A significant piece of Brentwood, Tennessee's history has gotten a million-dollar facelift. Thanks to the city's efforts to restore this gorgeous property, it will be made available for residents to enjoy in the future.
Ravenswood mansion was built by James Hazard Wilson II for his wife Emeline in 1825. In the mid-1800's, Mr. Wilson was one of the wealthiest men in the state. He managed cotton plantations in three states, a Mississippi River steamboat line, and he was a stakeholder in road and railroad companies, including the railroad that brought life to Brentwood during his years. He also personally funded soldiers during the Civil War and built two other historic Brentwood mansions, Century Oak and Inglehame, which he gave to two of his nine surviving children.
In 1961 Mr. and Mrs. Reece Smith purchased the home and lovingly restored it. Over the years they hosted many guests and events on the property. When they passed away, two of their sons came to the city of Brentwood and asked them to buy the property to preserve its history. In December of 2010, the city purchased the 320 acres that includes the home, and they recently purchased 80 more acres to finish out their plans.
According to Brentwood-tn.org, "The park, to be known as the Marcella Vivrette Smith Park, will be [the] largest in Brentwood as well as the City's largest ever land purchase."
Now that the home and property have undergone extensive restoration, residents of Brentwood and the surrounding area will be able to enjoy the beautiful property for years to come. The home will be available for rent for weddings and other events, and the property will host hiking trails, athletic fields, picnic areas, and more.
According to The Tennessean, the Brentwood Historic Commission will be hosting an invitation-only "Coming Out Ball" on August 28, 2014. The money raised at this event will go toward finishing out the furnishings for Ravenswood.
For a detailed look at the plans for Marcella Vivrette Smith Park, click here.
To see more pictures of the home, click here.