Smyrna History: J.S. Young Road, Marty Luffman Bldg & More


Editors note: I asked historian Marty Luffman to get me the history of his State Farm office building that he constructed years ago on the old J.S. Young Road. We  all know  the road today as, Nissan Drive. Folks who grew up here may recall the old road near Krystals and our salon, The Vanity Zone there was a tight curve.

It seemed like every week there was an accident. There was also a big curve where the Sam Davis Masonic Lodge in front of Planet Fitness and I recall many auto accidents there as well.


Marty Luffman: “I was about 33 years old,  renting an office in the Coleman Building for my State Farm agency. The Coleman building was originally the stables for Smyrna, until it caught fire and burned out,  killing all of the horses in it.  Later it became John Brandon Sr materials storage for his hardware and lumber company.

The Luffman Building built in 1984 on Nissan Drive.

Bob Parks Realty, was in the building where the Donut shop is now. They occupied the entire space.

On the property, where, my building is located now, there was originally the home of J S Young.  My understanding is the initials were for John Sam and he was a cousin to John Sam Ridley.  There was a barn behind the house that I had rented for a while.  Kept my horses there.

It was probably 1983 or 84,( I was 36 years old)  that the Ridleys, who now owned the property were going to develop it and sell off lots  The Ridleys were also, developing a subdivision called the Oaks off Weakly road, and I  bought a lot from him in there at this same time.    J S young rd was about 2 lanes wide.  There were no commercial property over there.  There was a 3 bay garage at the intersection of Enon springs rd.   Enon Springs went all the way to Stones river, dead ended in Florence road.

After talking to Sam Ridley,  who was still Mayor at the time,  I decided to take that leap of faith.  He showed me what the plans were.  A new bank had been created, I think it was called First National Bank.  He was one of the owners.   The bank would be on the lot next to mine.  I decided to turn my building facing the bank and our parking lots would connect.  

At the same time, I started construction on my building, Bob Parks Realty started his complex.     I was exceptionally happy that I would be located between these two .

Well , as it happens, Sam decided to put the bank at the corner of Enon springs and Commerce Drive.  And the Waffle House took the lot where the bank was going.

But It was good that Bob Parks Realty was going in, at least for a while.   

The JS young road widens several times.   Walmart buys J S Ross farm , Dave Bolin buys the 5 acres , including the old garage across the street and within a couple years after I moved in McDonald’s and Sonic and Kangaroo and Kwik sak .  Then the Krystal and Walmart and of course the Nissan Plant.

I can’t say the times were easy owning this building.  I was very young and inexperienced at renting.   And some of lifes lessons were pretty harsh.   But here I am, 36 years later, in the middle of one of the most aggressive growth sections of Smyrna.”