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James P. Johnson House/ Laurel Hill

Updated: Jun 18

4329 Columbia Pike

Circa 1854. 2-story red brick Greek Revival home

Built on Highway 31 south of West Harpeth Road, the James P. Johnson House/ Laurel Hill was built by James Patterson Johnson and Sara Sykes Johnson in 2 story Greek Revival style. Johnson was a stockman like his father. James’ parents, Thomas B. and Harriett C. Patterson Johnson, had moved from Kentucky to Williamson Co. in 1832 and purchased the Laurel Hill Stock Farm. Thomas was a farmer, stock raiser and contractor for the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad.

Photo by Mthunter58

Johnson had farm property in Nashville and sold it to give to the State of Tennessee for use as the Insane Asylum. By the 1850s, the farm had increased to 500 acres and was well-known for its harness horse and cattle breeding. The years of 1853-1854 were busy for James. In 1853, James inherited Laurel Hill from his parents and married Sara. In 1853, James formed a stock dealership called Johnson, Brown & Gibson and traded livestock. The next year, James and Sara built Laurel Hill.

By the early 1900s, the farm was sold out of the family and ceased being a stock farm. Moulton Smith bought it from the Johnson heirs.

In 1917, the owner was Michael Connelly.

In 1988, the owner was Joel Spaulding and the property was still called Laurel Hill Farm with 2 acres. By 2014, Franklin natives David and Vivian Garrett were the owners of Laurel Hill. David is a family attorney and has been a president of the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County.

The name of the farm and home come from the mountain laurel flowers on the property. NR 1988


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