Who We Are
The Braxton Lee Homestead Foundation has its beginnings in Feb 2018 when the 57 acre parcel of land was going to be sold to the Cheatham County Commission to build a new county jail, county transportation center, and school bus maintenance barn. The location of these projects was not suitable so close to this historic house and to the entrance of the town of Ashland City. A group of concerned Ashland City residents began to meet to strategize on how to stop the county jail/bus barn project from coming to fruition on the 57 acre parcel surrounding the Braxton Lee Homestead.
Through much local community, grass roots organizing efforts, pressure was put upon the Cheatham County Commissioners, County Mayor and School Board members to vote NO on funding the development. The citizen group was successful in stopping the proposed project on the 57 acres but was then faced with ongoing attempts by developers to buy the property for large residential development. This has kept the historic home in a continual state of risk of becoming surrounded by unsightly development.
The group of Ashland City residents began to meet regularly from Feb – May of 2018 to determine what could be done. The vision to ‘keep the land with the house’ began to develop into the current vision to purchase the 57 acres and the historic house with plans to include community gardens, as well as walking and biking trails. In addition, a new barn events center will be erected which will accommodate a variety of festivals, concerts, gardening and nature events, crafts fairs and much more.
In May 2018, members of the concerned group met with a local CPA and a local attorney to formulate a non-profit corporation and thus, “Braxton Lee Homestead Foundation” charter was formed and then filed with the Tennessee Secretary of State. The Braxton Lee Homestead Foundation was accepted by the Tennessee Secretary of State as an official non-profit corporation on June 1, 2018. We are 501(C)3 approved! In March of 2019, we received our IRS determination letter showing our designation as an official 501(C)3 organization!
“Our mission is to preserve the beauty and history of the Braxton Lee Homestead. We are committed to educating our residents, visitors and future generations by sharing our pioneer heritage as well as overseeing the revitalization of the homestead and preserving its surrounding beauty.”
—Braxton Lee Homestead Foundation, Inc., June 1, 2018
This property has a rich story to tell and we intend to be excellent stewards of this gem and its history and leave a legacy for our future residents.
The Braxton Lee Homestead, located off Smith Street, is a beautiful and historic piece of property that sits high atop a hill that offers an incredible view of Sydney’s Bluff, the Cumberland River Bridge, and overlooks Marrowbone Creek and the railroad trestle as you drive into the east side of Ashland City on Hwy 12 South.
The Homestead was purchased in 1796 and the home, reputed to be one of the first inhabited homes in Cheatham County was built in 1811. The home was made from large red cedar, ash and chestnut trees which were plentiful in the area. The logs are still intact and the original kitchen and smokehouse are still standing.
Braxton Lee was a very prominent, early settler of middle Tennessee, having moved west from Virginia in 1776. He operated a large plantation and provided supplies and food to riverboards on the Cumberland River. He was a former Justice of the Peace of (then) Davidson County, and was commissioned a Captain in the 20thTN Regiment in Davidson County in 1807. This homestead was one of the voting locations when they first voted to form a new county out of parts of Davidson, Robertson, Montgomery and Dickson Counties. The initial vote failed but it was later passed in 1856.
There are many descendants today scattered across numerous states. Related families include Hunter, Basford, Binkley, Jackson, Harris, Head, Hunt, Lenox, Peebles, Sanders, Stark, Teasley, Walker, Weakley and Wilson.
Board of Directors
Braxton Lee Homestead Foundation is governed by an elected Board of Directors.
Mary Weber (President)
Gerald Greer (Vice President)
Lori Hilliard (Secretary)
Larry Roberts (Treasurer)
Stacey Earle Stuart
Our board may be contacted at email@example.com