Belle Meade Plantation
back

Turn Back Time By Touring These Tennessee Antebellum Homes

Nothing stirs emotion quite like visiting a Civil War-era home and Tennessee is rich with Antebellum ones – where generals planned strategies, Confederate women prepared meals for Union leaders, and soldiers, mortally wounded, breathed their final breaths.

Tennessee’s Antebellum homes allow us all a brief moment of time travel, as if you can just feel the stories unfold as you walk through these homes. Here are a few to take in and next month, I’ll have another selection of homes for you to put on your trip itinerary, including Maury County, the “Antebellum Homes Capitol of Tennessee.”

EAST

Blount Mansion in Knoxville was built by William Blount, North Carolina’s House of Commons member and delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1787. The house is made of sawn lumber per the request of his wife, Mary Blount. She wanted a “proper” wood home. The kitchen, though recreated, is on the original site. The governor’s office is a replica of a typical 1790s office. Admission for tours is $7 for adults and $5 for children.

Blount Mansion

Blount Mansion

The Ramsey House Plantation is set on 101.5 acres in Knoxville. It was built by Thomas Hope for Francis Alexander Ramsey, a member of one of the first families to settle in Knoxville, in 1797. Admire the woodwork details found throughout the home, a preserved piano forte and period-piece dolls. Admission for tours is $7 for adults and $5 for kids six-12 (under six is free).

Ramsey House

Ramsey House Plantation

MIDDLE

Smyrna is famous for the Sam Davis House, the original 1850s home settled on a 160-acre farm that continues to grow cotton. Sam Davis was from an upper middle class family. He enlisted in the Civil War and became one of “Coleman’s Scouts”, working behind enemy lines, retrieving Union information and disrupting communication between Union troops. He was captured and charged by the Union as a spy where, ultimately, he was hanged. The Sam Davis Plantation is its original 1850s structure. Get a glimpse of authentic craftsmanship from the floors, woodwork and doors. Tickets are $12 for adults (Age 13+), $6 for children six-12, $6 for college students with ID and free for children under six.

Sam Davis Plantation

Sam Davis House

Nashville’s Belle Meade Plantation has a cherry wood, cantilevered staircase, limestone pillars and ruby glass transom above the front door all thanks to Williams Giles Harding who redesigned John Harding’s 1820 home. Harding stripped the house to its basic structure and built it back up with grandeur in a Greek-Revival design which is excellently preserved. Harding also had a thriving Thoroughbred stud farm and nursery with equine bloodlines still connected to famous racers today. The Belle Meade Plantation offers a variety of themed tours throughout the year. General admission $18.00 for adults, $12 for children (13-18), $10 for children (6-12) and free for children under five.

Belle Meade Plantation

Belle Meade Plantation

One of Nashville’s well-known plantations is The Hermitage, Pres. Andrew Jackson’s home. Before it became Jackson’s, the land was bought by Nathaniel Hays in 1780 then later sold to the future president. Jackson, his wife and family transformed the property into a 1,000-acre plantation, building a Federal-style home from 1819-1821. The Hermitage contains a library, farm office, copper gutters and a two-story entrance portico with Doric columns. General admission is $20 for adults, $15 for students (13-18) and $10 for youth (six-12).

The Hermitage

The Hermitage

WEST

Though Davies Manor Plantation may seem modest compared to the others on this list, it is still worth touring. It is unknown who originally built the log cabin. However, Joel W. Royster made additions when he bought the land in 1831 – 1837. He added a breezeway, two-story bedroom area and a dining room was added in the 1860s. A well house, slave cabins and commissary are available for tours on the grounds. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children and free for children under six.

Davies Manor Plantation

Davies Manor Plantation

Cherry Mansion in Savannah was originally built by David Robinson as a wedding gift to his daughter and her husband, W.H. Cherry in 1830. When the Civil War broke out, Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant used the mansion as his headquarters. It’s said that Grant received information the Battle of Shiloh had begun as he was sitting down to breakfast. He rushed outside and could hear gunfire from the back porch of Cherry Mansion. Admission to this gorgeous home is $10, for tour reservations please call 731-607-1208.

Cherry Mansion

Cherry Mansion

What’s your favorite Tennessee Antebellum-era home?

Hey! I’m Amanda Stravinsky, a born-and-raised Jersey girl who now makes her home in the awesome, musically-inclined city of...Read on

2

    avatar

    Michael Johnston

    Hi there – my wife and I visit the US regularly to see civil war sites etc. Really enjoy what you call ‘ante-bellum’ homes. Been to your neck of the woods before but have yet to do Shiloh. It’s a big country as Jean Simmons kept saying in the film to Gregory Peck. Last time we got side tracked by Elvis. This time (2013) we shall definitely do the whole Tennessee thing – if we can. It’s a big country!
    Best Regards Mike Johnston West Sussex UK

    avatar

    Jann Staford

    We are flying in from Calif., and would like to know which homes are listed on the home tour this year? Are they all antebellum homes? Are they all open on both the 5th and 6th?
    Thank you,
    Jann Staford
    559-977-5767

Leave a Reply

This conversation is missing your voice! We can´t wait to hear what you have to say. All we ask is that you keep the conversation positive and spam free. All comments are moderated and innapropriate comments will be removed. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to chat with us!

Required fields are marked *