Tennessee is a state rich in history, and one of the best ways to immerse yourself in its storied past is by exploring its historic homes. From grand mansions to humble log cabins, these homes offer a glimpse into the lives of the people who shaped the state.
One such home is Belle Meade Plantation, located just outside of Nashville. Built in 1853, this Greek Revival mansion was once a thriving thoroughbred horse farm. Today, visitors can take a guided tour of the home, where they will learn about the Harding and Jackson families who lived there. The mansion is filled with original furnishings and artwork, transporting visitors back to the antebellum era.
Another must-visit historic home is the Sam Davis Home in Smyrna. This Italianate-style mansion was built in the 1800s and was home to Sam Davis, a Confederate soldier during the Civil War. The home has been preserved to reflect the time period, with original furniture and personal belongings of the Davis family on display. Visitors can take a guided tour of the home and learn about the life and tragic death of Sam Davis.
For a different perspective on Tennessee history, head to the Alex Haley House Museum in Henning. This modest home was the childhood residence of author Alex Haley, who wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “Roots.” The museum showcases Haley’s life and work, with exhibits that tell the story of his ancestors and their journey from Africa to America. It’s a powerful reminder of the importance of preserving and sharing our history.
In Franklin, you’ll find the Carnton Plantation, a historic home that played a significant role during the Battle of Franklin in the Civil War. The house served as a field hospital for wounded soldiers, and today, visitors can tour the rooms where doctors operated and soldiers recuperated. The home is filled with original furnishings, giving visitors a unique perspective on the realities of war.
If you’re interested in frontier history, a visit to the Ramsey House in Knoxville is a must. This log cabin was built in 1797 and was home to the Ramsey family, one of the first settlers in the area. The cabin has been meticulously restored to its original condition, with period furniture and artifacts on display. Walking through the rooms, you can almost imagine what life was like for the early pioneers.
No exploration of Tennessee’s historic homes would be complete without a visit to the Hermitage, the former home of President Andrew Jackson. Located just outside of Nashville, this grand mansion was once a working plantation and is now a National Historic Landmark. Visitors can tour the home and grounds, learning about Jackson’s life and legacy. The Hermitage also offers special events and exhibits throughout the year, providing a deeper understanding of this influential figure in American history.
Tennessee’s historic homes offer a unique opportunity to step back in time and experience the stories of those who came before us. Whether you’re interested in the antebellum era, the Civil War, or the frontier days, there is a historic home in Tennessee waiting to be explored. So, grab your walking shoes and embark on a journey through the past. You won’t be disappointed.