Rolling Acres Neighbors

Neighbhorhood History


Carolyn Morelli/Shelby Park

“ I moved into my home on Groves Park Road 25 years ago. This is my first and last home...I located the house by checking for all the conveniences. I wanted - stores, churches, schools, and bus service. I drove up and down the streets in this area until I found one for sale that I could see as a fun project to remodel into a warm cozy home for me and my son in a quiet peaceful neighborhood. The wonderful thing about this neighborhood is the friendly helpful neighbors who have always been there for me and my family. Even before RAN, we provided each other with a sense of trust and safety as we all looked out for each other whether we were at home or away. I enjoyed our block party [April 2002] and the opportunity to get acquainted with others in our area that I had not met before." — Carolyn Morelli
Carolyn is now serving as RAN Treasurer and has taken an interest in Shelby Park, collecting a number of articles and photographs for the RAN archives. The first organized recreational use of what is now Shelby Park was an amusement park with a roller coaster, shooting gallery, and other attractions owned by the Edgefield Land Company. The property was sold following the company's 1903 bankruptcy. Initial consideration as a public park was negative, with the view expressed by the Park Commissioners "that East Nashvillians did not want a public park near their homes." With rapid growth in the area, the residents of East Nashville asked the Commissioners to change their decision in 1909 and by 1911 the acquisition of two tracts totaling about 211 acres was completed. The park was opened for public use in 1912 with early attractions consisting of a decorative Dutch windmill which burned in 1940s, Sycamore Lodge later dismantled and moved from the Park, a Spanish style mission house for social activities, and a boathouse resembling a steamboat. War time uses by the armed forces are still reflected in the Naval Reserve Training Center. The public swimming pool was built and remained in use from 1932 until 1961. While much of the park was initially wooded and the aim was to preserve those scenic features, public demand for golf courses, athletic fields, playgrounds, and other uses such as the planned "bark park" have led to much of the land being used for active recreation. Shelby is actually the oldest municipal golf course in Nashville. The first golf club in West Nashville in 1901 ultimately became part of the Belle Meade Country Club in 1914 with play restricted to members. In 1919, H.G. Hill and others with the Chamber of Commerce urged the Park Board to open a municipal course available to all Nashvillians. Additional land comprising the "Hinds" tract was purchased at Shelby Park and in 1924 a nine-hole course was completed becoming the back nine when nine holes were added in 1930 on the "Tillman" tract purchased in 1927. The park map of 1932 shows the golf course covering much of the area south of Eastland that was later developed as the first section of Rolling Acres.

Posted by 542skyview on 12/03/2003
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