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The Spring Hill Board of Mayor and Aldermen on Monday night officially accepted the donation of Rippavilla Plantation and its related operational responsibilities, allowing for the permanent preservation of the historic home, 98.4 acres of passive park space, and all of its related buildings.
The acquisition of Rippavilla fits neatly into the City’s “Spring Hill Rising: 2040 Comprehensive Plan,” which calls for the preservation of natural areas, creating the highest and best use of significant historic properties, preserving the area’s rural character, and preservation of cultural history ensuring future generations can enjoy our area’s natural and cultural legacies.
The Friends of Rippavilla LLC, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, will continue to manage donations, grants and fundraising events for the historic site, while the City will manage the ongoing maintenance and preservation of the property.
Planning for the acquisition started in June 2016 when Mayor Rick Graham formed a Rippavilla Due Diligence Panel tasked with fully exploring the option of the donation of Rippavilla to the City for the permanent preservation and operation of the historic site. The panel reported its findings after six months of work, and the Spring Hill Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted in January 2017 to pursue the operational agreement.
“This is an extremely exciting donation to the City. The Board of Mayor and Aldermen has long strived to protect and enhance historically significant properties in Spring Hill, and this is a huge step forward,” said Spring Hill Alderman Matt Fitterer, who served on the Rippavilla Due Diligence Panel. “We can’t thank the Rippavilla Board enough for its dedication and stewardship of the mansion and land. We’re excited and honored to partner with the Land Trust of Tennessee and Rippavilla Inc. to continue this work. The City will use the property to promote regional tourism and our history as well as create passive recreational opportunities for Spring Hill citizens to enjoy.”
The property, which sits on the Maury County side of Spring Hill, includes, a two-story brick antebellum-style plantation home, carriage house, an original slave cabin, a freedmen bureau’s school house, historic Cheairs Cemetery, Brown’s Stand, the Ikard Center, Rayburn Amphitheater, and several barns and other structures supporting the agricultural use of the property.