The Whitland area neighborhood (located next to Elmington Park off of West End Ave.) Fall Home Tour kicked off on Saturday, Oct. 7, from 3 to 7 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 8, from 1 to 5 p.m.
Following the successful 2005 Whitland Area Home Tour which raised $1,000 for Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity, the Whitland neighborhood, invited the public to walk its tree-lined streets to tour nine historic homes and the recently renovated Fire Hall No. 17.
The Whitland neighborhood was once part of the Peach Blossom plantation, which became known as Whitland in the late 1800s. The land was sold and the neighborhood was created in the early 20th Century. Adding to the rich historical presence of the neighborhood is the burial site of Charles Dickinson, son-in-law to Capt Joseph Erwin, who was killed in 1806 by Andrew Jackson in a duel.
The neighborhood was also once home to entertainers Dinah Shore and Dawn Wells, who played Mary Ann in the popular sitcom “Gilligan’s Island,” as well as, a host of other well-known figures such as senators, mayors, poets, entertainers and sports figures.
“There has been extensive renovation to many of the homes in the neighborhood in recent years, and the character and charm of the neighborhood has actually been preserved and enhanced by these renovations,” stated Carolyn Greenfield, co-chair of Whitland’s home tour committee. “Our neighborhood is excited to open its homes to Nashville.”
The wide, tree-lined boulevard of Whitland Avenue and its quiet, family-friendly side streets boast an architectural diversity that ranges from stately mansions to comfortable bungalows. Touring the neighborhood is reminiscent of a time when trolley cars were the primary means of commuting to downtown Nashville. In fact, a trolley bus will provide free transportation throughout the neighborhood during the tour.
There are interesting points of information in the neighborhood:
- The neighborhood is the unmarked burial site of Charles Dickinson, son-in-law of Capt. Joseph Erwin, who was killed in 1806 by Andrew Jackson in a duel.
- The neighborhood was also once home to entertainers Dinah Shore and Dawn Wells, who played Mary Ann in the popular sitcom “Gilligan’s Island.”
- Trolley cars used to run through the neighborhood that commute downtown; trolleys provided free transportation throughout the neighborhood during the tour.
- A portion of the proceeds of this tour will benefit Nashville Area Habitat for Humanity.
THe Whitland Area Neighborhood Association was formed in 1980. the group dealt primarily with the Neighborhood Watch Crime Prevention Program, creek clean up and neighborhood social events.
In the past five years the Association has become more organized with by-laws, a steering committee and officers. It is now a non-profit organization.
The Association continues to grow and undertake new projects like a website, "Movies in the Dark" and the 2006 Fall Home Tour.