Friday, November 14, 2014

The Hermitage

I've lived in the Nashville area for two and a half years, but until recently I had never visited Andrew Jackson's estate at The Hermitage.  My parents were in town for the weekend, so we all (Dan included) headed out to learn a bit more about this President and his home.

Front of the House
We started the visit with a video, which gives the history of the estate and Jackson's life.  The video doesn't overly sugarcoat Jackson or his politics... He was a war hero for a battle that happened technically after the war had ended.  He was a slave owner.  He signed off on The Trail of Tears.  He was the last President to have known/met all of the previous Presidents.  He scandalously married his wife before her divorce was finalized.  He was generally viewed (along with his supporters) as a founder of the Democratic Party, interestingly enough.  Dan and I both came away having learned something.

Back of the House and a Slave Cabin

The house itself is one of the best-preserved Presidential homes in existence.  I think they said something like 90% of the furnishings and decor were original, because they all stayed in the family.  The home was also blessed to have been constructed with mainly poplar wood, which termites apparently don't like to eat.  And during the Civil War, both sides generally respected.  Fun fact, to save money, Jackson only painted the front of the house...  kind of like how my parents' house only has brick on the three sides you can see from the street!

There's a cabin on the property that Jackson originally lived in, which was later converted to slave quarters.  I think they said over a hundred slaves lived on the property, with cotton as its cash crop.

This is what cotton looks like, in case you didn't know.

You can't take photos inside the house, so I didn't get a ton... but I definitely think The Hermitage is worth a visit if you like old homes.  You can also see the garden where Jackson and his family are buried.  Give yourself a couple of hours to see it all!

Jackson's Tomb

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  1. On a slightly unrelated note...I now know where the name of my neighborhood comes from. It's called The Hermitage and the two main streets are "Constitutional Place" and "Rachel Lane" after Jackson's wife.

  2. Rachel was a Donelson, and now I understand why Nashville has a Donelson Pike as a major road! And Old Hickory, Jackson's nickname.


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