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Wildings: Beginnings of Cheekwood Gardens

Wildings was built in the early 1920s at 1925 East Greenwood Ave. (Eastland Ave. was originally Vaughn Pike.)

Photo from Beautiful Homes & Gardens/ Historic Nashville website

Harry Howe and Cora Howe had moved to Wildings by 1929 from New England. The home was constructed of Sewanee stone and half timber. It had an 8-acre famous garden of 300 types of flowers and trees which was open to the public and visited by thousands of people. Harry was a shoe company executive whose job moved to Nashville. Per Historic Nashville website, an inscription on the stone gatepost read: “Through this wide opening gate, none come too early, non return too late.”

The Howes were childless. After Cora’s death in 1967 and Harry’s death within 18 months of hers, Elizabeth Craig Proctor and the Garden Club of Nashville (of which the Howes had been faithful members) arranged to have entire garden transplanted to the grounds of Cheekwood which had recently opened. The Howe Gardens are a main feature of the Cheekwood campus now. The Howes home remains at East Greenwood Ave. and is surrounded by the Howe Garden Apartments. Cora is also remembered through the Cora Howe Elementary School on Greenwood. See Cheekwood


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