Fine art reproduction of pen & ink drawking of Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville, Tennessee by Nashville artist Brenda Harness
Click here to see very large image.
Belle Meade, often called 'The Queen of Tennessee plantations' was established early in the 19th century by John Harding as a working plantation hosting various activities such as farming, raising of horses and other stock, and extensive dairy facilities. Widely known for its Southern hospitality and gracious style of entertainment, plantation guests enjoyed fine dining with the Harding family and picnics in Belle Meade's wild deer park.
John Harding established the Belle Meade Thoroughbred Stud line when he allowed the imported stallion Boaster to stand at his farm. When Harding's son, William, took over the farm, he began to focus more on breeding thoroughbreds. This focus continued under the direction of General William Hicks Jackson, who married Selene, William's daughter.
Many stallions were used for stud purposes at Belle Meade over the years. Bonnie Scotland, an elderly 19-year old horse was purchased in 1872. Notable descendants from this stud include Kentucky Derby winners Carry Back, Northern Dancer, Majestic Prince, Canonero II, Forward Pass, Dancer's Image, Riva Ridge, Secretariat and Sunday Silence. Other famous winners purchased for the Belle Meade stud were Enquirer and Iroquois, the first American horse to win the Derby, the St. Leger, and the Prince of Wales Stakes (all English races for 3-year olds). The Iroquois Memorial Steeplechase was named in honor of Iroquois.
The Mansion has undergone several remodelings, including the addition of the six-columned front portico by W. G. Harding in 1853 who had the limestone columns quarried from the plantation. Belle Meade is on the National Register of Historic Places and is now owned by the State of Tennessee. It is operated by the Nashville Chapter, Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities.
Special Note: Brenda Harness is a practicing artist, art historian, and former university teacher writing about a variety of topics pertaining to art and art history. Visit her at Fine Art Touch.
CLICK HERE to contact her.
Fine Art Touch is a division of Harness House Inc.