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FERRIER FILES: Historic house on Natchez Trace Parkway owned by "Captain of the Spies"

(Fox 17 News)

The Natchez Trace Parkway rolls through six middle Tennessee counties on its 444 miles to Natchez, Mississippi.

But you don't just drive the Trace. You pull off for great views .and great history.

The Gordon house is the home of Nashville's first postmaster and Indian scout. He was so good at scouting hostile Indians that President Andrew Jackson gave him a special title. “Captain of the spies.”

His great, great, great, great, great grandson Rob McDonald loves the Gordon house. His family lived here.

“Originally Andrew Jackson was a private," McDonald said. "Once Jackson became a general brought him on and the only title he would take is captain of the spies because he was so good at finding Indians which I would imagine is a pretty good trick."

The Gordon House was a trading post with very high windows. Some historians believe this was so people could ride up on horseback and trade while still on horseback. America's first drive thru.

McDonald loves to tell Natchez Trace travelers all about the house and Dolly Gordon who ran the trading post by herself.

“So you can imagine a single woman being here with 40 Indians, warriors who showed up one day wanting to trade," McDonald said. "She must have had some substance, a woman."

If you follow the path from the house, you can walk all the way down to the Duck River in Maury County. It was here the Gordons ran a ferry beginning in 1803.

The Gordon House is one of only two original structures still standing on the Natchez Trace Parkway. Many local history lovers would like to see this house back open with its interior restored to the trading post days.

“I would think it would be a real bonus to have this house open," McDonald said. "I would be happy to donate the original portrait of Dolly. I am sure other family members would donate original pieces. Wouldn’t it be a fantastic monument to being pioneers and what it took to settling a new land?”

The house was completed in 1818. John Gordon died just one year later. It was Dolly who ran the trading post right up to her death in 1859.

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