Is This What Nerd Nervana Feels Like?

Okay, remember how we were talking about Elizabeth Durard like all fucking day today?  And remember how I just so happened to remark on the hairpin turn going into Joelton, evidenced even as far back as when it was known as Paradise Hill?


And even remember how Bridgett was all, “Paradise Hill, huh? Is this a likely euphemism for “whorehouse that is worth the walk up the hill” or what?” and I was all, “Ha, I thought maybe they had just anticipated how great it would be when the Dairy Queen opened up there! No, if i had to guess, I’d guess it was named after the Paradise brothers, who settled in the area. Paradise Ridge (another hill near there) is where Beaman Park is and is named after the Paradise brothers.”? And then remember how Henry Walker was all “Go check out this Tennessean story that you won’t be able to find online because the Tennessean’s archives only go back to like four days ago, but it discusses where Demonbreun was buried”?

Well, you are never going to fucking believe what I found!

Okay, you totally are, because I gave it away in the preceding paragraph, but I’m going to say it anyway because I am delighted. I found this article, which is not the article Walker means, in which it says, “Newspaper accounts of a later day tell of her long life, in her latter years operating a stagecoach inn on Paradise Hill called Granny Rats Tavern.”

A girl starts to wonder just how old either of these buildings are.

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

I cannot wait to get to the State Library and Archives now.

(I found the article that Walker is talking about, in which the writer speculates that Demonbreun is still down on Jefferson Street. And check out what the Demonbreun Society has to say about who Elizabeth ended up married to. It’s a slightly different story than the one I’ll tell you tomorrow night.)

4 thoughts on “Is This What Nerd Nervana Feels Like?

  1. Oh, honey! That’s too damn cool. One develops an ear for that sort of thing. Likewise, I was thinking that if it was a coach road and the hill was steep, they’d want to have somewhere at the top to rest the horses. But yowza.

  2. Ooo, and Bridgett, I have a question for you. So, on the Demonbreun Society page, they call Mr. Durard (Duratt, etc.) an “Indian Spy.” Does that mean he was an Indian who was a spy on other Indians or that he spied on Indians or that he was an Indian who was spying on the Europeans, but no one knew it? It seems they mean he was living with the Indians but spying on them.

    Because, I was thinking, if he was an Indian with a French name (and possibly some French family) and Elizabeth was an Indian with an English name, depending on what the laws in the territory about actual intermarriage (and not just taking up with someone) were, it might make sense that they got married, if she couldn’t marry Demonbreun (who by that time seems to have been a widower. His wife ceases to be mentioned in 1790. Bennett marries Durard in 1793. Tennessee becomes a state in 1796.).

  3. Glad you found the articles and hope your hunch about the building turns out to be correct. That would be a lot of fun.
    Both of those newspaper stories on Demonbreun and his family were written by Louise Davis, a Tennessean reporter who wrote much about local history and was well respected as an historian. Her collected papers are at the State Archives; you should check them out on your visit. Many of her newspaper stories were reprinted in two books, Frontier Tales of Tennessee and More Tales of Tennessee, both out of print but still available. You would enjoy them.

  4. ps. I pulled a copy of “Northwest Davidson County” by John Graves off the shelf and found a lot amount of detailed information about Paradise Ridge (you were right; it was named after the Paradise brothers and there was, in fact, a community on the ridge called Germantown). Didnt see any mention of Ms. Durard but there’s no index and she may well be in there.

Comments are closed.