The Rise of Nashville
After the Civil War, the resumption of river and railroad shipping made Nashville a transportation and commercial hub for the upper South.
Panel 1 shows three and four-story brick warehouses along Front Street (now 1st Avenue) where goods could be conveniently off-loaded and stored. Customers then made retail purchases on Market Street (now 2nd Avenue).
Panel 2 depicts Nashville's first baseball park, Sulphur Dell, located near the old salt lick in north Nashville. Legend has it that baseball was introduced in Nashville by Union soldiers in 1862. By the 1870s the city was home to both white and African-American teams. Nashville entered the minor leagues in 1886 with the Nashville Americans, succeeded by the Nashville Vols from 1901-1961. Tom Wilson started the Nashville Elite Giants for the Negro Southern League in 1926 and transferred them to the Negro National League in 1930. They played at his Wilson Park, near the Fairgrounds, and later at Sulphur Dell. Also pictured is Dick Sisler, who managed the Nashville Vols in the 1950s.
Panel 3 chronicles the 1888 arrival of electronic streetcars and extension of the line out into the Nashville suburbs as far as Glendale Park, a popular family outing destination. By 1910 the lines stretched to Greenwood Park, an African-American recreational park opened by Preston Taylor in 1905.
Panel 4 introduces the ballroom of the fashionable Maxwell House hotel, completed in 1869, an important social meeting place in the downtown Nashville "Men's Quarter" business district.
Panel 5 portrays the Ryman Auditorium, built in 1892 as the Union Gospel Tabernacle by riverboat captain Thomas Ryman. The great hall that Ryman created for "tent meeting" gospel revivals was converted to the home of the Grand Ole Opry in 1943. Ridley has placed a fiddle and bow at left and included Opry announcer Judge George D. Hay, speaking into his WSM radio microphone, at right.
Alcove 10: Tennessee Centennial