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Woodmont: Home of the Concrete Blvd. and the Opening of Southern Nashville

Updated: Jan 19

Woodmont was built in 1914 on the new Woodmont BL by Gustavus Adolphus (G. A.) Puryear (1885-1939) and wife Cornelia Libby Puryear (1890-1965). Puryear was a Nashville banker and the son of William and Mary Ann Puryear of C. Sneed House/ Windy Hill Farm.


Up to about 1911, the family Puryear home and farm had been located near Hillsboro Rd. so they essentiallly moved westward toward Harding Rd. Because a bear was seen nearby, when a street was created in Woodmonst Estates, it was named Bear Creek Rd.


Additional land was purchased from Samuel Watkin’s country estate. The first concrete road called at the time “Concrete Boulevard” was put down from Hillsboro Rd. to Harding Rd. in 1914. By 1918, the roadway was known as Woodmont Blvd. The road enabled the sale of residential lots called Woodmont Estates starting in 1937 and eventually allowed the development of the general area of the former Puryear, Hampton and Watkins properties.


Residential lots were sold in 1914 because of construction of this first documented concrete road in Tennessee which ran privately through land owned by Puryears and E.L. Hampton. The property was developed into Woodmont Estates in 1937. Puryear contracted with Olmsted Brothers in 1936 for the development. Olmsted had created Cherokee Gardens subdivision in Louisville, KY.After development began, the Puryears first built a new home in Woodmont Estates and later moved to Williamson County. Descendants have retained land in the area.


[Part of the land included the former Hampton Field, considered Nashville’s first airfield and which served airplanes during World War I era - roughly 1912-1920. The runway was in the fields of E. L. Hampton’s farm and eventually became Hampton Ave. Hampton Field operated until 1921 when Blackwood Field on the grounds of The Hermitage opened.


Next in 1927, the city of Nashville bought 131 acres from Warren Sloan and created a new Nashville Airport. It was called McConnell Field and named after Lt. Brower McConnell. McConnell Field was located on Murphy Rd. from Cherokee Rd. toward Harding Rd. It served as Nashville’s airport for only 3 year and afterward remained for about 30 years as an Air Port. By 1954, the area had been developed into McCabe Park Golf Course. In late 1968, a realtor purchased 67 acres for development around the golf course and gave land for school construction.


In 1937, Berry Field opened east of town in Donelson which is now the Metropolitan Nashville International Airport. It was built in conjunction with the Works Progress Administration and named in honor of Col. Harry S. Berry, state administrator of the WPA.]


In addition, Woodmont School (elementary) opened in 1931 and operated until 1982. The school building torn down in 1986, and Woodmont Park established the next year. See C. Sneed House/ Windy Hill Farm


Sources:

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