Clio Logo
The spring at Fort Nashboro was uses as a water source for the city of Nashville for many years. (Add more)

  • A drawing of Fort Nashborough
  • The pump used for the spring at Fort Nashborough

'Long, dagger-like icicles were hanging from the bluff on the frigid Christmas Eve of 1779, when James Robertson and his party arrived to form the first permanent settlement at Nashville.

They built Fort Nashborough here because of the "bold spring which dashed down the precipice." (so said an early historian)

the spring was located at the foot of Spring Street which we now call Church Street, and there was an arrangment whereby the water could be channeled inside the fort in case of siege by Indians.

The early settlers used tis spring for many years even after the stockaded fort was no longer needed. William Boyd ...owned the spring in 1809. He erected a building over it for the purpose of distilling whisky. Samuel Stacked operated a combination sawmill an gristmill at the site in 1823'. ...The spring was destroyed by Union troops inadvertently by blasting during the civil war.

In 1819, the Corporation of the town of Nashville purchased the rights to a Double Forcing Pump (diagram below), marking the beginning of the first water system in Nashville. By 1826, water was being pumped from the Fort Nashboro spring to a public square reservoir through a water main crafted from hollowed locust and cedar logs. After a fire destroyed the first water facilities in 1829, a new system was built in the Rolling Mill Hill area east of downtown. This new system, completed in 1833, satisfied the area’s needs until the population increased at the time of the Civil War.

'Beginning in 1823, brick and clay sewers were constructed and conveyed both stormwater and sanitary sewage for discharge into the Cumberland River. Some of these sewers were constructed directly in Nashville’s streams.'


It is caused by a flagellated bacterium called  Vibrio choleraeCholera was prevalent in the U.S. in the 1800s, before modern water and sewage treatment systems eliminated its spread by contaminated water, via the "fecal-oral route".

Cholera became the first reportable disease in the United States due to the significant effects it had on health.  A government's ability to contain the disease before it extends to other areas can prevent a high death toll and the development of an epidemic or even pandemic. Effective disease surveillance can ensure that cholera outbreaks are recognized as soon as possible and dealt with appropriately. If cholera does begin to spread, government preparedness is crucial. . A rapid dipstick test is available to determine the presence of V. cholera.  Currently there are several vaccines available, but are only recommended for people venturing into high-risk areas.


If people with cholera are treated quickly and properly, the mortality rate is less than 1%; however, with untreated cholera, the mortality rate rises to 50–60%. The ususal treatment is extensive oral hydration. Phenergan is often used to stop vomiting. If commercially produced oral rehydration solutions are too expensive or difficult to obtain, solutions can be made. One such recipe calls for 1 liter of boiled water, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 6 teaspoons of sugar, and added mashed banana for potassium and to improve taste. The WHO only recommends antibiotics in those with severe dehydration. IV hydration may be used in those too weak to eat.

(Add specific information about Nashville disease progression)

Goff, Reda C.. "Ft. Nashborough Site Picked Because of 'Bold Spring'." Nashvile Banner (Nashville) June 9th 1959. Evening ed.

Encore Interpretive Design, Ashworth Environmental Design, Moody Nolan mental Design, Moody Nolan Inc.. Fort Nashboro Interpretive Plan, November 12th 2013. Accessed April 7th 2020.

Unknown Author. History of Nashville Water Services, Accessed April 7th 2020.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Encore Interpretive Design, Ashworth Environmental Design, Moody Nolan mental Design, Moody Nolan Inc.. Fort Nashboro Interpretive Plan, November 12th 2013. Accessed April 7th 2020.