Franklin Pike’s Historic Isola Bella

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Whenever I drive through Brentwood, I peek through the gates of Isola Bella. Are you ever curious about this antebellum home just south of Concord Road?


I missed this year’s Brentwood Historic Home tour, but I’ve found the next best thing online…

Isola Bella’s real estate listing, complete with 14 photos!

Forget the mega mansions across the street–if I had a spare 3.9 million dollars, I’d buy this historic Brentwood home in a heartbeat!

Franklin Pike: the Governor’s Club of its day?

In the 1800’s, graceful plantation homes like Isola Bella were the latest word in Brentwood real estate. Prominent families like the McGavocks lined Franklin Pike. Large estates included stables, barns, slave quarters and other outbuildings. Kitchens would have been housed in separate buildings, not the glossy granite room shown in Isola Bella’s MLS listing.

—>A recent Tennessean article estimates that Isola Bella and similar period homes originally contained 6,000 square feet; in contrast, over 90% of Williamson County’s modern homes for sale could be considered mansions.

I don’t know about you, but I can never read the historical markers from my car! I zoomed in on Isola Bella’s, so I could share its history:

isola-bella-marker.jpg“Built about 1840 by James and Narcissa Merrit Johnston on land that had belonged to David Johnston, pioneer to Middle Tennessee and grandfather of the builder. During the Civil War the Johnston home was passed by the Confederate and Federal Armies after the battles of Franklin and Nashville. It served briefly as headquarters of Gen. John B. Hood and his staff before the conflict at Nashville and as a hospital after that ill-fated battle on Dec. 15-16, 1864.”

—>Take our virtual walking tour of the Nashville Zoo’s historic Croft House and farm.

—>Interested in more Brentwood historic homes? Here’s a link to the Brentwood Library’s archival files of historic buildings.