by Walter T. Durham
From Old Sumner, A History of Sumner County, Tennessee, From 1805 to 1861.
Reprinted with permission.
Although the growth of the towns of Gallatin and Cairo would cause them to provide many services for the populace, the county was still primarily agricultural. And a number of important services remained to farms, especially those of the plantation type that became the centers of neighborhood communities. On Drake's Creek, William MONTGOMERY's farm, which had become the center of the Shackle Island Community was the location for a grinding mill, a sawmill, and, in 1814, a fulling mill. MONTGOMERY advertised in a Nashville newspaper: "I have now got sheers at my Fulling Mill and other necessary apparatus where cloth will be dressed, etc. in good country style with dispatch." He also noted in the newspaper that he had a number of grafted apple trees "now of right size to set out of the most approved choice fruit."
MONTGOMERY also offered the service of animal husbandry to the public at his place on Drake's Creek. In the summer of 1814, he advertised a merino buck for breeding that "stands at my plantation in Sumner County...at one dollar for the season for each ewe. Satisfactory certificates of blood, etc. will be shewn at the place."
In 1824 on lands given from his father's holdings, William MONTGOMERY's son William built a two-story stone house from rock quarried on the place. IN 1897 a brick rear wing was added. The house, standing today on Long Hollow Pike and extensively remodeled, is owned by Mr. and Mrs. Pat EIDSON.
Nearby, on lands received in part payment in 1804 for his labor as builder of MONTGOMERY's "Old Brick", Robert TAYLOR in 1822 built himself a house of stone. Full use of sloping site was made by establishing three different floor levels in the house. The stone and its workmanship closely parallel the stone walls at the William MONTGOMERY place. It is believed that Robert TAYLOR built both houses using the same masons.
Locations chosen by the earliest settlers set the pattern for the development of the county. Communities grew quickly wherever a few families settled on adjacent lands. By 1828 the county was dotted with communities located both on the Highland Rim and in the Cumberland basin.
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