Kid Rock Joins Fight to Preserve Historic Civil War-Era Nashville Manor [Pictures]
Kid Rock has joined the fight to preserve a historic Civil War-era mansion in Tennessee that is also a part of country music history. The rock and sometimes country singer is speaking out about the possible destruction of Beechwood Hall, an estate outside of Nashville that survived the Civil War and is now reportedly in danger of being torn down by developers.
The outspoken conservative singer said he's "sick of seeing history torn to the ground" in an interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News on Tuesday night (Nov. 22). He's urging people to take part in a petition to save the historic structure.
Originally built in the 1850s, Beechwood Hall stands in Leiper's Fork, Tenn., one of the most historically rich rural areas outside of Nashville. The Battle of Franklin took place in that area in a conflict that helped change the course of the war, and Beechwood Hall is one of the most prominent surviving structures from that era.
Beechwood Hall is entered into the National Register of Historic Places, and it has even further historical significance to country music. Hank Williams purchased the historic property in 1951, though he reportedly never lived in the historic mansion full time before his death just two years later.
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill later purchased the main residence, several other structures and 750 acres, and they sold 131 acres in 2015. The superstar couple sold the remaining 620 acres in 2021 for $15 million in a deal that included Beechwood Hall.
Pictures at LovelyFranklin.com appear to show that Beechwood Hall is already in the process of demolition. The structure appears to be in dilapidated condition, and a group of concerned citizens whose supporters include local resident and American Pickers star Mike Wolfe has started a petition to try to save the historic estate before it's too late.
A petition at SaveBeechwood.org shows a set of startling before-and-after photos of the property at the time of its sale, when it looked prime for a restoration project, and more recently, looking like it's virtually falling down.
"The new owners purchased Beechwood Hall and 268 acres on June 30, 2021. As a condition of the agreement, they promised the seller and the community they would preserve and restore Beechwood Hall," the petitioners claim. "Since the new owner's purchase, the house has been slowly dismantled and the front and back doors are being left wide open. Carefully selected 'experts' have been deployed to create a perception that the property is 'too far gone' to be restored. This is an absolutely false narrative and the conditions to support this narrative have been created within the past few months."
Fox News reports that fund manager Larry Keele purchased Beechwood Hall in 2021, and he denies that the estate is being prepared for demolition. In a statement, Keele says, "Contrary to misinformation that is being published, no historical items have been placed in any burn pile and there is no scheduled demolition."
He goes on to say that the house had been vacant for decades and was in a "deteriorated state" when he purchased it, adding that he did tear down a 1970s addition that was "not historical" and consulted with architects on how best to restore the rest of the structure.
The non-profit Heritage Foundation of Williamson Count has also issued a statement, saying the foundation is working with the current owners of Beechwood Hall in a "collaborative and positive manner" to "create a comprehensive preservation plan, and bring resources and solutions to the table for discussion."
Kid Rock says it's important to save the historic estate.
"Whether it be in the form of monuments, statues and now something so important here in Nashville — where does it end?" he asks Carlson.
"I think there’s going to be many, many people [who] will get on board," Kid Rock adds. "They can go to savebeechwood.org, and I think you will see a lot more country music stars, musicians, just great people in the community that want to preserve this for the next generation to come. Generations beyond that."
Scroll though the photos below to see Beechwood Hall in photos from when it was listed for sale in recent years.