The Hermitage, located north and west of downtown Nashville, was the home of the 7th President of the United States, Andrew Jackson, who is also the guy on a US $20 bill. Because I love history and since there wasn't much of interest to me in Nashville in the way of country music, this place was my perfect tourist destination!
When you drive into the Hermitage grounds you will first come to the visitors center where you will see a short film about Andrew Jackson's life and browse through a small museum. Once out on the grounds you are free to roam around the property which is truly vast. Jackson's fields are still cultivated (he was a gentleman farmer) and there are still cows and horses dotting the landscape. On the grounds there are many buildings to visit , among them the old slave quarters (one of the things that I find bothersome about the South, but I won't get into that right now), the spring house, and several other outbuildings. However, the main attraction here is Andrew Jackson's mansion, a wonderfully preserved Federal-style house built in the early 1800's. Once in the house you must take an organized tour, as wandering around the building freely is frowned upon. (It still contains all of the the Jackson family's belongings and furniture.) The tours are given by costumed volunteers who are quite friendly and knowledgeable and eager to answer questions. Photos are not allowed inside of the house.
The Hermitage also has a gift shop and a cafe. Admission is $12 for adults.
This is a pre-Civil War era plantation where tour guides dress in period costume. It's a great place to bring the kids and dog (on a leash) and picnic & play on the grounds. The home tour is a great way to see & hear how people lived years ago. The stables are also very interesting - this was a thoroughbred horse farm that raised many champions and the horses lived in some incredibly nice stables. Make sure to visit the gift shop before you leave.
*If you're on a budget or short on time, you can wander around the grounds & figure it all out by reading the informative signs for FREE. They only charge for the actual home tour.
the hermitage was the home of andrew jackson, 7th president of the united states. this beautiful antebellum plantation is a worthwhile site to visit when in the nashville area. jackson was a friend of napoleon and one of his busts is on display in his home. jackson is best known for his negotiations with the french over the louisana purchase and his defeat of the british in the battle of new orleans in the war of 1812. the hermitage is listed on the national register of historic places. a must see site for those interested in american history.
an excellent book about andrew jackson is, h.w. brands' "andrew jackson, his life and times". pub: doubleday.
Ok. So now you know that I'm a nerd. I didn't step foot in the Country Music Hall of Fame but I went to the Tennessee State House. I actually like state houses. This one is really nice, too! It' s a lot smaller than the average state house, at least the ones that I have seen, and you have to do the usual metal detector routine before you can enter, but by going you will learn a lot about Tennessee! If you have the time and you are downtown you should go. It's free!
this beautiful greek revival building was designed by architect william strickland. the state capitol building is constructed out of local limestone and was completed in 1859. on the grounds of the capitol are monuments to edward w. carmack, president andrew jackson, president andrew johnson, sam davis, sgt. alvin york, and the tomb of president james k. polk. in the interior of the capitol are exhibits from the tennessee state museum. the tennessee state capitol is listed on the national register of historic places. admission is free.
The free tour is informative and well worth your time. Getting there isn't easy though... this picture shows the SHORT way up!
When your tour guide starts talking about the "Recent Unpleasantness" during which Legislators attempted to leave the Capitol without voting on a measure and the State Police shot at them to force them to go back upstairs & complete the vote... stop racking your brain, you didn't miss a major news story. Your guide is referring to the Civil War (which wasn't all that recent). There are chunks missing in several spots of marble where the bullets hit. The Capitol was controlled by both the North and the South at different times during the war.
the edward w. carmack statue is located in a prominent position in the front of the tennessee state capitol. carmack was a former tennessee U.S. congressman and U.S. senator. carmack was also editor of the nashville american and was known for his feud with black tennessee journalist ida b. wells. in 1908 carmack insulted col. duncan b. cooper in an newspaper article and one of cooper's supporters shot and killed carmack. because of carmack's racist views a group of nashville citizens are currently trying to have his statue removed from the capitol grounds.
james k. polk and his wife are buried in a tomb on the east lawn of the tennessee state capitol. james k. polk (1795-1849) was the 11 th president of the united states. polk was a planter from columbia tennessee and served as a U.S. congressman and governor of tennessee prior to his election as president.
the andrew jackson statue is located on the east side of the tennessee state capitol. andrew jackson was the territorial governor of florida and a hero in the battle of new orleans during the war of 1812. andrew jackson was also the 7 th president of the united states. jackson's plantation the hermitage is located about ten miles east of the tennessee state capitol.
andrew johnson was a tennessee U.S. senator and vice president under president abraham lincoln. after the assassination of president lincoln johnson became the 17 th president of the united states. johnson was a southern democrat and opposed the radical republicans over the treatment of the south during the radical reconstruction era after the civil war. the radical republicans tried to impeach johnson but he was acquitted. johnson was generally hated in the north but was well respected in the south. johnson is a very interesting political figure in american history.
alvin york was born in pall mall tennessee and become one of the most decorated solders in WWI. york led an attack on a german machine gun nest and captured 32 german machine guns, killed 28 german solders and captured 132 prisoners. for this feat of bravery he was awarded the congressional medal of honor.
located across charlotte ave. from the capitol building is the tennessee war memorial. the war memorial was built in 1925 and honors solders from tennessee who lost their lives in WWI. the tennesse war memorial building is home to the tennessee historical society and the tennessse military museum. for those interested in architecture and history the war memorial building is well worth a visit in downtown nashville.
Although I have never been inside, the Tennessee State Capitol has many things around the grounds. James K. Polk, the 11th Predisent of the US is buried here. The Mall area is across the street, and the State Museum is about a block away.
I picked up a free Nashville map from Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau in Parthenon building. It is a two page booklet with Nashville downtown map with marked points of interest. Inside is the short description of the places of interests – historical, cultural and others. On the back there is a map of Nashville with other small towns. The last one is not the best, but enough to figure out directions. I am sure it is possible to find a map in other places in downtown.
Historic Nashville hotel, opened in 1910, and has been the favorite hotel for celebrities, politicians, sports heroes, gangsters, and locals alike. The hotel lobby is beautiful, and absolutely worth a peek inside if you are in the area. The sunny verandah would be lovely for a wedding...
Just past the check-in desk, beside the staircase, is a wonderful display of memorabilia of the history of this hotel. Definitely check it out!