All About Nashville History on Tour

portrait of David Ewing

David Steele Ewing, CEO

David Steele Ewing is a ninth-generation Nashvillian, historian, tour guide, and history consultant. He frequently speaks about Nashville to locals and visiting groups.

David was interviewed recently by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times for his expertise regarding Nashville history.

David has spoken to the national board of PBS and visited conventions, including the National Road Builders, Conference of Former U.S. Attorneys, and the League of Cities on Nashville history.

The London Telegraph said, “David Ewing is a local polymath, historian, author, and tour guide.” The Nashville Scene named David “Best Historian” in the annual Best of Nashville issue.

The Nashville Scene referred to him as “the esteemed unofficial Nashville historian.” The Tennessean recently said David Ewing is “known for uncovering cool and important bits of Nashville history.”

The Nashville Scene named his Instagram, “The Nashville I Wish I Knew,” the best Nashville Instagram, which currently has over 25,000 followers.


In 2016, David uncovered the lost police arrest records and mugshots of Congressman John Lewis, long forgotten in a Nashville police department archive, and unveiled these artifacts to the Congressman.

This surprise presentation to John Lewis was featured on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, Los Angeles Times, American Bar Association Journal, and the Smithsonian Magazine.

In 2017, David discovered that an East Nashville park known as “Douglas Park” for 80 years was originally named for African American leader Frederick Douglass.

David Ewing worked with the Mayor, Nashville City Council, and Nashville Parks’ Board to restore the original name of this park, decades after this piece of history was removed because the park board did not want to honor Douglass.

David Ewing served as the historical consultant and featured expert for the 2021 Nashville Public Education Foundation documentary “By Design: The Shaping of Nashville’s Public Schools.”

Additionally, David appeared as a historian in the Charley Pride PBS American Masters documentary, “I’m Just Me.” David has also appeared on C-SPAN’s BookTV, talking about the Ryman Auditorium history.


David led the effort to honor the leader of Tennessee and the National Women’s Suffrage Movement, Anne Dallas Dudley, by renaming a street in her honor, where she organized the first Women’s Suffrage parade in the South.

He also served as a historical consultant for the Nashville Public Library Civil Rights Room and Votes for Women Room.

Over the past 30 years, David has acquired the enormous private collection of Nashville history memorabilia, which includes artifacts from the 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition, currently on display at the Parthenon.

They have featured many of his historical treasures at the Ryman and Tennessee State Library and Archives.

David graduated from the University School of Nashville, Connecticut College, and Vanderbilt School of Law.

David previously served as the Senior Vice President of Government and Community Relations for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and held that similar role at Ryman Hospitality.

David has served on over 30 Nashville boards. His board positions included Chairman of the Nashville Board of Zoning Appeals and board member of the Nashville Historical Commission and Nashville Historic Zoning Commission.

David has served on the boards of Cheekwood, The Nashville Symphony, The Nashville Opera, The Hermitage, the Boys & Girls Club, the Nashville American Red Cross, the Boys and Girls Club of Middle Tennessee, and the Cumberland Valley Girl Scouts.

David currently serves on the board of Centennial Park Conservancy.

David graduated from Leadership Nashville, Leadership Middle Tennessee, Young Leaders Council, and L’Evate.