Brandi & Candace
H. G. Hill Park
Updated: Sep 22, 2020
The story and history of this park is wild! Buckle up!
Horace Greely Hill opened the first H. G. Hill grocery store downtown Nashville in 1892, and within forty years had 600 grocery stores in six states. Instead of renting, he decided to buy the properties his stores stood on whenever possible, creating the H. G. Hill Realty company. The property at 6604 Charlotte Pike (just adjacent to the modern-day park) was a H. G. Hill grocery store that was built in 1966, and replaced in 2008 with a Publix... read into that what you will.
So, in 1988, the land was donated from H. G. Hill Realty Company to Metro Nashville Parks and Recreation. At the time, this was all wooded. There was, of course, a clause. That Metro Parks board members would have to spend the night in a haunted house...
No, this clause stated that the gifted land "had to be for public use". At this time, the area was wooded. At the same time, a few descendants of James Robertson, the founder of Nashville, were working to figure out what to do with their documents and artifacts that was his from the 1700s. Robertson had once had a log cabin at 5904 Robertson Ave, 37209 (where a microfilm company sits today). His artifacts were sitting at a library, not getting a lot of use. So, in 1996, a replica of his cabin was built in this wooded area at H. G. Hill Park, at 6730 Charlotte Ave. Tours of the cabin today are available by appointment, run by the West Nashville Founders Association. But their online footprint is so small, I struggled to figure out how to get an appointment.
Anyways, progress came. The side opposite of the wooded area got a Walmart in 1991, and the wooded area that stretch two miles east of it began to shrink as the city began to develop more. In 2004, the Metro Nashville City Council approved the development of the Nashville West Shopping Center. This caused a lot of fuss over what would happen with this property, as the city discussed moving the cabin, and installing fountains and an amphitheater. Meanwhile, citizens tried to use that original clause to stop the shopping center entirely from coming up, arguing a shipping center was not "for public use". The city of Nashville finally exchanged the land to the Nashville West development company in exchange for their promise to build a new park. Committees were formed to watch the project heavily and ensure the original clause was being honored so that the H. G. Hill family didn't take the land back. Then money got a little tight, and the park renovations finally got done in 2010.
We didn't get any fountains, though.
And here we are today. 4 acres of park, against the backdrop of retail conglomerates. A rustic replica cabin, back dropped with office buildings. It's sweet, it's modern, it'd definitely where tradition meets progress. H. G. Hill Park is the perfect park for this version of the new west Nashville. Walking the paved pathway around the perimeter was about .75 of a mile, but if you stop to shop, you'll walk a lot more. You can also stop and grab a bite or a beverage and picnic in the greenery. There's a small playground, a cabin, and some art by way of guitars (which, along with catfish, I'm sure will get it's own post someday). In the meantime, I'll keep an eye out for those promised fountains.
Name: H. G. Hill Park
Address: 6710 Charlotte Pike, Nashville, TN 37209
History: 4 out of 5
Walkability: 4 out of 5
Kid Like-ability- 3 out of 5
Date Night-ability- 3 out of 5
Charm: 5 out of 5