Fort Nashborough

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Fort Nashborough (1779-1794) - A settler fort first established in 1779 in present day Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee. Named Fort Nashborough in 1782 after Revolutionary War General Francis Nash. Abandoned in 1794. Also known as Bluff Station and Bluff Fort.

Fort Nashborough Scale Model at the Tennessee State Museum.

History of Fort Nashborough

Established in 1779 on two acres of land on a limestone bluff above the Cumberland River by John Donelson and James Robertson. The palisaded log fort was built entirely of wood without metal nails or fixtures.

The initial party of settlers led by James Robertson arrived overland on 25 Dec 1879 from Fort Patrick Henry to pepare for the later arrival of a second group that included women and children led by John Donelson. This second group traveled by river and found themselves under attack by hostile Cherokee Indians along the way.

The two groups were reunited in the spring of 1780 and began to settle the land around present day Nashville. The community and the main defense were named Nashborough after Revolutionary War General Francis Nash. The settlers established a number of fortified "Stations" on their individual claims to provide quick safe havens in case of attack including:

Nashborough Settler Stations

These stations usually began as loopholed log cabins and sometimes grew into palisaded groups of buildings protected with blockhouses. This was the case for the main Fort Nashborough.

The Cherokee led by Chief Dragging Canoe attacked the fort on 2 Apr 1781. The attackers managed to lure most of the men out of the fort and cut them off. The women released fort's dogs on the attackers, allowing the men to get back inside safely.

The attacks decreased in the following years and the fort was abandoned as a fortification about 1794.

Current Status

Site of the Fort Nashborough Replica, now leveled (May 2016).

The Official Park Website indicates that the Fort Nashborough reproduction is temporarily closed to the public for repairs (22 Dec 2014). Newspaper accounts indicate that the reproduction will be demolished and replaced with an "open plaza" and rely on touch screens instead of enclosed buildings. Fort Nashborough historic site featured a reproduction of the stockaded fort including two blockhouses. First reconstructed in 1930 and rebuilt in 1962. Marker at the reconstruction site. 14 may 2016 Update: The Fort Nashborough reproduction has been demolished and all signs of it removed. A chain link fence encloses the site and a sign indicates that an interpretive center is to be built there, no construction activity. The marker has also been removed.

Location: Riverfront Park, 170 First Ave. North, Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee. The fort map point is the coordinates of the reproduction fort. As of May 2016 the site has been leveled and no construction is underway.

Maps & Images

Lat: 36.16428 Long: -86.77543

  • Multi Maps from ACME
  • Maps from Bing
  • Maps from Google
  • Elevation: 423'

See Also:



Visited: 14 May 2016

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