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Montpier/ Nicholas Perkins House


Photo by Skye Marthaler


Montpier / Nicholas Perkins House, built in 1821 by Nicholas “Bigbee” Perkins (1779-1848), sits on Old Hillsboro Pike at 1213 Montpier Dr. and overlooks the Natchez Trace.


It is a 2.5 story brick in Federal style. He married his cousin Mary Hardin Perkins “Polly” Perkins (1794-1840) in 1808. Her parents, Thomas Hardin and Mary O’Neal Perkins lived at Meeting of the Waters, and after they died, “Bigbee” and Mary left Montpier and moved into Meeting of the Waters. The Perkins family was one of the wealthiest Williamson County families in the antebellum era. In addition to planter status, Perkins was an attorney and served in the Tennessee Legislature (Senate 1815-17, House 1841-43).


For much of the early to mid 19th century, Montpier was run on an absentee status. Montpier was left to their daughter, Mary Elizabeth Perkins (1820-1896), who married Leland Joseph Bradley (1810-1861) in 1836. The Bradley family then moved to Bolivar Co., MS because Leland had land there. Their daughter, Mary H. P. Bradley wed William Lewis Taylor there in 1860. After Leland’s death, Mary resided with another daughter, Mollie, in Haywood Co., TN while the will of her father Nicholas Perkins was contested and settled. Later, William Taylor died, and Mary and that family moved together in Louisville. In 1874, William’s father John Alexander Taylor, a widow, married Mary in 1874. Mary wed John Alexander Taylor (1818-1881) in 1874. After the Bradley family, Montpier had several owners including the Waters, the Crandells (1912-1946), and Jack Greer (1946-48).


In 1948, Joseph Hamilton Thompson “Joe” Dickinson (1913-1986) and Billie Frank Smith Dickinson (1917-2012) bought Montpier and its 94 acres. Joe was a member of the Thompson family of Brightwood and Thompson Lane and a grandson of Judge Jacob McGavock Dickinson. Family members were connected with Travellers Rest, River Grange, Meeting of the Waters, Belle Meade Plantation. Joe owned the land on Thompson Lane which became Nashville’s suburban shopping area 100 Oaks. He also owned the corporation Forest Homes Inc. which held his Boston community Williamson County farm. It was over 200 acres.


In 2021, David and Eulett Dawson reside at Montpier. David owns The Dawson Group, an executive placement business. NRHP 1982. See also Meeting of the Waters/ T.H. Perkins, Travellers Rest, River Grange, Belle Meade Plantation


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