by Susan Douglas Wilson.
Antioch Pike, a well-traveled road in southern Davidson County, has origins much earlier than most people realize. Before it became designated as Antioch Pike, it was known as the Mill Creek Valley Turnpike. Work began on the turnpike in the middle of the last century during a time of considerable road development in Tennessee.
An act to incorporate the Mill Creek Valley Turnpike Company was passed by the Tennessee General Assembly on January 21, 1846. E.C. Butler, Dr. Lafayette Ezell, Hinchy Petway, Clement W. Nance, Charles M. Hays, Hays Blackman, James Hamilton, Thomas Bell, Alexander Carper, John G. Briley, William H. Haynes, Nathan H. McFadden, David R. Gooch, Joel A. Battle, and William M. Battle of Davidson County, along with Joseph Kimbro, William Roulhac, John Shacklett, John C. Gooch, and Charles H. Walden of Rutherford County were named commissioners of the turnpike. The commissioners were appointed to open the books for the subscription of stock to be used in constructing a macadamized turnpike from Nolensville Road to Bowling Green in Rutherford County. The capital stock of the company was thirty thousand dollars divided into shares of twenty-five dollars each.
The turnpike was to be located near the four-mile point of the Nolensville Turnpike, running near Thompson’s Mills, up the valley of Mill Creek, crossing Mill Creek near Rains’ Mills, continuing up the valley of Mill Creek, passing Antioch meeting house, across Collier’s Creek to Bowling Green in Rutherford County. The road was to be graded twenty-five feet wide and within five degrees of level, and covered with fine-beaten stone or gravel, sixteen feet wide and nine inches deep, with ditches on both sides.
The Turnpike Company could erect a gate in order to charge and receive tolls every five miles. The tolls would be the same as those established for the Franklin Turnpike Company: ten cents for every twenty head of sheep or hogs, twenty-five cents for every head of neat or horned cattle, three cents for every horse or mule not employed in drawing a carriage, twenty-five cents for every four-wheel carriage, twelve and one-half cents for every two-wheel riding carriage, twenty-five cents for every loaded wagon and twelve and one-half cents for every empty wagon, six and one-fourth cents for every man and horse, and six and one-fourth cents for every hogshead of tobacco. The tolls were to be applied to the finishing and the completing of the turnpike. (1997)