A vital piece of Nashville’s cultural history is up for sale: Just this week, 620 Boscobel Street, in the Historic Edgefield section of East Nashville, hit the market. And although it’s not immediately evident from just looking at the photos, the walls there served as an invaluable incubator for musical greatness.
Among many special historic homes in East Nashville, 620 Boscobel stands out, and not just for the charming 1930 details that are still in place, like the French doors and stone fireplace. From 1945 to 1972, the stone and stucco home was known as Mom Upchurch’s Boarding House (or rooming house, depending on who you ask), and month after month, future stars crossed the threshold and had their mail stacked in the entry hall, waiting for them when they got off the road.
The home’s matriarch started taking in wayward pickers and singers after her grown children moved out. She kept one of the home’s five bedrooms for herself, kept one as a single-occupancy space, and packed the three others with two double beds apiece, each bed shared between two boarders who came and went as the road called and then the Grand Ole Opry called them back to Nashville.
Country musicians weren’t given quite the same reception in Nashville then as now, what with their inconsistent incomes, so they often struggled to find a place to stay. Mom Upchurch responded by renting specifically and only to musicians.
Just a short list of the legendary names who once called 620 Boscobel home:
Mother Maybelle Carter
June Carter Cash
And many, many others.
Story goes that rent for one of those rooms was $5 a week (jumping up to $7 in the later years); breakfast was 75 cents, and dinner was 85 cents. The musician boarders would walk over the Woodland Street bridge to make their Grand Ole Opry performances at The Ryman, and on off nights, they’d pick and sing out in the yard. Over time, the Boarding House became known as a musician treasure trove — when artists and studios needed a player, they knew 620 Boscobel was the place to look.
The last of Mom’s boarders left in the early ’70s, the house was sold in ’72, and Mom passed away in 1976. But history is still present there — you can see in these images that, even if it doesn’t look exactly as it did when Johnny Paycheck moved in, details would surely be recognizable.
This isn’t our listing, but as appreciators of Nashville history and Nashville culture, we had to celebrate such a special space going up for sale in Music City. We really hope someone who’s awed by the stories hidden in those walls ends up becoming its next owner. Lots more info and photos of 620 Boscobel Street here.
Do you think that new owner might be you? If you’re looking for a Realtor with East Nashville roots, we’d love to help you explore this historic gem. Call or email us, and we’ll get it set up.
If something like this doesn’t quite suit your needs, we’d be happy to show you other homes for sale in the Nashville area — just reach out, and tell us what’s on your wish list.
One Response to “Mom Upchurch’s Boarding House in East Nashville is for sale”
This story means a lot to our family! Redd Stewart (Pee Wee King’s Golden West Cowboy) lived there many years ago, along with his brothers, Bill & Slim. Redd boarded with Grandpa Jones!