Places

History of “The Nations” in West Nashville

There’s an area in West Nashville called “The Nations.” The moniker comes from the Chickasaw Nations that originally lived in the area during the 18th century. They would trade with the early settlers, becoming early allies in 1780.

The Treaty Oak, which was at the corner of Louisiana and 61st, was the site where a pact guaranteed the rights of the Chickasaw in exchange for protecting the settlement during Nashville’s early days.

When people started moving to the suburbs in the 1950s, The Nations underwent a long decline period. By the 1980s, you didn’t go into the area because crime and drug activities were high.

Since then, a vibrant renewal has happened as infill development, building rehabilitation, and gentrification have occurred. Many of the vintage Victorian and Craftsman homes are now back to their previous glory. 

Several Other Reasons for the Name Are Also Plausible

When the area was getting built, a prison was placed in that spot in West Nashville. The local story is that as the families move there to be close to their loved ones, a melting pot of ethnicities developed in the community. 

It’s kind of like saying Christmas is a Christian holiday, but it is based on the traditions of other cultures before it.

Another element to consider is that the streets have state names in The Nations. People could start giving the area that moniker because it was representative of the United States, although the boundaries have expanded over time.

In any event, you’ll find some unique and fun opportunities awaiting you with a visit here. When you know the history of The Nations, it’s easier to understand the atmosphere you’ll find.