Could We Not Have Called One “Greenbrier, Jr.”?

I’m not saying I don’t come from a goofy state, myself.  Illinois has two state fairs, which, if you think about, pretty much defeats the purpose of a state fair and that’s pretty goofy.

But the other day, I was out near Ashland City, lost, and on my map, discovered that I was within spitting distance of a Greenbrier.  Not the town I was familiar with, but another Greenbrier.  I assume.  I didn’t go over there, on the off chance that it was somehow the same Greenbrier.  Some days you’re just not up for the kind of weirdness that has you being able to get to the same place by going west or east.

If I can work Google Maps correctly, you can even see the two Greenbriers here.

I find this confusing.  If one is unincorporated, should it really be on my map?  I don’t know.  Maybe, I guess.  But how did this happen in the first place?  Was there not someone, somewhere to say “Um, we’ve already got one of those?”

So, that’s bad enough.  But easily fixed.  The unincorporated Greenbrier will just heretofore be referred to on this blog as Greenbrier, Jr.  But what about all the Germantowns?  How many Germantowns does one state need?  I have no solution for how to keep all of them straight.

From the looks of that same Google map, it would appear that the little area up at the top of the ridge where I get my milk is called Germantown, which, confusingly enough, is given the exact same font prominence as Joelton and they are not the same size (I don’t believe, unless I’m completely wrong about how big Joelton is) and, unlike Joelton, Germantown does not have a song about it.

20 thoughts on “Could We Not Have Called One “Greenbrier, Jr.”?

  1. Some days you’re just not up for the kind of weirdness that has you being able to get to the same place by going west or east.

    You’ll want to avoid my area on those days. We have a section of highway that is simultaneously both 29 North AND 501 South. Figure that one out.

  2. I know where East Nashville is, but there are places in town called “North Nashville,” “West Nashville,” and “South Nashville” and I am still confused about where they are.

    When I say “North Nashville,” I mean everything North of Charlotte, west and south of the river, and then I’m not sure how far west it goes. I don’t think it should go much farther than TSU, but I don’t know. And then West Nashville is west of North Nashville, as well as regular Nashville, I think. I mean, if you told me you lived in West Nashville, I would expect to find you anywhere west of TSU north of Charlotte or south of Charlotte once you got past Sylvan Park.

    I have no idea where South Nashville is. When I hear people talking about it, it sounds like they mean some vague area that starts south of Broadway and moves out kind of between 65 and 24 to about 440. So, the parts of town directly south of downtown–like the Professor’s house are NOT in “South Nashville” which is to the east of her, I think.

    I’ve been here ten years and I’m still in need of someone from the city to take me on a tour and tell me what the fuck is going on.

  3. Isn’t the Germantown here in North Nashville just an area of Nashville, not technically its own town? Same with the Germantown area of Memphis? Could that be what Greenbrier Jr. is? I mean, I live in freaking Murfreesboro so I don’t know much about the Nashville ‘hoods, but that’s what I’ve always thought…

  4. See, I don’t know. Before I moved here, I thought I understood the distinction between things like “towns” and “neighborhoods” but I was wrong. So, we have towns–like Greenbrier Sr. that are actual towns with post offices and some kind of town government–and we have towns like where I live that have post offices and an independent name, but no independent town government. And we have unincorporated towns that have names that people call them (and that even appear on maps) but that don’t have post offices or independent governing bodies. And then we have neighborhoods (or areas of town).

    But so, like, I have no idea what Whites Creek technically is–is it a neighborhood? We’re under the governance of Nashville, but we have our own post office and our own seemingly official name. So, it seems like more than a neighborhood, but less than a suburb, which should have its own governing body.

  5. South of Broadway “SoBro” I would suppose is still just “Nashville”, I think “South Nashville” probably starts maybe around Lafayette or so? Continuing south I’d probably let it encapsulate everything north of maybe Harding. So, basically, council districts 16 & 17.

  6. According to Steve Earle, South Nashville contains part of downtown and all of Lewis Street. I’ve got a video of an interview where he’s driving around and explaining it, but I don’t think I’ve looked at it since I’ve lived here. Come over some time and we’ll pull it out and try to figure the boundaries out.

  7. Yeah I would include Lewis St and the whole Napier area. Maybe the strip of I-40 that connects 65 and 24 there would be a good northern boundary.

  8. Okay, NOW I’m glad I live in Oklahoma City, where all surface streets basically run north and south, and there’s a clear dividing line for north and south, east and west. Of course, there’s Northwest Expressway to complicate matters, but it runs diagonally on the northwest side of town, just as its name implies. There are some messy parts in an older section of town, where two streets become one and sometimes have one name and sometimes the other until they divorce again. But it’s pretty easy.

    My brother’s address in Tulsa used to have him living at ### W. South East St. though, so there’s plenty to confuse the brain. And it’s no wonder that, even though my dad has lived outside Memphis for nearly 20 years, he still gets lost in that whole messed up state ;)

  9. I’d just like to point out, that on TN-431 between Joelton and Springfield, there is a community called “Crunk.” Perhaps someone would like to take up the banner on explaining that?

    Also, another curious thing about the Directional Nashvilles, if you will, is that when you come into town from Hermitage on Lebanon Road, you pass by an NES plant near the intersection at Fesslers Lane that is called the “South Nashville Substation,” even though if you are coming from the Herm, that’s ostensibly east.

  10. Megan – Germantown here in Memphis is its own city. Totally different law system, two or three or four of its own zip codes these days, everything. Has pretty much been for, I dunno, 30 or 40 years I guess.

    One of the more famous differences between Germantown and Memphis is its commercial advertising laws, they have major restrictions on signage in Germantown – the neon signs on McDonalds/etc is tiny. When you’re driving towards it, once you are out of the Memphis city limits and in the Germantown city limits, there’s not a billboard in sight.

  11. I know I live in South Nashville, but I don’t know the actual boundaries of the place. I tend to think of it as the wedge between 65 and 24, and I am in district 17 mentioned above. It’s a little baffling to me, though, how I’m in “South Nashville” and yet the Vanderbilt area – which is basically directly west of me but not any further north – seems to be considered “West Nashville” by some. How can you go from south (without an “east” qualifier) to west without moving north at all?

  12. Ha, West South East Street! That cracks me up. We lived in a little town once where all of the roads going either north or south were numbered streets. So, there was a South 1st and a North 1st. And all of the roads going east and west were avenues (or I may have that flipped) but also numbers. So, in a town of only a couple thousand people, there were four places in town where you could be standing on the corner of 6th and 6th.

    Crunk? I’m totally going to take the Butcher on a road-trip to Crunk. I just can’t believe, though, that I don’t have one native Tennessee reader who couldn’t explain that name. Come on, old Tennesseans! Get on the internet and answer my questions!

  13. You’re confused about this and you live in a city that has six Old Hickory Blvd. exits off the interstate leading to six vastly different partsof town and a single street that is called Broad at one end, Highway 70S at the other and and has two or three other names in the middle of it?

  14. Props for the Old Hickory Blvd. comment. The naming convention of roads in Nashville is something that totally infuriates the hell out of me. To get home, I could take James Robertson Parkway to Main Street to Gallatin Road/Pike. Which is… ALL THE SAME ROAD.

    Another anomaly I noticed the other day is there are now small signs on Briley Parkway designating it as the “Somebody Somebody Memorial Parkway.” (There is one such at the entrance ramp at Gallatin Pike/Briley Pkwy) I hate to state the obvious, but it’s ALREADY the Beverly Briley Memorial Parkway. I mean… wtf.

    Finally, why do we abbreviate “Parkway” as “Pky” in Tennessee, instead of “Pkwy” like, oh, everywhere else? Every time I see it, I say, “Parkay.” Is this some marketing ploy by America’s Favorite Buttery Spread*?

    *Contains no butter

  15. > Was there not someone, somewhere to say “Um, we’ve already got one of those?”

    When the town that is now Dothan, AL first incorporated, the name that they chose was “Poplar Springs”. They applied to the postmaster (state-level?) to get a post office. The postmaster said to himself, “We already have a Poplar Springs, AL.” He went to the bible, found the name of a town that didn’t already exist in Alabama, a named the town Dothan. Seems an odd way to decide on a town name, but at least there aren’t two Poplar Springs, AL.

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