I have a great admiration for the early settlers of our country. They could look at a piece of land and be willing to do whatever it took to make a life there. 250 years ago Tennessee was the wild west. Andrew Jackson bravely cultivated an incredible life for himself and his wife just outside of Nashville, TN. Even though it's not on the Presidential Library and Museum list, my mom and I were excited to step back in time as we visited Andrew Jackson's Hermitage.
Hermitage Museum Exhibits
When we arrived on the property, we started by touring the Hermitage Museum. Similar to other presidential museums, Andrew Jackson's started with an introduction video to orient you to the life of the people's president.
Growing up during the American Revolution, Jackson's parents died young, but he still received an excellent education from tutors. Seeking adventure and his own fortune, he headed out west to Tennessee. There he fell in love, bought some land, and made a home for himself: the Hermitage.
After the introduction to the world of Andrew Jackson, you are set free to explore the vast property that he cultivated over his lifetime. Since he didn't have any children, when he passed away, the property became a time capsule for millions of visitors to explore. The museum has been open since 1889.
Touring the Mansion
After the Jackson's purchased the property in 1804, they moved into the current log cabin which still stands today. Andrew wanted to give Rachel a grand home, and in 1819 construction began on a Federal-style brick home for the couple to reside. It had eight rooms, high ceilings, and grand hallways.
In 1831, the Jackson's expanded their home by adding on a formal dining room, library, and office. However a devastating fire in 1834 required more renovations. The Jackson's took this opportunity to convert the design of the exterior of their home with a Greek Revival-style look. Continuing with this theme, Rachel revamped the interior with Greek mythology inspired wall coverings and Philadelphia Classic furnishings. It is truly a grand home.
Enjoying the Hermitage Grounds
When you arrive at the Hermitage, you're given an audio tour guide to take with you around the grounds. Each location has a number you can enter into your listening device to tell you more about that destination. Additionally, they have a children's track of audio tour information that engages the kids in the history around them.
We loved exploring the gardens, seeing Jackson's tomb, and investigating his cotton plantation. I have such an admiration for the men and women who made a life on the frontier. It is a great way to inspire gratitude for the life comforts we easily take for granted.
If you happen to make it out to Nashville, TN, I would totally recommend a day at the Hermitage.