The Story of
The Stephens Family Legacy
In 1925, the Stephens family founded Stephens Manufacturing Company in Nashville, quickly making a name for itself by creating quality work clothes and becoming one of the early advertisers on The Grand Ole Opry radio show. As their business thrived, the Stephens family saw an opportunity to invest in the future. During the challenging era of the Great Depression, they acquired over 900 acres of land, nestled between Davidson and Williamson counties, known today as Stephens Valley.
The valley, once a modest pig farm, underwent a remarkable transformation under the careful hands of the Stephens family. It evolved into a flourishing breeding business, specializing in fine Angus cattle, sheep, and various livestock. When Bill Stephens inherited the farm from his parents, he expanded its horizons, cultivating fields of row crops and nurturing bountiful hay. These fields continue to flourish today, a testament to the valley’s rich agricultural heritage.
Bill had a grand vision for the valley that extended beyond its agricultural abundance. He saw it as a philanthropic resource and a means to give back to the Middle Tennessee community he held dear. He aspired to enrich the non-profit foundation he established, ensuring that his legacy of generosity would endure. Though Bill passed away a few years ago, his beloved wife, Neika, still resides in the beautiful home they built together in 1936. Neika, alongside the dedicated developers of Stephens Valley, remains steadfast in honoring Bill’s desire to preserve the pristine, forested areas of the land.
As the story of Stephens Valley continues to unfold, the spirit of giving and the commitment to preserving the valley’s natural beauty remain at the core of its existence. Through the pages of history, we embrace the legacy of the Stephens family, cherishing their vision and carrying it forward into the future.
Unveiling the Story: A Journey through Stephens Valley’s Remarkable History
Nestled between Davidson and Williamson counties, Stephens Valley tells a tale of rich history and boundless potential. From its humble origins as a pig farm to its transformation into a thriving community, this remarkable place holds the legacy of the Stephens family and their unwavering commitment to giving back. As you explore the timeline of Stephens Valley, you’ll witness the milestones and events that shaped its past and continue to shape its future—a story of resilience, community, and the enduring beauty of the land. Step back in time as you journey through the remarkable chapters of Stephens Valley’s history.
Organization of Militia
September 9, 1775
On September 9, 1775, the Provincial Congress authorized the organization of thirty-five county Militias, including the North Carolina Pasquotank County Militia.
Militias Were Integrated
December 22, 1775
In December of that year, these brave men would soon find themselves integrated into the Continental Army under the command of General George Washington, fighting in notable battles like Great Bridge, VA, on December 9, 1775, and Camden, SC, on August 16, 1780.
The Naming of Pasquotank
September 3, 1783
As the Revolutionary War drew to a close, the Continental Congress showed gratitude for their service by granting them War Bounties in the form of land grants. These early settlers brought with them the name of their North Carolina county and christened their new home Pasquotank, eventually shortened to Pasquo. The year was 1783, and a new chapter in the valley’s history began.
The Treaty of Fort Adams is Signed
December 17, 1801
In 1801, President Thomas Jefferson signed The Treat of Fort Adams prior to the Louisiana Purchase to permit the construction of a road, later named the Natchez Trace. The road was fully navigable by wagon in 1809 and allowed frontiersmen to travel to Nashville in only two weeks. The northern terminus of the Natchez Trace runs through Stephens Valley, and much of a young nation’s history occurred right here. From the “Great Spiritual Awakening” brought by Methodist Circuit Preachers, Baptist missionaries and, Cumberland Presbyterians, to the American soldiers marching south under the command of Andrew Jackson in the War of 1812, to the countless farmers and merchants that walked across this land, Stephens Valley has a solid foothold in the history of the New Republic.
Stephens Manufacturing Company was founded
January 1, 1925
In 1925, the Stephens family made their mark on history by founding the Stephens Manufacturing Company in Nashville. Their durable work clothing quickly gained popularity, leading them to become one of the earliest advertisers on the renowned Grand Ole Opry radio show. With their newfound success, W.E. Stephens acquired a large tract of land at the northern end of the Natchez Trace. Here, he built a farm where he lived the rest of his days, tending to Angus cattle, sheep, and pigs and cultivating crops and hay.
W.E. “Ed” Stephens Sr Purchased Land
January 1, 1932
Continuing the tradition of giving, in 1932, W.E. Stephens Sr. seized another opportunity to provide for his son. He purchased 1,000 acres of farmland at $10 per acre, establishing Steveway Farms. Together, father and son built the log house that still serves as the heart of the Stephens’ home today. It was a place that held cherished memories for young Bill Stephens, fostering his love for the outdoors and farming.
Stephens Family Moved Into Home
January 1, 1936
On January 1, 1936, the Stephens family moved into their new abode at Steveway Farms, cementing their connection to the land. Bill, a self-proclaimed “hillbilly who knows everything about farming,” embraced the responsibility of overseeing the daily operations of the farm his father had created.
Bill Stephens Inherits the Valley
September 1, 1953
Upon his father’s death, Bill Stephens inherited his family’s land in the valley, and he lived a long and satisfying life overseeing the daily operations of the farm his father created. Across his life, Bill Stephens witnessed Nashville’s growth and the arrival of new families seeking solace in the peaceful countryside, just as his family had done many generations before.
Bill Began Building Stephens Valley Team
February 29, 2000
Inspired by his father’s example and driven by his unwavering belief that “it is more blessed to give than to receive,” Bill Stephens embarked on a mission to enrich the lives of future generations who would call Stephens Valley home. Together with his wife, they envisioned a vibrant community that harmonized with nature while allocating a significant portion of the development’s proceeds to charitable and mission work. In the early 2000s, they diligently sought a team to bring their vision to fruition, ultimately selecting John Rochford for this monumental task.
“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” -Bill Stephens, 1922-2015
April 26, 2015
Bill Stephens, a man who tirelessly worked the land until his passing in 2015, held a steadfast vision. He aimed to transform his beloved property into a thriving community where people could embrace a harmonious coexistence with nature while making a difference through charitable endeavors. Bill’s firm belief in the words of Christ and his lifelong love for giving was inspired by his father’s legacy. Today, Bill’s beloved wife, Neika Stephens, still resides in the beautiful home they built together in 1936. Neika, alongside the dedicated developers of Stephens Valley, remains steadfast in honoring Bill’s desire to preserve the pristine, forested areas of the land.
Grand Opening of Stephens Valley
December 6, 2017
Finally, on December 6, 2017, the doors of Stephens Valley swung open, inviting the community to witness the grand opening of a community born from a dream. The Developer, Rochford Realty & Construction Company, proudly hosted the Grand Opening event, joined by Land Innovations, the Project Manager, who shared a commitment to preserving the land and honoring the Stephens family’s shared vision. It was a moment of celebration and unity, where Neika Stephens, a pillar of strength, had the honor of cutting the ribbon, symbolizing the official unveiling of Stephens Valley. Together, this dedicated team embarked on a journey to create a lasting legacy for all those who would call Stephens Valley their home, guided by the unwavering commitment to preserving the land’s pristine, forested areas—a testament to Bill’s enduring love and Neika’s steadfast dedication. Stephens Valley’s story is about resilience, generosity, and a deep connection to the land. From the courage of revolutionary militiamen to the founding of a manufacturing company and the dedication of the Stephens family, this remarkable valley holds the essence of history within its embrace. As we step into the future, we carry with us the spirit of the past, cherishing the traditions and values that shaped Stephens Valley into the thriving community it is today.
The First Residents of Stephens Valley Moved In
August 24, 2018
On August 24, 2018, a significant milestone was reached in the history of Stephens Valley. It was the day when the first residents joyfully moved into their new homes, marking the beginning of a vibrant community.
First Annual Christmas Tree Lighting
December 3, 2018
As the holiday season approached, Stephens Valley eagerly embraced the spirit of Christmas. The community came together on December 3, 2018, for an enchanting event—the first annual Christmas Tree Lighting. Gathered near the silo in Meriwether Park, over 100 people, including the Westminster Chapel Choir, Stephens Valley residents, neighbors, and friends, joined in the festivities. The air was filled with merriment as we sang Christmas carols, indulged in cookies, and savored steaming cups of hot chocolate. At 6:45 pm, Neika Stephens, a guiding light in the community, illuminated the tree, igniting a sense of wonder and joy. It was a cherished moment that set the stage for future Stephens Valley Christmas Tree Lightings, uniting us in celebration for years to come.
Dog Park Opened
February 1, 2019
On February 1, 2019, a new chapter of fun and frolic began in Stephens Valley with the opening of the dog park. Furry friends and their owners reveled in the open spaces, wagging tails, and delightful companionship, creating a haven for four-legged residents.
1st Annual BBQ & Bluegrass
June 15, 2019
As summer rolled around, June 15, 2019, became a momentous day in the community’s calendar. It marked the first Annual BBQ & Bluegrass event, bringing residents, neighbors, family, and friends together. Meriwether Park buzzed with excitement as BBQ food trucks delighted taste buds, lively bluegrass music filled the air, and laughter mingled with the melodies. The festivities included face painting and bounce houses and ended with a spectacular fireworks display, illuminating the sky with a kaleidoscope of colors. It was a celebration of togetherness, and the anticipation grew for the event to blossom and flourish each summer.
50th Home Sold
August 15, 2019
In the journey of Stephens Valley, August 15, 2019, etched a remarkable milestone—the sale of the 50th home. It was a testament to this vibrant community’s growing appeal and desirability, welcoming new families into the fold and expanding the tapestry of shared experiences.
Disc Golf, Firepit, & Paved Trails
November 1, 2019
November 1, 2019, witnessed the unveiling of new amenities that added even more joy to the lives of residents. The community fire pit crackled with warmth as neighbors gathered to share stories and create cherished memories. Paved nature trails beckoned exploration, inviting residents to immerse themselves in the beauty of their surroundings. And amidst the laughter and camaraderie, disc golf enthusiasts reveled in friendly competition, honing their skills on the challenging course. These additions infused Stephens Valley with an even greater sense of unity and a deeper appreciation for the natural wonders surrounding them.
100th Home Sold
June 21, 2020
Continuing the journey, June 21, 2020, marked a moment of celebration as the 100th home found its rightful owner, a testament to the allure of Stephens Valley. The community continued to grow, evolving into a thriving neighborhood.
200th Home Sold
February 1, 2022
On February 1, 2022, another significant milestone was reached with the sale of the 200th home. Stephens Valley flourished as more families discovered the joys of living in this remarkable community, where nature and community intertwine.
Community Garden Opened
April 24, 2022
As spring blossomed, April 24, 2022, brought forth the grand opening of the Community Garden. A haven for green thumbs and enthusiasts, it provided a place to cultivate vibrant flowers, aromatic herbs, and bountiful harvests. The garden symbolized growth and unity, nurturing a sense of shared responsibility and a connection to the earth.
Pool Grand Opening
July 1, 2022
July 1, 2022, marked a day of celebration and splashes of delight. A ribbon-cutting ceremony inaugurated the community’s first pool, followed by a thrilling “pool jump” that inaugurated a new era of aquatic enjoyment. The following day, the community came together for the first pool party, a jubilant gathering that coincided with America’s birthday. The pool became a hub of laughter, relaxation, and countless memories, adding a refreshing dimension to the Stephens Valley experience. View the video here: https://vimeo.com/729767245
5th Annual BBQ & Bluegrass
June 10, 2023
On June 10, 2023, the community basked in the magic of the 5th Annual BBQ & Bluegrass event. Over 1,000 people flocked to Stephens Valley, eagerly anticipating the vibrant festivities that awaited them. The air resonated with the soulful strains of live music as friends and families indulged in delicious Southern eats and refreshing treats. Unique local vendors showcased their talents, offering a diverse array of wares to peruse. The evening crescendoed with a magnificent firework display that painted the night sky with awe-inspiring colors, creating a lasting memory for all. The 5th Annual BBQ & Bluegrass event embodied the spirit of Stephens Valley, a community united in celebration, joy, and the bonds that make it an extraordinary place to call home.