Nashville, Why Geography Matters.

Nashville today, the capital, and second largest city in Tennessee. It is known as the epicenter for country music in the USA. However, one thing has not been considered about Nashville, GEOGRAPHY.

Why geography matters for Nashville. Consider the reason it was founded. Many do not know that the Cumberland River was and is a big part of Nashville’s raison d’etre. Nashville’s location along the Cumberland River allowed for riverboat travel. The Cumberland is a tributary of the Ohio River. This means goods from Nashville could be shipped to markets in the Upper South/Lower Midwest USA. Nashville is close to Tennessee’s geographic center, and being on the Cumberland, it was on a major trading route.

Nashville today is still an important center for barge travel. Barges still traverse the Cumberland River today. Goods still travel by river to, through, and from Nashville. Of course, nowadays, airplanes and trucks travel in and out of Nashville as well. However, the river is still an important, though not always appreciated, part of Nashville’s geography. The Riverfront has become a place of recreation, thus, geography continues to shape Nashville. The barges remain, but now, recreation, from walking trails, to the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium, are along the Cumberland’s waterfront. Many do not know how important the Cumberland is and has been for Nashville. It isn’t located on more prominent rivers like the Ohio(like Pittsburgh and Cincinnati area) or the Mississippi(with St. Louis, New Orleans, and Minneapolis are located on). However, it is a river city, and the river shapes Nashville, just as much as country music and Greek Revival architecture does.


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