Before the Cumberland River had carved as deeply into the land as it is today, this area had been part of the river’s floodplain, giving it rich soil, that was well watered by the neighborhoods’s many small streams, including those that join together to form Cooper’s Creek today.
The area that the neighborhood encompasses is on part of the ancestral home of the Tsalaguwetiyi (Cherokee, East), and the Shawandasse Tula (Shawnee). Previous to that, it was settled by the indigenous people that were part of what is now known as the Mississippian culture, who were well known as mound builders. One of these mounds was previously in the northern part of the neighborhood. An early settler built their home on it, and it was then eventually razed for development and was located in the area near Home Depot / Briley Parkway.
When Europeans came to permanently settle the area, it became part of John Evan’s 1786 land grant, which was later purchased by William William’s in 1805. In 1818, Williams sold the part of his land that was on the west side of what is now Gallatin Pike to his brother, Josiah Williams. It was Josiah Williams who first called the farm Maplewood for the many maple trees that grew there.
Unfortunately the farm was one of the many farms in the area whose success was a result of the knowledge and hard labor of enslaved persons. After the civil war, the Maplewood farm and land passed through several hands, including some former slave-traders-turned-land-speculators after the Civil War, until finally the farm was purchased and expanded in the late 1880’s, by Nashville businessman and railroad developer Jere Baxter.
Under his ownership the farm became a well-known livestock and horse farm, and eventually ended up being 1000+ acres, and at one time extended all the way to Dickerson Pike. The farm even had its own railway station near Broadmoor. The Baxter’s residence was near the center of the current Maplewood Neighborhood, and its driveway is what is now Curdwood Blvd. The mansion was located on Curdwood about halfway between Burrus and the railroad tracks.
Jere Baxter eventually sold the farm to the Maplewood Suburban Home Company for development for a subdivision. This was the first subdivision planned in what is now Inglewood, but due to financial problems, it was not the first one built. (The first to be built was Inglewood Place.) By the 1920’s the last pieces of the Baxter’s farm and house were sold, thus ending the long history of Maplewood Farm.
For many years, during and after the farm’s existence, the area was called Maplewood, and the name Maplewood could be found side by side with the name Inglewood on many old maps. Eventually, the neighborhood became part of what is currently known as Inglewood.
Today the natural barriers created by the railroad tracks, and 3 major roads keep through traffic to a minimum, resulting in a quiet, walkable neighborhood full of warmth and community.