Curious Nashville | Nashville Public Radio

Curious Nashville

In Curious Nashville, we answer your questions about the city and Middle Tennessee region. We investigate oddities, share local history, tell stories of interesting people, and explain how local institutions operate. 

Periodically, we'll post a voting round where you help decide what we should investigate in our longform storytelling Curious Nashville podcast.

We also answer questions more frequently in web posts and radio stories — scroll down to see what we've already answered. 

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*Special thanks to the SunTrust Foundation for providing technology funding for Curious Nashville. 

Fans of Curious Nashville have asked us several wonderful and weird questions about animals, and we’ve answered a few. But until now, that reporting hasn’t appeared in our podcast — and some of the facts and quirky details had to be trimmed out of the stories when they aired on the radio.

southern magnolia Nashville
Blake Farmer / WPLN

Look around Nashville and they’re hard to miss: Magnolia trees grace the Nashville City Cemetery, Vanderbilt and Belmont universities, Sevier and Centennial parks, and the grounds of the Hermitage, Grassmere and Glen Leven Farm.

Nancy VanReece / via Flickr

While World War II raged abroad, it was tuberculosis that was killing far too many Tennesseans on the homefront. So the state set out to establish a network of TB hospitals, with one in each Grand Division.

The twist in Middle Tennessee was that a struggling nursing home and orphanage, owned and operated by the Masons, became the convenient place to warehouse TB patients for months or even years to wait out their dreaded lung disease.

Nashville election ballot
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Roughly half of Nashville voters in recent years have been casting their ballots during the two-week early voting period. The convenience of early voting is often cited as a reason. But one place where that’s not an option is in East Nashville.

Curious Nashville peace sign puppetry
Kara McLeland

It’s becoming something of a tradition — adapting a Curious Nashville podcast episode into a live stage performance. With puppets.

Free Silver Nashville
Olivia Rhee / WPLN

Nestled in the Haynes-Trinity area of Nashville is Free Silver Road. Though it appears to be one simple street, North Nashvillians often tell stories about the old Free Silver, which is said to have been a large neighborhood with a rich history.

Nashville peace sign aerial forest
Google Maps

From the proper vantage point it materializes unmistakably: A gigantic peace sign, cut into roughly 3 acres of forest next to the Nashville International Airport.

Investigations of Railroad Accidents / via N C & StL Ry Preservation Society

There was a head-on collision of two trains at a site called Dutchman's Curve in West Nashville 100 years ago Monday, July 9. It remains the deadliest train crash in American history. But the tragedy has largely faded from the city's collective memory.

Tennessee State Library and Archives

 


In the decades before serene family homes occupied the Glendale neighborhood of South Nashville, exotic animals, lush vegetation and summertime whimsy filled the area. The Glendale Park Zoo sat seven miles outside of downtown, a place where animals roamed and children screamed at the drop of the wooden roller coaster ride.

Nashville bus MTA
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

If passed, Nashville's multi-billion dollar transit plan, up for a vote May 1, would be the largest civic project the city has ever undertaken — yet polls show a large number of Nashvillians are still undecided. We want to know what would help you make a decision. 

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