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Developer finally closes on historic Primm property

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Primm Property Slave Cabins

Developer Jerrold Pedigo will restore two historic log slave quarters on the Primm property.

A historic piece of Williamson County land has finally been sold.

Developer Jerrold Pedigo closed on the purchase of 8318 Moores Lane in Brentwood, known as the Primm property, after more than seven years of trying to acquire the almost 30 acres of land. 

The Primm Farms development, named for the family who owned the land for generations, will consist of 24 lots developed on the western portion of the property. An additional 15 acres divided into 5-acre parcels was purchased by Thomas Hopkins. 

On Oct. 9, 2018, the Brentwood City Commission voted upon final reading to approve the rezoning of the Primm Farms property. Originally, there were to be 20 lots developed, however, Pedigo reached an agreement to restore two historic log slave quarters in return for the city’s permission to build four additional lots. 

Pedigo persisted in working with the descendants of the Primm family to make the sale happen. All of the family members, who are scattered all over the U.S. and abroad, had to agree to make the sale happen.

“This is indeed a historic moment,” Anne Dunn, a Brentwood city commissioner and member of the Brentwood Historic Commission, said. “After Primms owning the land for many, many years, there is no longer a family holding any title to the property.”

The Primms were one of the area’s earliest settlers. In 1845, Thomas Perkins Primm expanded a log cabin built by physician Jabez Owen in 1806, which became known as the Owen-Primm House. It was then converted into the white Greek-Revival style plantation home that still stands on the Moore’s Lane property. 

The home and barn were part of the property purchased by Hopkins and not included in the new development. However, the way the property was divided leaves the slave quarters on the land purchased by Pedigo. 

Those slave quarters and who built them are still being investigated by the Brentwood Historic Commission.

The Montclair neighborhood, Primm Park that includes Boiling Springs Academy and the ancient Indian mounds from the Mississippian era were all originally part of the family’s land. 

“The area in question has distinctive historical and cultural importance,” Dunn shared from a recent presentation made to the Brentwood City Commission. “Primm Park, Boiling Springs Academy, the Fewkes Native American Mounds and the Primm Farm slave cabins could be considered a historic corridor hopefully connected by bike and walking trails in the future.”

Longtime Brentwood residents remember better days for the property. Since dairy farmer Charlie Primm passed away in 2011, the home and land has sat empty. 

Over the past few years, Pedigo has met with the Brentwood Historic Commission several times to discuss plans for restoring the slave quarters. Also, even though Pedigo did not own the property, he sent crews to mow and remove trees to try and make the area look better. 

“The Historic Commission has been great to work with,” he said. “They are an active group of people interested in the heritage and culture of Williamson County. I have found Commissioner Dunn and the other members of the group to rationally approach what’s important measures.

“It is worth noting these volunteers give of their time freely to maintain the culture of the county and city. They do good work balancing the protection of history and consideration of developing the land.” 

Other members of the Brentwood Historic Commission and restoration committee, including Ashley McAnulty and Inetta Gaines, have shared how well Pedigo has worked with the commission.

“When Mr. Pedigo first spoke to the historic commission, I was not yet a member,” Gaines said. “I was impressed with the commission’s vision for the property and the enslaved cabins. Mr. Pedigo’s vision for the property seemed right in line with the historic commission’s, especially his strong desire to preserve the enslaved cabins. So, this is an exciting time that the project is moving forward.”

In addition to protecting history, Pedigo is focusing on another important part of Brentwood. He plans to include green space along Moores Lane, including a 150-foot strip of land with a sidewalk that will line the development. He hopes one day it will connect to a trail way.

“No properties will be on the lots within the 150 feet,” he said. “We will be removing the brick house and planting a lot of trees and plants to make it look nice.” 

Now that the property has finally closed, Pedigo is excited to begin taking measures to develop Primm Farms quickly. However, due to the extended time leading up to the closing, Pedigo has not solidified a contractor or builder just yet. 

“Although I’ve been talking with contractors, I didn’t want to enter into contracts until the deal was finalized,” he said. “Now, we can move forward.”  

The other 15 acres of land owned by Hopkins includes the historical house and barn. A structural engineer will evaluate the barn, then, after review, it will be determined if it can be saved, as it has suffered a lot of storm damage the past few years. 

To learn more about the Primm property’s history, visit https://www.brentwoodtn.gov/departments/parks-recreation/parks-trails-greenways/primm-park

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