Category Archives: Special Exhibits

Ridley Willis II, June ’15

Ridley Wills, II to Speak at Heritage Center

The Annual Meeting of Members of Grundy County Historical Society will be held on Saturday, June 13, 2015 at 2:00 P.M. at the Heritage Center located at 465 Railroad Avenue in Tracy City. The public is welcome. Membership applications will be available at the meeting for person interested in becoming members. There will be a presentation at the meeting by noted Middle Tennessee historian, Ridley Wills, II. His topic will be The Way to the Plateau: trails, rails, roads and highways. Wills has spent much of his life researching and writing Middle Tennessee history. His 20th book, 150 Years of History along the Franklin and Granny White Pikes, will be released this fall. His first book The History of Belle Meade: Mansion, Plantation, and Stud, won the 1991 Tennessee Book Award. Other books include Old Enough to Die (1996), Touring Tennessee: A Postcard Panorama 1898-1955 (1996), Tennessee Governors at Home (1999), Belle Meade Country Club: The First 100 Years (2001), Joe C. Davis Jr. 1919-1989 (2001), Gentlemen, Scholar, Athlete: The History of Montgomery Bell Academy (2005), Yours to Count On (2007), Jessie and Ridley (2008), The Hermitage at One Hundred (2009), Heritage, Highballs, and Hijinks (2010), The YMCA of Middle Tennessee (2011), Nashville Streets & their Stories (2012) and Disastrous Deaths (2014).

Wills is active in various educational, preservation and religious organizations including membership at The Downtown Presbyterian Church in Nashville, and has served on boards or as trustee for many organizations active in Middle Tennessee including The Belle Meade Plantation, Cumberland Museum and Science Center, Land Trust of Tennessee, Monteagle Sunday School Assembly, Monteagle Assembly Endowment Corporation, Montgomery Bell Academy, Samaritan’s Incorporated, Tennessee Historical Society, YMCA of Middle Tennessee, and YMCA Foundation of Middle Tennessee. In 2010 Wills became an emeritus member of Vanderbilt University Board of Trust where he had served as trustee since 1988. He is a member of Grundy County Historical Society and has been a significant contributor to the development of the Heritage Center.