Early Nashville

Old sign by American Red Cross requesting more people to join the organization.

History of Nashville's Chapter of the American Red Cross, Pt. 1

The Red Cross is a storied and dedicated organization that spans decades, continents, wars, and various disasters. The American Red Cross was founded in 1881 by Clara Barton. And though the Nashville Chapter received their official charter in 1917, their relief work for local troops and citizens began long before then. In honor of their dedicated service, next month, Metro Archives will be exhibiting artifacts and documents from our American Red Cross collection. This is part 1 of their history, stay tuned next month for part 2.

East Nashville Fire aftermath

The Great East Nashville Fire

On March 22, 1916, a fire raged through East Nashville. By the end of day, more than 600 homes and businesses were destroyed by fire over 35 city blocks.

1882 Closing Exercises for the Nashville College for Young Ladies

A Little Old School for Women's History Month

I transferred to the Archives a month ago and I've been trying to learn all that I can about the Archive's collections. One of the coolest collections I recently stumbled upon is the small collection we have for the Nashville College for Young Ladies. In honor of Women's History Month, what better topic to discuss than women's education?

detail of a marriage certificate note

Solemnizing Marriages Not-So-Solemnly: Humor from a Justice of the Peace

When two people got married in Nashville during the 19th century, it was not unusual for the officiant to write something like, “I hereby certify that I solemnized the rights of matrimony between the above named” on the back of the marriage certificate, and sign it. Some of these notes are wordy and elaborate, some are short and sweet. In the case of Justice of the Peace Willie Barrow, the notes also contained flashes of dry wit and sarcasm.

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