Sometimes, when you want people to know exactly where your
business is going, it is necessary to tell where you’ve been.
Peter Nichols owns a business that specializes in Custom
Designed Homes, but since 1990, he has been in the golf
package business under the name of PR&M of Tennessee, Inc.
Raised in Milwaukee and Marinette, Wisconsin. He went to
school in Madison and started his real estate career in 1970,
buying apartments and building. He started his own real estate
company in 1979.
Nichols came to Cumberland County from Wisconsin in 1987 with
plans to get into the real estate and building business. His
first job here was with Fairfield Resorts Inc. selling lots
and timeshares after finding out that he had to work for a
Tennessee broker for two years, despite having his license in
Wisconsin. “During my time at FCI, I realized that there was
no organized rental or golf package program in the Glade,”
Nichols said. “Even though I tried to persuade FCI to start
one in 1989 along with the help of Stonehenge Golf Pro Tom
Waltz, I could get no interest in the idea from the FCI
powers; Len Grandith (VP of Sales) and Maxin Drake, Director
of In- House Tours.”
So, with a strong background in marketing and sales, Nichols
decided to start his own golf package business, opening
Fairfield Rentals in March of 1990. But even then, he had his
sights on the building business. His goal was to establish a
business on Peavine Road, build clients through golf packages
and rentals and wait a few years before he actually launched
the business full force, waiting until the baby boomers could
mature a bit.
“We are still in the golf package
business,” Nichols said,” but I am following the path of three
generations of builders and designers in our family. Our
primary business is home building.”
About three years ago Nichols made the
decision to pursue the home building business. It had been his
plans ever since he came to Tennessee, to put his experience
and heritage together to build new homes.
From Russia to Tennessee:
His grandfather, Michael Nikel (changed to
Nickels when he came to the United States), worked with his father
building log houses in the Russian Ukraine. “They had a contract
with the Czar to build barracks. They cut the logs, pre-numbered
them and shipped them prefab to various locations in Russia,”
As unrest grew in Russia, his grandfather
found his way to Pound, Wisconsin with the help of a Baptist
circuit rider minister. He lived and worked in a logging community
after coming to the states. As World War I approached, he was
drafted into the 32nd Red Arrow Division and served his country
from 1917-1918. After the war, spent the next 27 years of his life
as a farmer
and grocery store owner.
Peter’s father went to the war late. In 1944
he became a merchant marine. His ship was bombed in Okinawa and he
spent several weeks in the hospital and was shipped home. The war
ended shortly thereafter. “Upon my Dad’s return home to Pound, my
grandfather and grandmother, along with my dad, two brother and
two sisters, moved to Milwaukee, WI, where they started building
homes under the name, Nickols Construction.
Taking advantage of the building boom
created by veterans returning home after the war, dad Nickols
changed to Nichols Construction and their business began to grow.
They would buy a lot; build a 900 sq ft house doing all the work
themselves with hand-cut boards, mixing mortar by hand, etc. Their
first home sold for $5,500 in West Allis, WI. Building houses
became a family tradition.
Peter says his grandfather was a traditional
builder, going “strictly by the book,” but his father and uncles
wanted to use innovative ideas available at the time, open floor
plans, in-kitchen grills, laundry rooms on the first floor and
imported stone (Crab Orchard) from Tennessee and (Mica) from North
“One of the many things my dad taught me is,
“you can pull a rope a lot farther than you can push one,” so to
get ahead, he believed in using the modernizations of the day in
his homes rather than following the pack. He gave people what they
were looking for. “We are trying to follow that same philosophy
today in our new homes,” Peter Nichols said.
Grandfather Nikel started building log barracks and
houses in Russia.
Grandfather Nikel came to the U.S. changing his name
Grandfather Nickels and Father Nichols began building
new homes after WWII.
Grandfather, Father and brothers open Nichols
Construction. Father Nichols changes name to
Nichols invests in real estate apartments and homes.
Nichols gets real estate brokers license and develops
commercial and residential real estate.
Nichols opens Fairfield Rentals to begin Golf Packages
and Rental business.
Nichols changes name of company to PR&M of Tennessee,
Peter Nichols, under Nichols and
Associates Custom Designed Homes, starts building new
houses in Fairfield Glade.
Today Nichols & Associates
is a specialized custom builder with a focus on
prime-location construction. High quality standards
are incorporated into each of their golf course, lake
or mountain homes.
Nichols & Associates
3644 Peavine Road
Crossville, TN 38571