Things you didn't know about Belle Meade, Tennessee

Belle Meade is an affluent suburb of Nashville, Tennessee that is known for its beautiful homes, scenic landscapes, and rich history. While many are familiar with its reputation as an upscale community, there are quite a few interesting facts about Belle Meade that may surprise you. Here are some things you likely didn’t know about this unique city.

Things you didn't know about Belle Meade, Tennessee

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belle_Meade,_Tennessee

Origins of the Name

The name “Belle Meade” is derived from the French phrase “beau pré” meaning “beautiful meadow.” The area got this name because of the lush, fertile grounds that made it ideal for farming in its early days. The original Belle Meade Plantation was established in 1807 and grew to over 5,200 acres, making it one of the largest and most prosperous plantations in the region at the time.

Renowned Thoroughbred History

In the mid-19th century, Belle Meade Plantation became world-famous for its thoroughbred horse breeding operation. Under the guidance of William Giles Harding, the plantation bred many champion racehorses including the legendary Bonnie Scotland, one of the most successful sires in American racing history. The plantation’s red and white silks became iconic colors in the sport. Even today, Belle Meade’s equestrian roots are celebrated annually with events like the showcase of antique carriages.

Presidential Ties

Two former U.S. Presidents have direct ties to Belle Meade. In 1837, Andrew Jackson Donelson, who was the son-in-law and private secretary to President Andrew Jackson, co-founded the Maxwell House Coffee Company at the Belle Meade Plantation. Jackson himself frequently visited the plantation. Over a century later in 1992, former President Jimmy Carter wrote his memoir “Turning Point” while staying at a private home in Belle Meade.

Highest Concentration of Wealth

With a population of around 3,000 residents, Belle Meade has the highest per capita concentration of millionaires in the state of Tennessee. Many prominent business leaders, CEOs, entertainers, and athletes call the city home thanks to its beautiful scenery, top-notch schools, and lavish estates and mansions. The entire city carries a certain air of opulence befitting its incredibly wealthy populace.

Modern Film Location

Despite its historic roots, Belle Meade has managed to stay modern and relevant. In recent years, it has served as the filming location for several major movies and TV shows. Scenes from the hit ABC drama Nashville were shot at various locations in Belle Meade, showcasing the suburb’s stunning architecture and greenery. The Lifetime movie Harry and Meghan: A Royal Romance depicting the courtship of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle also utilized Belle Meade as a stand-in for the English countryside.

Conservation Efforts

With its rich equestrian and farming legacy, it’s no surprise that Belle Meade places a strong emphasis on land conservation and environmental protection. The city contains over 700 acres of parks and green spaces within its borders. Organizations like the Belle Meade Community Fund work to preserve historic sites as well as acquire and maintain more nature reserves and open spaces.

So while Belle Meade is certainly known for its affluence and old money atmosphere, the city has a truly unique history and identity that sets it apart from other wealthy enclaves. From its ties to presidential history and the world of horse racing to its modern roles in Hollywood productions, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to Belle Meade, Tennessee. Learn more 10 Reasons Why People Love Belle Meade, Tennessee

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the origin of the name “Belle Meade”?
A: The name comes from the French phrase “beau pré” meaning “beautiful meadow.” The area got this name because of its lush, fertile grounds that were ideal for farming plantations in the early 1800s.

Q: Why was the Belle Meade Plantation famous for thoroughbred horses?
A: Under William Giles Harding’s guidance in the mid-1800s, the plantation bred many champion racehorses including Bonnie Scotland, one of the most successful sires in American racing history. Belle Meade’s red and white horse racing silks became iconic colors in the sport.

Q: Which two former U.S. Presidents have connections to Belle Meade?
A: Andrew Jackson frequently visited Belle Meade Plantation, as his son-in-law and private secretary co-founded the Maxwell House Coffee Company there in 1837. Over 150 years later in 1992, Jimmy Carter wrote his memoir “Turning Point” while staying at a private home in Belle Meade.

Q: What distinguishes Belle Meade’s affluence?
A: With only around 3,000 residents, Belle Meade has the highest per capita concentration of millionaires in the state of Tennessee. The whole city exudes opulence with lavish mansions and wealthy business leaders, CEOs, and celebrities calling it home.

Q: How has Belle Meade been utilized in recent popular media?
A: Scenes from the TV drama Nashville and the Lifetime movie Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance were filmed in Belle Meade, showcasing the suburb’s stunning architecture and greenery as a stand-in for other scenic locations.

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