The Homeplace Farm, located in Davidson County, has been designated as a Tennessee Century Farm. The Century Farms Program recognizes the contributions of Tennessee residents who have owned and kept family land in continuous agricultural production for at least 100 years.
The Homeplace Farm offers a rare glimpse of rural life in the midst of a particularly busy urban area of metropolitan Nashville. Land that is located near Hickory Hollow just off Interstate 24 was far beyond the city when William Snethis Turner purchased 210 acres in the Cane Ridge community of Davidson County in 1857. He raised cows, hogs, chickens, horses, mules, corn, hay, grains and a large garden with the help of his tenant farmers and his children. William first married Harriet Weatherly in 1848, and they were the parents of six children. After Harriet’s death in 1858, he married Nancy Ann Guthrie, and they had 9 children. The Turner family was very involved in the Cane Ridge community. After the Civil War, the Turners gave 12 acres of land to one of their former slave families, and that parcel stayed within that family for many years.
In 1917, John Henry Turner, a son of William and Nancy Turner, acquired the family farm. He raised corn, hay, soybeans, garden vegetables, cows, hogs, horses and mules on the land. John Henry married Mattie Mae Tucker, and they had one son. The Turners continued to be actively involved in the Cane Ridge community and with the Antioch United Methodist Church. John Henry Turner was killed in a car accident in 1929, and the farm was inherited by Mattie.
After John Henry’s death, the family struggled. Although only 15, Henry Clay Turner dropped out of school to try to help save the farm. He married Ethel Dodds in 1936. Mattie Mae Turner and Ethel Turner were both active in the Home Demonstration Club and other community activities.
In 1956, some of the farm land was sold to build I-24. After Mattie’s death in 1957, Henry Clay Turner inherited the farm.
In 2002 and 2003, Mary Jane Turner Hurt and Nancy Turner Morton, great-granddaughters of the farm founder and daughters of Henry and Ethel Turner, inherited the farm. Mary Jane Turner Hurt married Clarence Hurt, and Nancy Turner Morton married Robert Morton. The families raised Black Angus cattle, hay, chickens, sheep and a vegetable garden on their 166-acre farm. Mary Jane and Nancy are both actively involved in running their family farm, and their grandchildren are involved in 4-H. Mary Jane and Nancy have worked hard to improve the farm, cleaning up the land, cleaning fence rows, building new fences, installing automatic waters for the cattle and upgrading the cattle to Black Angus. The family often hosts events and gatherings of friends and family on the land that is a survivor of the many farms in the Cane Ridge community. Mary Jane writes that under “the same shade trees and in the same yard of the homeplace, many stories from all generations are shared.”