Join us for the next Pot Luck! Next meeting is Monday, October 2, 2023 at 6:00 pm
In 1908, the Public Schools in Nashville were looking to build 12 new school buildings. Cane Ridge School had met in several other buildings before finding its final home at the current location
Students in grades 1-10 attended school at the two room schoolhouse. In 1923, it was changed to serve only grades 1-8.
There was no air conditioning or running water in the building. A large wooden stove provided heat. There were outhouses in back. The older students helped gather wood for the stove, carried water from the well, and sharpened the pencils by whittling them.
Once the well was condemned, water had to be brought in by large jugs from the city to ensure the children had safe water to drink. Because there was no cafeteria or way to prepare food, all the children brought sack lunches from home.
Once the student count reached 80, a third teacher was added. Children rode a bus or walked to school from their area farms. Students attended the school until 1951, when the Public Schools consolidated the smaller schools into the Antioch cluster
The building has been used as an election polling place since it was built.
In 1921, the community clubs began hosting meetings of interest to local residents. Cane Ridge Community Club provided items to the Red Cross to help fill stockings for Christmas. Area farmers would use the building as a meeting place to discuss concerns. The building also served as a place for eligible men to enlist in the military draft.
In 1932, a P.T.A. was formed and they sponsored plays as fundraisers to provide funds for the children of Cane Ridge School. The P.T.A. was very active, and although it started with just enough members to meet the Association criteria, the membership continually grew and they were successful in raising funds to help pay for lunches, clothing, and medical care.
In 1955, the Davidson County Council of Community Organizations was formed, and Cane Ridge Community Club joined with other clubs around Nashville to broaden the scope of their community outreach. The various clubs meet together once every calendar quarter and the Council has annually sponsored booths at the Tennessee State Fair and the Davidson County Master Gardeners Association.
In 2014, Cane Ridge Community Club was officially recognized by the Metropolitan Council by Resolution No RS2014-1187
Throughout the years, many community members have been active in volunteering with the Red Cross, P.T.A., Home Demonstration Clubs, elections, development, 4-H, Girl Scouts, and much more. Working together to build a better community has been a long standing tradition of Cane Ridge Community Club. There are no dues required, and no roll is called. To be a member, a citizen simply attends a meeting and signs in on a written sheet.
After the school 's closure in 1951, the community was very interested in continuing use of the building. In the 1970's, members of Cane Ridge Community Club wanted to make improvements to the building. After securing a lease for long term use, funds were raised to add a basement.
Through the years, there have been many improvements to the property. These have included a new roof, flag pole, crape-myrtles, restrooms, central heat and air, commercial grade ice machine, full kitchen, paved parking lot, paved sidewalk, and handicap ramp. The former playground has been replaced by a community garden.
While the original 2.5 acres belonged to the school, it was operated as a park under Metro Parks and Recreation Department. Upon his passing, Cecil R. Crawford gifted an additional 5 acres to Metro Parks so that the space would be a park along two major roads, Old Hickory Blvd and Cane Ridge Rd. There should remain the community center, and the property shall be for the benefit of the community. This was significant because Mr. Crawford had the foresight to preserve green space in an ever developing area of Southeast Nashville. The park has his name on a sign prominently displayed near the garden area on the corner of the two roads. Funds were also donated for the maintenance of the property. Presently, a group of volunteers arranges upkeep of the building along with the Metro Parks Department.
Beyond its origins as a two room school, the building has served as a meeting space for 4-H Clubs and many Girl Scout troops. High school students can volunteer and obtain community service hours. The Club provides small gifts to children at Christmas, has family friendly holiday pot lucks throughout the year, and offers use of the space as needed.
Cane Ridge Community Club has sponsored youth camps and provides school supplies and other items needed by area schools.
As of 2022, monthly pot lucks are still held on the first Monday of each month. The community is welcome, and many guests bring a side dish or dessert. Some monthly meetings have a guest speaker covering a wide range of topics of interest. Local Council Representatives frequently stop by and provide updates for their respective districts. The meetings are a wonderful way to meet neighbors and become informed.
First responders address safety concerns and other items of interest to the public. Safety meetings have been held annually for more specific concerns.
Many club members are currently active in attending area meetings concerning development. This group reviews proposed projects, rezoning requests, and keeps up with Nashville Council meetings. Meeting notifications are sent out to area residents via email and social media sites to keep the community informed and engaged.
When not being used as a public meeting space, the facility can be reserved by area residents for a fee.
Club members are active in collection drives, community service, and clean-up days around the Antioch and Cane Ridge areas.
There are still no dues to become a member. Many people interact or receive information by email or social media. A request to the Club email address or signing in on a written meeting attendance sheet are all that is required to join.
A Volunteer Board plans meetings, arranges for building maintenance, works with youth groups, and much more to keep the tradition of volunteering alive.
We are Girl Scouts from Troop 362, and have been meeting at Cane Ridge Community Club for many years. We are working on our Silver Award, and our project is to help share some of the history of this building. We spent a lot of time doing research and reading through scrapbooks, annual reports, and talking to Community Club members and former students. We hope you enjoy reading the highlights that we found and are sharing on this website so more people can learn about this historic site.
Community members are welcome to continue to contribute to this project by contacting Cane Ridge Community Club. The stories of today will become the past, and we would love to have them added and passed on to future historians!
- Callista L., Laila B. and Michaela H.
Mary Ellen Wayman attended Cane Ridge School for grades 1 - 8 from 1943 - 1951. She remembers drinking water from a well that was located in what is now a paved parking lot. The well was condemned, and jugs of water were brought to the school. Upon graduating from 8th grade, the class went to Maxwell House for a celebration. Basketball was played and practiced with separate teams for boys and girls. Her favorite memory was playing games like rock school, hopscotch, and red rover. Antioch High School consolidated three area schools, and she continued there until grade 12.
Mary Jane Turner is the daughter of Clay Turner. Like her father, she attended Cane Ridge School. She remembers three teachers, Miss Adelaide Cochran, Mrs. Smith, and Mrs. Battle. Her mother was President of the very active P.T.A. Most people in the area were farm owners and farm workers. She rode the bus to school, and said all the children brought their lunches. Mary Jane graduated from Cane Ridge School and became a teacher. In later years, she became an active member of Cane Ridge Community Club.
Charlie Paul attended Cane Ridge School and also graduated in 1951. He really didn't like school, even though he knew he had to go. He would much rather be doing anything else. He remembers the two room building, with wooden doors on sliders in the middle of what is now the large main room. One room was for grades 1, 2, and 3 and the other was for grades 4, 5, and 6. 7th and 8th graders used the front entrance area. He was a great whittler, and was chosen to sharpen the large pencils, which he enjoyed because he got to go outside on the front porch.
More information to come soon!
The building is a historical site. Due to the archival research of this project, we worked with the State of Tennessee's Archaeology Department to record the building as site #40DV736. Anyone doing research in the future on schools in the area will see the site, along with any other schools that have been officially documented, on a map.
We will share here once we receive the final report
Most of our information is contained in scrapbooks, written minutes, newspaper articles, interviews, and annual reports.
Below are links with additional information.
Davidson County Council of Community Clubs
Rutherford County history:
Cecil R Crawford Park
Lillian Brown Johnson, Historical Cane Ridge and Its Families Nashville: Blue and Gray Press, 1973, pp. 326-333. A copy of this book can be found at the Tennessee State Library and Archives building in Nashville, Tennessee
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