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Morgan Park Spring is typical of the abundant springs that existed in the Nashville area at its founding.


  • Sulphur fountain at Morgan Park, Nashville, Tennessee, between 1916 and 1935
  • Tennessee State Capitol from Morgan Park

Jean du Charleville (aka Charles Charleville) established a trading post in 1710 at a natural sulfur and saline spring near what is now Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. The natural salt lick attracted animals, which in turn attracted Native American hunters with whom the French could trade, and the area became known as "French Lick." This same portion of Nashville would later be known as Sulphur Spring Bottom and Sulphur Dell.[12] In 1769, French-Canadian hunter Timothy DeMonbreun began a series of trips up the Cumberland to Nashville and built a cabin near the lick to use as a base of operations for fur trapping during his visits to the area. DeMonbreun settled in Nashville permanently in 1788, and ran a tavern and mercantile business

Some early springs were known by the name of the landowner such as, Cockrill, Rains, Larkin and McNairy's Springs.   Others were named because of special features or acquired nicknames; Spout Spring, Deep Cave, Lockeland and Pioneer Springs.  McNairy's Spring came to be known as Judge's Spring as the owner was a federal judge.   

There many springs and wells that provided water, Buena Vista, White's Creek Spring, Crocker Spring, Spencer's Spring, Fountain Blue, Luckhole Spring, and Priestly Spring area few.  A complete list would be very long. 

Some Historical Springs in Davidson County;

French Lick Spring (near Jackson Street and Fourth)

Bluff Spring (Bluff of Cumberland River, south of Nashville Public Square near Church Street at 1st Avenue North. Popularly called Fort Nashboro in the 20th century.)

Spout Spring (Eastland Avenue, south side, near Chapel Avenue.)

Whites Creek Spring (northern Davidson County.)

Rains Spring (near the intersection of Nolensville Road and Rains Avenue.)

Judge Mcnairy's Spring (near Jackson Street and Seventh Avenue North.)

Wilson's Spring (near the new Nashville Convention Center, between Shirley and Peabody Streets.)

Cockrill Springs (at Centennial Park, West End.)

Spencer Spring at Haysborough  (near Spring Hill Cemetery, Madison, Davidson County.)

Priestly Spring  (near Two Rivers Golf Course and Briley Parkway.)

Fountain Blue  (Near 908 Meridian Street.)

Luckhole Spring (Near Ellington Parkway and Cleveland Street.)

Cox, Debbie Oeser. What's on Tap? - Cool Clear Water, May 16th 2014. Accessed April 7th 2020. https://nashvillehistory.blogspot.com/2014/05/on-tap-water.html?m=1.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Metro Nashville Archives, 615 Church Street, Nashville, Tennessee, 37219

attributed to James E. Wagner, ca. 1857-1860