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Glen Echo/ Harpeth Hall to Battle Ground Academy (BGA)

Updated: Jan 27

Photo by Prohibit Onions

Glen Echo, originally called Harpeth Hall, was built between 1818 and 1838 by Judge Thomas Stuart (1762-1838) and Margaret Laremore Stuart (1760-1835). It is located on Spencer Creek Rd. off Franklin Pike near Franklin. It is a 2 story brick home in Federal style. He was a judge with the Fourth Circuit Court of Tennessee starting in 1809 until 1836. The Stuarts became substantial landowners in the area. Margaret died three years prior to Thomas and after Thomas’ death, he willed the property to his niece Esther L. Stuart Martin. Esther had wed Jefferson Martin in 1829. Martin’s family was based in Kentucky but prior to the Civil War, split up differences and Martin went to Williamson Co. Esther and Jefferson inhabited Glen Echo for nearly 20 years. They moved their family to Lawrence County for business reasons.

John Campbell (1803-1875), a famous silversmith, owned the home with 206 acres from 1856-1875. He had arrived in Nashville in 1836 and operated a silversmith business on Nashville’s Public Square in 1846. He owned a silversmith partnership with George Washington Donigan called Campbell and Donigan from 1842-1856 when he evidently moved south. In 1879, Campbell’s widow, Mrs. R.B. Campbell, owned the home and called it Glen Echo.

From 1958 to at least 1976, Edward Averill " E.A.","Sonny" Robertson, Jr. (1912-1987) and Rose Robertson (1920-2007). When they bought the property, it had 263 acres along Spencer Creek. Sonny was a prosperous insurance executive in Nashville. They wed in 1941. About 1936, the Robertson family sold much of the property to an investor group because of Sonny's declining health. By 1976, the estate was reduced to 14 acres.

Glen Echo and its 58 acres was purchased by Battle Ground Academy in 1996 when it expanded its Middle and Upper Schools. The new campus opened in 1996 with Glen Echo hosting the administrative offices. NRHP 1976

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