Want to live in, or have a second home near a place loaded with history, virtually covered in charm and filled with more personality than a Truman Capote costume party?
In all seriousness, that place is Nashville, Indiana in beautiful Brown County Indiana.
Located in southern Indiana, the area around Nashville is one of the oldest in the state, with land acquired from the natives in 1809 (Treaty of Fort Wayne) and 1818 (Treaty of St. Mary’s). Within a dozen or so years, Brown County hadn’t yet turned into a boom town, with a total population of only 150. Shortly after, Nashville was founded as a town called Jacksonburg and they built the first courthouse and jail in 1837-38. By 1840, it’s said that the county had grown a bunch, to a population of nearly 2,400. In 1872, the town of Nashville was officially incorporated.
But that’s not what makes Nashville so special. The special personality of Nashville began to emerge in the 1870’s and early into the 20th century, when a number of artists discovered Nashville and settled in the area.
Having Nashville as a site to which many artists were drawn (no pun intended) was cemented in 1907 on the arrival of noted American impressionist painter T. C. Steele. Sometimes called the “dean” of Indiana painters, Steele located his studio and permanent home on land west of Nashville. Highlighted by the arrival of T.C. Steele to Nashville, the list of artists honing their skills or calling Nashville and Brown County their home also included Gustave Baumann and Will Vawter.
In 1926, eight prominent artists formed the now-famous Brown County Art Colony, today called the Brown County Art Association. The association is made up of 30-40 artists working in and around Nashville using a variety of media.
In the 21st Century, the village of Nashville is a thriving tourist destination due to the area’s natural beauty and artistic history. Nearby, Brown County State Park offers one of the nicest scenic getaways in the Midwest. Its rolling terrain has unparalleled views of beautiful Brown County, especially in its incredible fall foliage.
In town, you’ll find Nashville to be a great place for a quick getaway with many wonderful, unique places to stay. What's there to do in Nashville?
- Dozens of craft, antique and specialty shops – all unique – line the streets.
- Restaurants filled with local flavor abound, offering everything from handmade ice cream to gourmet dining. Of the restaurants in town, only a handful are chain-owned.
- Music and entertainment is everywhere, from the great music at the Little Nashville Opry and Bill Monroe’s Bluegrass Park to wonderful live theatre at the Coachlight Theater.
- And that’s all in addition to a number of fine art galleries associated with the artists’ colony history, where you can often watch the talented colony members ply their trade. Hey – it’s still known as the art colony of the Midwest.
Visit during the busy time in autumn and see the changing of the leaves or “off-season” when it’s more like the “Peaceful Valley” the original artists once enjoyed. Once you have, you may be packing and joining the artists’ colony or simply enjoying the peace, comfort and views from your own home.
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