Highlander Folk School June ’16

Ridley Wills, II presents Highlander Folk School: the Place.

Ridley has spent much of his life researching and writing Middle Tennessee history.

He has completed 22 books. His first book The History of Belle Meade: Mansion,

Plantation, and Stud, won the 1991 Tennessee Book Award. Other books include over 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), Disastrous Deaths (2014), and 150 Years of History along the Franklin and Granny White Pikes (2015)

Ridley is active in various educational, preservation and religious organizations including membership at The Downtown Presbyterian Church in Nashville, and has served as chairman of boards of Montgomery Bell Academy, Monteagle Sunday School Assembly, YMCA of Middle Tennessee, and Tennessee Historical Society and as a member of the boards of National Trust for Historic Preservation,  The Belle Meade Plantation, Cumberland Museum and Science Center, Land Trust of Tennessee, Monteagle Assembly Endowment Corporation,  Samaritan’s Incorporated, and YMCA Foundation of Middle Tennessee. In 2010

Ridley became an emeritus member of Vanderbilt University Board of Trust where he had served as trustee since 1988. I n May 2016 he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by The University of the South. Ridley is a member of Grundy County Historical Society and has been a significant contributor to the development of the Heritage Center and its gallery on Summerfield that features the most extensive material on Highlander Folk School displayed anywhere. He has conducted numerous lectures on Highlander Folk School and authored Highlander Folk School, Grundy County’s ‘Public Nuisance’ published in Tennessee Historical Quarterly, Volume LXVI Winter 2007 Number 4 page 351 – 368.