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Vaucluse

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

Vaucluse was built in 1825 in what became known as Hadley Bend by Dr. John “Dr. Jack” Livingston Hadley (1788-1870) and Amelia Hadley (1799-1875).



Photo from Hadley Society


The original Hadley homestead was located in the former Jones Bend area about 2 miles northwest of Jackson’s The Hermitage. The location currently hosts Plant I Desulphuring. It was a large 2 story home with 2 wings and false turrets.


Amelia and John were cousins. Born in North Carolina, he served as a surgeon during the War of 1812. He moved to Tennessee in 1815 likely with an uncle, Joshua, who was a land speculator. In Dec 1815, Hadley married Amelia, and they received a generous land gift in Williamson County on Rutherford’s Creek from Uncle Joshua in 1817. Dr. Jack ended up with numerous land parcels around Middle Tennessee. In 1816, Dr. Jack purchased a lot off the Public Square in Nashville, and he and Amelia may have built a home and resided there a short time. Because of smoke and congestion from the growing town of Nashville, the Hadley purchased and moved east to the country, and family members do not remember living in town. A story from the Hadley Society web site alleges that Andrew Jackson, a neighbor, had ordered wallpaper from France for The Hermitage, but it took so long that he had ordered from another sources. When the original shipment arrived, General Jackson sold that wallpaper to Dr. Hadley.


According to a family descendant, the original tract of land on Jones Bend was given to Robert Livingston for his diplomatic services with the Pres. Monroe Administration. The reward amounted to 3,000 acres in what became the Hadley Bend area because the United States was a young nation in heavy debt and did not have the cash to compensate. In 1826, Hadley bought 1,171 acres in the Jones Bend area from Beal Bosley for $8202. He spent more time on acquiring and managing increased land holdings (2,600 acres) than his medical practice. Dr. Hadley had real estate across Nashville including a tract near the Cumberland River that was later purchased for the creation of Tennessee State University and another for a park. He became very involved and focused on farming. Eventually they became the largest landholder in the Hadley Bend/ Old Hickory area. The Hadley had a working farm whose acres totaled 2,600 at Dr. Jack's death.


Of the thirteen children he and Amelia raised, only two sons reached adulthood, and both went to his alma mater college and medical school. The two sons were Dr. (John) Livingston Hadley II and Dr. Robert Livingston Hadley IV. John and Amelia died within 5 years of one another.


John II (1819-1893) inherited a great deal of real estate at the north end of Hadley Bend and built a brick mansion resembling his childhood home. He resided there with his wife, Ann Elizabeth Embry Hadley (1832-1908).


Robert (1839-1904) wed Virginia Starkweather (1844-1875) in 1860, and they returned to Vaucluse. Robert and Virginia’s children (Evelyn, Amelia, and John III) were raised at Vaucluse. (Virginia) Evelyn Hadley wed Charles Goodwin Pearcy (1859-1919), inherited the family home, and resided there until it was sold in 1917.


During the Civil War, the lands on Hadleys Bend were quite damaged as was Vaucluse and John II’s home. Evidently, Hadley family members did not restore the old mansion, but built smaller homes in different areas. After the sale of Vaucluse, all the Hadley descendents left Hadley Bend and most moved to the Madison area so Vaucluse was abandoned when the government purchased the isolated land.


As the Great War was heating up, in 1917, the government condemned his home and land for a powder manufacturing plant to help with the Great War effort.


By 1923, no development had occurred, and Dupont purchased the area by 1924 to develop what became one of the world’s largest powder plants. Estate heirs received $330,000 for 3,300 acres. After World War I, du Pont interests bought the power plant and converted it to a rayon mill. Vaucluse was destroyed in the process, and most of the fine wood and stone were shipped to various du Pont officials. The Vaucluse name comes from a valley in France known for wines and from Petrarch. The family is remembered through Hadleys Bend Blvd and Hadley’s Bend community.


Sources:


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2 Comments


cjpendley - nashville
cjpendley - nashville
Dec 31, 2023

Have you heard of a home up that way called Soldier's Rest? Civil war General Gillem USA had a farm in the Donelson area and was sent west into the Indian wars after the civil war. He suffered a stroke in California and came home to die at Soldiers Rest, in the Jones Bend. His wife was a Jones. And oddly enough, she had a relative named Indiana Jones.

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Jay Brothers
Jan 04
Replying to

Great question. Thus far after researching some, only found a Confederate Soldier's Rest Home on The Hermitage property. Gen. Gillem went to "Soldiers Rest" but doesn't make sense that Union Gen. would go to a Confederate resting home. But I may be completely wrong. And yes, prior to 1896, Hadleys Bend was Jones Bend so they may have had a family farm on part of her family's land in the area.

His story is pretty interesting, though. With Fort Gillem becoming the foundation of Fisk University - wow.

If you find out more, let me know. Jay

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