A history lesson in Antioch

One year ago, we ran a little story that was a bit of an experiment. It was the first thing we published on AntiochTenn.com and it was never really intended for reading. Primarily, it was to experiment with the new platform and make sure everything was in working order.  Celebrating a year, we thought we’d republish this very simple story.

History runs deep in Antioch

One primary site is Cane Ridge Cumberland Presbyterian Church, which was admitted to the National Register of Historic Places on Dec. 12, 1976. The church is located on Old Hickory Boulevard in Cane Ridge.

Cane Ridge Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

Cane Ridge Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

The current church was built in 1859 on property donated in 1826 by Edwin Austin and Thomas Boaz. Prior to the church, a log cabin existed on the property, but was replaced when the church was constructed.

The adjacent cemetery has a number of old graves in it alongside more recent burials. Among them is Isaac Johnson (April 14, 1761 – June 18, 1839). He fought in the American Revolution as a member of the North Carolina Militia. In 1800, he moved to Davidson County (at least one conflicting report says Wilson County) and was appointed a Captain in the Cumberland College Regiment of the Tennessee Militia by Governor John Sevier in May, 1810.

The historic marker indicates that one of the best known preachers at the church may have been Hugh Bone Hill (1801-1866), a popular Cumberland Presbyterian minister working in middle Tennessee, primarily Wilson County, during the mid 1800s.

The Hays-Kiser House, 834 Reeves Road, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 and is now maintained by the U.S. National Park Service. The home was originally constructed in 1795 by Charles Hays, who lived in the house from 1795 until his death in 1854.

Hays was a wealthy farmer who donated land to build a school in Antioch, as well as to build Baptist Church of Antioch, which he founded.

The Hays-Kiser House in Antioch.

The Hays-Kiser House in Antioch.

According to the form nominating the house to the National Register for Historic Places, the Hays-Kiser House is one of the last remaining 18th century homes in Tennessee.

“It is unusually sophisticated for a frontier house, bearing close resemblance in detail to East Coast houses of the period,” the nomination form states.

It also said the chief significance of the house is the “fine interior mill work.” It notes the mantels and chair rails, which were carved in the “punch, gouge, and drill” technique commonly seen in Pennsylvania and North Carolina in the late 1700s. Also of note is the original paint, which simulates marble and mahogany, is preserved in the end wall on the second floor.