Hobson House

Oldest Home in the Edgefield Community

How the Civil War led to the Subdivision of East Nashville

The Hobson family moved from Virginia to East Nashville in 1807 and established a home on a track of land which stretched from the Cumberland River to Gallatin Pike. The house stands on 814 Woodland Street. In his will, William Hobson left one-third of his land, the land located in Edgefield on which the home and plantation rested, to his oldest son Nicholas Hobson. Nicholas Hobson returned to Nashville in 1828, a place which he called “but a little village of about 500 souls.” Upon his arrival in Nashville, Hobson became one of the most influential plantation owners in the city. Within two years, Hobson was working as a bookkeeper for the Nashville charter of the Bank of the United States. Six years after Hobson had moved to Nashville, he was the cashier for a new bank in Nashville which had over two-million dollars in capital. Finally, by 1853, Nicholas Hobson and his son-in-law had established the Bank of Nashville that “for convenience and comfort surpassed anything in Nashville.” However, banking was not the only way Nicholas Hobson attempted to support his community. In the 1850s, Hobson donated a portion of his land to erect a church known as Hobson’s Chapel as a memorial to his mother. The church was first erected on the corner of 10th and Main Street in the Edgefield community and now exists as Hobson United Methodist.

Despite his years of prosperity in East Nashville, Nicholas Hobson and his family would not escape ruin during the Civil War. The Hobsons’ misfortune began in 1857 when, due to mistrust of paper currency, the Bank of Nashville had to close its doors. Although the bank reopened, it never recovered its original wealth and status. During the Civil War, both the Hobson Home and Hobson Chapel were occupied by troops. The Hobson Home was opened to Confederate soldiers in Nashville as a safehouse against the Union army. Contraily, Hobson Chapel was used by the Union army to store and preserve meat for the Union troops.

Upon the conclusion of the Civil War, the Hobson family was left with no viable or profitable business, and they sold their Edgefield home in 1868, leaving behind a large Gothic mansion in the center of the Hobson’s property. The Gothic mansion was a symbol of the Hobsons’ former wealth and status and later stood as a reminder of the people who once inhabited the home. When the home was sold it was subdivided into twenty different lots for residents of Nashville to purchase and as such became one of the earliest subdivisions in Edgefield, one of the first subdivisions to arise in Edgefield. Today, the Hobson House has been renovated and turned into a concert venue.