Experience Music City’s Legacy at Fontanel Mansion
Nashville is all about music and the legends that made it great. You know you’ve hit gold when you find one who could play the accordion at five and at 13 was playing the steel guitar and touring with Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and George Jones.
In a 30-year career she earned over 40 major awards, scored numerous singles and albums on the Top 10 and Top 40 charts, was ranked among CMT’s 40 Greatest Women of Country Music and in 2002 was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
This is Barbara Mandrell, petite, beautiful, blonde and still in love with her husband of 45 years.
While most stars’ lives stay relatively private away from the bright lights, Fontanel is a rare gift that has been given back to the public.
Fontanel is no ordinary home. This 27,000 square foot cabin in the woods is the largest log home in the world, designed by Mandrell’s husband, Ken Dudney, with the help of Seab Tuck, architect/designer for Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame.
Thanks to the vision of Dale Morris and Marc Oswald, two high profile music industry producers and managers who bought the Mandrell estate in 2002, Barbara Mandrell’s home is now the only celebrity home open to the public in the Nashville area. It also offers a complete musical experience. Tour the mansion as though you are a guest of the family, dine at Café Fontanella’s Italian kitchen and wine bar where the waiters may suddenly grab a guitar and burst into song, or stay for a big name concert at the outdoor Amphitheater in the Woods, nestled in a valley with natural acoustics.
Barbara Mandrell and Ken Dudney had entertaining in mind when they built this spectacular home of Honduran mahogany and hand-selected larch pine from Montana. They lived here 14 years raising their three children, enjoying the rustic seclusion of their log cabin hidden in pristine woodland. Back then only invited guests and family friends enjoyed the gracious Southern hospitality of a couple who enjoyed life and loved people.
This is evident when you tour this log masterpiece and hear stories about Mandrell and her husband and the many artists who came through their home. Each time she returned home from a tour she loved to throw a big party! You’re invited to sit awhile in the Great Room and soak up its ambience. Soaring 35 foot ceilings with built-in natural light, double helix mahogany staircase, collector’s guitars, cases filled with memorabilia and dresses Mandrell wore at significant stage events – there is not enough time to see it all.
“Take that guitar off the wall and play it,” invites the tour guide. “It’s a 100 year commemorative J200 Gibson guitar signed by every member of the Eagles. That one on the other side of the room belonged to Kix Brooks, of Brooks and Dunn.”
The tour continues and we have a lot to see. Indoor swimming pool, soda fountain bar with juke boxes, long dining room with a spectacular chandelier designed by Mandrell, complete with 1200 hanging Austrian crystals. Don’t forget the 2-lane 50 foot shooting range, 300 gallon fish tank, 13 bathrooms, five fireplaces, and a helipad.
If you’d like to stay longer, yes, you can reserve the Fontanel Mansion for private events and weddings!
The 136 acre estate in the Whites Creek historic district has been redesigned as a landmark venue. Special event professionals can cover every detail, whether for outdoor dinners and celebrity events, corporate picnics, board retreats or banquets. Frisbee golf and hiking trails are available for anyone to use year round and the estate is open seven days a week.
You will want to add Fontanel to your next ‘must see’ list. It’s an experience to remember!