East Ivy.

After William died, Sophia bought the property and remained until 1920.

From 1920-30, James G. and Mary Warden were owners. James was involved in real estate and worked at a loan company. They built a new home on a portion of the lot. East Ivy was divided into apartments and rented. 1925 saw the home sold to Rose and Margaret Staub Doyle but they did not live there.

In 1935, it was deeded to Anna Marie Doyle, Rose’s daughter.

East Ivy survived both the Great Nashville Fire of 1916 and in 1933 a tornado which destroyed many houses.

In 1973, Larry Schumaker and Larry West bought East Ivy and adjacent lots from Anna Doyle. They purchased other land to make up the original lot from 1867.

In 2011, it was sold to Joseph Swanson of Murfreesboro. In 2017, Ed Clay had been leasing the property since 2012 and chose to exercise an option to purchase it. He remains the owner in 2023. Clay uses the property as an event and wedding space. The mansion sits on one acre of land. NRHP 1977 with Edgefield Historic District See also John Woodard House/ The Beeches, Bethell Place


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