March 8, Rutherford County Historian Greg Tucker
Oakhurst, the 140-year-old mansion on Cherry Lane, has qualified for the Rutherford County Property Tax Abatement for Historic Restoration and Preservation. This program, the first of its kind in Tennessee, encourages preservation of historic structures by granting a ten year tax abatement for historic residential or commercial structures.
Leland Jordan, a Murfreesboro attorney in the years following the Civil War, built the impressive brick residence on his 125-acre farm just beyond Murfreesboro’s eastern boundary in 1881. The first floor of the original structure, fronting on the Woodbury Turnpike, included a parlor and dining room on the left of the entrance hall with a library on the right. The second floor had three bedrooms. A kitchen was separated from the first floor by a porch that extended across the back of the house.
In 1913 the house was leased to Albert E. King, father of Sarah King, and in 1919 it was sold to J. P. Elrod, who with his brother Cecil had several business interests including a women’s clothing store. During the Depression, Elrod subdivided the remaining property into twelve lots. (Cherry Lane was originally named Elrod Avenue.)
For several decades, Oakhurst was divided into apartments. In 1949 a house was built on the lot between Oakhurst and the turnpike (East Main Street).
In the 1980’s the house was renovated “to reflect its former function and dignity.” It is now the home of Melinda Haines.