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Lynnmeade: Overlooking Harding Rd. and St. George's Church

Updated: Nov 13, 2023

The French Chateau style mansion was built in 1913 at 105 Lynwood Blvd for John H. and Grace Carpenter, and its famous (deteriorating) stone wall fiercely stands against the elements and floods. In 1940, the Carpenters resided on Iroquois Place in Belle Meade.

It currently sits on 27 acres. In 1925, Edward Lee (E.L.) Hampton (1861-1941) and Louis Estelle “Lulu” Robbins Hampton (1870-1947) bought the property. Lynmeade was constructed near Harding Rd., and the rest of their estate reached east to Richland Creek , west to Belle Meade Blvd and south to the rise of the hill near Lynwood Lane. Their land was adjacent to the Trabue’s Honeywood Farm. They married in 1892. [ E.L.’s first wife was Loiette Robbins, 1868-1890, wed 1887.] E.L. owned several coal companies including Tennessee Consolidated Coal Co., president of Pratt Consolidated Coal Co., stockholder and director, First National Banks, Nashville, Tullahoma and Tracy City, director of Bank of Cowan and American Trust & Savings Bank, First Savings Bank & Trust Co. and interest in Nashville Railway & Light Co. He was also a real estate developer involved with Fairfax, Hillsboro Heights, Overton Hills, and Stokes neighborhoods. He was an investor along with Puryear and others in building the Concrete Boulevard (Woodmont Blvd) and developing the Puryear land adjacent.

After Lulu died, she left the house to her daughters. Three of the sisters sold their interest in the house to the fourth sister Frances E. Hampton “Pinkie” Currey (1903-1979) who was married (in 1926) to Brownlee Owen Currey, Sr. (1900-1952). Currey was part of the group that founded Equitable Securities Co. and merged with American Express.

Brownee and Pinkie bought the part of the estate that fronted Harding Rd. and gave it to Christ Church in 1947 to build and open the suburban mission church St. George’s Episcopal Church. St. George’s Church opened in 1952. Other parts became Westhampton Place.

In 1966, Donald Cowan (1923-2018) and Mildred Joy Cowan Gulbenk (1925-2008) bought the home with nine acres. (The Cowans had lived on Warner Place.) Joy’s father, Thomas Harvey Joy, owned Joy’s Floral Company (a four generation business), and Mildred was raised on a large estate in East Nashville. Donald was an architect. In 1951, he was head of the Department of Architecture at a London art school, went to Nashville for a visit and stayed. He designed Parkside Surgery Center and Richland Park Library among many projects. Mildred was heavily involved in the community including board memberships on Belle Meade Plantation and Belmont Mansion (two terms each as president) and involvement with Cheekwood Horticultural Society of Middle Tennessee, APTA, The Nashville Symphony and the Opera Guild. She sang with several choirs locally. In 1985, she was invited to join SMOTJ (Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem) and also the Chevalarese Grand Croix. The Cowans were co-founding members of St. George’s Episcopal Church. Donald and Mildred divorced in 1989, and Donald retained sole interest in the property.

In 2019, Lynmeade remains part of the Donald Cowan Estate. The estate is recognized with Lynnwood Blvd, Lynnwood Terrace, Lynnwood Lane, and Westhampton Place.

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