May 28, 2008

Hidden Valley - A well kept secret

In Hidden Valley, change is taking place just out of sight
The Tennessean - May 28, 2008
Paul Locke was a Nashville teenager when his father bought a farm in Williamson County from Frank Scruggs.
That was about 1949, said Locke, now 75.
Scruggs ran a truck farm on the hilly property in the Grassland community. Locke says that when he and his brothers, Sam and Dan, first saw the farm, Scruggs was growing rhubarb, all kinds of berries, and beans, with many of the crops growing on the south side of a steep hill.
The Locke family gave up the crops on the slopes in the early 1950s, instead running white-face and Charolais cattle and cross breeds on the hillside and planting the place with fescue, orchard grass and clover.
Paul and Evelyn Locke also raised three daughters on the farm — Holly, Paula and Dawn.
In the 1980s, estate homes started going up adjacent to their property on Hidden Valley Road, an appropriately named street that runs from Manley Lane to North Berrys Chapel Road.
I've known a couple of people who lived on Hidden Valley, so I've driven through there three or four times a year. What I mean by "appropriately named" is this: I had no idea that there still was so much nonresidential land hidden back there. I guess I noticed Locke's road, but not the expanse of the farm.
It has been in cattle rather than crops for more than 50 years, so there now are trees on the slopes that once were covered in crops, interrupted by wide swaths of pasture grass.
The cattle left the land last year, after Locke sold 145 acres of it to The Principals Group, developers of nearby Lynnwood Downs and, more recently, Avalon, in the hills east of Cool Springs.
It is gorgeous land, destined to become Cartwright Close, a gated community. The Lockes will maintain their residence on the property.
"You hate to see it go, but you know it's got to," Paul Locke said last week.
From beans to bulls, from tall grass to large homes, the special place will be hidden once again in Hidden Valley.

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