Driving Tour

4 hours/ $175 per trip/ 1-6 passengers 

Climb aboard Jim’s Town & Country van for a fascinating adventure through Nashville past and present. In addition to the most popular destinations, he’ll talk his way through the city, telling you about other points of interest.

At Old City Cemetery (est. 1822), learn about the area’s earliest inhabitants, the arrival of settlers in 1780 and notables who lived in Nashville through the years.

Although many off the Civil War conflicts occurred miles south of the city, the Battle of Nashville (1864) marked a monumental moment in Union strength. Jim has studied this battle for many years and has walked the battlefield more times than he can count. He will display relics from his personal collection, unearthed from the fields.

Battle of Nashville
Tennessee archives

Learn about the city’s Confederate leanings, the struggles within a divided city, the life of soldiers on both sides and the decisive battle. As you visit Fort Negley, the most formidable inland fortress outside of Washington, D.C., you’ll have a grand view of the city as you learn its history.

Next you’ll visit the grounds of the magnificent Belmont Mansion, located in the heart of Belmont University. The former centerpiece of a 177-acre ante-bellum estate, you’ll hear stories of the shrewd matriarch Adelicia Acklen, once the wealthiest woman in the South, often called the “real Scarlett O’Hara.”

A few miles south is Shy’s Hill, site of the bloodiest battle in the Nashville area. From this vantage point, visualize how the troops engaged and how the Rebels reacted to their defeat.

In reflection of the terrible cost of the war on both sides, you’ll stop at the commemorative statue called “Peace.”

Jim changes his tune when moves from Civil War history to the tales of Music Row, exploring its astounding contributions to American culture. Just why is Nashville called Music City? you might be surprised at the answer. Equally surprising is the broad range of artists who’ve recorded here. Along the way you may hear a few songwriter/musician jokes.

Nashville train wreck at Dutchman's Curve

If time permits, you may vsit Dutchman’s Curve in West Nashville, site of the worst train wrect in US history which occurred on July 9, 1918 and see stunning photos of the disaster. Jim will also speak from his own experience on more recent Nashville disasters: the tornado of 1998 and the Great Flood of 2010.

Heading back toward downtown, you’ll stop at the Parthenon in Centennial Park, centerpiece of the 1897 Centennial Exposition, a “world’s fair” type event celebrating 100 years of Tennessee statehood. Jim will show you photos of the event and discuss the construction of the replica which is identical in size to the original structure in Athens, Greece.

As a graduate of Vanderbilt University, Jim will tell you about Cornelius Vanderbilt and the founding of this fine school. We will drive past Kirkland Hall, the original administration building, constructed in 1877 and drive by a statue of “The Commodore.

The final stop, if time allows, will be Marathon Motor Car factory building that functioned from 1910-1914. These days it’s a major destination featuring a music venue, a car museum, an art museum, a distillery and gift shops including the “American Pickers” Antique Archaeology store.