Walk a Mile: South Nolensville Road and Lake Providence | walk a mile

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Once a month, resident journalist and historian JR Lind will choose an area of ​​the city to examine with a photographer. With his Walk a Mile column, he will walk a one-mile stretch of this area, exploring the history and character of the neighborhood, its developments, current homes and businesses, and what makes it a unique part of Nashville. If you have a suggestion for a future Walk a Mile, email [email protected]


The road: From its intersection with Haywood Lane, north on Nolensville Road. Right on Taylor then left on Goins. Left on Nolensville, then return to the start.

Cranes: 0

Discontinued scooters: 0 (although one spotted in use)


The section of Nolensville Road south of Edmondson Pike is short of traffic lights. This is no doubt welcome for the legion of commuters who use the road to get downtown. Steep ridges border Nolensville here as it follows valleys cut by streams – some, like Sevenmile, still exist; others buried under the road or converted into sewers only occasionally rise from the ground. It dives and arches gently and largely uninterrupted.

Given the paucity of sidewalks and the almost complete absence of marked crosswalks, it’s clear why the good folks at local advocacy group Walk Bike Nashville focus so much of their time on Nolensville — especially since it There is a relatively high number of pedestrians, either making their entire journey via boot-leather or, at least, shuffling to bus stops.

Haywood Lane howls down a hill – topped by the sprawling Art Pancake campus from which a surprisingly comprehensive equipment rental empire is run – to a stoplight near a Bank of America and d a CVS. There is a Salvadoran market and restaurant nearby, and a Thai restaurant. Sulav’s international market has a Kurdish name and Kurdish signage, but promises (in Spanish) many products aimed at people in Mexico and Central America as well. It also has a European Union flag, so maybe there are products from Malta or Latvia too. Sulav shares his gang with a vape shop (of course) and a cash-advance storefront (even more unfortunate).

What’s not in this mix of international trade is a goddamn crosswalk. Or a sidewalk of noticeable length. Traversing Nolensville here requires a perilous real-life, high-stakes game Frog but on the east side of the street, the reward: the magnificent turquoise edifice of Taqueria Mexico Tennessee and the equally intense orange of Tennessee Quick Cash. There’s also the rather calm kelly green by comparison of an O’Reilly Auto Parts.

At the corner of Nolensville and Taylor Road, Genesis Fresh Produce (a clever tagline: “Quality From the Beginning”) occupies a quirky building that looks like it was designed by three committees operating over decades. Nevertheless, Genesis offers a nice selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, as evidenced by its very friendly Instagram page. Somewhere nearby, someone is cooking something, the smell emanating from Taylor.

There is no transition between Nolensville and Taylor. The change is brutal and dramatic. The bustle and business of Nolensville immediately give way to a road that might as well be Pegram. Taylor is heavily shaded with rich, verdant undergrowth that creeps into the right-of-way. It’s incredibly quiet after the hustle and bustle of Nolensville. And it goes straight up a hill.

Where there are houses – there were more, as indicated by the truncated alleys that appear on occasion – none bear the splash paints of the Nolensville trade. Instead, they are mostly simple clapboards in a neutral color, again more suited to more rural settings.

Alas, there is a bit of suburban creep. After the overgrowth of trees gives a bit at the top of the hill, a brick house more associated with donut county sits on quite a lot of land, also more associated with donut county. The owner, trying to beat the impending June heat, completes what must have been a monumental mowing job.

Opposite the spring-cleaning detritus left in the ditch—a tube TV, outdated furniture—a rocky outcrop of a vacant lot doesn’t look like it’s been vacant for so long. A relatively maintained shed is against the rear property line, and the grass and weeds have yet to take over. A preview of what could happen is just up the street.

On Old Goins Road, things are not new. They are new. They are tall. They are skinny. And there are more to come. On Goins (running Goins?), there are more of the same, although some existing stocks survive. On the north side of the road, there is no construction, old or new. The dense undergrowth hides what lies below, which can be anything from a steep slope to… just more undergrowth. No doubt the ticks would be delighted if someone ventured to take a look. Either way, the property is owned by a developer who received zoning approval for 99 multi-family units in 2020. No building permits were withdrawn and the only visible resident is a male rabbit, undisturbed by the curious human. Opposite the small feeding mammal is Nu-Style Beauty & Barber.

Truist Bank has a branch in Goins and Nolensville with a really useless number of parking spaces – unless everyone in the county is banking there simultaneously. Officially, the property is owned by 3NB LLC. Truist merged with SunTrust, which consumed Third National in 1986. Why bother updating the paperwork in a world where bank mergers are increasingly common?

Just to the northwest, the invaluable K&S World Market sits alongside a series of fairly stereotypical businesses: used cars, used tires, used cars, hair salon. There is a new cocina opening where there once was a soul-food joint near the intersection of Nolensville and Providence Heights (like many streets in the area, a dead end).

The ancient – and rarely used today – name for the area was Lake Providence, which takes its name from the Lake Providence Missionary Baptist Church, which still meets in Nolensville, but two and a half miles south after that the road has become a pike.

After emancipation, many former slaves opened farms and dairies in the area and began to meet and read the gospel in each other’s homes. According to the church, suddenly a man named Reverend Larry Thompson arrived and organized the congregation, first meeting under an oak tree and then building the little church. Assured that his fledgling congregation would survive, he resigned and traveled to Indian Territory to preach the good news there.

The church lent its name to the community (there is no existing lake – of course there could have been before the paving). Its members have given their name to many roads in the region. These days, the former location of Lake Providence Missionary Baptist is noted with a historical marker. The property itself houses a car dealership (of course).

A little further south is a more recent Christian community in Nashville than the Baptists, but with a much longer denominational heritage. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church of Debre Keranio Medhanialem is the local congregation of the largest branch of Eastern Orthodoxy, distinct from both Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. Incredibly, this is the second time Walk a Mile will include a brief explanation of the Christological controversy that dates back to the Council of Chalcedon in 451. In short, the Eastern Orthodox churches are Miaphysite, believing that the humanity and divinity of Jesus are united in a single character.

The Monophysite churches, which tie themselves to the Chalcedonian ruling, believe that the divine and human natures of Jesus are separate but united in one body. The difference is so tenuous—both sides agree that there isn’t much space between them—that from time to time the two sides discuss crafting some kind of unifying theology. It’s been going on for almost 1,800 years, but who knows? A solution could be moments away.

To the south and west side of the street, charter school powerhouse Valor has a campus nearly rivaling the size of the Pancake Kingdom. Valor even has a crosswalk and signal. Unfortunately the signal, during these non-school times, is perpetually flashing yellow – so that’s another biped edit Frog make the crossing.

On a pedestal that no longer holds its lamp post: a piece of cardboard riddled with the neat calligraphy of an HVAC worker marking the lengths of ducts and the locations of vents for a project. Nearby: a supermercado with a rad luchador-themed neon sign advertising Modelo. Also nearby is a sign for the home of Squire and Lucinda Pratt. The Pratts were obviously loved by their children (who paid for the sign). The 1940 census tells us that Squire was a farmer and Lucinda was a housekeeper.

Across the street, 1st Chance Auto & Repair greets drivers with a plastic palm tree and a building decked out in a livery that looks suspiciously like the flag of Norway, for some reason.

Truly, this stretch of Nolensville offers something for everyone. But crosswalks for no one.

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