History & Heritage
A green, rugged land produced bold men and women unafraid to change the world. Wilderness roads became interstates, pioneers became politicians and Tennessee’s past gave richness to its present.
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Ancient cultures and larger-than-life heroes, architectural gems and scientific advancements, Utopian societies and bloody battles are all part of the complex story of Tennessee.

Travel the paths of pioneers along the Natchez Trace, or see what the byways have to offer on Tennessee Trails & Byways. Explore native culture along the Cherokee Heritage Trails. Immerse yourself in Civil War drama as you travel the Civil War Trails through small towns and at ShilohChattanooga and other large battlefields.

Big personalities shaped our stateand left a memorable legacyin battlefields, frontier cabins and statesmens homes. Visit Belmont, the home of the remarkable Adelicia Acklen, in Nashville. Tour the homes of Tennessee’s three Presidents: Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage in Nashville, the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site in Greeneville or the James K. Polk home in picturesque Columbia. Wherever you go in Tennessee from the prehistoric to the nearly new, you’ll find evidence of the changes wrought by innovative Tennesseans.

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East Tennessee

Historic Homes of Knoxville

Once a wild and rowdy frontier town, Knoxville stands as a testament to the pioneer spirit. Visit these living landmarks: six historic homes that tell the tales of soldiers, scholars, historic events and the pursuit of civilization. Visit James White’s rough-hewn fort. Explore homes of governors and fascinating families. See the cost of war and occupation. Each is a chapter of our history.

Explore the Homes
Middle Tennessee

The Hermitage

The Hermitage, purchased in 1856 by the state of Tennessee from the Jackson family, is the most accurately preserved early presidential home in the country. Opened in 1889, visitors to the public museum and National Historic Landmark can enjoy 1,120 acres of protected forest and field, President Andrew Jackson’s mansion, the original Hermitage home, and more. The Hermitage hosts a variety of exciting events each year, including Sundays LIVE! throughout the summer, and is open for tours year-round. ’ 

Tour the Hermitage
West Tennessee

Shiloh National Military Park

Somber and beautiful, Shiloh marks the scene of the April 1862 battle that was the war’s bloodiest up to that time, with nearly five times the casualties of Bull Run. It is also the site of a nearly pristine set of Indian mounds from an ancient society.

Learn the Story

Experience History & Heritage

Follow our history through heritage towns and down historic roads; explore the changes brought by rivers, rail and wars; learn the legends of pioneers, soldiers and statesmen. Visit mansions, farms, museums and parks that tell the Tennessee story.


History & Heritage Oct 26 Trigger Hippy feat. Joan Osborne, Jackie Greene, Steve Gorman, Tom Bukovac and Nick Govrik Knoxville, TN We've got Rounder Records "supergroup" Trigger Hippy on Sunday, October 26! Featuring The Black Crowes cofounder Steve Gorman, triple-platinum singer Joan Osborne, singer-guitarist-keyboardist Jackie Greene, five consecutive MusicRow Session Guitarist of the Year award winner Tom Bukovac, and bassist Nick Govrik. C'mon out and you’ll hear propulsive rock, gritty blues, heart-searing soul, sinewy grooves, sublime vocal harmonies and a rich, earthy sensibility steeped in Americana roots. learn more History & Heritage Oct 28 Fossil & Artifact ID Night Gray, TN Did you find a rock or fossil while they were digging your neighbor’s cellar? Maybe you picked up something odd on a river bank or by the ocean? Were you given a gift of a collection of fossils? We can help you find out what you have! The public is invited to bring their fossil collections to the East Tennessee State University and General Shale Natural History Museum and Visitor Center at the Gray Fossil Site. Museum scientists will assist the public in identifying such specimens as a part of “Fossil and Artifact ID Night” on Tuesday, October 28, from 4-6 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. learn more History & Heritage Oct 28 Downtown Cruise In Paris, TN Classic cars, antique cars and those who just love to look at the cars "Cruise In" to Downtown Paris at 5:30 pm the fourth Tuesday in May, June, August, September and October. The event is free. For more information send inquires to Downtown Paris Association c/o Kathy Ray — P.O. Box 95 — Paris, TN. 38242 (731) 653-7274 learn more History & Heritage Oct 28 - Nov 1 Sheila Kay Adams as Teller-in-Residence at Storytelling Live! Jonesborough, TN Sheila Kay Adams shares stories from the small mountain community in Western North Carolina where she was born, and passes on the rich musical heritage of her ancestors. A banjo player and seventh generation ballad singer, she is also an author of several books and recordings. learn more History & Heritage Oct 30 Evening Storytelling Concert with Sheila Kay Adams Jonesborough, TN Thursday, October 30 • 7:30 p.m. Banjos, Ballads, and Bad Men Sheila’s love of traditional Appalachian ballads and claw-hammer banjo, combined with her unique repertoire of stories, makes for a special not-to-be-missed concert. learn more