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Historic Nashville Behind-The-Scenes-Tour of Gower Cemetery
April 4, 2020 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Join us Saturday, April 4 at 10:00 am for a tour of Gower Cemetery led by Gower’s descendants Marsha Fagnani and Jana Stephenson
One of the earliest settlers in this area, William Gower (1776-1851) arrived in 1780 at the Bluffs settlement, now Nashville. He and his wife Charlotte Garland settled near Overall Creek in 1800 and had fifteen children, many of whom became prominent community leaders. A Methodist minister for over half a century, William founded Gower’s Chapel on his farmland. A larger chapel, erected in 1850 on Gower land, served as the local schoolhouse. Also on his original farm, The Gower Cemetery was established in 1816 with the burial of William’s mother, Obedience Blakeley Gower.
In early 2017, the Friends of Gower Cemetery initiated efforts to restore and preserve the cemetery with the help of historian Fletch Coke and Tim Walker, Executive Director of the Metro Historical Commission. Metro Nashville Public Works did an initial cleaning and continued to maintain the grounds while work was in progress. Archaeologist, Dan Sumner Allen IV was hired to oversee the restoration; completed in 2018. Mr. Allen has identified 115 burials which include Gower family members and 6 enslaved Gower and Woodward African Americans. There are 13 tombstones for 14 burials. An incredible amount of history for this family, the land, original Gower’s Chapel and present Centenary United Methodist Church has been located by the Friends group.
– Free parking at the church
– It is a short walk to the cemetery