Orville Ewing (brother of Andrew and Edwin Ewing), was educated as
a lawyer, but never practiced. He was president of the Planters Bank of Nashville and the brother of Andrew and Edwin Ewing
who were married to Milbrey's sisters.
The house below was built by Anthony Foster, one of the signers of the Nashborough Compact in
1780, and was purchased by Orville and Milbrey Ewing who raised seven children there. They were living there during the civil
war when Nashville was under military rule and Federal soldiers camped continually on the beautiful lawn.
The house was named "Mile End" and was located one mile south of the Nashville square where, in
1905, St. Katharine Drexel founded the Immaculate Mother's Academy, the state's first Catholic school for African-American
girls which replaced the house. In 1954 the school was demolished and replaced by a large Sears store which remained there
Shortly thereafter the Nashville Rescue Mission and homeless shelter occupiied the old Sears store
and remains there today in 2008. Leaving downtown Nashville on eighth avenue south, turn left onto Murfreesboro Road (Lafayette
Street) and you will see the Nashville Rescue Mission on your right.
Milbrey planned the gardens, marking the central square with a tall Norway spruce tree bordered
with shrubs and flowers. Graveled walks radiating from the center and intersecting at right angles formed squares where calacanthus,
pyrus japonica, licacs, bridal wreath, and roses flourished. On the north side a brick wall formed a natural trellis for the
grapevines, and on the south fruit trees and a vegetable garden lay beyound the flower beds. On the east side handsome trees
and a hedge of Bois d'Arc formed a green background for the garden.
The entrance to the greenhouse was covered with a star jasmine, and here pomegranates, Marechal
Neil, and other rare plants were kept. A Catalonian jasmine within its shelter furnished bouquets for many family brides.