In 1819, William Harding purchased 476 acres from Willie Barrow at the confluence of the Cumberland and Stones River. The property included a Federal style brick house built in 1802 by David Buchanan. Harding acquired additional land and at the time of his death in 1834 Two Rivers Plantation was over 1,100 acres. In 1830, William Harding married Elizabeth Clopton. He died in 1832 shortly before their only child was born. The child, a daughter, was named William Elizabeth Harding, after both parents. When Willie married her cousin David McGavock in 1850, she inherited the 1,100-acre plantation.
David, Willie, and their son Frank lived in the 1802 House on the property until they moved into Two Rivers Mansion, built in 1859 in the Italianate style.
In the 1880s, the estate was known as Two Rivers Stock Farm. It had a thriving dairy operation and it was also the center for Morgan horses in Middle Tennessee.Frank McGavock took possession of the farm in the late 1880s. The Panic of 1893 created a financial depression and the farm was near bankruptcy. His only son Spence leased out the farm in the early 1900s while he worked as a shoe salesman.
Spence McGavock married Mary Louise Bransford in 1928. The couple remodeled the house, adding plumbing, electricity, and heat. They lived at Two Rivers for four years, returning to Melrose, Mary Louse's parent's home, after her mother’s death in 1932. Spence died in 1936 and Mary Louise remained at Melrose for the next 18 years while caretakers continued the farming operation at Two Rivers.
In 1954, Mary Louise McGavock returned to Two Rivers. When she died in 1965, her will named many family members, friends, and employees as beneficiaries. She also instructed that the remainder of her estate be sold and the funds used for the operation or expansion of the Division of Hematology at Vanderbilt Hospital and Medical School. This research fund, named the William S. Bransford Fund in honor of her father, still provides assistance today.
After her death, the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County bought Two Rivers Mansion and 475 acres for nearly one million dollars. On the historic site, which included the mansion, the city built McGavock High School, Two Rivers golf course and public park, Wave Country water park, the Skate Park, and the Greenway.