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TN History for Kids

Cheatham County

The waterfall at Narrows of the Harpeth

The Harpeth River is so curvy that there is a place where the river twists around and comes back to within a few hundred yards of itself.

In 1818, a man named Montgomery Bell financed and oversaw the creation of a tunnel to connect the so-called Narrows of the Harpeth. Most of the labor was done by African-American slaves and by mules.

In doing so a waterfall was created that Bell used to operate water wheels. The water wheels powered hammers that turned iron into pots, pans, and other things.

Mound Bottom

Cheatham County is also the site of a Mississippian mound known as Mound Bottom.

The Mississippian period went from about 1000 AD until 1500 AD. During that time there was an active Native American community at Mound Bottom. In that era there would have been structures on top of and around Mound Bottom, and there would have been crops such as beans and corn planted all around it. Today Mound Bottom is abandoned.

A cliff over the Harpeth River

Narrows of the Harpeth and Mound Bottom are both part of the Harpeth River State Historic Park, which is one of the most canoed places in all of Middle Tennessee.

Click here to take our virtual tour of this fascinating place.

And here is the Cheatham County Courthouse.

Cheatham County

County seat: Ashland City

Population (2015 estimate): 39,741

See also: Harpeth River State Park State Park VIRTUAL TOUR