THE GRAND HISTORY OF ELM SPRINGS

Tours of Elm Springs are held at the top of the hour.

Tours are $10.00 per person; Ages 12 and younger are $5.00

Members of the “Friends of Elm Springs” and members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans can tour the home for free.

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Elm Springs House and event space can accommodate functions comfortably for groups of around 50 guests.

Elm Springs is the name of one of the lovely antebellum houses in Maury County. It is located on Mooresville Pike about two hundred yards of where this road intersects with Highway 50. Located on a hill, it is plainly visible to all who pass by this way. The house was built about 1837 by Mr. James & Nathaniel Dick of the N & J Dick Company, two wealthy New Orleans cotton merchants. The home was a gift for their sister, Sarah Todd, wife of Christopher Todd formerly of Virginia. The Todd family lived here until the couple passed away and then the property was inherited by a daughter, Susan Todd, who was the wife of Abram M. Looney, a prominent attorney in Maury County & Tennessee State Senator.

During the War Between the States, Looney served the Confederacy as a Captain, later promoted to Colonel, in Company H, 1st Tennessee Infantry which Sam Watkins of “Company Aytch” fame was a member. He was an outspoken Southerner and this almost resulted in the loss of Elm Springs. In November of 1864 Confederate Units of the famed Army of Tennessee began the march north for Nashville in what would be known as the Franklin-Nashville Campaign. The Federal Army, which had occupied Maury County for several months, was preparing defensive positions ahead of the oncoming Confederate troops under Gen. John B. Hood. Their line of defense extended from the Mooresville Pike to the Mt. Pleasant Pike. As Union forces under the command of Major-General John M. Schofield began their hasty withdrawal from Columbia many of Maury County’s majestic antebellum homes fell victim to the torch. One of the defensive tactics used was the destruction of important buildings along the line. Elm Springs anchored the eastern flank of their line. Many houses were burned during those days and Elm Springs was slated to be destroyed too. In an act of retribution the historic home of Confederate Lieutenent Colonel Abram M. Looney was selected to be destroyed by fire as the last Union troops left Columbia. Responding to pleas of assistance from local citizens, Confederate Brigadier General Frank C. Armstrong dispatched a squad of mounted infantry to insure the safety of Lt. Col. Looney’s home and property. Fires were started that might have burned the house except for the opportune arrival of Confederate troops who extinguished the flames.

The Akin family acquired the property about 1910 and in 1985 the Gillham family purchased it and restored it to near- original state. In 1992 it was acquired by the Sons of Confederate Veterans for its national headquarters.

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Col. Abram M. Looney

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Susan K. Looney

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General John C. Brown

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