Legend of The Nashville House
A Brown County landmark, the Nashville House is renowned for savory home cooking, antique collectibles and gadgets, and old-fashioned hospitality.
The first hostelry in Brown County during the Civil War, the original Nashville House was a two-and-a-half story wood structure, built-in 1859. Its floors were trodden by many visitors, from loggers to artists to travelers and residents.
In 1927 A.J. Rogers and Fred Bates Johnson purchased the structure and property, which they remodeled and officially christened the Nashville House the most popular place in Brown County.
Tragedy struck in 1943 when the building caught fire. The village firefighters tried vainly to quell the blaze, but the building burned to the ground.
Soon after, a new structure was conceived and constructed by the late Jack Rogers. Though the new Nashville House had no guest rooms, the famous home cooking and the old-time general store would again draw scores of visitors and neighbors.
Andy Rogers, Jack's son, continued the tradition of the Nashville House when he took over the business from his father in 1959. As he added modern touches to the Nashville House, he made sure to keep the traditions alive through great home cooking and an inviting atmosphere.
Andy had a great love for Brown County and the community of Nashville. He devoted much of his time to helping develop and grow Nashville as a tourist destination. Andy expanded lodging options in Brown County, expanded banking and lending options for residents, and provided shop space for artists and artisans. He and his wife, Fran, devoted their lives to serving the Nashville and Brown County Community by growing tourism and providing jobs for residents.
When Andy passed away in 2018, the Nashville House was closed while his estate was settled. The following year his youngest daughter, Andi Rogers-Bartels decided she could not let go of the Nashville House and all that her father and grandfather had created. She, along with her husband and children, have spent countless hours bringing the Nashville House back to life. Growing up in this building, she wanted things to stay very much the same, but hopes to add a few of her own touches as well, just as her father did when he took over for his father.
As you walk into the Nashville House the warm native woods and memories of days gone by surround you and welcome all who enter. The great stone fireplaces in the country store and the dining room invite you to sit awhile and enjoy your time here. Modernity has of course taken place in the back of the house for food preparation, but the Brown County flavor, discovered and nurtured at the Nashville House, permeates every nook and cranny.
The rustic dining room provides a warm, casual setting to enjoy hearty home cooking and those irresistible fried biscuits. The outdoor patio invites visitors to have a cold drink and watch the world go by. Local products including homemade jams, baskets, local honey, walking sticks and wooden toys cram the shelves of the Old Country Store. Oven-fresh breads, pies and cookies, candy, and other goodies are always favorites
You're invited to come in and sample Brown County tradition, home cooking, and hospitality. All preserved in the Nashville House, the most well-known landmark in Brown County.
Story of The Nashville House
A good friend says The Nashville House is located at the "Times Square of Nashville." He regards it as a sort of focal point in the Village and Brown County - at the junction of Roads 46 and 135, across the street from the Court House, and Miller's Drug Store.
Nashville House is sort of a Brown County landmark. The original building, constructed during the Civil War times, was a large two and one half story wooden building that became the first regular hostelry in Brown County. It served the logging industry, later became a gathering place of artists and then folks from the outside began to drift in to stay overnight and enjoy good country food. Management passed through many hands until 1927 when the building and site were purchased by Fred Bates Johnson of Indianapolis and A.J. Rogers of Bloomington.
These new owners rearranged the structure, made some changes and additions, and christened it the "Nashville House". For fifteen years the remodeled Nashville House served the public in a most delightful manner and became widely known for its "hot biscuits and jam."
The old building met its doom in the fall of 1943 when a fire that broke out in the walls could not be extinguished with the limited village fire fighting and water facilities.
Since the burning of the old Nashville House, other facilities have been developed to take care of overnight guests, so no sleeping rooms were planned for the new building. The new Nashville House building, largely of native timber and sandstone from nearby hills, was built to the specifications and ideas of the late Jack Rogers and is now owned by his son Andy. The main entrance is from the west by the way of ground-level porch through an old fashioned door into a large room that housed the "old Country Store" with its pot-bellied stove, old store fixtures, and miscellaneous antique pieces. A balcony extends across the end of the room; the north center end is taken up by a huge fireplace with a massive stone chimney.
Progressing from the lobby to the dining room you pass through a cherry wood doorway into a rustic open beam room with its solid oak floor. About 100 people can be seated at the cross-legged home-built tables covered with red and white checked tablecloths. Local artists' pictures provide a pleasant panorama of local scenes and life. Hand made rag rugs hang at the windows and at the door and a large one is used to divide the room in the winter.
The adjacent kitchen is large, airy and well lighted and equipped to provide good old-fashioned home-cooked meals for which the Nashville House has been for 40 years.