Fort Nashborough

The Bluff Station Settlement

Built in 1780 by James Robertson, this site was remodeled in the 1930's to relate Nashville’s history.

Fort Nashborough was originally built January 1st, 1780 by James Robertson and a group of pioneers who wished to settle along the Cumberland River. Robertson named the fort after Francis Nash, who fought with him during the battle of Alamance, the final battle of the War of the Regulation. The fort also went by the name Bluff Station Settlement and was the first European community in the modern Nashville city limits.

The task of building a fort was difficult. Settlers had to cross the Cumberland River, which was frozen at the time, and begin the process of settling in a new territory. After months of laboring, the fort was constructed and the people of Fort Nashborough were attacked by a Native American tribe known as the Chickamaugas. Europeans settled on land that these people had lived on for generations and many Native Americans were concerned about further European expansion. Settlers would baracade themselves behind the fortified walls and blocked doors of the fort for safety from Native American attack. In 1792, after years of fighting, the fort was taken over and destroyed by Native Americans. Roberston’s brothers had been captured and killed. However, he managed to escape death himself. Robertson was later named lieutenant colonel commandant of the Metro District. President George Washington also appointed him brigadier general of the United States Army of the same region.

One hundred and thirty eight years later, in 1930, the federal government, as part of one of President Roosevelt’s works projects, financed a small replica near what was once Fort Nashborough. In 1960, the replica fort was replaced by the city of Nashville with a new fort due to safety concerns. Many Middle Tennessee schools took trips to this location for generations until the buildings once again needed to be replaced for safety concerns in 2013. The third remodeling process began in 2015.

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170 1st Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37201